iiNet, in the tale of "Yet another company which has failed to scale and are now neglecting their customers"

Update 1, 1:20pm: I’m moving to Internode. After consulting with Twitter, @corneliu and @DavidBurela both suggested Internode. @snagy suggested a T1 complain with the communications ombudsman. iiNet – you will be hearing from me soon to start processing my cancellations. Don’t even dare charging me for the last 6 weeks of anti-service.

Update 2, 3:55pm: After emailing this link to the iiNet MD, I rather quickly got a phone call. Lets see how this gets handled … I’ll keep you all posted.

Update 3, 6:05pm: Telstra tech booked to investigate Exchange problem. Target resolution date is tomorrow. Although apparently there’s also a major disruption at the moment that could delay my resolution.

Update 4, 9:24am next morning: Internet resolved. 🙂 Turns out the MD had passed my request to the “Business Improvement Team”. They said that they’ve read the points below and will take them onboard in their next monthly review cycle. I genuinely tried all the proper channels, but when that failed I changed tact. Never underestimate the power of Twitter, a blog and the odd email to an MD.

I’ve been a passionate iiNet customer for 2.5 years now. I’ve paid almost $12,000 across my multiple contracts, and recommended them to countless customers. (I signed another one up just last fortnight.)

Unfortunately, they have quickly become just another character in the tale of organisations that failed to scale. Nobody cares anymore. Nobody listens. This used to be what they were great at.

In the six weeks since I moved in to my apartment I’ve had 1 week of internet.

I acknowledge that ADSL is a flakey technology at the best of times, but the one month rigmarole to get connected could have definitely happened faster. This was a one-off pain though, so that I accepted.

A week after getting up and running I lost line sync at 10:50am on the 17th May. That’s 10 days ago now.

We have agreed that it’s not my modem – I’ve tried two. We have agreed that it’s not a problem between my wall socket and my MDF – that was inspected during the first internet hiatus. We have agreed that it’s not a problem between my MDF and the exchange – through a combination of Vision Stream and Telstra we also resolved this during the first internet hiatus. Finally, we agreed that the problem is my with DSLAM port at the exchange.

You’d think with all this information they could have fixed this by now.

Their engineers did go out an investigate the problem, and fixed something. They then closed the fault. Did anybody call me to check if it was actually resolved? No. Was it actually resolved? No.

My fault has now been lodged four unique times. I have four different fault reference numbers. I have had to explain my problem eight times now to eight different CSRs (Customer Service Reps).

From an organisational perspective, this could be solved relatively easily:

  1. Introduce a new state of “Complete – Awaiting Verification”. This does not mean “Closed”.
  2. Send customers and SMS when their fault enters the “Complete – Awaiting Verification” state. A message like, “Your fault, 44564172 is now complete but waiting verification. Please call 13 22 58 within 24 hours if your problem continues.”
  3. Introduce a new state of “Reopened – Resolution Denied”.
  4. If a customer responds to the SMS to say that they are still experiencing the problem, move the fault to “Reopened – Resolution Denied” instead of opening a brand new fault.
  5. If customers do not reply within 24 hours, allow the fault to automatically progress from “Complete – Awaiting Verification” to “Closed”.
  6. Prioritise the fault resolution queue by lodgment date. This means that if a fault is reopened 5 days after it was lodged, it is still considered to be 5 days old. The current processes consider it as a new fault and prioritise it accordingly (ie. not at all).

If my fourth fault is once again closed without actually being fixed, it will be time for me to say goodbye to iiNet. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

7 thoughts on “iiNet, in the tale of "Yet another company which has failed to scale and are now neglecting their customers"

  1. Warning – Contains cuss words (Sorry, I’m really cranky about this)

    I too recently suffered at the hands of the iiNet customer complete-lack-of-service department and your story confirmed that it’s not just me, iiNet really is sucking dawgs bawls lately.
    After more than 2 years (happily) with iiNet for phone and internet we had to move house.
    What should have been a simple procedure to get services hooked up at our new address turned into 6 weeks of infuriating phone calls, bull shit buck passing, draconian adherence to policy, out right lying, total disregard for customer satisfaction ….. and no phone or internet.
    They sure-as-shit have scaled up their ‘How to fuck off previously loyal happy customers’ program.

    Glad to hear that your complaints actually made it to a person who could possibly give a shit.

    Ps – Tried to work in a reference to Ted Dziuba’s awesome blog post ‘I’m Going To Scale My Foot Up Your Ass’ but I just wasn’t smart enough.

  2. Well you can add me too thhe growing line of upset customers as well. I had internet connected for about 12 hours at my new flat when I lost line sync. That was the better part of a week ago. I called them, they dont know which exchange I am on, so they guess it was one that was close that had maintenance on it. I said ok, whens it going to be fixed.. noboby knows. Fanastic.They said they would txt me with an update, that was 2 days ago. I emailed, no response, I emailed again, the response I received was, “its maintainence, it will come online when its fixed”. I tried calling, put onhold for 15 minutes. Hung up. Im sick and tired of spending my money and time doing their job.

  3. I recently switched from e-wire to iinet with sweet dreams of faster and reliable internet service.

    While the internet has been fine I haven’t had a working home phone for a week now, sometimes the phone works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    I’ve tried phoning iinet’s customer service at work and tried painfully and slowly to explain to them that I don’t get a good mobile signal in my house so I can’t call them back later to run tests at home. But they just don’t seem to get it.

  4. An interesting post and discussion here. I’m in the business of helping companies survey customers to get a better handle on the nature of the relationship.

    Here are a couple of key takeaways:

    1) The standard customer service or satisfaction questionnaire is far too focused on generic issues to be useful in many cases where customers have important feedback to give. This is a case of asking questions that the company wants answered rather than giving customers a chance to say what’s important to them.

    2) Often it’s the customers that can see clearly enough to suggest a simple solution (as above) where the company employees are so tied to their current processes and procedures that they simply can’t figure out a simple solution that would improve service. Ironically, customers can!

    And for each that does say something, there’s another that has the same problem but hasn’t bothered to ask.

    We need a revolution in how companies ask for and handle feedback.

    Andy Perkins
    The Satisfaction Questionnaire Blog

  5. So far they have some how managed to change my connection address from the one requested, changed my plan to a more expensive one without any notice charged me a fee that should not have been charged to change it back not once but 3 times sent me texts and emails saying my service is active which it is not billed me for the relocation and are not returning my calls about the service not being active
    oh and we are well and truely past the 10-20 working day time period

    I am well and truely fed up I dont know where to go from here I’m so frustrated about this that when i think about it i cant think straight

  6. I had a problem with iinet also. First, they said the phone number that telstra given us will not be able to give me internet connection. So they re-book with telstra to come back and tried another number but i was told by the telstra technician if the first number i gave you can not get access to internet this new number will not do it either ass it came on the same line.
    As it turned out, iinet actually used the number was first given anyway. And yes i have internet .
    However, 2 months later iinet charged me 5 times of call out charges of $85, $35 three times.
    Iinet said that i call them for technical problem but there was not any problem hence the charges stay.
    For the last three moths, iinet service is pretty average. It is now more expensive and 3 times slower than what i used to have. So now iinet said i should add a turbo line which i reckon there will be a cost involve.
    At the end of the day all iinet care about is money not service like it used to be.
    Is anyone know how to get out of the contract without incur a cost, iinete try to charge me $743 to break the cotract. Please let me know

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