Monday, July 24, 2006

Moving shop (3)

Going triple play

The fun part of this move is the triple play, getting telephone, cable television and internet all from one provider and on one invoice. Of course there is a danger that you might get stuck with one of the facilities.

Our telephone and internet provider in Utrecht was Versatel. At Electronic Media Reporting (EMR) we have always given a chance to start-ups rather than to turn to an incumbent as KPN. There should be competition and the only way to give the incumbent an incentive is to take out a subscription on services from start-ups...

Technically there is no problem with Versatel in Almere. So I could have transferred the subscription to the new address. But I was not happy with Versatel; not in the past and not in the present.

In Utrecht we had telephone and internet on ISDN ADSL with Versatel, a so called Business-all-in agreement. In fact, our company was one of the first ones which requested an ADSL line over ISDN. It took Versatel more than three months to deliver, as KPN had to transfer the line to Versatel; no blame on Versatel. Yet, the communication between Versatel and EMR was technical with no marketing sensitivity; questions were being avoided. To compensate the lower tariff promised by Versatel plus a number of days of total incommunicado, only one month subscription was given in return.

The major reason for moving to another provider is the inflexibility of Versatel. While KPN and other providers have adapted their internet connection speed at least six times in four years, we had our speed upgraded one time in four years and this was only done after that we asked for it. ISDN was blamed. The lame reason for not upgrading was that we had ADSL over ISDN and not analogue. And when the company started to offer fast analogue ADSL (up to 24Mb was claimed) we could not switch as we would have to go back to KPN, close the ISDN line, request for an analogue line and being transferred to Versatel. In this game Versatel did not want to play any role. In short, no one is going to risk some weeks of incommunicado, because of the bad communications between Versatel and KPN. So why should we?

What I have been unable to understand is why Versatel never offered their soho clients a move over from ISDN to analogue in order to boost their claim to fame of 100.000 fast ADSL users. They also never made their business relations an offer for fast ADSL plus a one year’s subscription for the soccer competition. But marketing is an art!

Last and not least Versatel claimed flawless ADSL connection as it had its own network and constant speed as companies did not have to share an ADSL line. But regular checks with the Nuria measuring tool showed that the speed was variable with at least one non-performance a month.

All in all a good, reasons enough to say goodbye to Versatel, upgrade on speed and go into triple play with… When we called Versatel to terminate the contract, we talked to the loyalty and retention officer (sic!). We went through the procedure and the financial aspects; all in a correct way. But he did not ask why we wanted to terminate the contract; nor did he make an offer to retain our company as a client. We were probably small fry.

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Blog Posting Number: 451

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