Posted at 03/09/2016 01:11pm
Update: Before you read my long review about Optus, I just wanted to let you know we launched a review website called Broadband Reviews, which details many Service Providers of which you can find more user's Optus Reviews too.
Anyway! Let me tell you about an experience our Company had with Optus. Consider this written review next time you’re shopping around for an internet connection or mobile plan. Keep in mind, this is our personal experience and not in any way shape or form a reflection on Optus as a whole, however just to demonstrate potential problems you may encounter with any Service Provider you decide whether it’s TPG, Dodo, Internode, Telstra and the other 100+ available NBN resellers which are all currently fighting out for market share.
When time comes and you’re sniffing for the best Broadband Provider for yourself, some questions immediately run through your mind would be something along the lines of; Is Optus any good, or is Optus better than Telstra, TPG or DODO….?
There simply is no correct answer to which one is better. Trust me.
You probably aren’t aware, however we relocated Mr Telco’s Head Office to Bundall, Gold Coast at the start of the year. We compared a few broadband reviews online and thought to give Optus a call (after all, I’m an ex Optus Network Engineer) to see how they shape up from the other side of the fence.
Calling Optus Sales Representatives
The conversation was exceptional during my conversation with Optus’s Sales Representative, he was well spoken and a super smooth dude, he was seriously one of the most co-operative and supportive representatives I’ve spoken to EVER!
Along with ordering a new internet connection it was one of my preferences for transferring the personal mobile phones across to the Business account and the representative was more than confident all this was achievable and super easy. However, he advised to call back once the business connection was active and they’d do it straight away. So the Sales rep gave me an installation date and we were good to go.
Installation Date & Activation Time Frame
FYI: Installation wait time for Optus was around 2 weeks waiting for connection and activation date. This may vary depending on the technology you are using to connect, eg. NBN, FTTH, VDSL2 or in our case we had ADSL2+ available.
Once installation date had come about, we received a modem in the mail along with the promised Fetch TV box (which we’ll never use). Now, before I go any further. I knew plugging this modem into the wall socket was not going to work and 100% certain. Why? Because our office is in a large building and requires a service which is called MDF Jumpering and no, Optus technicians will not come out and do that for you, you’ll need a private internet or phone technician (i.e. Mr Telco) to perform this task and usually at the cost of the tenant or business.
Reflecting back on my conversation with the Sales Rep, he failed to mention or even hint a smidgen that we’d need MDF Jumpering, let alone at the customer’s expense. Of course! This makes absolute sense; why would he tell me this? It would just be a barrier to his sales pitch.
The big mistake I believe is that the Sales Rep had our Company’s address and yes, it does have a unit number in front of it. It should be part of Optus’s sales pitch process to say, “hey BTW! If you’re in a unit, you may require MDF jumpering to bring the active service from the Main Distribution Frame to your building floor and office and is the responsibility and the cost of the customer, would you like me to organise that on the same day?”.
“Gone are the days of deceptive sales pitches and behavior to simply land a sale”
We are ALL living busy lives, and the new currency is time. Your time is more valuable than ever and the last thing you want to do is spend hours on hold to a customer service representative in the Philippines trying to iron out the woes and the reality which should have been explained at the time of sale.
Optus instead, had used a process by way of drip feeding the information and taking a moreover reactive approach instead of a proactive one. This definitely lessens the customer’s experience and certainly disheartens them too, when all they want to do is get connected on the date which has been set.
Heck! Seriously I wasn’t worried at all about the MDF Jumpering as we can do all this work ourselves, in-fact it’s what we do, but I just feel sorry for other businesses and people who wouldn’t have any idea on this hurdle being located within any multiple dwelling unit complex.
TIP: Most ISP’s will only guarantee a working service up to the NBP (network boundary point) or Main Distribution Frame, generally located in a service cupboard or carpark etc., from there, it’s on your back to get the service routed and jumpered up to your office or apartment wall socket. This alleviates any responsibility from your ISP for your internal wiring in your building which may be faulty, and kind of makes sense.
Locating Our Internet Service
Moving along, in order to get our Optus ADSL2+ business service working, I needed to locate the FNN (technical word for phone number) which was displayed on our Welcome Letter issued with our modem, to then take out the trusted Buttinski test phone and race down eagerly to the MDF room within our building to perform a phone number check across all the incoming phone lines, and attempting to locate our broadband service. Literally we’ve got a 200 pair lead in cable so it took around an hour checking every number, and of course, murphy’s law, it’s always the last one.
So, from here we’ve plugged the modem into our wall socket and placed the modem into our server cabinet and we’ve got DSL sync! Awesome things are working. Not so fast.
TIP: Just to clarify, you’ll need to use a licensed ACMA technician to work on any telephone or internet cabling or equipment within your building or even residential home.
Calling Optus Customer Service (woah! On hold times)
After we setup the wifi and attempted connecting to the internet with no success, we made our initial phone call to Optus’s customer service helpline number. Have you ever experienced Optus on hold times? After being on hold for 1 hour, literally as soon as they picked up the line, the call dropped. Now, if you’ve got the patience of a Buddhist Monk, you will quietly pick up the phone, redial and meditate over Optus’s on-hold music again. I can assure you, that wasn’t the case for me.
There were several phone calls (estimate = 8) made between our office and Optus support desk over the following month which totaled in on hold times in excess over 7 hours total of being thrown around from department to department with activation, authentication and all these other unexpected arising problems.
Image Description: On hold Optus customer service line for 1 Hour 35 minutes and 04 seconds.
Finishing up, although we encountered various painful issues during connection, I’ve just written on the one, which I felt would be most likely experienced on a more common occurrence with Optus, which I believe could certainly be resolved, detailed in the following conclusion.
Broadband & Telecoms undoubtedly is a cut throat industry. Competing for customers and long term relationships you could almost compare to war eg. Optus VS Telstra. Most of us will never truly ALWAYS have a good experience with one ISP that is smooth sailing, however that depends on your expectations.
If you reverse engineer the above review/evaluation taken from our experience, there are two distinct points which stand out that I’m sure would significantly enhance the customer experience dramatically at Optus.
Inform Business & residential customers about the (customer requirement) which may be required upon service installation or activation day, and make referral to a Company which does this type of work. This would definitely be a proactive solution. Yep, just a simple referral. Sure, we understand Telco’s don’t want to take responsibility, that’s fine! Just refer someone then and make customers aware. Is it that big of a deal?
Provide a call back service or shorten the length of customer waiting time. I feel these wait times are a reflection of businesses of ‘the yesterday’, surely there is other options which can mitigate the total wait times.
Using technology and building systems is key and building self service that functions in real-time would eliminate tons of headaches. There’s some really cool AI technology our there now, with Google Voice and Amazon STT (speech to text) services which I believe a team of developers could dream some sort of smart learning systems to make things better for all customers on every level.
What I would like you to take away from our experience, is that no matter which Provider you choose, eg. Optus, Telstra, TPG…. You will always come across hiccups and things that don’t go your way.
In light of our experience with Optus, our service has been extremely stable, and we aren’t battling any dropouts. But hey! Ultimately you get what you pay for.
Should you have any problems, dropouts or the need for phone and internet data cabling within your premises, give our team a buzz or simply make a booking online. We’d be happy to help.