Based on those experiences, I had pretty well made up my mind to switch my Internet connectivity from Island Tel to Eastlink, and, indeed, had begun discussions with their sales people about pricing and timing.
All of which might make it seem a little surprising that, at least for the time being, I’ve decided to stick with Island Tel and, indeed, to upgrade my service with them and consolidate all of Reinvented’s equipment here in the World HQ on Prince St.
How did Island Tel win me back? Here’s what they did:
- Ron Waite, Regional Vice-President, (PEI), and Vice-President Carrier Services, Aliant Telecom, responded to my open letter. His response didn’t knock me over with its eloquence or attitude, but he did respond, knowing full well that his response would appear online, at that’s something.
- An emissary from Island Tel’s sales force took me out for a COWS mocha iced cowpuccinno and, in a no-bullshit, frank and honest exchange, listened to what I had to say, and tried to explain the Island Tel side of the story.
- A side-by-side comparison of Island Tel and Eastlink’s low-end dedicated IP products reveals that they offer about the same bandwidth for the same price. All things being equal, I’d rather be close (in IP terms) to my major PEI client, and Island Tel’s network gets me that.
- Further experience with Eastlink’s customer service suggested that it wasn’t as different from Island Tel’s as it would appear: there proved to be just as many long telephone trees, unreturned phone calls, etc. at Eastlink as at Island Tel. My last call to Island Tel was answered, by a real person, on the first ring; this is a quick way to my heart.
- I’d been promised a meeting with the Eastlink “Internet expert” for several weeks, but this was never arranged; and Island Tel sales rep was at my door within 20 minutes of an initial call to his cell phone, and he knew his stuff.
I am under few illusions that Island Tel has changed substantially as a company in the last two months, and a good number of the major items raised in my Open Letter are still not resolved. However they’ve done enough (and Eastlink has failed to sufficiently impress enough) to tip the scales in their favour.
I will continue to be their most challenging and demanding client, will continue to report on my challenges here; for now, however, they continue to have my business. Let’s see how it goes…