'Easynet' may be a misnomer

Today we celebrate an anniversary. It is precisely one month since telecoms company Easynet (via their UK Online brand) cut off my broadband connection. In the name of ‘upgrade’, I’d foolishly let myself be seduced by the promise of an 8meg connection for the same price as the half-meg connection I’d had from BT.

Every day I phone them to politely ask about progress, and one of their trying-their-best but hopelessly undertrained customer service people adds another note to my file. About one day in three, I’m promised that an engineer will look into it real soon now but no, they don’t know just when.

Yesterday – great excitement! One of their customer service people actually phoned us, to tell us it was all alright now! I’m not quite sure what’s all alright, because my broadband certainly doesn’t work.

Nor is this an instance of a few poor employees. The people I’ve spoken to generally keen to help, but all they are permitted to do is take notes. I’ve hit point-blank refusals to let me speak to someone at even supervisory level. Customer Services people don’t know anything about Tech Support, Tech Support don’t have access to Engineers’ diaries.

I run a small but successful company. I know how to set up business systems that work. And what I see at Easynet is systems that are broken at every point. Bad internal communication, employee disempowerment, poor supplier relations, the works. It’s a case-study in management incompetence.

What’s really scary about this is that Easynet are chasing the schools market. They boast on their website about a deal with Reading schools.

I acknowledge that Reading may be having a different experience; I certainly hope so. But from where I’m sitting, this is what the ten-foot bargepole was invented for.

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