Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hughes Indians

The problem is simple.
Getting on the Internet with the Hughes Satellite System is hardly possible between 2 and 9 pm.
E-mail won't work.
Many websites can't be visited.
No files can be uploaded or downloaded.

The diagnosis is simple as well.
If too many people are using the satellite at the same time, the available data volume is divided up in too small parts.

The solution is simple too.
To have the customer, who pays about $ 80 a month, move to a section of the satellite where it is less crowded.
Or increase the capacity of the satellite.
To give the customer what is promised by Hughes in their publicity.

But simplicity is not in the dictionary of Hughes.

Of course a customer is not satisfied with a situation that the Internet cannot be used from 2 to 9 pm.
Therefore the Helpdesk of Hughes is called.
To ask to fix this problem.

The Helpdesk of Hughes is in India.
In New Delhi.
And after talking to the friendly people in India for over three hours yesterday, it is not sure they are really there to help.
Maybe to help Hughes, but definitely not the customer.

This surprising conclusion can be made because all of the collaborators that have been spoken to, refused to see what was the problem.
Hughes having too many customers on their satellite.
Every Helpdesk collaborator suggested strongly the problem was on the customer's side.
In the computer.
In the modem.
In the router.
In the software.
But never ever it was considered that maybe the problem was on the side of Hughes.
Pretty surprising because even a student of Primary School would understand that if a system works fine except from 2 to 9 pm it can't be the computer, the modem, the router or the software.
Therefore, willingly the collaborators of Hughes put the problem on the customer side and wash their hands.
With this strategy it is not their problem anymore.

For example, an e-mail was received of a Hughes customer with exactly the same problem.
No Internet from 2 to 9 pm.
He had been on the phone three times 45 minutes.
And the conclusion of the Hughes experts was that the problem was the web browser of the customer.
He had to install another version of his Internet Explorer and everything would be fine.
Any beginning expert knows that a web browser cannot have an internet connection work bad only from 2 to 9 pm.

We may wonder why willingly Hughes turns customers away with the specific problem of overpopulation on the satellite.
In their publicity on Internet, Hughes is now offering special deals.
For relatively little money one can have an Internet Hughes Satellite System.
Maybe this publicity campaign is successful but that the Hughes satellite has not enough capacity to handle the influx.

Weaponed with this knowledge, all the suggestions of the Indian Hughes people that the problem was not on their side were radically countered.
All their suggestions to do speed tests and other actions on the customer's side and come back another day were refused.

Until one collaborator was honest and came up with a surprising solution.
Yes, he said, the problem is that too many people make use of the satellite at the same time.
But only a few of them suffer of very low speeds during peak hours.
You are one of them, he said.
And you just have to live with this.

What a fabulous solution!

Hughes has a system that if a problem cannot be handled by the staff in New Delhi, India, they can transfer the customer to "Level 3".
These are experts based in the USA.

And they can switch a customer from a position on the satellite where it is too crowded to a more quiet spot.
To get the promised and paid for service.

Hence, the Hughes customer calling the Helpdesk must not try to find a solution to the problem: the customer must try to convince the Indian expert to be transfered to "Level 3".
And there the problem can be presented and possibly solved.

It took several hours but eventually "Level 3" was reached.
The problem was correctly diagnosed and a different frequency was assigned to the account.
Solving the problem.

However, after the requested waiting time, it turned out that the frequency change had no positive effect at all.
Therefore, the Helpdesk had to be called again and the whole procedure repeated.
Fighting the Indian expert not prepared to accept that it was a Hughes problem and not the computer, the router, the modem and the software.
Forcing him to transfer to "Level 3".
Where it was admitted that the transfer to the new frequency had not been performed correctly.

It took the whole day.
Hours and hours on the phone.
Sometimes with very friendly persons.
Sometimes with real assholes.
But now the Fuso Szulc is on a new frequency although victory is not written in the sky yet.
One must experience that from 2 to 9 pm it works well now.

And at this time, 7.45 am, after one hour trying, the Hughes Satellite System is unable to find the SatMex 5 where the new frequency is.

9.40 am: finally on line...

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