The Exetel 9+ year club!

Comments and posts about your experience with Exetel
trev
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:38 pm
Location: The LAN Downunder

The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by trev » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:18 pm

Looking back I see that I've now been an Exetel ADSL customer for 9 years and 5 months! Why? The excellent Exetel service and unbeatable price of course!

Anyone else?

rooscoota
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Central West

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by rooscoota » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:52 pm

trev wrote:Anyone else?
gday trev

was actually going to wait 6 weeks to post a celebratory 10 yrs with exetel but since your on the ball I might as well put my hand up.

no complaints and very little problems in that time, would be good to take advantage of the new plans now on offer though, being more than just a loyal customer

would also like to see how many more are approaching the 10th anniversary, not to many I could imagine, so many willing to cut off their nose to spite their face I've noticed over the years.
since: 03/03/04

thomashouseman
Posts: 750
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:06 pm
Location: Toongabbie
Contact:

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by thomashouseman » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:29 pm

I must be close.

James
Exetel Staff
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:27 pm

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by James » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:49 am

rooscoota wrote:
trev wrote:Anyone else?
gday trev

was actually going to wait 6 weeks to post a celebratory 10 yrs with exetel but since your on the ball I might as well put my hand up.

no complaints and very little problems in that time, would be good to take advantage of the new plans now on offer though, being more than just a loyal customer

would also like to see how many more are approaching the 10th anniversary, not to many I could imagine, so many willing to cut off their nose to spite their face I've noticed over the years.
Quite a large number of our first 1000 customers are still with us, well the ones we can track, and i'm sure many more are still usign us at different addresses/under different names.

Time certainly has flown!

James
Exetel Staff
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:27 pm

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by James » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:53 am

News from 2004
January 2004

18th January 2004 Exetel Enters the ADSL Market

Exetel Pty Ltd, which for the previous three years has provided communications consulting services to several telecommunications companies and whose personnel have materially assisted in the set up of four Internet ADSL service providers, today entered the ADSL internet market in its own right with a series of highly competitive ADSL plans via the web site www.exetel.com.au Exetel will provide ADSL services via its own facilities located in a Data Centre in the Sydney CBD using Telstra ‘tail’ circuits to connect customers to Exetel and IP bandwidth from Powertel to connect to the Internet.

Andrew Caswell
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:51 am
Location: NSW Central Coast

Fall From Grace

Post by Andrew Caswell » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:16 pm

With the vagaries of the new website, I am unsure if anyone else can read this post, but if it cautions others, it will have served its purpose.

I have had an approximately decade long relationship with the Exetel. For most of those ten years this has been "competent" - not without incident, but I have felt that the organisation and I were in the same corner, with them doing their best to resolve such issues as arose. The early part of the decade was largely personal, but, since hanging out my own IT consultancy plate, I have become increasingly exposed at a professional level.

Up until recently, I have felt confident in recommending Exetel to friends, colleagues and clients as a dependable service provider. Sadly, my experience over the last two weeks has eroded and is close to destroying this confidence.

The, to me unannounced, introduction of a new website design early this month presaged worse things to come.

My personal opinion, is that the new design is a major retrograde move - from an admittedly prosaic design, that was at least functional, to a grotesque hodgepodge that was widely non-functional. Others may view the actual design differently, but I do claim some credence to the extent that organisations pay me money to review their websites. BTAIM - the loss of functionality was indisputable.

In summary my issues have been:
• I monitor my usage with some care via the User Facilities - to both minimise excess charges and to be able to on-bill work done on my client's behalf. The ability to do this was completely unavailable for a five day stretch (approximately midday on 2014-02-10 to 2014-02-15). I raised appropriate Support Requests, but to little avail;
• When User Facilities were finally restored (on the afternoon of 2014-02-15 for me) they indicated a minor, but appreciated, change in my Plan - specifically, that my Off-Peak hours (04:00 to 16:00) were no longer capped. I thanked Exetel for this in writing and began to take advantage of the change to build a buffer against future feared disruption;
• The User facilities continued to report in the context of the changed plan for the next five days (until at least the afternoon of 2014-02-20). Then, yesterday morning (2014-02-20) I was informed by email - Oh no, there was no change in my plan after all. However, User Facilities continued to show the "new plan" in operation;
• Finally, this morning, User Facilities showed the original plan patched back in overnight (evidenced by the obviously untested 14 DECIMAL PLACES to which the figure was expressed - all other are to 2dp). Now, however, I had significant excess usage;
I have screen dumps to fully substantiate all my assertions.

Whatever, the truth of my contract details, which remain unclear to me, it is simply unacceptable to have these either unavailable or wrong for two weeks as part of an unannounced website revamp. Was none of this tested?

I have no insight into whether Exetel has recently been taken over, unwisely outsourced key services or is under financial stress - and to a large extent, I do not care. I am interested in the job as performed, not how it is accomplished.

I do not seek financial retribution - what is a $30 excess usage charge in a decade-long relationship; but do seek to caution others to heed the signs. The IT world is littered with ultimately fatal reputational damage that could have been avoided by competent planning and proper testing. Tell your users what you are planning in advance and they are likely to be tolerant of any glitches - ignore them and they will be unforgiving. Exetel appear to have forgotten these business realities.

I wish them well, but fear that it may have to be without me - as I have lost confidence in their ability to do the job.

More in Sorrow than in Anger

Andrew Caswell

Dazzled
Volunteer Site Admin
Posts: 6003
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by Dazzled » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:40 pm

Welcome to the forum after such a long time. I'm as distressed as you are about state of the website, but it is possible to check your meter without negotiating the user facility.

Substitute your login name and password in https://www.exetel.com.au/members/usage ... N,PASSWORD, and all your details, including usage, will be returned in XML format.

A downloader will get the file correctly. If the XML format is unintelligible in your browser, there are several apps and add-ons, mostly browser based, that can graphically interpret the result. The Firefox one is probably the most widely used. For Linux users I posted a free-standing app in the forum some time ago.

Andrew Caswell
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:51 am
Location: NSW Central Coast

Re: Fall from Grace

Post by Andrew Caswell » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:15 pm

Dazzled

You miss or deliberately avoid the issues I raised. I concede that User Facilities are available now.

My issues are:
* User Facilities were not available via either the old or the new website for five days;
* When restored, they showed a changed plan - the provisions of which I utilised;
* Yesterday - shock, horror - an email to say no changed plan, despite the User Facilities continuing to insist that there was;
* This morning the User facilities catch up with the email, via an obviously untested bodge; and,
* I now hove Excess Usage charges.

Would such a chain of events inspire confidence in you?

Without a response addressing these issues, I will tomorrow morning continue the discussion via Whirlpool.

Regards

Andrew

Dazzled
Volunteer Site Admin
Posts: 6003
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by Dazzled » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:20 pm

Correct, I have avoided the issues raised, except to express my own distress. Exetel support staff have been attending to a chain of reported errors. I posted to help you if you need an alternative meter.

Andrew Caswell
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:51 am
Location: NSW Central Coast

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by Andrew Caswell » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:24 pm

I am not surprised, but I do not blame the support staff - it was their dunderhead management who must have given the OK to deploy a grotesque new UI with obviously broken functionality and, self evidently inadequate testing. It is these guys who should be brought to book - not the techos. I was a techo (System Programmer on mainframes) for a decade myself. They are the poor foot soldiers thrown into the firing line as cannon fodder.

So ... I took you as an Exetel employee and the gatekeeper, past whom I needed to navigate. If this assumption is wrong, kindly forward my post to the said Exetel management.

I intend my voice to be heard - if that is not to be within the restricted confines of this Forum, it will be on Whirlpool or Facebook. Given the overwhelming evidence, I respectfully suggest Exetel management are better to confine the damage to the Forum, rather than suffer the wider reputational damage that has brought far mightier organisations to their knees.

Assuming you are in Australia, I wish you a good evening.

Andrew

anurangaf
Exetel Staff
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:35 am
Location: Australia

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by anurangaf » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:33 am

Andrew Caswell wrote:I am not surprised, but I do not blame the support staff - it was their dunderhead management who must have given the OK to deploy a grotesque new UI with obviously broken functionality and, self evidently inadequate testing. It is these guys who should be brought to book - not the techos. I was a techo (System Programmer on mainframes) for a decade myself. They are the poor foot soldiers thrown into the firing line as cannon fodder.

So ... I took you as an Exetel employee and the gatekeeper, past whom I needed to navigate. If this assumption is wrong, kindly forward my post to the said Exetel management.

I intend my voice to be heard - if that is not to be within the restricted confines of this Forum, it will be on Whirlpool or Facebook. Given the overwhelming evidence, I respectfully suggest Exetel management are better to confine the damage to the Forum, rather than suffer the wider reputational damage that has brought far mightier organisations to their knees.

Assuming you are in Australia, I wish you a good evening.

Andrew
Hi Andrew,

Our developers team fixing any issues raise with them in-regards to the website or new members facilities.

If there's any further issues please email us on 'residentialsupport@exetel.com.au' or PM me with the exact issues with the website or members, which I can forward to the relevant department for a fix.

Currently there are no issues with the usage meter.

Andrew Caswell
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:51 am
Location: NSW Central Coast

Re: Fall from Grace

Post by Andrew Caswell » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:42 pm

Anur (I trust I got this right)

Can I take it that I am now communicating with one of the dunderheads I referenced above?

Proceeding on that premise, I would make two points as forcibly as I can:
• You and your colleagues who authorised the website fiasco should hang your heads in shame - you are an embarrassment to the profession to which I also belong. Whatever you think of the new design, I personally regard it as grotesque, the testing was self-evidently woefully inadequate. Was any testing at all undertaken? If I am typical of the Exetel user base, you have grossly disrupted the personal and professional lives of thousands; and,
• The cardinal rule of any form of management is: "If you stuff up" (and Exetel have stuffed up in spades) "TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and SAY SORRY". I see no evidence of either in your post.

Dazzled
Volunteer Site Admin
Posts: 6003
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by Dazzled » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:11 pm

Anuranga is a member of the support team I mentioned earlier. They are the staff that interface with user service problems, and regularly respond here, and I'd rather they were exempted from direct criticism for the website. Anuranga will be happy to prepare "defects lists" for the developers who have prepared the code.

CoryPlover and I, the mods, are not employees of Exetel at all. I have a long background in software development which I suspect shows.

The inadequate coding and testing, or details for fixing, should remain the subject of the threads on this topic.

It is a serious problem. Yesterday a pensioner customer who has often recommended the service to others told me that would no longer encourage his friends to join up - he had been "tested" by the user facility and upset that it could occur. ( A Linux user, btw)

Andrew Caswell
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:51 am
Location: NSW Central Coast

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by Andrew Caswell » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:14 pm

Dazzled and Anuranga

I am trying to communicate with the management person or persons at Exetel who signed-off on the fact that this load of codswallop was fit for public release to (according to Exetel own publicity) 100 000 customers. If those persons included you Anuranga, I stand by what I said, if not, please forward to such an individual as I previously requested.

I am not venting my spleen at the developers - they almost certainly did what they were asked to do. It is the Exetel management who reviewed the design and, most specifically, signed-off that it had been tested adequately for public release, that need to stand in the dock and be judged.

I take your pensioner story to heart. As you can see I feel the same - and then some. The incident has probably cost me about ten hours of non-productive time and several hundred dollars of revenue that I cannot, in all conscience, bill - because an audit would show that I cannot substantiate the amounts. Multiply that by what used to be a 100 000 user base ...

If the buzz on Whirlpool is any indicator, the fiasco is sufficient to threaten the continued viability of Exetel and we will all then be seeking a new ISP.

James
Exetel Staff
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:27 pm

Re: The Exetel 9+ year club!

Post by James » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:47 pm

Andrew Caswell wrote:Dazzled and Anuranga

I am trying to communicate with the management person or persons at Exetel who signed-off on the fact that this load of codswallop was fit for public release to (according to Exetel own publicity) 100 000 customers. If those persons included you Anuranga, I stand by what I said, if not, please forward to such an individual as I previously requested.

I am not venting my spleen at the developers - they almost certainly did what they were asked to do. It is the Exetel management who reviewed the design and, most specifically, signed-off that it had been tested adequately for public release, that need to stand in the dock and be judged.

I take your pensioner story to heart. As you can see I feel the same - and then some. The incident has probably cost me about ten hours of non-productive time and several hundred dollars of revenue that I cannot, in all conscience, bill - because an audit would show that I cannot substantiate the amounts. Multiply that by what used to be a 100 000 user base ...

If the buzz on Whirlpool is any indicator, the fiasco is sufficient to threaten the continued viability of Exetel and we will all then be seeking a new ISP.
Thank you for your feedback on our new website, and questioning the continued viability of Exetel.

Exetel is sorry for the inconvenience caused to you for your usage issue, however in your ten years has this ever happened before? I doubt it, so why not give us the benefit of the doubt.....

James Linton
Director - Corporate Sales

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