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Are Extend Broadband rubbish? – Day 1

extendWednesday 11th November

At 09:35 our Extend internet connection stopped working. I turned the equipment on and off a few times to see if that would get it to work and then waited the usual hour to see if it would come back. When it hadn’t I phoned Extend and three phone calls later managed to get through to someone who seemed quite knowledgeable. While he went through a few tests of the equipment I asked if it was because we had paid our bill late at the bank, on the 2nd November instead of at the end of October, even though we had until the 7th to pay it. No, that was not the problem, he was 90% sure the equipment had failed and someone would be round the next day to fix it. I explained that I needed internet connection today and was told that I could take the equipment into Girne and they would exchange it.

I arrived at the shop around 12:30 and it was explained that the transformer had failed, here is a replacement, and that would be 25TL please. I managed to convince them I would pay tomorrow and after lunch I eventually set the new equipment up only to discover that I still did not have internet. At 14:30 I phoned Extend again and explained that I didn’t have internet. Quickly came back the reply, “it’s because you haven’t paid.” I did not waste my time trying to explain what I’d been through over the last 5 hours but instead explained that I had paid and after giving the details from the bank payment receipt I was told to turn the equipment off, wait 5 minutes and then the internet would return. Thirty minutes later, still without internet, I phoned Extend again only to be told once more that I hadn’t paid. I tried to explain that I’d gone through this all before but gave up when I was told to turn the equipment off, wait 5 minutes and then the internet would return.

At 15:30, after I’d written this, I tried the internet again and, guess what, it still didn’t work. Now I’m a patient person but after 6 hours my patience was getting thin and my first attempt to get through resulted in my being immediately put on hold. I’d started the day with 500 units on my mobile phone and as I was down to 100 units I gave up after a few minutes and then re-phoned. For the next 10 minutes I was told that I would be put through in “iki dakika” (2 minutes.) £10 of credit was fast disappearing and, just as I was about to give up, the quite knowledgeable man answered. The first thing he told me was that I had definitely paid and that was not the problem. After a few minutes he confirmed that the new equipment was working but couldn’t understand why we were not getting internet. At 15:45 I told him my phone credit was running out so he arranged to phone me back in three minutes after I had reset the equipment. I was down to 32.97 credits and so far this fiasco had cost me a journey to Girne and back, £10 for new equipment and £10 in phone credit.

At 16:00 I sat and stared at the phone wondering if he would ever get back to me, I still had no internet but at least I had an article I could publish if he ever did. I had started the day intending to paint a second coat on the walls of our lounge and since 10:30 I done nothing except try to sort out this problem. The light was beginning to fail so that put pay to the painting. I toyed with the phone but suppressed the urge to use up my final credits sitting in an Extend queue waiting for an endless “iki dakika.” I thought about taking the dog for a walk before it became too dark but surely a Cypriot 3 minutes wouldn’t be more than 30 minutes at the current rate of exchange?

At 16:15, thirty minutes after being told my call would be returned, I gave up. I‘ve been an Extend customer for 4 years mainly because for the last year any problems have been sorted out quite promptly and in my experience when someone said they would do something, they did. Because we use Skype instead of a landline being without internet is also being without a phone. Because of Extend we now have no credit on the phone and have no way of communicating.

We bought more credit and discovered that 400 units now cost £9.60 and not £8 – 20% inflation! I phoned Extend back, “iki dakika” for ten minutes and was then told they will come and fix it tomorrow and if I phoned them in the morning they would give me a rough idea when they would arrive. Quickly I told them that as I could pick up a Extend Hotspot from the villa could they send me a free voucher, which they did. By the end of the evening, because the connection was so slow, I was left wishing I had the old 56kb internet connection I had used 20 years earlier.

To be continued…/

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