How do you like your ISP?

27 Aug

I’ll be blunt. Over time, I experienced a certain advanced degree of frustration with some first-gen Gorge providers of internet connectivity. Without going into detail, I found myself trying a new outfit starting up out of The Dalles and expanding into the Hood River area, with a wireless tower in White Salmon bouncing digits at my dish.

I gotta tell you, I love Qnect.net. Not that they haven’t had their hiccups. By that, I mean outages. But the thing I love about them is that they understand that there are people out here who depend on them, and when something goes wrong, they don’t just curl up in a ball and drool all over themselves.

On several occasions, they have called to let me know about pending shutdowns to repair or upgrade service. This is usually no problem, because like most people, they schedule it in the middle of the night.

The other day, about 3:30 p.m., I was just about to begin the online loading process for a grant application. The deadline was at 5 p.m. OK, I hadn’t left myself a lot of cushion. But what were the odds of an ISP outage? Well, maybe I should’ve been playing the lottery that day, because I went to upload stuff, and … nothing. Zilch. Nada. Dead in the water.

I called Qnect.net. Hu-LO! I tried not to sound too frantic, but hey, I’m a little frantic over here. Got an outage over there?

Yep, they had lost power to the tower. Someone was on the way with backup power. Expected it up within the half hour.

They beat their prediction by 10 minutes. I got the job done.

Then, Tuesday afternoon of this week, a fiber optic provider had a problem with its switches in Portland. It dinged more than just Qnect.net. I ran into someone at a business meeting Wednesday morning who said they had lost connectivity out of Portland.

Short of it is, I got an e-mail from Qnect.net Wednesday at 12:06 a.m. — just after midnight — explaining what had gone on. Did you get an e-mail, phone call or explanation from your ISP? Or did you have to call, and get in the wait line? Here’s what Qnect.net sent me. It’s not the first such message. But it shows that these guys understand customer service. And in a world where everybody has gizmos and wires and servers and billing departments, customer service is about the only way to differentiate yourself. I hope I can say the same thing in a year, but so far, so good.

To our valued customers,

Around 5:00pm tonight (Tuesday, 8/25) our primary fiber provider lost its core
switches in Portland.  This effected most ISPs in the area including
cable and dsl providers.  The Portland crew thought they would have it
up in 20 minutes but 20 minutes turned into many hours.  At 7:40pm
with Internet still not restored to the areas, we turned up our
secondary fiber optic link.  This was the link we were working on
after the huge power and fiber hit a few weeks back.  We weren’t
planning on bringing up this circuit in this fashion but based on the
scale of this outage any net was better than none.  The great news is
that we were the first ISP to return to service and as of 11:00pm the
Internet switch in Portland has yet to be restored to service.

Over the next 30 days we will be redoing our entire core network.
During this time we will remove every switch in our network and
replace it with routers ensuring extremely fast networking with very
low ping times.  We will be preparing to bring both fiber optic
connections to life and into the air.  Our new fiber optic link takes
a totally separate path than our current provider and will ensure we
don’t see anything like this again.  We sincerely apologize for the
outage and know and understand how frustrating it is to be without
Internet.  We are taking the steps necessary to make sure this doesn’t
happen again.

Thank you for your business, support, and patience.  If you have any
questions or comments please let our 24 hour staff know.

Sincerely,

The Qnect.net Network Team
1127 Bargeway
The Dalles, OR. 97058
(541) 296-3525
support@qnect.net
“Customer Service First”
http://twitter.com/qnect – Follow us on Twitter

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