Sunday, 4 May 2008

MAXIS WIRELESS BROADBAND – THE UNRELIABLE

MAXSUCKS01

I have been extremely patient and when a person’s patience is extended until the maximum, anyone would have burst out in anger? What more being patient for up to 15 months? This is what will happen when things had gone wrong without any proper explanations. In fact, I do not think Maxis has any explanations at all. I do not think there are any good communication practices from the top level management down to the staff as well as their contractors (sub-contractors in fact). Nobody seems to know what the other is doing.

The bloggers is a big community and can you think what will happen if everyone who is using the service complain? I am going to share with you the trauma and bad dreams I had when I had put in my 100% confident and belief in a company that WAS ONCE BELIEVED to be the top communication service provider in Malaysia. Even their 012 and 017 mobile phone services are beginning to drop in sales. Who would want to receive explanations like “who asked you to live in a valley” and “Penang tall building a lot, so sometimes frequencies do get blocked”. When a person complained, they want explanations and solutions, not just some craps that come out illogically and as an insult.

Here are some of my scenarios that occurred during the last 15 months of usage. Maybe this will help many new subscribers to reconsider applying to a service that is so inconsistent and unstable that you can only use to check mails (but not all the time).

“Sir, can you log into 192.168.0.1 and check the connection status. Is it connected or disconnect? Now can you check your network type? Is it HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE or unlimited service? Can I know the cell ID reading? Now can I know the RSSI, RSCP and Ec/lo readings?” Is this not what you would be asked if you call the 1-800-822-000 hotline number? It sounded like they are reading off a piece of paper and being not so personal after all. But then this will happen if only you can get hold of anyone from the customer service department, which WAS SUPPOSED to be a 24-hours service centre?

Most of the time, you would just be forced to listen to all the rest of their crap services and wasting your mobile phone credits away. Well, more than RM600 worth of mobile phone credits used up to call the hotline during this 15 months is not a big deal to them right? It is not their money but the hard earned money of the consumers. “Apa lah, why use handphone to call? Use lah house phone.” Have they ever thought of the reason why a consumer uses wireless broadband instead of fixed line broadband? If got fixed line, who would be so stupid to use mobile phone ESPECIALLY PREPAID to make calls to the extremely high cost hotline?

Initially when I activated my 384kbps package account in March 2007, the service was good. Even within the 1-month cooling period, there were only minor disruptions. Not bad, paying RM68 a month and getting such speed was reasonable compared to going to cyber cafes. Everything changed after the one month cooling period and only then was I informed that there would be a penalty of RM800 plus if I was to breach the contract of 18 months. Nobody told me that, I was only asked to sign in the form as the rest were filled by the agent. Is this another desperate bid by the agents for sales without concerning about the welfare of consumers if ever they face any problems in the future?

MAXSUCKS04

The first 2 months down the road got bad to worst. Frequent disruption of services, network problems and each call would give the same reason of Maxis doing upgrading to higher speed and assured us that we will benefit the higher and faster browsing experience WITH NO EXTRA COST. Anybody would fall for that. I waited patiently again until the customer service confirmed that everything was up and moving. By that time, I was still experiencing the slow or practically no connection. NO CONNECTION or only maximum of 3 hours slow browsing per day for 3 MONTHS? It took them 3 MONTHS to send a technical person over to find my modem faulty and replaced one. What a great service? The wonderful thing was that I was stopped from going to the nearest Maxis branch to check my modem. “You don’t have to go over, our technical people will check for you.” What a joke… 3 MONTHS!

I did ask for a rebate for not able to use the service through one of the customer service personnel. I was stupid not to follow up and trust the sweet talking lady to do so. I waited but no rebates. Surprisingly, no reports on my problems and rebates were recorded in their system. I was only given a two-month rebate only last month when I got to meet up with the branch manager of the Penang Northam Road Branch. RM136 rebate for spending hundreds on handphone calls, petrol and parking fees, not forgetting the thousands I had lost for not being unable to follow up with my online business deals. REBATE? What a nice term to justify complaints…and keep the customer happy with peanuts. LOL!

After many visits to the branch, the branch manager finally decided to grant me a 3-month trial period with the upgraded package of RM98/month with 3.6Mbps connection. 3.6Mbps? I would be really happy if I ever got even 1Mbps of connection. In the end, after checking the provided Maxis speed test for a few days, the maximum it went up was 400kbps. That is only a bit better (150 kpbs more but average it is much lower than that) than the previous package but paying RM30 more. Did I get the information wrong? 3.6Mbps or 300kbps? Something is not right too. They had removed the speed check widget with reasons that it had expired. Reason or avoiding more complaints? You think it out.

I called the hotline again and got the normal repeated conversation but this time better. “Sir, can you please switch off your modem, pull out the network cable and unplug the power cable and off your computer. Wait for 20 minutes and I shall help you to reset the network over here.” Sounded great. 30 minutes later, I called back after having no changes at all in the reading and asked for the lady who assisted me. (PLEASE get their names each time you call for your record to complaint but I do not think you would even want to apply one now :P) “Sir, she had gone back. Maybe I can assist you. Have you off the modem… blah blah blah…” Again? “Oh, I shall pass this case to the technical department and they will call you. Anything else I can do for you? If not, thank you for calling Maxis.” I gave up! How to contact me when she did not even ask for my contact number as I had found out that they will not key in the contact unless you stressed to them to do so? What a helpful service. LOL

Oh… I forgot about one incident when I was at the branch getting some solutions on how to make my connection better. “Sir, I have checked with my colleagues and they agreed to terminate your account without penalty. Did you bring your modem and telephone for the termination?” Huh? What? I came here for solutions and she asked me to terminate my account. Are we having communication breakdown here or they are trying to shoo me away after dozens of recorded complaints? Is this what you call customer service? It sounded more like pushing problems aside in the fastest way. I am not falling for that as I still have 50% confidence that they would rectify the problems.

After having 4 technical visits and 4 replaced ZTE modems, an engineer who was reliable and believed to be from the Maxis own technical group finally came. (Reliable? LOL. He made an appointment on a Friday but did not show up and came on a Sunday when I was half way out of town. Luckily, an occupant who had called in sick for work was at my rented office.) It seemed that the signal received at my office was not strong enough to get higher speed. ONE YEAR to tell me that? After using his MAGICAL LAPTOP to hunt for the best signal, it ended up in one of the occupant’s bedroom. (I should have cancelled my trip to stay back to watch this, maybe he will hunt down a ghost too. LOL) Can you imagine having an office downstairs and a modem in another person’s room? Not bad with the convenience right?

After following his advice to buy a crossed cable (RM40 to get a 15m one at my own expense), I got the permission of the occupant to put my modem in his room. Talk about privacy. I guessed he has just lost it! LOL. Hooray! The line was great! I managed to get the HSDPA fast connection but for just a day after some raining spell. The service switched from HSDPA to UMTS as it likes making browsing practically impossible at such a low 49kbps. I called the hotline again and they said there were no reports on Penang having network problems. “Sir, can you log in speedtest.net and check the connection speed?” What an idiotic person she was. I could not even get Yahoo to show up and she asked me to check my connection speed.

MAXSUCKS02

MAXSUCKS03

Until now as I am still typing this post, I am still facing problems with the connection. No rain and humid day and yet the network type is still jumping and switching crazily. Browsing takes ages and sometimes I need to refresh few times before I could get into a site? Using Windows Live Messenger (WLM) is like playing “hide and seek”. It connects and disconnects nonstop and incoming emails would not even get updated.

No wonder they are gaining the name of MAXSUCKS. Well, I have no comment on that but I had experienced losing 5 occupants and created 2 enemies out of them just because of the line problems. Another one would be in the process if this problem did not get rectified soon. Handling online business, investing in commodities, share market or forex would NOT WORK at all with the speed and instability Maxis is providing so frequently. Every seconds and minutes count. Now who is at a losing end? Another thing is that if you are a blogger (especially those relying on making money through blogging) or a web developer, you can say goodbye to your dreams. You would lose out in your bidding and hundreds or thousand worth of businesses.

Do you want to know why? Well, just look at the screen shots below. It happened so frequent that you feel like smashing your computer to pieces no matter you are using Firefox or Internet Explorer as your browsers. Those present users should know this. Their so called maintenance is frequently done from 11pm until 4am on WEEKENDS (Friday to Sunday) where most people would have the extra free time to surf more. Wonderful! They forced you to spend more time in bed right? Not bad, at least you are safe from paying more for replacing your broken computer. LOL.

ERRORYAHOO

ERRORBLOGGER

ERRORIE

You can check out the MAXIS FAQ on waiving the penalty and no commitment needed but with all the problems I had faced, I do not think I would like to have another person facing the same trauma. If I were to write more on other situations, this post will never end. I am contemplating to switch to other ISP but there are still many problems and hidden costs that I will need to consider. What I want is to have stability and minor or none disrupted service to be able to save the already affected online business. If you happen to come across this post, please do give advice on the following packages available from other ISP and which do you think is the best for a person without wired line.

WIRELESS:
1. DIGI EDGE – stable but only using EDGE technology and it gets disrupted when there’s rain or thunderstorm. Modem provided.
2. CELCOM 3G– 3.6Mbps given. Stable and fast, especially in the Sabah area. Modem not included (Modem at RM899 or offer RM699 at roadshows) with high cost of monthly access fees. The only disadvantage is the risk of buying a non-returnable modem even if the service could not be used.

WIRED:
Telekom charges to get a line: RM215
RM75 deposit + RM50 installation + RM10 stamp duty + RM80 sub-contractor wiring
RM25 of monthly fixed line rental is waived if apply together with StreamyX packages

STREAMYX (RM50 modem installation is optional)
384kbps - Monthly RM60
- RM205 (RM75 activation + RM60x2 deposit + RM10 stamp duty).
512kbps - Monthly RM90
- RM265 (RM75 activation + RM90x2 deposit + RM10 stamp duty).
1Mbps - Monthly RM110
- RM305 (RM75 activation + RM110x2 deposit + RM10 stamp duty).
2Mbps - Monthly RM140
- RM365 (RM75 activation + RM140x2 deposit + RM10 stamp duty).
4Mbps - Monthly RM160
- RM405 (RM75 activation + RM160x2 deposit + RM10 stamp duty).

There are even side packages as below:
Package 1:
RM99/month for 2Mbps with free IPTV (up to 30 June 2008) for 24 months. Thereafter RM188/month

Package 2:
RM148/month for 4Mbps with free IPTV (up to 30 June 2008) for 24 months. Thereafter RM268/month


12 comments:

angeles said...

hi there!

ohh.. that's how u found my blog entry with food porn.. :p

sorry to hear abt yr 'problem' but it does suck when u hv unreliable connection, huh? if u were in KL, i'd hv suggested u-mobile, the latest brand in wireless broadband ;-) but too bad it's only available in klang valley for now... :) cheaper than maxis oso.. only RM78 per mth... but with 2 yrs' contract.

i've also heard abt Celcon's (spelling is intended that way) story.. not very promising either.. the 'best' would still be wired screamyx lor...

all the best!

Ruhani Rabin said...

You've written a very detail in-depth review and truth about Maxis service. I'm going to update my post and hook up your post along with it because people has the right to know and we can make the difference.. By the way thanks for your comment :)

papajoneh said...

Hmm... you're really patient my friend. If for me, I bomb the branch, put on the paper, whatever needed just by the 3rd time they ignored me. This post need to be wild spread among bloggers and others outside there. Put stop on Maxis ignorant.

Since it's already happened, your best bet going online now is through fixed line then. Streamyx 1MB.

Sorry to hear you have to go through all this.

My celcom 3G is as reliable as they promised... even better than my streamyx.

izzat said...

thanks for your very details review about this service.. I also planned to subscribe Maxis BB before this but in fact its still new service, so I'm decide to wait for their current customers feedback. Guess what, most of the feedbacks are negative feedback. Same as what you've said in this post.

from my opinion, the reason why they provide such service is just because they don't want to leave behind. when they see others competitors start offering wireless broadband service, they also want to offer. in fact, they maybe not ready to offer such service which needs lot of maintainance of their hardware and networks. that's why the prob occur. slow connection speed, can't connect to internet, always dc etc. nway, this just my ppov, the real story behind this I don't know..

Anonymous said...

Now you can terminate without any penalty. Checkout their web site http://www.maxis.com.my/maxisbb

Anonymous said...

i believe calling the 1800 number is free from any Maxis mobile or any fixed line. as off Dec 2007.

Criz Lai said...

angeles: I heard u-mobile also received lots of complaints in Klang Valley. In fact I think Malaysian Wireless Broadband companies are still in their baby stage. Wired should be at least better and stable.

ruhani rabin: Thanks for hooking up. As a customer who pays for a service and not getting the most of it,who would not complaint? Promised 3.6Mbps and getting an average of 200kpbs reading all the time? In fact, recently it got worst. I could not even get any sites to open up in less than half an hour.

papajoneh: I believed that some areas are getting good frequencies for certain ISP but I think it is real stupid not to be able to access high speed in Penang's city centre where most businesses are, right?

izzat: You are right about that. Don't you think that rushing to get something that has not been fully tested and troubleshot will eventually incur more complaints and losses to any company?

Anonymous: I do not know who you are but if you really had read everything that I had written, you would notice that the case was in past tense and your information is stated in the Maxis FAQ as enclosed.

Anonymous: Why are you supporting them when all proofs of a lousy service had been clearly attached? Read again, if I have a fixed line, why would I use a wireless broadband? By the way, not everyone is a Maxis mobile subscriber, especially in Penang.

Lasker said...

Happy Birthday Criz!! :wave:

Anonymous said...

I felt sorry for you.

Don't worry, celcom is a better alternative. I m using maxis broadband and my sister are using celcom broadband. at home, I m using streamyx. well, I end up no using maxis broadband because the modem is bulky, the sim is lock, the contract is one sided, the bill that I ve to pay for the unused services is not a big issues. I have no problem for paying rm 68 permonth for decent services. but please don't suck ppl hard earned money. this is the last time i m using maxis services. i m switching to celcom broadband. :-)

Sucks Maxis Wireless Broadband said...

Maxis Wireless Broadband really sucks hell alot!!
I can’t even use MSN to chat!!
Say no to Maxis Wireless Broadband!! They cheat people and they scam!!!
Maxis Wireless Broadband go to HELL!!

John Hunter said...

Thanks for your post, consumers need real reviews not just advertisements to make decisions. Any update on the best options for wired and wireless in Malaysia?

CRIZ LAI said...

Hi John,

Currently, if you are speaking of wireless broadband... NONE! The best you could get now is from P1Wimax but what's the use of having beautiful download speed and yet you can't even upload a document as an attachment in your email? The reason has always been the same, the signal to your area has been blocked. Please shift your modem to another location. If only they knew, I'm staying by the beach with hardly any obstructions. LOL! Anyone would find the explanation ridiculous. You meant download and upload signals were not from the same tower? Huh! I've to buy or rent another place that would provide perfect internet line? Bullshit!

In the end, a fixed line by TMnet was my last solution. Although it did not give me a 100% satisfaction but then at least it's better than the rest of those crap wireless broadband companies around.

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