12 August, 2008

Connected to Lightspeed (Experience log)

Following up on my last post; I mentioned that I applied to Lightspeed on the 16th of July and was promised connection within 10 days.
In ten days, my Batelco internet connection was disconnected as planned. But Lightspeed did not connect thiers or call me about it. Two weeks passed, so I decided to call.
Calling thier toll free line (80061111) after 6 (me busy man) I get transfered to thier call centre in Jordan.
Their call centre in Jordan is useless.
They do little beyond pick up your call. I called asking about my order, they didn't know and took my details and promised that someone will call. A human answering machine.
This scenario repeated for two days, until I spoke to my dear friend Joseph (that's what I call him anyway). He got lightspeed, so like a guy who was stood up by a hot girl on their first date, I ask for his advice, which was:
"Call before 5, that's when they close. When te machine answers, hit 1 for sales. NO, don't talk to Customer service, they are in Jordan and know nothing. Call the Bahraini sales guys".
I do just that in the next day. A young woman picks up and I explain that I have no idea where I am. After she verified my details she says:
"Did they not call you?"
"I'm sure they did"
"Maybe you didn't pick up."
"What the? I said NO! No one called and no missed calls. What is it?"
"Well, your device is ready. You can pick it up from our Almoayed Tower branch".
The "Almoayed Tower Branch" is a place that must open for business when I have some business of my own. As they don't work Saturdays, I decided to skip some much needed nutrition and go there during my lunch break.
I go, I park, I tell them that I came for the "Live Box" and they give me my box.
That's it? Aren't you going to check my ID or anything?
... Well, alright then. Sounds risky to me though.
I ask the young clueless man behind the counter:
"Any instructions?"
He goes :It's pre-configured. just plug it it"
Bas? That sounds simple enough. I go home and open up the box.

Day 1:

Many wires and adapters I see. Shame most of these do not work here. I liked the WIFI dongle, should make even the non wifi savvy laptop access the wireless "Live Box".
Now the livebox is a simply a wireless modem router thingy, with 2 extra USB ports (one A size, the other B) and a line out port (for the phone).
I connected it, it works, the light indicates that it connected. Lets hook up to it wireless.
Aha, there is an encryption on it. What's the password? I try my name, CPR & phone number line, nothing works. I call Lightspeed and Jordan answers back:
"The password is "password""
how ingenious! Lets try that.... fail. Again, again, AGAIN!
OK, the password is indeed NOT "password". I call Jordan and they say that this is the password. Great. Lets try something else.
I install the router on my laptop and try to connect to it. The laptop cannot find the Livebox. Try as I might, no use. I switch the connectivity option from Ethernet cat5 cable to USB and then it works. Seems like the Ethernet ports on my Livebox do not function. Never mind, so long as I can get the thing to work.
Wait, I don't have my user name and password! I curse a little then I call Customer Services in Jordan again, they give me my user name and password. Trying it, doesn't work. Try again: Nope, doesn't work. So (AGAIN) I call the customer service (BTW, I got pissed off by now) and they said that this password is correct, yet it doesn't connect. I sleep that day failing to set the bloody thing up.

Day 2:
I try the same password, nothing happens. I call customer services, lets try and ask them about the router settings, did I use PPPoE when I should have used PPPoA (It's E by the way)? When I ask the customer service agent in Jordan for the settings he goes:
"I'll log in your complaint and someone will call you tomorrow"
COMPLAINT? No no no, wait up. Not "complaint", I just want the settings, that's all.
"I don't have this information with me sir, I will log this complaint and someone will call you"
R: "wait, you don't know the settings for your own modem?"
LS: "No"
Um.. speechless, I can do nothing.
So I do a couple of google search (I was still connected to Batelco's 3G "O net") and call my dear Joseph again. I got the right settings alright. But the damn thing still wont connect. Ufffff...
I call Lightspeed again.
R: "Hello Jordan"
LS: "How can I help you sir?"
R: "My password doesn't work, can I like, reset it or something?"
LS: "Sure, let me just log in this request and someone will call you tomorrow"
R: "What the F***? I have to file a request and follow it up to CHANGE MY FREAKING PASSWORD?"
Scared LS: "Yes...?"
R: "F*** that!"
After some scary ranting, she accepts and asks what do you want it to be? I tell her my password of choice and hang up.
I try the new password, I try the old password, I try the new password and keep repeating myself until I am just too tiered to stay awake. I go to sleep for the second day without a connection.

Day 3:
My dear Joseph (again) asks me to call the Bahraini employees. Same number, but I have to press one for sales. Determained, I do just that at noon. The obviously Bahraini accented man confirms that my password didn't change and it is the same first useless password. OK, I'll give it one more try when I go back.
I finish work early and hurry home so I can catch the Bahraini employees before they leave work. I open up my router configuration and call, ah, Bahraini voice again.
R: "Dude, I want the freaking settings!"
LS: "OK."
That's it. The Bahraini employee was quite informed about the technicalities of the Livebox and gives me the correct settings.
On the third day, I got connection, it is still through the USB connection, but at least it lives.
Lets try to set the wireless connection.
Choosing WAP security, none of my devices can use it (Soney Ericsson P990 phone, Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3 a Linux laptop and a Visa Laptop). Removing the security all together doesn't do anything to fix it. Despite the lack of a password, no device can log into it.
At this point, I take the Livebox, throw it away, and install my old Linksys wireless router. Everything works perfectly.
I call Lightspeed (Yes, I am really fed up from calling them as I'm sure you are of reading about it) and tell them about my faulty box, they ask me to bring it in, I'm not bothered.

So, by day 3, and after many, many, many calls, uninformed agents and a router of my own I got the connection. Meaning, in other words: Pregnant women deliver babies faster than that.

As for the connection? I am on a 512MB line (supposedly) but my speed tests ranged from 330ks to 450ks. Download speed from download.com reached a peak of 25 kbps. Downloading torrents is an evil 2 kbps (some times nothing at all).
Playing games on this connection, my Wii found the connection unstable. Sometimes the news channel gives me an error message saying it cannot connect. Playing mario Kart Wii shows some lag that I did not experience with Batelco's 256MB BD10 line.
My Playstation 3 also couldn't connect at times. I haven't played anything online on my PS3 yet.

It is too soon to judge how good the connection is so I'll withhold my verdict for a couple of month.
Fellow blogger Yagoob is also blogging about his experience with Lightspeed. Read it.


Yacoub Al-Slaise said...

Very strange exprience

mind you though I didn't get the livebox with my subscription

they sent me my username and password via SMS and everything lived happily ever after

I agree though, their customer service are a bit daft and talking to the Bahraini employees is the best thing to do.

Thanks for sharing Redbelt and hope your experience gets better

Mahmood Al-Yousif said...

anything above zero is positive, the problem is, will your experience go below that magic number (as it has already) or something will push it up above the surface?

waiting to see more of your experiences with them.

Unbreakable (Ahmad Alsayegh) said...

well, as an IT company we work with lightspeed, honestly we really suffer till we get our cheques done!

as for the stability of the connection, the most stable connection in Bahrain is Batelco's, although you would experience problems every once awhile, but still much better than Zain!

I am an HSDPA connection user (E-Go), I have a limit of 4GB download/ upload, so, you can imagine whenever i try downing a 100MB file, it is calculated as 200MB! in other words it is actually 2GB Download! anyways, last time I called them to asking about my internet usage, and how much I have used!
the call goes this way:

Zain: 9aba7ok zain
Me: good morning, I would like to know how much of my internet connection I have used yet?

Zain: you have exceeded the limit by 2 GB, that means overall 6GB you have used!
ME: I was like WTF?! I barely use the internet these days, and I haven't use that for the last 5 days!

Zain: sorry, but this is what I am reading on the screen now!
ME: sorry sister, but i am not paying and extra red pinny for something I didn't use!

Zain: do u want me to write a complaint about this issue?
Me: yah, sure! but when the hell they are going to call me back??!

Zain: Tomorrow!
Me: Okay, go ahead!

(this conversation happened in the morning)

at night, I thought why don't I give it another shot???

I call again:

Me: sister, how much have I used of my internet package???
Zain: 6570KB
Me: okay?!!
Zain: you have 750fils unpaid!
Me: okay!

this was the second time, now lets go to the third!

Me: Brother, how much of my internet package have I consumed?!
Zain: 650MB!
Me: okay brother, thanks!

after two days, a syrian girl who pretend to talk bahraini calls me from their complains department,

Zain: Hello Ahmad, how can I help you?
Me:nothing, it is just you can let your trainees spend some more time in the training center before bringing them to work with actual customers! and yah, u can inform your managers that 3 days are not enough in the training center!

I know this is off-topic a little bit, but honestly, we know batelco are bad with their customer service, but their service still rule in Bahrain!

I suggest you bring back your 10BD connection and have fun! and thanks for your information!

Redbelt said...

Yagoob> I got no SMS. All my friends said they got an sms with thier details, maybe I was just unlucky.

Mahmood> despite what math says, anything above zero is NOT positive here. What the HELL will I do with a line that downloads at 0.2 kbps? (And I did reach that speed.

Unbreakable> Wow man. This vague billing thing is Batelco's Forte. I always thought Zain was very dependable in billing. But I guess since they stopped being a Kuwaiti half international company and became a fully Bahraini company we should have expected it would assume the ripoff tactics practiced to perfection here.

Anonymous said...

They got issues with customer support alright, but I didnt have any problems with the connection, I'm using the 2MB package, using iTunes/xbox360/wii and all work fine from my side. LS's bills are straightforward too. Batelco at times plays all these stupid games on them and they just need to figure out a way to stop it.

Anonymous said...

Oooh ur bed sheet is YELOOW !!!

Redbelt said...

And you can't spell Yellow.
What's your point?

Anonymous said...

Daaa it's not a matter of spelling, but yeah I got what I wanted to know from your answer.