About Sify Broadband

Update (5/2/2005):
It's been a long time since I posted the post mentioned below. While some things have improved since then, some remain the same. Other problems have cropped up, detailed here. I've updated the points below; the updates are in bold.

First, a couple of articles on Blogging (credit due to Harneet and the Delhi Bloggers Group):
On why you shouldn't mention your blog when applying for a job
Why businesses should have a blog

Revenge of the Sify

Is any ISP reliable? Sify ads, of late, have had the copy "Tired of waiting? Switch to Sify Broadband". Undoubtedly, this is targeting dialup subscribers who've to wait, sometimes for hours, to get a connection. Unfortunately, Sify Broadband isn't too different:

1. Sify doesn't work when it rains: It's rained sporadically throughout the year in Delhi. Whenever it has rained, my connection has gone down. The cable operator invariably blamed the rain. My point is that if you're advertising 24 hours connectivity, and I'm paying for it - your problems are yours. You should have the appropriate infrastructure for it. What I've been told, also, is that for preventing shorting of lines during the rain, they switch the connection off. Again - not my problem. Update: This no longer happens.

2. 12 hours?: Sify has a policy of attending to complaints within 12 hours. Which means, if I complain at 9pm, it should have been attended to by 9am. Unfortunately, their "engineers" don't come to work before 12pm. Each complaint has taken at least 15-16 hours to be attended to. Some have taken 3-4 days. And at times it's been as bad as 3-4 times a month. Update: Sify has clarified that this means 12 working hours. Still no improvement, though. In Jan 2006, I had problems for 12 days, and 9 days were compensated for.

3. Toll Free Number?: For months I found it difficult to connect to 1600333330. The moment the customer care executive would speak, the line would get disconnected. That problem doesn't arise when I try the local number. However, the automated connecting service is so long, slow and tedious that you're half asleep by the time you get connected to an executive. Update: Toll free number is erratic and remains unrealiable. New number is 16003453330, which doesn't work either.

4. Call back?: "Our engineer will contact you, sir" or "I'll find out and let you know as soon as possible". These are promised that never virtualise. Even now, my connection at home is down, and no one has contacted me in spite of my complaining. My connection has been down for three days now. My pc was kaput for four days before that, so I don't know if the connection was working or not. Anyway, Sify hardly ever gets back to you. And then people wonder why I scream at call center executives. Update: Call back depends on whom you speak to, and whether you are able to raise hell. Always ask for the floor in charge, since they're more reliable and helpful.

5. Changes in plans without informing customers: Sify changed plans without informing customers. The changes were reflected on their website, which I have no reason to access. As it is, I find it irritating that their sifymax page opens up automatically, in spite of the fact that I dont want to use Internet Explorer. I don't see why I should give them hits. If they change the plans, they need to inform the customers.

Here's a warning - read the terms and conditions when you register with any ISP. There's a clause that allows them to change billing ad hoc. Sify changed the details of my "Unlimited" plan, and added a limit of 150 mb a day. According to them, that's more than what an average consumer uses in a day. It's not my fault that I need to download theses in PDF that are 15-20mb. When I asked them the grounds on which they were calling it "Unlimited", they changed the name to "Family Pack". Update: No change. Not likely to change.

6. Software problem is not our problem:
Sify Broadband has a free anti-virus along with their login client. Firstly, I want a login client that works. My login client has a mind of its own, and can take, sometimes, five to six tries before allowing access. For the last two days, its been hanging and now allowing me access. I don't think its my problem - I didn't ask for the login client, and I don't want it. I just want my net to work. Secondly it has an anti-virus that I didn't ask for, and don't need. However, since there's no other option, I HAVE to install it. It overloads my system. The chappie who once came over from Sify tells me that:

a. We attend only to line problems, not software problems. He said he'd inform someone about the software problem, and get back to me. That never happened.

b. It doesn't work because you're using Win98. The website says that the software supports Win98, and if it doesn't - they should inform me before selling me the connection. Not my problem. Update: No problems with Win XP. Client seems to have improved, and Sify can be asked to 'unhook' the Anti Virus. It's still a bother, though. And Sify doesn't attend promptly to line problems either.

7. The pricing, even though the page does not mention it, does not include "maintenance fees" to your cable operator. Service taxes vary Secondly, it says 'inclusive of taxes'. My cable operator refuses to accept payment without a service tax of 10%. So, what's going on? Update: Cable operator charges Rs.205, over and above Sify's charges of Rs.495/- . Cable operator has accepted money for Feb2006, but refused to renew my connection. More on CTO here.

The situation is that Sify blames the cable operator for the problems. But, as a customer of Sify, that isn't my problem - it's Sify's. Update: Remains the same.

I don't know how things work with TRAI, but I've had even worse problems with Hotwire. Personally, for me, Sify's the best of my options, in terms of cost and speed. Still, it would be better if they delivered what they promised. Update: Fed up of CTO's poor service, I'm planning to switch to Airtel, even though the call center people at Sify (Nisha, Raja and Ramesh) have been very very helpful, though largely ineffective.

More...
Harneet's been searching for other users who've also had problems with Sify. He's also developed an intense dislike for Sify, and I must say that the idjits who work his connection seem worse than those who work mine. We have, on several occasions, concluded that we should sue Sify, but neither has had the time. It seems, now, that someone has:

Ankur Raheja sues Sify. Also, a summary of his case.
Prashant on Sify Broadband Insanities
The Crappiest ISP in India, says Ajay

I would have to disagree with Ajay on that. I've used Hotwire, and I think that's much crappier. One thing good about Sify is that if your connection is down, they extend your validity. But that doesnt really make up for the time lost. Someone in the Hotwire billing department went to the extent of saying 'Why don't you just sue us?'

Again - is there no ISP worth the money? Update: Doesn't seem to be.

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8 Comments:
Blogger Ankit said...

Try using EasySify to connect, it will at least take care of the annoying dialer they give.

And no, there is no reliable ISP in India that I know of...

July 14, 2005 4:17 AM  
Blogger Surinder said...

i had a sify connecion .. got ir removed after they changed my "unlimited plan" !! .. and have been using Spectranet .. seems pretty good to me ..

except for the rain part .. the problem exists here with spectranet too !!

July 14, 2005 5:15 AM  
Blogger Nikhil Pahwa said...

Wow, okay - I think I need to mention that Sify has become very responsive. It must be as a consequence of the criticism. My connection was down for two days, and they've immediately put up two days extension in the pipeline.

Looks like they're adapting.

July 14, 2005 5:47 AM  
Blogger Nikhil Pahwa said...

Oh, and Ankit - thanks a ton for the easysify link. Anything but that crappy client Sify forces upon people.

July 14, 2005 5:48 AM  
Blogger Finch, Scout said...

no one sucks eggs over BSNL.

I had to call them five days in a row, be bitterly sarcastic, and the losers didn't get it. they apparently had to forward the call to the technical department

what takes the cake: after badgering for five days, the dude calls, and that's when I'M IN COLLEGE!!!

what takes the bigger piece of cake: to repair this, they SEND A FRANCHISEE along.. who doesn't know jack.

maakikirkiri!!!

July 14, 2005 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

priya
hey there:)
i know sify n hotwire.......they all r same. try the platinum pack of reliance. speed is cool.....n no wire probs even. try it.

July 20, 2005 12:22 PM  
Blogger Ajay said...

Haven't used Hotwire, so well sify for be was really crappy, especially due to my experience.

Anyways, have since shifted to Exatt Net.

Working out rather good and much less expensive.

Only rains are a problem here so far and it is through my local cable guy so they know how much I yell fight and deduct the moment my connection goes down, hence have had quite less downtime :)

And they use PPPOE so I don't need any crappy dialer!

July 22, 2005 10:00 PM  
Blogger Cyber Lawyer said...

Thanks for the support !

Finally, SIFY case decided in my favor...
Court held SIFY has been indulging in unfair trade practices... !!!

Read more at http://www.ankurraheja.com/weblog/?p=14

November 10, 2006 7:32 PM  

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