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Notes from Tony's desk Random thoughts from Tony Bryer

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Old 5th October 2010, 12:04 PM   #1
Tony Bryer
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 780
Default How I nearly lost my broadband connection

Here in Australia lots of people - me included - are on broadband contracts that have relatively low traffic limits, perhaps 10 or 20GB per month. This limit applies to the combined download and upload traffic during the billing period. After this you're charged a penalty rate and/or your connection speed is throttled down to dial-up speed.

For two years I managed just fine with my 20GB/month limit, generally using little more than half of this, and never once having speed issues. Then web pages started to load at an excruciatingly slow pace. Eventually I realised why .....

A couple of weeks earlier I had installed a TV card in my computer so I could record programmes. I also have the Carbonite online backup service installed - I can recommend it highly. Unbeknown to me as the TV card software saved the programs I chose to record, Carbonite promptly and automatically backed them up as new/changed files. Within days my bandwidth limit had gone!

When I finally twigged, I first turned off Carbonite backup for the folder where TV programmes are stored. Then it was a question of getting my broadband speed restored. On reading the small print in my contract I was now due for a penalty of 15c/MB for the first 2GB excess - $300 or just under 200 - and would then have to stay at dial-up speed for the rest of the month. Fortunately the Optus call centre rep I spoke to was able and willing to use a bit of initiative. She looked at my usage record over recent months to verify my usage and confirm my story, then said that she would cancel the penalty and get my speed restored if I was prepared to pay the extra $30 a month to go onto the 30GB plan for a minimum of six months. After that, she pointed out, I could then switch to separate phoneand broadband plans which would cost less than I have been paying - I am currently on a combined plan that allows unlimited phone calls though I make very few, so would be better off paying for the basic phone service and the calls I actually make, coupled with a separate broadband subscription

Quite a fair deal I thought and they stand a fair chance of keeping me as a customer. A less intelligent approach would have been to insist on me being held to the T&C which would have got them an immediate $300 and ensured my transfer to someone else. An object lesson in how to handle complaints.

Carbonite online backup US$54.95 per year per PC Details (we are not getting paid for this link)
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