ahhh, well sometimes customer service doesn't really mean that the service department is there to service the customer. Perhaps it means who we can frustrate today, because we control you, we have you in a contract and we really don't care about you?.
Well, after numerous hours dealing with problems that have affected my business in a negative way, I'm breathing with a sigh of relieve today as AT&T and Comcast have taken over my communications again/. I don't know if it's the worst of two evils, but buy am I happy!.
You see, CBeyond is a regional telecom provider who bundles wireless, T1's, analogue lines and other services under one umbrella for small businesses|. You need 6 lines to join them and they are positioned well to accomodate small businesses up to about 50 lines,. They drop an AT&T T1 into you office and you use voice channels over that connection/. Old, old technology, but they are solid (T1)|.
I know, this has NOTHING to do with Internet Marketing, or so it seems/. I'm reading a book right now called "The Search" by John Battelle. It's worth the read. It's about how Google and their rivals have changed the dynamics of business. It's true. What has changed is that today, the last couple of years, consumers have the power again. Single handed people have shifted companies because we are heard on the Internet.
We are not heard in Customer Service Departments anymore.
So, I know in my past I complained about Comcast on Twitter. Did you know Comcast has a department that monitors Twitter and they sent me an unpublished phone number. When I asked for two free months from home service, they did better, gave me two free months on two services! Way to go Comcast. I don't like how you couldn't make me happy in the customer service department, but I'm glad you listened when you saw me screaming on the Internet.
So, this post, eh? Well, let's see. I'm an Internet Marketer. I know how to get this post to rank very high in Google with the right trust and authority, even for the keyword [CBeyond].
I want all prospective CBeyond customers to find this post and hear my story.
Do not engage is this company. I can't tell you how many of my entrepreneur friends HATE Cbeyond. Let's start with all of my fellow chamber of commerce members.
It started after the sale when a month later a new sales persons comes in trying to sell me. Then a month later. and a few more months. I witnessed eight (yes 8) different sales people try to sell me communication services, while I was a customer!
This tells me this company is sales focused, not customer focus. Get your sales *** to together and walk in and ask me how I'm doing as a customer, since you $1200 of my fucken money every month. Don't try and sell me something, when obviously I don't need it.
Each and every time, the sales rep apologized, took no accountability and offered to listen to my other problems. They listened, promised a phone call back and of course, never got a call. Never.
When I would ask about their prices of their T1, and how they were 5x time the price of Comcast, it was the same canned response.
"T1 is a more stable connection, it's a much better connection".
OK, granted a T1 is a 24 channel copper connection directly to the Central office and it's 100% dedicated, not shared. OK, sounds good. Cable Internet is shared, not dedicated and runs over a network with other data. Sure, it's not as stable.
T1 speeds are 1.5 megabits per second each way, syncronise. Cable does not guarantee speeds.
This is where their moronic sales team is completely self serving.
I respond indicating that the 'feature' do not translate into benefits to my business. In fact, even though Cable is shared, in the 10 years I've used cable and seen the speed dramatically increase, I have NEVER gotten speeds as slow as a T1. We could barely stream media with today's small business requirements.
Cable's speeds you ask? Today Comcast is delivery 27 mbps download and 14 mbps upload. Yes, that's almost 20 times faster than CBeyond! Comcast's network was stable last year, with like, uhm, 99.999% uptime. CBeyond rely's on someone else's network. They (AT&T) claimed the same uptime.
So, Mr. or Mrs. CBeyond Sales rep, the 'benefit' is what impacts my business. I'm sorry, being a multimedia firm, faster speeds means great productivity for my 10 team members.
And their Wireless Solutions. They piggy back off of Sprint. They offer solutions to business, but don't offer a product that (wireless phone) that runs any decent web 2.0 apps. Nothing touchscreen. No plans. ***. They are WAY behind the times with their wireless solutions. You can't even set up conditional call forwarding with their system. Folks, Google that, it's a standard in North America and this cheap company didn't invest in these features for their operations. Sprint offers it, they should be able to.
How am I suppose to run and build a leading edge small business with partners who don't invest into new technology.
Oh, ever heard of Google Voice? Google is removing control of all the carriers and putting it into the hands of consumers. Forget it with CBeyond. You can't use Google Voice with CBeyond.
Billing - ahhhh, paying the bill. One time we got disconnected for failure to pay. It was my fault two years ago. I left town and never gave instuctions to pay. Ten days after the bill was due, my Internet, telephone and wireless phones all shut down. Apparently they sent a letter to the office, but never called, provided alternatives or anything. My business shut down for a few hours, while I was borrowing a friends cell phone. I paid the $1200 bill.
Contracts. Mr. Gallagher, it's not a problem to cancel during your 13th and 25th month. WTF? I was blatantly lied to by one of the several very sexy flirty manipulative sales people. Yeah, you can cancel if you provide written notice during the tiny window they provide you, you pay for the installation and you pay your buyout plus the money they paid to buy me out from AT&T initially.
This was the final straw
We were getting frustrated. So we begun to 'check' out AT&T and Comcast's pricing. OMG, now we are saving over 50% every single month. I bought two iphones, I'm up to date with my daughter's crowd.
CBeyond said they would match their competitor's price if we produced a proposal. We did. They declined to commit their verbal agreement. They said they can't match that price because Comcast doesn't provide the same quality of service, their Internet is cable, ours is a T1.
***, here again eh? Bottom line, by my last account, Comcast does better for my business. A fucken BMW 5 series costs more than my Ford F-150 and is a better design, but that F-150 hauls and hits the gravel roads much better.
Folks, it's benefits, not features. Didn't they teach you that in sales 101 Mr. CBeyond Sales Manager? Maybe CBeyond's executive staff needs a better sales manager.
Anyhow, they didn't care about me. Really, at the end of the day I was looking for about $200 price reduction, to bess cbeyond exactly inline with an AT&T and Comcast combo. They failed and lost my business. I realised had I been given that price, I'd still have worst technology with less benefits when considering their wireless solutions and service levels.
Do yourself a favor, stay clear of this company.
Check out the shear volume of results for [CBeyond Sucks] (17,800 documents - WOW!!!!!)
Go to Google and start typing in CBeyond...notice the autofill from Google? [CBeyond Scam] is #4. This should tell you more. Uhm, this one yields 169,000 results. WOW!!!
UPDATE: March 18, 2010.
I hate to give credit where, credit is due. Turns out a Director from CBeyond contacted me directly, as a result from this post. Not customer service, not my sales rep, but a director. She didn't offer an ounce of rebutting my concerns and listened. I give her credit.
We were still having problems the day of this phone call with CBeyond, they were not releasing out numbers in a timely manner and cost us several days of not having a wireless phone. Verizon was very confused, the numbers seemed 1/2 way released.
This wonderful director from CBeyond said that she would walk to that department and ensure it's done. Not more than several minutes later, the Verizon phones were working and she followed up to ensure this was done.
I have to give credit to CBeyond. They are still a young company and experiencing growth. It is VERY impressive that they are listening and trying to correct the problems. She was well aware of my problems and indicated that they have already made changes. Unfortunately in this case, it was just too late to stand up listen. 2f4938d