Businesses held hostage to Cable and Wireless poor service

by Adrian Loveridge - small hotel owner

Like many other businesses, communication is critical to the survival and success of our hotel. The ability to respond promptly to booking requests is directly related to the level of occupancy. If we do not answer emails quickly, there is a strong possibility that a potential guest will move on to another property and/or destination where they feel they are more appreciated.

So, whether we like it or not, we are almost hostage to the monopoly landline provider, Cable and Wireless (Barbados) Ltd. If I start counting the days, one or more of our telephone and internet lines have been out of service over the last year, it is staggering. Even when we have an internet connection, often the speed is dramatically short of the promised delivery.

Last week we reported one line out of order through the call centre in St. Lucia or Jamaica. A sixteen digit fault reference number was given and a remedy was promised ‘in 12 working hours’. 5 days later, we are left to wonder exactly how Lime defines a working hour. In the lodging industry of course, we operate 24 hours, seven days a week. If this was an isolated incident, it might be more acceptable. But this is the second time in a month that this same line has been down and the previous report, despite receiving another trillion length reference number, no engineer turned up at all.

With rumours that the company has applied for imminent rate increases during the worse recession in almost a century, defies logic. Especially when they have, certainly in our case, demonstrated a total inability to maintain anything approaching a satisfactory service.

The level of frustration trying to deal with this company is so counter productive and time wasting. On occasions, I admit that rather than attempt to speak to someone that can barely master the English language in a remote ‘customer service centre’, I have cheated by going straight to the top of the organisation. In most cases this has resolved the various problems in a timely manner, but does this demonstrate a long established, well managed company with a culture of dealing with their clients concerns? I urge every senior manager with Lime, to become one of your own customers for a day and endure what the people paying your wages have to go through.

Compounding the dissatisfaction, is the constant saturation bombardment of advertisments by the firm boasting improved products and services. But isn’t it long overdue that they try and get some of the basics fixed first. Personally, I don’t want to hear that you are ‘projecting’ a profit of $200 million this year and your staff are demanding a pay increase of 17 per cent. We just want to get the service that we have been paying for over decades. As the minutes tick away before the publishers deadline to submit this column, surprise, surprise our ADSL internet connection is down yet again.

So back to the process of once again calling 1 800 804 2994, perhaps whilst attempting to practice Creole, pressing almost endless numerical options and unproductively just listen to the number ring and ring and ring unanswered. Another totally wasted two hours (so far) and who knows how much business lost. Seven ‘working’ hours later, or a whole normal business day later we still cannot access or send emails.

We deserve better!

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados

17 responses to “Businesses held hostage to Cable and Wireless poor service

  1. 2396534.66320

    Welcome to Africa.

  2. 16

    I just got back to the states from a 2 week visit in Barbados and the internet services from LIME were terrible. Until your island gets another competitor to compete with LIME they will never fix their problems.

  3. X

    I was similarly without LIME service for the last three days. It was fairly widespread among people I know so I didn’t initially call to report but finally gave it a try yesterday. Alas my phone’s battery was not up to the task of waiting on them, after 45 mins it died and I couldn’t bring myself to try again.

    At least they are consistent with their customer service and I love the new slogan: “LIME – Suck on it!”

  4. watcher

    Hmmmmm….I am now in my sixth month of waiting for Barbados Water Authority to install a water meter at my house so I can use what is touted to be the “modern infastructure” of Barbados. It is a sad thing to see such a nice place so poorly run. In the meantime I am spending all of my winter residence dollas in another location. So the inability to get a $200 job done has cost the economy close to $50,000 US . There are no doubt others in a simililar siutation. So what is happening is long stay tourists are giving Barbados what we call the “foot vote”…..lots are leaving and headed for places that understand what service means.

  5. Most hotels get they emails form outside companies and don’t support small internet providers like my company SonWebHost.com we provide the same services your paying the outside companies two times as much but local companies you would not pay American dollars to manage your email account so you get what you pay for right.

  6. jkhf3a54876y

    MG,
    Congratulations on ‘excellent’ spelling and grammar, not to mention making yourself entirely understood.

    With spelling like THEY instead of THEIR, plus other garble, I doubt you’ll get many takers.

    I’m also assuming your Internet provider service has its own non-Cable&Wireless connection to the outside world?
    Who do you piggyback on? so that when they go down…you do too….?

  7. 194

    Adrian, you seem to be on top of things, so is it fair to assume that you have already checked with Telebarbados to confirm whether or not they provide service to your location?

    All reports I have heard are that their service (where available) has been much more reliable than LIME, especially over the last few months.

    In addition, they can offer their customers local phone numbers bundled with their high speed internet service. So, as I understand it, you could plug a telephone handset into their equipment and have it function as a virtual land line.

    The big drawback to obtaining Telebarbados service is that it is provided over a wireless signal instead of using physical media like copper or fiber, and they would need to mount an antenna somewhere on your property that has an unobstructed line of sight to one of their base antennas for their service to work.

  8. 137

    I live in the Uk and work in telecoms. It seems that dealing with any telecoms provider wherever you are in the world is a nightmare……at least in Barbdos you can talk to someone who is quite local (St Lucia) whereas in the Uk we have to speak to India, where although they try hard, it is difficult to understan their version of english

    I have used Telebarbados numerious times and the service is excellent

  9. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    What is telebarbados because I really want to call it a day with these sour Limes. First up, how the heck can bajans condone paying through their teeth for 1 or 2 gigs of speed and now u advertising 4G. Are u kidding me I just left Germany paying for a phone and internet package of 40 euro and enjoying speeds as high as 60-80 gigs and there are even higher. And please do not tell me any shite about competition and that Barbados sour limes is the monopoly. Just need someone as serious as digicel who will come and serious seek to do their own installations underground replace the Limes with some Lemons.

  10. Green Monkey

    @ SSS Re. What is Telebarbados?

    From their own web site:
    TeleBarbados Inc. is a licensed domestic telecommunication carrier operating in Barbados, offering a full suite of Corporate and Residential Internet, Data, and Voice Services, in addition to an elaborate Professional Services portfolio.

    The company’s fiber optic network is second to none covering the vast majority of the commercial hubs and corridors along the island’s entire west and south coasts. Expansion of this network continues.

    TeleBarbados also offers wireless commercial and residential internet services utilizing state-of-the-art 4G WiMAX technology. It operates in the 700 MHz and the 3.5GHz spectrums.

    Today TeleBarbados is a leader in the ICT services space, as a Mitel Premiere Partner, an APC Authorized Service Center, and a Panduit Certified Business Partner, in addition to Cisco and Microsoft partner status. TeleBarbados also boasts a 24 x 7 x 365 Network Operations Center (NOC) which provides premium technical support for both residential and corporate customers.

    See http://telebarbados.com/node/45

  11. Adrian Loveridge

    Suprise, Surprise the same telephone line DOWN again and extreme static on other lines.
    How much longer do we have to wait to get what we are paying for?

  12. millertheanunnaki

    @Adrian Loveridge: March 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Don’t be surprised if LIME blames the problems on the sun. The recent hyperactivity (CME) as the cause of the problems would be most convincing to naive Bajans. here comes the Sun, da, da,da! Here come the Sun laughing,lime,lime,lime!

  13. Fox

    The Bahamas is now feeling your pain. Horrible service and the constant excuse of upgrades etc..

  14. Angel

    they selling us lies and nwants us to buy that crap, at times i lose out alot on businesses and due to the shit they talking and expects us to buy that buu bull.

  15. @jkhf3a54876y They spell real good at telebarbados, but he not buying there. You miss the point by looking at what we call small stuff but the big picture may hit you like a brick and you would not see it coming. World wide these companies do not provide local companies small start ups and entrepreneurs any business they buy within they established markets and want you to work for a slipper, Remember when they charge it US$ when they buy it is 50 cents on the dollar. As far as small hosting companies we buy in US$ so you see how it is for us to provide services to them who by at 50 cents while charging US$ but you will not understand that it maybe your more interested in how well I spell right, think it is garble right, well it gets worse, when was the last time you went to one of they (Them) hotels with all the glitter and gold and bought a room for a week. I know cant afford the 160 US dollars a night price and why would you pay it. Seeing you live here….

  16. PiedPiper

    Lime is a jackass company employing jackasses and serving the mules. So you guys don’t deserve any thing better is their motto. Kick them out of the Caribbean folks.