Tuesday, April 22, 2008

OneCommunications: world's slowest phone company


I don’t know what is broken in OneCommunication’s sales and ordering process, but something is badly broken. We’ve been having problems with our OneCommunications dynamic bandwidth service and the interface to a PBX. Between the PBX vendor and OneCommunications technicians we decided that switching to a traditional T1 would be a good solution.

As a priority solution I placed an order on Feb. 7 to switch from your dynamic product to a traditional T1. I hounded our very pleasant OneComm rep Kim Skowran nearly daily as getting this circuit installed was a priority. Finally in late March we got to the head of the queue for service installs (nearly 6 weeks to get through your order system). In March, it was discovered that the order was placed for the wrong service—a error on OneCommunications part as we discussed the specific needs with a sales technician. We placed another order on April 4 to get the right product installed. In spite of nearly daily emails to our sales rep, I’ve heard nothing other than “I’m talking with my manager” and “I’ll get you a status tomorrow.”

It’s been over 9 weeks to install a simple PowerNet T1 and we don’t even have a status. Could you please light a fire under your order department and get the damn circuit installed.

Another Avaya IP Office problem

Our Avaya IP Office 500 system went down again. A slightly different error for inside callers and of course clients trying to call us got an error message. It’s been only 14 days since our last reboot, I have to say that our system is never going to pass any acceptance criteria if it can barely stay up for 2 weeks. And of course, after the system reboots the software is not reloaded into the phones leading to a public safety issue and significant loss of functionality.

T1 connectivity is hardly “revolutionary” or “advanced” technology as you’ve claimed. T1s have been around since 1960 and interfacing to T1 circuits is basic phone system functionality.

The three alternatives that have been presented are unacceptable:
1) Go to a private build that is several releases old; there have been significant security, functionality and reliability enhancements since the old release; retrograding to an old, “private” release seems like a risky solution, especially as there is no guarantee for support in future builds locking us into an obsolete version of the phone system
2) Upgrade to the latest release, although ABCNA has reported that this release does not fix the problems
3) Live with a phone system that is unreliable; phone system reliability should be measured in years—random crashes every 2 weeks are not acceptable

I have to say that I’m shocked that Avaya and ABCNA feels that this situation is acceptable. As a “leading Avaya dealer” in the Northeast, ABCNA should have enough influence with Avaya to get this problem fixed in a current version of the operating system.