I could not get through to the internet service provider

Dear Editor,

On Sunday October 21 users could not get on to the Solutions 2000 internet platform via their main office in Georgetown. This was not the first time users have been getting this problem with this ISP. Many users have in the past experienced periods of ‘downtime’, even if they lasted for a few minutes and as long as a few hours.

Upon trying to dial- up to the internet last Sunday, I constantly received the message: the connection was terminated because the remote computer did not respond in a timely manner. That message already reveals that the ‘remote computer’ is, in other words, the Solutions 2000 mainframe computer which allows their users to get on the internet platform. It was a Sunday, and the first thing that went through my mind, knowing Solutions 2000, is that these people do not work on Sundays, and all hope for a solution to this problem came dashing down. I tried calling 225-2653 but that number rang out and when I did get the voice- mail system, the mailbox was full to capacity (due to the numerous messages left by other irate users, I presumed).

This should not be. Why can’t Solutions 2000 have a round-the-clock technical response help- desk? I also ask if Solutions 2000 monitor their network on a 24-hour basis. This clearly shows that they do not.

Solutions 2000 does not even have a proper ad in the GT&T Telephone 2007 Directory as do the other ISPs in Guyana. If not for a usual and ordinary directory listing, under which they put one office telephone number and one dial- up number along with a fax number, contacting these people is virtually a painful task.

I must compliment the management of Guyana Net and other ISPs in Guyana who answer their phones up to 10pm each and every single day. They have back- up technical support virtually 24 hours per day which is more than I can say for Guyana’s premier internet provider. I usually visit Guyana Net’s website to see the ‘Network Status’ and to know the nature of any internet disruption, whether it is the Americas II Cable or some other technical fault off the Guianas’ coast. These people always quickly update their site to give information to their users. I must compliment Guyana Net for this. They are a very customer-oriented company, which speaks very well for corporate Guyana.

I have been a customer of Solutions 2000 (the account is in my sister’s name, because I was not an adult at the time of registration) for many years now and have admired their service, but they have been getting too lax recently and hence my letter. It’s situations like these that drive customers to seek the services of other internet providers.

Then I would like to know whatever happened to their Web Accelerator feature which has been paralyzed for some months now. This free tool allowed users to experience some accelerated speeds when browsing the net.

I must, though, compliment management for establishing an office of the company in New Amsterdam. Surely this was very good thinking on the part of the management of Solutions 2000.

Service was restored only on Monday morning between 7:30-7:45am. Now I wanted to be fair. In sending this letter to the media, I would’ve liked a response from the company. So I called their office shortly after 8 am on Monday. Lo and behold, no one was prepared to give any explanation for the problem they had on Sunday. I informed them of this letter which I would send to the press and will do so without any response from the company.

This shabby treatment of customers must stop. Solutions 2000 did not even have common courtesy to send a response to all their clients to say how sorry they were (via email) of the disruption which lasted nearly a day.

What happened on Sunday should never happen again. Surely all the above criticisms do not go well for Guyana’s premier internet service provider

Yours faithfully,

Leon Jameson Suseran

Editor’s note

We sent a copy of this letter to Solutions 2000 Inc for their comments and received the following response from Mr John Melville, the General Manager:

“We wish to thank you for allowing us the opportunity to respond to the concerns about our service, as expressed by letter writer, Leon Jameson Suseran.

Permit us first of all to acknowledge, and sincerely apologise for, the obvious inconvenience and distress experienced by some of our customers, including Mr Suseran, as a result of the degradation of our service which occurred between Sunday 14 and Monday 15 October, 2007.

During that period, there was a noticeable degradation of service arising from a malfunction of one of our servers, which limited dial-up access, and consequently, the number of clients being able to log on simultaneously. We wish to emphasize that the service was not disrupted, i.e., there was no cessation of service.

However, the problem was rectified at about 9.30 am on Monday 15 October, when full access/service was restored.

We sincerely appreciate feedback from our customers in respect of the service we deliver and wish to thank Mr Suseran for both his criticism and commendation of our service.

We hasten to assure him, and all of our valued customers, that we stand committed to using our best efforts to provide as trouble-free and courteous a service as possible. Wherever deficiencies exist, we will do all possible to rectify same and avoid a recurrence.

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