Normally I don’t review internet services, but I just have to talk about how bad YOU Broadband’s service is, in Chennai. I am located at Mandaveli, where there are a few internet services available, such as BSNL, Airtel, YOU, ACT and Hathway (which is back after around 7 years).
In this YOU Broadband Review, I am going to be explaining events as they occured. This is not a rant, but an actual user experience.
Why I got a YOU Broadband connection when I had another network?
I have been using Airtel Broadband with a 2Mbps speed for five years. The speed is unbearable, but Airtel has had almost zero down time, with the exceptions happening during natural disasters like the Chennai Floods in 2015, and the Cyclone Vardah both of which caused power cuts here. Even then, when the power service resumed, Airtel’s internet was back instantly. But it is because of the low speeds, I decided to get a second connection, aka YOU Broadband.
The plan I got was a 50 Mbps connection, which offers 250GB of data usage per month, for Rs. 1210 which includes taxes. I got this connection on December 8th, 2016 and the connection speeds actually surpassed the promised ones (it even hit 55 Mbps often). The download speeds reached a maximum of 8 MB/sec in Steam, and other good servers.
What went wrong with YOU Broadband?
When Cyclone Vardah hit Chennai on December 13th, my internet went down. The reason was due to an under sea cable being cut, which affected YOU, ACT, and some other ISPs (Internet Service Providers). This was a major issue, and you can’t blame anyone for this. But, while ACT acknowledged the issues with their service, and contacted customers to apologize, YOU Broadband did nothing of the sort. The YOU Broadband mobile app was unreliable, as it automatically updated the ETA of the restoration of the service to around 5PM of the day, every single day. The customer care was not working, their social accounts became inactive. It was as if they had gone silent. The YOU Broadband engineer would never pick my calls, or return them, or even send me any message. Emails to YOU Broadband customer care, and the appellate authority went unanswered. (Airtel on the other hand takes strict action when you email the appellate authority).
This continued for more than a month, and the service was restored only around the last week of January 2017. I had to call YOU Broadband, which by the way, does not have a toll free customer support number,to ask them to credit me for the days I had paid to use the service for. I had only used their internet connection for around 3 days (from December 9th to December 12th). After some debating with their customer care, YOUBroadband offered me 27 days of usage with the data balance restored as per the original usage.
Why I decided to disconnect YOU Broadband after they fixed the previous issue?
This time, the issue began around 13th February, 2017. My YOU Broadband connection would disconnect frequently through the day, before it completely went off (there was no internet light on the router). I waited patiently for the connection to resume, and placed a support request through the YouBroadband mobile app. The reason is simple, it is easier to track the request on the app, and it is free.
The engineer assigned to the complaint automatically closed the ticket without bothering to inform me about the same. In truth, no engineer came here to check the connection, or even to call me a single time. The app does not notify you about the service being closed either. This happened around 3 times via the app, and I had also contacted YOU Broadband 3 times via their number, over a time of 4 days. The reply was always the same, “somebody will call you within 4 hours sir, we will resolve the issue.” During the 3rd call, I asked the customer support representative to note down my request that when I call the next time, I will be asking them to disconnect the service.
I had made up my mind, this is the kind of service I will get from YOU Broadband. There is no point in continuing with the service, and the customer care of YOU Broadband is literally non existant.
Out of the blue, around four days later, the engineer who installed the connection came to my house with 2 or three others, and were talking outside my house. I noticed them and heard them saying, “we can install the box in this house, he will agree to it”. They were talking about me of course.
Before they could ring my doorbell, I came to the door, and told them I am disconnecting the service. I did see them holding the box which they wanted to install at my home. (This was because my neighbour had disconnected the service sometime back, and they were asked to remove the box from there.) The the technician did not bother to ask me why, and just turned around and left. Of course they knew why, it is because of the delay. They didn’t even apologize or anything, and just mumbled something when they left (probably using bad language).
I called YOU Broadband for a 4th time, and told the person that I had asked the technician to not install the box, and asked the customer care agent to take my request for disconnecting the service. The reply as expected was, “they will call you in four hours and help you.” I asked for a partial refund if possible or simply to just take the cable away and leave me be. To my question about how the engineer can close support requests without informing me, the customer care agent had no answer. I am not sure how technicians are authorized to do this.
Long story short:
If you are planning to get a YOU Broadband connection, contact someone who is using it or has used it before, and ask them about their experience. Do some research, check where the nearest YOU Broadband box is, and ask the current user about the downtime, service, engineers, etc. If possible ask for a free demo. My experience was a nightmarish one, with quite possibly the worst customer support ever.
I only wish Airtel offered more than 2Mbps in my street, but according to the company it is not possible because it is too far away from their main connection. My neighbours use Hathway and ACT, so I am going to be looking for a new connection from one of these services.