TPSA – 3 years on and zero improvement

It was when we moved into the last apartment in September 2008 that I last started a battle with TPSA to get a connection to their internet service. You will recall that it did not go well.

Beware this logo!

In November last year, knowing we would be moving into our new place in late December we visited the TPSA sklep in Arkadia to make a request for connection to both telephone and internet in our new place. We did what we could in the shop but could not complete the process because their computer system was down. The guy said he would call Marta and let her know when the contract was ready to sign. The process of creating a contract took more than a month, largely thanks to a problem with our address or something, meaning that our application in their computer system had developed a bug and nobody knew how to fix it. Eventually we signed a contract, sometime before we moved in.

Firstly, a Livebox arrived by courier, that was fast. We then waited for an engineer to come round and check that our sockets had a connection and were able to do whatever was needed. This part only took a week or two and they confirmed, after some adjustments, that everything was in good order.

We then slipped through the looking glass and into the strange world that is TPSA customer service. A nice guy called me and asked if I needed some help with setting things up. I said that would be great because there were a number of issues I’d like to discuss about the best way to organise the connections. He said someone would call me, nobody did. I called the 801 505 505 helpline and asked where the person was who was supposed to be coming to help. The lady told me quite bluntly that nobody would have told me that because you have to set it up yourself and it’s easy. After much back and forth she would not accept that anyone should, could or would come and help. We parted company not on the best terms. A day later another nice person called wanting to make an appointment to come to our place and help with the installation. We agreed the following day at 11:00. Nobody arrived. No phone call to explain. This pattern repeated itself twice more and then I gave up.

I connected the Livebox myself ignoring the fact that the software is only available for Windoze, in fact ignoring the software completely. Various lights flashed red and green. I visited the registration page on the internet. It told me to enter some details I would have got from a registration process but I could not because I could get to the registration page because the ADSL was not synchronised. From here on it all gets a bit confusing because I think we have two, or possibly three parts of TPSA acting completely separately and as all their numbers are blocked and as nobody ever bothers to explain exactly who they are or why they are calling you never quite know to what they are responding.

I know one of the “blocked number” crowd called, saying he was going to come round on 28th December and help get it all working. He also didn’t turn up nor call to say he wasn’t coming.

I know I took a deep breath and called 801 505 505 again on 30th December. This time I got a nice guy who explained they needed to synchronise my ADSL and gave me a “job number”. Someone called and said they would be round the next day, Sat. Dec 31st @ 15:00 to help. I asked if he was REALLY going to come round or if he was just another joker like the last four guys who called? He said he would definitely be there. He didn’t turn up at our apartment either but then maybe he was only supposed to visit the box in the street? But if he was only visiting the box, why agree a time with me? Who knows what the hell they are doing.

Anyway, nothing happened, the Livebox is not living and still has red flashing lights for internet so I called again this morning. They were grateful that I am so patient but the bad news is that the max speed we can have is 2 Mb and the contract is for 6 Mb therefore there will have to be a new contract and start that whole process one more time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently someone will call regarding the new contract, but not today.

EDIT Jan 6 – no call yet but did get a helpful SMS saying we only have four days left to register our equipment.

This is doubly annoying because there have been plenty of discussions about the speed over the past couple of months. Shortly after we applied and before the contract arrived someone called to say max speed at that address was 1 Mb because the line is made from old shoelaces. I told them that this was strange because we are already living on the street and we have 2 Mb. They were confused and went away. The engineers who checked the line said 2 Mb was easy-peasy and we might even get 6 Mb. Eventually they agree that 2 Mb is possible but this requires a whole new contract and another couple of months waiting no doubt.

So here we are. Living in the capital city of one of Europe’s largest countries and yet in the end I expect it will take TPSA four months, yes, one third of a year, to connect a family to internet at a speed most people in the remotest parts of third world countries would laugh at.

As for a working telephone, we’re not really sure what is happening on that front. When we made the application we applied for two things 1/ a phone connection and 2/ an internet connection. The guy even gave us a list of phone numbers we could choose from. We have heard absolutely nothing about the phone line. All we have is a contract for neostrada internet that has the tag ‘DUO’ at the end and gives us a number for our ‘neofon’. Apparently, this might be a telephone line using VOIP (voice over internet protocol) meaning we can use the internet connection for phone calls in and out. I’ll believe it when I see it. Right now it just seems like another opportunity for TPSA to screw something up.

God, I wish there was an alternative to this bullshit!

Thank goodness that we knew this will be painful and purchased a SIM card mobile router gadget from T-Mobile, which is the only reason we are able to connect to anything today.

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9 thoughts on “TPSA – 3 years on and zero improvement

  1. Before Paula and I agreed to buy the flat we bought we sought assurances from the developer that (1) ANY ISP would be allowed, e.g. not one ISP for the entire building and (2) from our current ISP (Aster) that they would be providing high-speed internet access to the building. That’s been my personal procedure for any new place. In fact, back in the late 90’s when DSL was rolling out in Oregon and I was working at one of the few ISPs in town offering DSL service I made a point to review the map the telco had given the ISP in terms of areas-of-coverage so I knew which areas to bother looking to move to.

    I don’t know why TPSA is your only ISP. If it was me, I’d double check with Aster and UPC and make damn sure they absolutely definitely do not provide service in your area. If you can get cable TV through …anyone… then I would think it would be possible to get some kind of cable-based internet rather than DSL.

    If all else fails, you’ll have to move. 3G internet is all well and good as a band-aid but you can’t live on that sort of internet.

  2. I already checked. There are no cable supplies to our estate or even to the general area we live but that’s no surprise and I’m okay with that. The same 2 Mb neostrada we had before will be fine for us until something changes it just shouldn’t be so painful to get it.

  3. Scatts, do weigh in buying Cyfrowy Polsat’s mobile internet. It runs like dream, unless it conks out, then things tangle up a bit (and the odds of such scenario are not negligibly low). In earnest, their customer service is still one huge bullshit.

  4. I’ve been using Neostrada (or it’s earlier version called SDI) for the last 7 or 8 years in 5 different places (two of them in Warsaw) and I can only confirm that this is what you have to go through every time. A few rules:

    1. DIY. Don’t count on TPSA technicians. Know everything yourself, do it yourself, configure it yourself, become a technician yourself.

    2. Is “job number” zgłoszenie problemowe number (ZP/xxxx/yyy)? That’s important as this is what people on the 801 number like. Always demand to get one and refer to it when calling them. They can check your status using ZP number.

    3. Be a major pain in the ass. Call them every two days or, better still, everyday. Someone will finally be pissed off and do something just to shut you up.

    4. Never ever suggest them (or let them persuade you) that a problem might be on your side: your livebox, modem, computer, operating system – they will happily let you solve it by yourself.

    5. Get the ADSL led to flash and you’re halfway there :)

  5. Bart, I will never buy anything from Cyfrowy Polsat no matter how good it is supposed to be. If you search this blog you will find out why.

    For now, the T-Mobile gizmo is fine and eventually we will have neostrada. Roll on springtime!

  6. Wow Scatts, I do feel your frustration. I can’t give any pointers (ecxept take a deep breath) since I don’t live there. Sounds like a nightmare with customer service. Would never be excepted here. I recently had to call my tech service and got a nasty person. I asked her if she was having a bad day and she answered no so my assuption was she was like this with all her customers. I mean she was down right rude. I then proceded to send an email to the head of the DSL company not really expecting to hear from them but I did quite fast. (I go straight to the top..President, Board members etc., no mgrs.they have no power).

  7. Ian, I read over the history of your dealings with CP and wrote about mine here and there, but I’m despite this I’m quite satisfied, much better than Play and Telekompromitacja (soon to be rebranded to Orange, pronounce Orżnąć)

  8. Did anyone here tell me to make sure they switch of the “MAC address” function – by mail I assume as it’s not in the comments here? If so, do you have any idea how to do that?

    We have progressed to the point where they have done some engineering works at their end to get me a good connection. I have then on my own initiative (and against their advice) moved the Livebox to another phone socket. Hey presto! I have a full set of GREEN lights and a strong wi-fi signal throughout the apartment.

    After logging in with the WAP2 key everything worked fine for about 15 minutes. It even registered a full 6Mb on the speed test, which is a nice surprise. Problem is that after the 15 minutes of excitement all devices started losing their connections and we’re now back to the BlueConnect mobile device. :-(

    I think the problem is this Mac Address thing but have no idea how to fix it.

    I couldn’t ask them to switch it off because nobody has ever made it to my apartment. That’s 6 calls to make an appointment and zero visits. Even today someone called, we had a short discussion and then he asked if he could come around now “in a moment”. I said yes I was here. Nobody turned up. It’s bizarre!

  9. Ian, I replied to a different post you just did about this but I’ll repost here, below. IMO, yes, you SHOULD turn off the MAC address (filter by…) function. Same goes for disabling SSID broadcast. Both are relatively easy to defeat for those who are knowledgable/determined but both make it really difficult for legitimate users to join your network. Just enable strong encryption (WPA (specifically WPA2-Personal) …*not* WAP) and use a strong password (8+ characters (numbers, letters, symbols – a nice mix makes it secure but it doesn’t have to be hard to remember: L!VEb0x2 would work decently well))).

    REPOST:

    Apparently you can, with a hardware button, tell the Livebox to add a MAC address from something that is trying to connect: http://help.orange.co.uk/orangeuk/support/personal/232435

    Or try turning off most/all of the security garbage: http://help.orange.co.uk/orangeuk/support/personal/235127

    It looks like that under Security there is “Associated Devices” …you could try manually adding (if that’s an option?) the MAC address of your iPhone or iMac or whatever there.

    Basic setup instructions if you need ‘em: http://help.orange.co.uk/orangeuk/support/personal/242539

    Mac wireless setup instructions: http://help.orange.co.uk/orangeuk/support/personal/241271

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