01 December 2008

ADSL Insanity in Austria

So, I decided to upgrade my Internet experience, and ordered the "aDSL solo Privat max 8192/768" from iNode (now part of UPC) in Vienna, Austria.

Dealing with this company as a private customer is simply hell. They have phone trees which lead nowhere, or which direct you through to a hotline, only to immediately drop the call because of overload. When you do finally get through, they take a long time to process, and need to put you on hold for ages (assuming they don't simply do this for the pleasure of winding up "difficult" customers.)

My record for one call trying to get this Internet connection sorted out was more than one hour and five minutes.

Here's the fun part -- I first placed the order with them on October 8th. They finally gave me an installation date -- 2 January 2009. Yes, more than 10 weeks. They claim this is not their fault, because they outsource the installation of ADSL connections to Telekom Austria -- but I believe this is simply an excuse. Perhaps they are overloaded with demand, but they won't stay in business long if they treat customers in this way. Solve the problem already!

It gets better. I called to cancel, saying that 10 weeks is too long to wait. (In the meantime, I have been using mobile Internet, which is much more convenient.) And they tell me that there is a "cancellation charge" of 180 Euros -- for a service which they haven't been able to install! Oh yeah, and they blame this charge on Telekom as well.

So, bottom line. If you are an Internet user in Austria, STAY AWAY FROM INODE/UPC. They will rip you off, and are unable to deliver in a timely manner. Their support is abysmal, and they seem to be engaged in a marketing war with Telekom (to whom they subcontract the installation.) You have been warned.

Updated 6 Jan 2009: Finally, the Telekom installer came on 2 January (as promised), and installed the ADSL modem. So, now I have Internet again -- but there were still issues. First, the router wasn't working. I called tech support (which was quite helpful), and learned that I had to manually add the login credentials, via the Web interface at Second, the default configuration for the Thomson ADSL router leaves the wireless access point completely unsecured. As I already have enough WLAN routers, I simply disabled it. Thirdly, and this is the most serious issue -- the ADSL connection was set for a downstream bandwidth of 1,088 kbps and upstream 128 kbps -- basically one eighth of what I am paying for. I've logged another service call, and naturally it's down to an argument between UPC and Telekom again, each blaming the other. I'll be happy if they can increase it to 4 Mbps downstream.