My problems with Omantel go back years here in the Sultanate. First, it took weeks and weeks to get the internet set up in our apartment. Then there was a problem because they managed to set up TWO ACCOUNTS in my name. After more than 5 visits to their main office on the Nizwa Road and countless phonecalls, it SEEMED to be fixed. Guess again! The internet at our house has been shut down once again. I STILL get 2 bills every month in the mail: one that is correct and up to date and another that continues to add another 20 rials to this mysterious 2nd account that refuses to die and is now at something like 280 OR (or around $700 US). Every time I visit their office, they tell me not to worry; that the account has been closed and just to ignore such bills. Once again, I will have to take hours out of my busy schedule to visit the billing department on the 4th floor and have someone look me in the eye and say, “Yes, your problem has been solved. No problem. You can be sure it’s solved!” “Annoying” falls so short in trying to describe the frustration of dealing with this issue!
update 3 days later: I’m back on line! Big thanks to Mohammed Al Juma for sorting out the problems with the line, Khalid (the technician) for sorting out the configuration problems once Mohammed took care of the line and also a big thanks to Adil Al Areimi (in the billing department at Omantel HQ) for constantly keeping me updated on the cell-phone. There is hope for Omantel yet! 🙂 I was seriously impressed with these 3 men and their efforts to help.
This morning, it seemed as if all my Omantel problems were close to being sorted out and I simply had to wait for technicians to come to my house. That all changed when talking to an Omantel helpline agent (accessed by dialing 1300) this morning who said I owed 100 rials from last year for the previous account that they mucked up. I knew that was nonsense because I have often asked and confirmed whenever talking to Omantel employees whether the account had in fact been paid and terminated. I was guaranteed that the final payment of 77 rials on May 4th would be the last I’d hear about the matter. Now this new guy I’m talking to this morning tells me I still owe 100 rials?!?! In fact, that account had never really even been activated in the first place. Well, enough was enough and I finally decided to do what several people have suggested is the best solution to any serious Omantel problem – I visited the Omantel Headquarters on the Nizwa road on the way to SQU.
If you have serious issues with Omantel, I highly recommend you visit HQ if you have the time. It seems they can get more done there, especially if you bring in all pertinent paperwork and previous bills with you. The main entrance facing the Nizwa Road does not open up to non employees from the outside so instead of standing there trying to push on the big glass doors, you better enter on the left or right side of the building.
Check in with reception of course and they’ll have someone come down to get you a visitor’s badge and take you upstairs to try and sort through your problems. The security of this building is quite impressive. Only employees with the correct electronic ID cards are able to use elevators to avoid having people roaming through the halls. Interesting.
After an hour of sitting down and going through the whole mess with one of the team leaders, Adil Araimi, paper by paper, step by step, I was assured that technicians would be at the house within 24 hours to install the internet. True to his word, 2 Pakistani subcontractors came to my home 1 hour later after calling to confirm the address. With a few phone calls and administrative touches, my internet was reconnected within 20 minutes. I forgot just how fast Omantel connection is! Yippee!! The cheapest unlimited package is 20 rials at 2 mps but I signed up for 5mps at 25 rials/month.
I signed up for 5mps and this is quite far from it (from speedtest.net) , but I’m not about to rock the boat now that everything’s up and running. Now it’s just a matter of waiting to see “what they decide” about the so-called billing problem of trying to charge me an extra 100 rials next week…To be continued.
A big thank you to Mr. Sythe at Muscat Mutterings for the support/suggestions, Jalal Al Addullatif for his help in getting things sorted out and ultimately to Adil Alraimi for getting things done today. Incidently, this week is “Customer Care Week” at Omantel! (June 2-6th) Perfect timing or what?! 😉 I know there are a lot of dedicated employees working at Omantel. I really hope for the sake of those trying desperately to get internet hooked up in the internet that they can fix all communication problems that seem to exist when dealing with different departments. This past week the CEO of Omantel, Dr. Amer al Rawa, won a prestigious award for “Human Resources”. Good for him and the company. Now if only they would work even harder on customer service.
You would think that a national company like Omantel would strive to have the best customer service out there. Sadly, this is not so. It is now a month of many visits to the Muscat City Center branch and countless calls since I’m trying to get them to simply send a technician to my home to get ADSL set up. Their “service number” at 1300 is a joke. All they do is put you on hold or give you another number where you can talk to another incompetent person who will give you even more excuses. The worst is when they give you false expectations like saying “this week” knowing full well that it’s not going to happen. This morning, for example, I called 1300 and they told me to call 24242424. The person on this line then told me to call 24634304 and round and round we go! The word for the day, boys and girls, is “incompetence“!
My apologies for not getting back to many of the readers’ comments and emails I’ve received. Until Omantel gets their act together (I will not hold my breath!), this blog is basically on standby. Their customer service is an absolute disgrace to the Sultanate.
Our internet has not been working at home since Friday. The power, ADSL and WLAN lights come on but not the light for “internet”. No idea why it’s not working. It seems like once I’m home, I’m “out of touch” with what’s going on. Reminds me of this Hall & Oates classic, Out of Touch:
Sure I have access to the internet at work, but when I’m at work, I try to focus on the job (novel concept, right?! 😉 ) and usually save my blogging for late at night. No can do now that Omantel has disconnected my internet connection.
You’re out of touch (dear readers), I’m out of time (gotta go home now!) and I’m out of my head when
you’re not around I can’t use the internet in my own home!