LIME’s Poor Customer Service @peachandquiet.com

Adrian Loveridge - Hotel Owner

Like many other businesses, communication is critical to the survival and success of our hotel. The ability to respond promptly to booking requests is directly related to the level of occupancy. If we do not answer emails quickly, there is a strong possibility that a potential guest will move on to another property and/or destination where they feel they are more appreciated. So, whether we like it or not, we are almost hostage to the monopoly landline provider, Cable and Wireless (Barbados) Ltd.

If I start counting the days one or more of our telephone and internet lines have been out of service over the last year, it is staggering. Even when we have an internet connection, often the speed is dramatically short of the promised delivery.

Last week we reported one line out of order through the call centre in St. Lucia or Jamaica. A sixteen digit fault reference number was given and a remedy was promised ‘in 12 working hours’. 5 days later, we are left to wonder exactly how Lime defines a working hour.

In the lodging industry of course, we operate 24 hours, seven days a week. If this was an isolated incident, it might be more acceptable. But this is the second time in a month that this same line has been down and the previous report, despite receiving another trillion length reference number, no engineer turned up at all.

With rumours that the company has applied for a rate increase during the worse recession in almost a century defies logic. Especially when they have, certainly in our case, demonstrated a total inability to maintain anything approaching a satisfactory service. The level of frustration trying to deal with this company is so counter productive and time wasting. On occasions, I admit that rather than attempt to speak to someone that can barely master the English language in a remote ‘customer service centre’, I have cheated by going straight to the top of the organisation. In most cases this has resolved the various problems in a timely manner, but does this demonstrate a long established, well managed company with a culture of dealing with their clients concerns?

I urge every senior manager with Lime, to become one of your own customers for a day and endure what the people paying your wages have to go through. Compounding the dissatisfaction, is the constant saturation bombardment of advertisements by the firm boasting improved products and services. But isn’t it long overdue that they try and get some of the basics fixed first?

Personally, I don’t want to hear that you are ‘projecting’ a profit of $200 million this year and your staff are demanding a pay increase of 17 per cent. We just want to get the service that we have been paying for over decades.

As the minutes tick away before the publishers deadline to submit this column, surprise, surprise our ADSL internet connection is down yet again. So back to the process of once again calling 1 800 804 2994, perhaps whilst attempting to practice Creole, pressing almost endless numerical options and unproductively just listen to the number ring and ring and ring unanswered.

Another totally wasted two hours (so far) and who knows how much business lost. Seven ‘working’ hours later, or a whole normal business day later we still cannot access or send emails.

We deserve better!

  • As a person that has developed voice processing systems for three decades it is a generally accepted principle that every question you ask a client leads to a 15% drop in customers on line. That means if you ask 6 questions and they will all disappear!

    My sympathy to all those that are mislead on on customer support – solution – try and find another supplier if possible.

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  • Caswell Franklyn

    Mr. Loveridge

    I feel your pain, but I did not throw my hands up in the air. My landline from Lime is always giving problems. A friend told me about TeleBarbados, I checked them out and now my problems with Internet and home phone service are virtually non existent.

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  • A friend of mine is trying to book a return trip from Barbados to St Vincent online from London with LIAT. The fares they are trying to charge her for two are over Bds$1200. Can be that right or am I sensing a rip off? In any case, the technology would not work.
    Nice to see the cash-strapped LIAT is on top of its game.

    Hal

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  • @Hal

    That price cannot be correct.

    Remember traveling to St.Vincent not too long ago at the ticket was less than 700.00.

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  • Adrian Loveridge

    Pick the days carefully (out Sunday back Tuesday in March) and fare as low as US$119.96 including all taxes return, according to LIAT website.

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  • @ Adrian Loveridge..

    Have you ever had a technician run tests at your hotel?

    Why I am asking this, is that sometimes, simple faults like corrosion (as you are near salt water) can wreck havoc on copper connections. The Plant in your area is relatively young and has some of the best termination practices on the island. My advice to you is to have a qualified private technician do a thorough inspection of your property. Things like signal noise, high resistive connections, Ringer equivalent numbers and capacitance plays a very important role in ADSL quality. Also, the type of wiring used might need to be changed. Cat 5e is good to change all your telcom wiring to. The old 4wire (red, green, black, yellow) is no longer acceptable.

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  • Adrian Loveridge

    Technician,

    Thank you.
    Some years ago we paid privately to have all possible cables buried but frequently we have this problem, and its always a discussion whether it is internal or external. You are absolutey right about the salt spray getting into everything. Just have just had a C&W techinician turn-up and his conclusion was that it is a cable fault and went away promising to fix it.

    Is there not an option of having some of these connections in a 316 stainless steel to limit corrosion?

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  • The service STINK STINK STINK! My internet stops and starts. I will call teledirect .

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  • Is there not an option of having some of these connections in a 316 stainless steel to limit corrosion?

    The connections are terminated in grease filled locks and the major ‘joints’ are permanently sealed and encapsulated (that bulge you see on the cable). In your area, the main feed from the Exchange is underground most of the route.
    The Tech from LIME has told you it is a cable fault, which means, according to his analysis, the fault is at them. This makes it easier then for you to monitor the outages and seek a rebate…. 😉

    @ IG….
    Make sure that you look at all the pros and cons before switching……all that glitters…

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  • Caswell Franklyn

    Islandgal246

    Don’t listen to Technician. I switch my internet to TeleBarbados and I have no regrets about the decision. Of course you will get the occasional drop out but it is less than a tenth of what I used to experience with Cable and Wireless. I have made a few service complaints, which came mostly from my inexperience with the technology, but their customer service staff are excellent: they speak English and are knowledgeable, for a technology challenge person like me they were able to talk me through my problems on the phone. I hope that they pay them well. Their staff only made one service call to my location and that resulted from a problem caused by Hurricane Tomas shifting the antenna. The guy came to my house and removed his boots without being asked, after all the house was immaculate.

    Let me declare that I have no financial interest in TeleBarbados: I do not know any of the people involved. However, if you want a more reliable internet and telephone service call them at 620 1000. In addition, you will get a better customer service experience when the needs arises. BTW, I am not getting paid for this: I just feel for those of you who still rely on LIME so I am directing you to an alternative.

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  • Adrian Loveridge

    Technician, Thank you.

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  • Caswell Franklyn | March 7, 2012 at 9:49 AM |
    Islandgal246

    Don’t listen to Technician.

    Wow…CF…

    All I did was to say check the pros and cons.
    I have no interest in either company just like you. All I am saying is that you should check out your alternatives first before jumping ship.
    As a certified technician, I know exactly what I am speaking of.
    A lot of people like to blame LIME for crappy service when the issues are in their own homes or surroundings.This is not to say that LIME doesn’t have its short comings.
    I know of customers who went over and are now back with LIME and I know of customers who have switched and are happier. There are many factors involved that can determine your quality of service from both providers, whether it be technical or financial. Just check fist. Then again…..don’t mind me. I am just a techie 😉

    Btw….people with no knowledge of the product usually makes the best customers. Helpdesk loves your kind 😉

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  • @ AL….

    You are welcome sir. When I come home (maybe) I will give your property a complete and thorough check….for a small fee of course..lol

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  • Adrian Loveridge

    Technician,

    I would gladly pay it, but I know that’s not your motivation.

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  • @Techie

    Does LIME still block forwarding from their switch to TeleBarbados?

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  • @ David….

    Sorry for the wait but I wanted to make sure from both sides.
    My sources have confirmed this. I don’t know the reason why in this day and age but we can always hazard a guess. 😉

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  • Thanks Techie

    It is obvious why LIME would be uncooperative but what do the regs say?

    Chris where are you?

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  • Barbados is so backwards with things like this it is unbelievable.while cable and wire boxes sit broken and exposed to rain and sun .there they sit.
    never changed.the insurance companies behave like they doing you a favor for your insurance money. and the banks also behave like they are doing you a favor to get your own money.
    in Canada they fix your internet over the phone with a click of a mouse or a technician is there the same day or the next at latest .even in the snow and freezing cold.
    all i can say is you in Barbados now”what is de hurry man”
    i got to call my girl and mek arrangements for tonight.lol

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  • I Feel your pain..
    Mr Loveridge, i have been trying to migrate my LIME e-mail ( at Limes request) to their Google app.
    I have received over 20 email reminders, and everytime I try, i get snagged..
    have spent 4 hours on call waiting re these issues, and when I finally got to someone, in Jamaica, they had no experience with the google migration program, and was unable to help me..

    Today, I have now been on hold for 75 minutes..
    which means i have had to endure
    150 ” your time is valuable ” messages
    150 repeats of the LIME background music ( which I detested from the first play.
    150 messages claiming LIME’s position as the leading phone provider in the Caribbean……

    …to top it off, I went to their head office at Windsor lodge, and whilst waiting, noticed on my iPad that there were 2 wireless networks , both showing full bars…
    one was named LIME admin
    the other was named LIME GUEST
    LIME GUEST was locked
    I asked at the reception for the pass word for LIME GUEST..
    didn;t know..
    waited in the next line… didn’t know password…
    went to the next line , waited 10 mins… no pass word
    finally my number came up with the teller, and I asked her and was told
    “Oh we don’T USE THAT HERE!!
    What? this is t he telco head office, and you can’t even get a guest wireless signal ?…
    ….PATHETIC!!!!!

    sorry for ranting.. but I just wanted to say I feel your pain!
    Regards,
    Barry Reid Creamer

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