Learning from mistakes

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 at 0:47 | Posted in Finland, internet, Personal | Leave a comment

As I wrote here, I suffered some considerable down time during the weekend before last. My web connection was basically broken from early Saturday morning till Tuesday morning. There were up and down periods during the weekend in intervals of 15 to 30 minutes but there were also periods when the tube was all dead for hours. Since Tuesday May 23rd everything works more or less normally again.

As things returned to normal, I received an e-mail from my ISP in response to the letter that I managed to send them between the breaks. They promised to compensate the down time in their next bill. I have just received the bill.

According to the bill, the ISP is compensating the missing connection for one day. The date for the break is marked as May 24th. The break lasted for three days and it was over by May 24th but I suppose the date may reflect the day when they recorded it. They are compensating 5 € of a regular monthly fee of 22,90 €. I guess I should not complain since 5 € pure formally covers more than three days.

The point is, however, that there is no way of paying for the real damage that a broken web connection can cause at this day and age. The damage is both material and immaterial. I guess they could not compensate the actual damage even if they cancelled all the bills for the rest of the year. Some things can just not be evaluated in terms of money.

Rather than the money, I would have been glad to receive an honest account of what went wrong with the maintenance work that should have been done during midnight and 6 o’clock on Saturday morning. In their response to me they wrote that everything was normal as from 10 p.m. on Monday May 22nd. That is untrue, the connection was not resumed by 4 a.m. on Tuesday. There was not a word about why a routine maintenance of six hours turned out to be a three day collapse. They did write that they were sorry for the inconvenience, though.

It is understandable that things do not always go as they were planned. But anybody providing public services would be smart if they told honestly about those mishaps themselves. At the age of instant access to information, somebody else will be spreading the news unless you do not provide it yourself. In which case you have no control of how it will be presented.

I am not going to change my Internet Service Provider for this one unfortunate incident. I think everybody deserves another chance. But they had better learn about their mistakes. Next time I am not going to be as patient and understanding as now.

Edit: Read also My ISP screwed it again 

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