Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Business in Peru...incompetence at work.

Telefonica can't seem to do anything right:
So we go into the office on Dec 19 to get details about installing internet and a phone line in our summer beach house. We get the information that we need and the lady starts pushing contracts our way. We tell her that we aren't ready to sign anything yet and we leave. We wanted to check Telmex service and prices at the beach because of the recently poor performance of Speedy internet with Telefonica. It turns out that Telmex doesn't even cover all of the metropolitan area of Lima, let alone any of the beaches.

Dec 24th we get a call from the Telefonica techs saying that they are at our house and we're not there for the installation. We haven't even signed a contract or anything yet, so that seemed very odd. We tell them to come back on the morning of Dec 27th and they say OK. On Dec 26th, we goto the Telefonica office and sign the contract (we have no other choices for phone or internet in the area). The lady there confirms that the techs will come for the installation on Dec 27th in the morning and says that Speedy should be installed by Jan 31st.

Dec 27th and 28th we sit around the beach house all day long waiting, cleaning, etc. Telefonica never comes. We call and they have no idea where the techs are and provide no way for us to contact them. They tell us that they work until 7pm so we wait and waste even more time. They never show up and the central office doesn't have have a 'report' from them at all after being over 2 days late for the installation.

Finally on Sat Dec 29th in the afternoon, the Telefonica techs show up at the place. Just by luck, I happened to be at home because we had given up hope that they were ever going to come. They perform the installation and the guy checks the dial tone on the phone... nada. He looks confused and double checks all the wiring inside the house. He checks again with some specialized phone that they have, still nothing. Then he tells me that he needs to call the central office to activate it and that they 'would call me in 10 minutes to confirm that it was working'. Then he goes with the other guy that did the outside work (1 pole with a box connected to another pole, and then to our building). They double check all the outside work and without saying anything or calling me at all.

Dead line that whole day and night w/ no call. We call the next day and it's a holiday, so they can't do anything about it. Next day we call and they tell us that our number 'isn't even in the system and it will take 5 days for that to process'! So now we're looking at Jan 8th for a possible dial tone. Then another 3-5 days later before they can install internet. So we might be looking at realistically getting it installed around the 15th. Why promise to provide a service by a certain date if you cannot even come close to delivering on that date??!

DirecTV; more delays:
We contacted DirecTV to install a dish at the beach apartment and they told us that it would be no problem. We just needed to send them a fax of the rental agreement and then it would be 5 days or so until they could have the techs come by. We sent the rental agreement on the 26th, but they couldn't confirm that they received it until a day later (it takes them 1 whole working day to walk over to the fax machine and find a fax in the file).

Finally they say that it received but it's no good because the rental agreement is in my name but the DirecTV contract is in my wife's name. They basically tell us that it's impossible to proceed and that we're out of luck. After a good deal of discussion we manage to come to an agreement that we'll fax them our marriage certificate (and translation) to prove that we're married so that they can finally proceed with the freaking installation. But then they tell us that no one is going to be working until Jan 2nd, so we're still waiting.

I can't wait until there's some more competition in the Peruvian markets so that companies can no longer get away with this; horrible service, inefficient processes at super high prices. I guess I should just be content that it's even possible to have Internet or DirecTV in a country so far behind much of the world.

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