Since about 2001, I've also subscribed to another ADSL ISP called Free. Free has always given me the "best" available on the market for a fixed price at 29,99 eur/month: VoIP, triple play, Tivo-like PVR, games, digital radio, wifi, etc. and more recently HD TV. I've never had to do anything aside of accepting a new set top box regularly, all at the same price. I use it mainly for everything :)
I kept my Noos subscription for my bedroom with a second TV. It was a 4:3 image in SD, cropped on the sides of my 16:9 TV. When I finally decided many months ago to set up a power line internet with a 2nd STB from free, I got immediately a 16:9 HD image ! (I had never bothered to check before, because I have an old and small CRT in the living room, definitively not HD-ready, and the big HD TV was for gaming, VOD and DVDs). Switching between the two set top boxes on this big TV became annoying (4:3 cropped image in SD vs. 16:9 HD …), and I started investigating why, as it definitively makes a difference during this world cup. Was it a connectivity problem with a faulty cable? a wrong setup somewhere ?
Eventually I called Noos' hotline today (had to dig through old papers to find my customer number; and of course impossible to remember my customer password online).
* the hotline call said it was free from a Noos account : no clue how much I paid for that 25 minutes call. Mind you, they make you wait 1 min after getting your number, just to "access" your file information…
* when I asked about the 4:3 cropped image, they said, well, that's because you don't have an HD box. (aaah! …). "but you can upgrade it at any Noos retail store for 70 euros !" (they never offered me before an upgrade by email...). We had to change the box though a few months ago only because it just died of long life... I would have expected them to send me a recent box no ?
So let's get this straight : just to be a loyal customer I have to go to a store, and pay more money ? Remember, I RENT the box every month for 5 eur !!! well I guess it didn't include maintenance…
* so then I ask to cancel my account. 5 min to transfer me … boring music… : a new guy comes up, and says, well, we're happy to OFFER a new HD box to you (-70 eur !), delivered to your home (nice), and 12 months box rental for free ! (12x5 = 60 eur). Nice touch. But he adds, in order to get HD channels, you need a *new* bundle of HD channels (yeah! I was on an *old* bundle), that will cost 29eur (and something), instead of the 26eur I pay now, but they are glad to put it in for me at about 24 eur a month (that's another 5x12 eur = 60 eurs). nice.
(Keep in mind that I already have a TV subscription with 16:9 + HD from free…)
But there's a catch:
to get the HD channels, I need to accept a 12 months renewal engagement .
And that was it for me. Not because of the price, not because of the great new offers. But because they just treated me twice like a big cow they can milk :
1) just because I want to cancel my subscription, they offer me a new box, discounts, etc. (if you're into this sort of things, you should definitively try canceling to get these promotions !). I expected to be treated the same way without asking. Being rewarded for being a loyal customer. Just the way Free does it !
2) I can't believe they asked me to sign again for 12 months more when I'm telling them I'm unhappy they didn't offer me this before and that I had to ask for an upgrade (the guy's answer : "oh, we're doing a campaign right now to inform our customers…" yeah right).
The right answers?
step 1: offer me all of that, and not ask me to re-sign for 12 months. What are the chances I'll cancel after being a customer for 16 years ?
step 2: upgrade me automatically or at least inform me regularly in the future.
Bottom line, after posting this, I'm posting my subscription cancellation letter.
- registered mail compulsory : a few euros more
- 1 month notice required (there goes 26 euros more…)
- 40 EUROS cancellation fee ! (and the guy tells me, but you've left twice 66 euros deposit for the boxes… so we'll take it from there).
Hey Free, when are you bringing fiber to my neighborhood :D ?