A super long and pointless comparison between these two internet service providers, a recap of all the events that happened between me and these ISPs and also featuring anxiety, headaches and problems. It might seem like I’m obsessing over little things that no one really cares about but hey we’re nerds and obsessing over little things that no one cares about is what we do.
I have divided this into 4 topics, Installation, Billing, Customer Service and Conclusion.
We talk about all the problems, from Fiberlink threatening to sue me to their most recent billing issues. I hope that it’s a good read. If there’s anything for sure it’s that Fiberlink is the most meme-iest ISP of the year. The meme economy is strong with Fiberlink however their lawyers keep coming in the way of investment.
Before we get started, I guess I should explain what I mostly use the internet for, a part from the usual browsing, downloading the thing which I depend a lot on is uploading. A lot of my work depends on uploading and because upload speed is 0.8 to 1 mb on PTCL (whichever connection speed you have) it became clear that I have to get a different internet provider. One which can give me a decent upload speed. So I looked at what other options I had and unfortunately the only options where either I stick to PTCL or get Fiberlink.
I read the fiberlink reviews and at that time they weren’t all negative, I think about 60 percent were positive and at that time I thought “hey, it can’t be worse than PTCL right?” poor naive child, I was very very wrong.
So I applied for fiberlink on the first of December 2016 and I was told that my internet would be installed in at least 30 working days. Seemed a bit weird and pretty soon a month flew by. No installation. I contacted them and reminded them and they said it will install soon, 5 more days went by and then I started posting in this group by how they were late in installation (this was when they took the complains in this group seriously.) and sure enough after 1 month and 10 days my internet connection was installed. But hey the problems don’t stop here. It was great for 1 week and then disconnections all the time. During this time I was having my final exams so I was mostly stressed and needed the internet pretty much all the time. It was so bad that after a post in this group I had to get Zong Internet to actually get work done and then after my exams were over fiberlink guys came to check internet only to tell that it wasn’t installed properly the first time and they will have to fix that. Well thankyou for not installing it correctly the first time guys.
If you are in this phase of your installation just remember that if a relationship starts like that, it probably won’t get smoother along the way. Just look at all your exes.
After a year of torment, headaches and anxiety when I got the news that Storm is available I didn’t wait another minute and called them.
Lets compare this to Stormfiber’s installation. I contacted Usman Javaid for installation and he referred me to Mr. Hassan. I was told that my internet would be installed in at least 7 working days (Sat and Sun not included). I contacted him on a Saturday so 7 working days would be Tuesday however EIGHT stormfiber guys came to install the Internet on the Next Saturday just 5 working days later and in the meanwhile I kept getting updates about the process through text. I’m super impressed by this and I can’t thank Mr Usman, Mr Adnan and Mr Hassan enough. No headaches, no need to rely on Zong. Everything went smoothly, internet was installed correctly the first freaking time.
It would be a disservice to the people if I don’t include that in my case Fiberlink took one month and ten days, other people have to wait 2, 3 and even 6 months. They took money from my cousin and then 6 months later told him that they don’t give internet in his area. Did they return the money? Nope. This is stealing with extra steps.
So as you can see, the installation is much faster and much less headache inducing on Stormfiber.
Installation b: Modem and Package
As you can see in the photo the Modem provided by Fiberlink just uses their cable, it does not have WIFI , so you have to get your own wifi. This won’t be much of a problem however, when I paid for installation on their website it said that it would have wifi but at the time of installation it turned out that they changed that and now at the last minute I have to arrange a wifi router.
Compared with Stormfiber, their modem is made by huawei and has a double antenna wifi router included. I was prepared to not use this wifi and just connect my wifi from tp-link because I wasn’t expecting the wifi included to be any good however, the wifi in Stormfiber’s modem is even better than my seperate Wifi router which I use for Fiberlink, no speed loss, no signal loss. So that’s very very good.
Another difference is the pricing, Fiberlink charges 5000 rupees for installation and then you have to pay extra for your package so you end up paying upwards of at least 6000 rupees (and you don’t even get Wifi in that. What year is this?). In Storm you pay 5000 rupees however your internet charge of the month is included in this as well and you get actually good wifi and don’t have to scramble at the last minute.
I also asked the Stormfiber guy why it took so long to come to my area, if they were available last year I would have certainly saved a lot of headaches and they said “compared to other fiber companies” obviously referring to Fiberlink, their cables are installed underground while Fiberlink’s cables are installed on poles and such, this increases the chances of cables getting broken and stolen. Which happens a lot on fiberlink. I don’t have any way to prove this it’s just their word.
The cable on Stormfiber is slightly thicker than Fiberlink’s even though the inner cable is the same size the Stormfiber guy said the outer casing was thicker for reinforcement and so that cables don’t break easily. Again no way to prove this just taking their word.
So there you have it, Stormfiber takes just a week to install, has better modem, has wifi included and they claim their system is much more efficient. Since the time I have it installed there haven’t been any disconnections so I’m inclined to believe their word.
This is where the problems starts with Fiberlink, saying that their management is as good as a flock of hen would be an insult to the flock of hen. There’s zero management. There’s no communication between Fiberlink Lahore and Fiberlink Karachi, this just makes it worse for the users.
As I said before that my work depends a lot on uploading, I was getting 0 mbps upload on fiberlink.It would take more than 8 hours to upload a mere 200 mb file and usually when I’m uploading the file is about 15 GB so you can understand my frustration. So when you have a problem like this what do you do? You complain to the service. Which I did and sure enough 1 month later… nothing happened. Still the same issue, complained again and surprise surprise… nothing again. Since this was a big problem for me and no one from Fiberlink was doing anything to fix this my last option was to just stop paying bill, tell them I don’t need this and if they want me to pay bill, they can either fix my internet or disconnect it once and for all. This however did the trick, one week later I was again getting 20 mbps upload and the guy came to collect bill and I paid him.
This is what I am talking about in my text where I say that I will not pay them to get them to work. I did pay them.
Many months later, everything is fine there are some disconnections but hey nothing too bad. But even when everything is smooth their management just can’t accept that there are no headaches given by them to their customers so what do they do? They deliberately turn off your internet. They turned off my internet in the morning at 8 am, whatsapp service replied to me at 5 am of the next day saying that it is disconnected because I haven’t paid bill since 2 months! That is for november and december.
That was completely false. Their guy came to collect bill on the 20th of November and I paid him I had the slip to prove that and NO ONE came to collect bill for December. So guys remember if no one from Fiberlink bothers to collect bill that is your fault! and your internet will be disconnected. See the logic in that? Anyways I called them and after 2 hours of explaining, 2 hours of mental agony, their response is “OH IT WAS AN ERROR, We weren’t notified by Lahore team that your bill was paid and it was not in our system.” You see this is the problem, if the management is bad why is this the customer’s fault? Why are you punishing the customer for your own mistakes. If you don’t send the person to collect bill that is somehow my fault? Oh it was an error? If your guy is late again that would mean my internet would be down again. Well no thank you then you can keep this stupid service disconnected then.
Then the very same day the guy came to collect the bill for december and I asked him why he didn’t come sooner in the first week of december why is he coming in the third week of december and he said “this is how it is” with a lot of attitude. The guy had so much attitude it would make a 16 year old teen jealous. Well if this is how it is, then I’ll move back to PTCL.
Now lets compare all that with Stormfiber’s billing system, when I paid, 10 minutes later I was notified on phone that payment has been made and has been added to their system. There’s also an online portal where you can check payment history and can even pay them online right then and there. Thus, removing such issues as Fiberlink. This seems like something out of the future compared to Fiberlink’s billing system which is stuck in 1955.
So yes, billing is much more hassle free on Storm and even when your internet is running good on fiberlink their management will get in the way and make sure that you get mental agony.
3) Customer Service
On fiberlink the customer service consists of their helpline, where no one would pick up and even if someone picks up you would have to wait 40 minutes before someone bothers to talk to you. And their whatsapp service which is sometimes run by a human and sometimes by a bot.
The whatsapp bot is programmed to send you messages like “Sir internet is down, there’s some problems” and things like that. You will notice that all the messages are very vague and never actually tell you any answers. If you ask when will your internet be fixed the service will say “soon”. If you say “my internet is down” the response will be please restart modem and then please tell serial number.
How to check if you’re talking to a bot ? Well message him “Internet is working great , thanks” and if the response is “Sir there’s some issue” boom bot, message him “my internet is down” tell him all the details and then wait for an hour and text him “my internet is down” and if it asks for all those details again well then you are talking to a bot.
This is so frustrating, just tell me the issue, even if you’re using a bot just tell me what the problem is, these vague answers don’t make anything better.
If you think that you can post your complains on their fb page and someone would respond well I’m happy to tell you that I did that as well and they blocked me on their page. Not just me they block everyone who uploads anything remotely bad about them on their page. Open Fiberlink’s page and check it yourself, you will not find any negative review, you won’t find a bad comment however they can’t remove the reactions you can see almost all their posts have many many angry reacts. I assure you if they could remove them they would.
But what if you’re too vocal about how bad they are? what if they can’t delete your posts? What do they do then? Well then they will threaten to sue you. That has happened to me as well. I posted many negative things about them all true but I made them into memes so people find it humorous but they absolutely can’t take that. They bullied me into removing them. After that I posted what they did and many people stood with me and even some lawyers contacted me that if anything like that happens again they will have my back. Which is why I’m comfortable right now in sharing this with you and I’m not scared that they will try to shut me up again.
Mr Usman Ghani or anyone else from Fiberlink, if you are reading this and again if you are feeling threatened by this post and again if you are getting the urge to threaten to sue me well remember that this time I have the support and also everything I have said in this post or anywhere else about Fiberlink is well documented through billing slips, message conversations and even whatsapp messages. I’m fully prepared.
Why not spend the money that will go into lawsuits in actually making your service better? Won’t that decrease the possibilities of getting bad reviews significantly? But oh well.
Lets compare this with Stormfiber’s customer service, when you call the helpline people actually pick up, transfer you to the right person and soon enough your issues are actually addressed and solved. If you are someone like me who has social anxiety and finds calling the helpline a problem, you can just contact Mr Adnan or Mr Usman and they will solve your problem. Fiberlink used to have a kind soul like them Ma’am Sassi Mujahid , for whom I have the out most respect for but when she left Fiberlink, the customer service went down to pretty much non existence and if you have a problem with the internet you can either be patient that it will somehow fix itself or you have to threaten them that you won’t pay.
Stormfiber is a bit more expensive than Fiberlink, the ping on Stromfiber is also slightly higher but lets say you have two departmental stores in your town. One is nearer but the salesman there is rude to you and whenever you go to that store you leave it frustrated and angry while the departmental store that is further away has a much better salesman that is kind to you and there are hardly ever any headaches. Yes both do the same thing but the difference is you don’t get mental agony on the second one. I’m the kind of person who would rather go to the second departmental store even though it’s far just because I don’t want to get mental agony. It’s the same way with Fiberlink and Stormfiber, Stormfiber is more expensive but it’s well worth it when you consider their installation time, their customer service and their management while Fiberlink charges you less and lacks in all those things.
I’m all in for supporting independent businesses however you can’t hide behind “we’re a small company” excuse forever. When someone pays you for a service it is your duty to get your crap together and deliver the promised service. If you can’t do that just be upfront, these are the problems. When you replace the customer service with a bot, when you remove all the negativity from your page, when you threaten to sue people to get them to stop saying bad things about you, when you steal people’s money and don’t install their internet and still if you expect that people will keep using your internet happily, well then you’re setting up yourself for disappointment.
To Stormfiber guys, I’m very thankful that you installed my internet quickly and I’m hoping that this year will be much less headache inducing then 2016 with Fiberlink.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you reading all of this, very much. If I could I would send you sweets as a thankyou.
By : Talha Masood