Saturday, October 11, 2008


I know this blog of mine is a photo or photography blog. But today, with this post, I will have to use this medium for something other than photography. So, first my appology to you, my audience, for this unexpected detour. I promise this will not happen very often, and, as it should, you will still be seeing more photos and articles on photography here than this kind of irrelevant posts.

Blogging, and especially photo blogging, as I am sure you are all aware of, requires a reliable and fast internet connection. Without reliability and speed, photo blogging will just be a pain in the a**, as without them, it will take forever to upload a photo, let alone photoblog surfing or photoblog walking.

This was the first reason I had for my decision to switch my internet connection from Telkomnet Instan (by Indonesia’s PT. TELKOM) dial up to Indosat M2 wireless 3G. Portability (or mobility?) and speed seemed to be a great thing to have in addition to budgeting. With Telkomnet Instan, whose charge is time based, I often could not have control about how much money I would have had to pay by the end of the month. (Blogging is indeed an exciting thing and, I have to admit, a sinfully addictive activity that time seems to be flying when you are at it.) With byte-usage-based charge in monthly fixed rate Indosat M2, I thought, was a better choice.

Well, now I have proven that to be wrong. Not only is Indosat M2 bad, it is insanely worse than bad that I’d suggest you think it over many times over before you even consider of signing up for its service.

Let me describe how bad it is according to my own experience. Since I signed up for its internet service – which is by the way vigorously advertised as being fast, reliable, 3.5 G mobile internet connection – I’ve only got what was promised approximately 20% of the time. The rest 80% of the time or so, the service was just purely crap. With the speed of approximately 30 kbps on average, the internet connection provided by Indosat M2 is was below that of the normal speed of even a dial up.

I have brought this problem up several times with Indosat customer service officers (CSO). At first, I believed and followed all their technical suggestions and advice: setting this and that from my computer, etc. They worked sometimes, but failed most of the time. I kept knocking at their door and asked why I did NOT get what they promised. By this time, the CSO started to come up with a different kind of suggestions. They blamed the location from which I accessed their service. They said that since I accessed their service from what they called “a border area”, the quality of the service was not optimal. Almost apprehensively, I bought that excuse. I thought there was nothing I could do about it. I live in the subburb, and that’s the culprit. I could not blame them.

But then I began to observe this phenomenon: Even in my office, which is reasonably located within the city’s borders, I rarely get the fast and reliable internet connection promised by Indosat M2. During the busy time, the situation is as frustrating as when I access the connection from home. So, I began to think that the “border area” explanation was not really the real reason for Indosat M2 bad services.

I also observed that sometimes I could get reasonably good and fast connection from home (which according to Indosat CSO was in the “border area”), that is when I access their internet services very early in the morning (2:00 AM and after). Also, during the last Ied Al Fitr (Idul Fitri) holiday season, I generally did not have the same frustrating problem I had been experiencing. At these times, the connection was as fast as 3G (UMTS or HSDPA) even with only one or two bar signal that I got.

All this evidence leads me to the conclusion that the problem I have been having was not due to the fact that I lived in a “border area” or because of some technical issues with the setting in my computer as had been explained by Indosat’s CSO. It must be because of the shared bandwidth that Indosat M2 system is using. As a result of their vigorous campaigning, many new customers have apparently signed up for the service. This, unfortunately, was not compensated on their part by improvements in their facilities (technical, bandwidth, etc.). Hence, the worsening service that, in my experience-based opinion, is bordering with fraud. If things continue the way it is now, Indosat M2 can be considered as having committed fraud, i.e. not keeping the promises it made in its advertising campaigns to its customers.

Tulisan ini adalah REVIEW LAYANAN INDOSAT M2.
Berdasarkan pengalaman langsung konsumen seperti yang dipaparkan dalam tulisan ini, layanan internet Indosat M2 secara umum sangat buruk. Layanan internet cepat seperti yang dijanjikan dalam iklan-iklan Indosat M2 tidak terbukti. Analisis yang dilakukan penulis menunjukkan bahwa layanan yang buruk itu kemungkinan besar disebabkan karena peningkatan jumlah pelanggan tidak diimbangi oleh Indosat M2 dengan penambahan bandwidth yang sewajarnya, sehingga bukan hanya kecepatan akses menjadi sangat lambat (lebih lambat dari kecepatan akses internet dial up), namun juga sering menjadi “stalled” (macet) – kondisi dimana meskipun sinyal tampak kuat (5 bar), browsing tidak dapat dilakukan karena transfer data NOL atau nyaris NOL.

Ketika saya menulis artikel ini, saya sudah menunggu jawaban dan penyelesaian masalah atas pengaduan yang saya lakukan bertanggal 3 September 2008 (lebih dari sebulan yang lalu) dengan nomor pengaduan 08091444093 yang hingga saat ini belum dijawab atau diselesaikan oleh Indosat. Perlu diketahui juga, sejak saat itu saya telah beberapa kali lagi menghubungin CSO Indosat M2 (terakhir malam ini, di mana CSO yang menerima telepon mengkonfirmasi bahwa memang masalah tersebut belum dijawab dan/atau ditangani).

Dengan pengalaman buruk yang saya alami, saya hanya bisa menyarankan, pikir seribu kali sebelum tertipu oleh iklan-iklan Indosat M2. Janji-janji dalam iklan-iklan itu tidak terbukti!

By the time I wrote this article, I have been waiting for an answer and/or settlement of the complaint I logged in with Indosat M2 on September 3, 2008. I have been calling them serveral times since then, the latest of which was tonight, in which the CSO handling my call confirmed thatr the problem was not fixed and settled yet.

With all this disappointment, I can only suggest you think twice or more to use Indosat M2 as your choice for internet service provider. Indosat M2 service is CRAPPY!

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