If you are ever going to invest in an internet device (portable iBurst, router or 3G) from Mobi, save yourself the trouble and the initial investment and go with something else. What you will pay to get this service is definitely NOT worth your hassle.
Some background information first: Mobi offers wireless internet in iBurst (slow older technology that goes up to 1Mbps) and 3G that is a bit faster. They also sell the equipment that is needed to run the internet (special cards, routers, modems, dongles, 3G cards, signal boosters etc...).
I currently subscribe to a new bundle they have, called the twin card which offers 7.5 GB (6 upload and 1.5 download) for iBurst and 1GB for 3G. You have to recharge both accounts within 24 hours or else the code expires.
Their equipment are expensive so once you have bought a router and a card for example, you cannot really go back or try another provider until you feel that you've actually used up what these equipment are worth.
Upon subscribing to their services, you are promised 24 hours of customer support online and by phone. Yay, right?
- If you call after office hours (5pm), they might respond to you but if you need them to do any action, they tell you that they are not authorized or do not have access to whatever you need them to do and that you should call again the next day during office hours.
- If you call Friday afternoon or during the weekend, they tell you that the person who is responsible to do whatever you need them to do is only available on weekdays during office hours. 24hr customer support my ASS!
- If you try the online customer support service (which is also supposed to 24 hours), it takes them a lot time to respond, sometimes hours, and when they do, they ask for all the information. Once you give them everything, they ask you to call them and you have to repeat everything to the uninformed phone operator. Half my phone bill every months goes to customer support.
- The phone operators don't know half the shit that people might ask them for. They are careless and uninformed. Some examples are below:
- Me: (at 1am). Hello, I haven't had any internet for a couple of hours. Can you check what's wrong?
CS: (obviously just woken up by my call) Sorry I can't do anything about it. Try restarting your modem and if it did not work, call us in the morning.
- Me: I want to ask if the recharge vouchers found at BankMed ATMs work for all devices.
Customer Service: Sir, you cannot get vouchers from the ATM, you have to buy them from the shops or we deliver them for you.
Me: I am sure there is such an option in my bank account.
CS: I have no idea about them, sorry.
Me: How about you ask someone?
CS: *puts me on hold for 6 minutes then disconnects*
I go ahead and rant about them on Twitter until someone in the management calls me. Management: Hello, how can I help you?
She has no idea why she is calling me and I had to explain my question all over.
Mg: I'm not sure about that, let me check.
She puts me on hold for around 5 minutes until someone else answers that phone and she hads no idea why I'm on the phone with her. Finally she answers.Mg2: Yes sir, these probably work but in case they don't, you can call us and we will deliver you a recharge voucher during office hours tomorrow. [So if they don't work, I would've wasted my money? How reassuring!]
- Me: Hello. I haven't had any internet for the last day, can you please check what's wrong?
CS: There must be a problem with your router, you must bring it to our offices in Furn El Chebeck to check it for you.
Me: I'm not gonna go to your offices so that you tell me there's nothing wrong with my router.
*hangs up* I call the next day.
Me: I haven't had any internet in 2 days. Can you please check what's wrong?
CS: Do you have a white router modem?
CS: There is a problem with this model and we are working on it. Meanwhile, can you remove the card from the modem and plug it into your laptop?
Me: And how do I do that exactly?
CS: Isn't there a port for it in your laptop?
Me: No sir. It's a 25cm card, no laptop ever made has a slot for it.
CS: Sorry I can't help you.
Me: When will the problem be fixed?
CS: Possibly by Monday. (It was a Friday!!!)
- Me: Where can I find a Mobi 3G SIM card?
CS: I have no idea, let me check.
After asking colleagues around him
CS: Check there might be some at any Class store.
I go to three Class stores and the vendors don't even know what a mobi SIM is. I call again. This time they tell me to go to Malik's. Same shit, no one at Malik's even know what it is. I call a third time and they tell me they can deliver it to me on Monday. But it was Friday and I only have 24 hours to recharge it due to their stupid bundle rule.CS: I understand but I cannot help you.
- Me: Hello. I am trying to activate the Mobi 3G SIM card and it keeps giving me an error.
CS: Did you follow the instructions?
Me: Yes. It keeps giving me the same error.
CS: Are you connected to the internet?
Me: No. How am supposed to be connected if I'm configuring it right now?
CS: You need to be connected to the internet to activate your 3G SIM.
Me: If my primary internet was working I wouldn't need your stupid 3G SIM. But your stupid iBurst is not working, it's been 3 days.
CS: Sorry I cannot help you.
I ended up activating it using my Blackberry internet.
And these are just a few examples of their pointless customer service.
- Once I'm fed up with them and rant on Twitter, the reply with this:
@mhijazi Hi Mohammad! Whenever you face such a problem, send us a private message here and we'll take care of it right away!It was just a tweet so that they preserve their image online. They never DM me or offer to solve my problem. Once I kept complaining to them and tagging their CEO, they unfollowed and blocked me so that I cannot DM them anymore. Can I get a standing ovation for them?
— Mobi (@tweetmobi) August 31, 2013
- Once you call them everyday, they start ignoring your calls and not answering. However you are still charged for the minutes waiting for them to pick up because they use an internal hold system.
- If you complain on their Facebook page, they either delete or ignore it and their official reason is that they don't reply to complaints that contain swear words such as "shit" in them.
- Up until recently, their website was not updated at all so all of this information was not present on it. It's still outdated. In some places they still have bundles from two years ago on it.
Quality of Service:
- The internet on iBurst is very slow, barely reaches 200Kbps in Beirut and 100 outside.
- Their iBurst bundles only offer 20% of the bundle as upload quota. This is horrible since everything you do in the internet requires upload quota. Once this quota ends, and no matter how much download quota you have, your internet stops working. A lot of times, their 1.5GB upload ends in 10 days while I still have 3GB of download that I cannot use and I am required to recharge for $44.00 again. I complained a lot about this but they wouldn't change it knowing that for them it doesn't make any difference except stealing people's money.
- Downtime is huge on across different devices. 1-2 hours per day of no service is the norm on iBurst and they never did anything to compensate 3-4 days of downtime to their subscribers (much like Alfa or touch does).
- The software that comes with their devices is very primitive and most of the time doesn't even work, fails to connect and takes way too much of your RAM.
- A lot of times, you cannot access the mobi website and your account management if you are out of quota. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, I guess it depends on the weather.
- Speaking of the weather, good luck getting any reception when it's raining.
- They don't offer online recharging services using credit card so if you are out of internet at night you'll have to wait till the second day to get internet.
- The ATM bundles are not updated, so if you buy a voucher from the ATM, you still pay the older prices for less quota.
- Once the clock strikes midnight (free quota period), the speed automatically goes down to a quarter.
All in all, if you are even remotely considering Mobi an internet provider, know that you will be spending a lot of time trying to fix things on your own without any productive help from customer support, and you will be facing a lot of problems to fix. My advice to you is not to come near this internet provider.
Check out the #mobisucks hashtag to see what people are saying about this topic.