Internet service provider MyRepublic arrived in the Australian market last month in a blaze of publicity for its single $60 unlimited data maximum-speed-available plan.
MyRepublic Australia, owned by a Singaporean parent company, launched on November 15. On November 22, Business Insider asked whether it was coping with customer demand but never received a response.
But now, three weeks after launch, Fairfax has reported many potential and new customers complaining of poor service and excessive lead times in getting connected.
The complaints have included long waits on the telephone, lack of response to emails and, for those lucky enough to be registered, a lack of information on the progress of their connections.
One customer called the company “pathetic and ridiculous” on Facebook and threatened to lodge a complaint with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, while another complained: “You were supposed to switch our internet on, on the 24th November still a week later nothing. We have called and been told someone will call us. We have messaged you and still no response hurry up or you will lose a customer! Shocking customer service!”
Business Insider has not been able to get through on the MyRepublic telephone line, and a Twitter enquiry in November took an entire week to be answered, and that was only after contacting the media relations team. A follow-up enquiry has gone unanswered for more than two weeks.
@MyRepublicAU How long is the turnaround to churn over to MyRepublic from my current ISP once application is submitted?
— Tony Yoo (@TonyYooAUS) November 15, 2016
@MyRepublicAU And does the disconnection with my current provider happen automatically or do I need to tell them?
— Tony Yoo (@TonyYooAUS) November 22, 2016
MyRepublic Australia managing director Nicholas Demos blamed the customer service issues on “teething problems”, telling Fairfax Media: “When we launched on November 15, we did 200 orders in the first hour, and more than 1500 orders on the first day, so the response was phenomenal.”
Despite claiming an average call centre wait time of 4.5 minutes, Demos said he is having to take some calls himself. “I speak to five to 10 customers a day.”
For those who have managed to sign with MyRepublic, the connection time quoted is “5 to 20 days”. That timeframe itself has been the subject of ridicule on broadband user forum Whirlpool.
“If it takes longer than 5 days to connect fttp then there’s a problem. I signed up with Telecube when they were just starting out and I got connected within 5 days. Otherwise it shouldn’t take more than 2 business days. Fastest I got was 2 hrs,” said one forum user.
Read the original SMH report.