Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Internet woes

Rains are here! Everything is turning green, it is incredibly beautiful here now, it doesn't rain constantly and the sea is still and totally clear as is the beach. In fact it's possibly the nicest time of year providing you can cope with the heavy downpours when they do come. We are contemplating remaining open during next years rainy season as the runway will have been completed and planes will be able to land in all weathers.

Of course, just to help, the internet is down! I was having to travel to town to answer emails etc but have manage to rig up a rather Heath Robinson contraption with a Vodocom dongle, not great due to the weak signal, but better than nothing

We are hoping that Vodacom will come good and supply a booster/repeater so that we have a decent mobile signal at Ras Mbisi, this will have the knock on effect of internet access for guests (and us), it has to be said though that Voda are not exactly proactive with regard to keeping us informed so we may yet have to resort to contacting one of their competitors, we don’t want to as we have had Voda mobiles for over 5 years and all our 40 staff also use Voda, but if it becomes necessary the change will have to happen. Regardless, we are NOT going to continue to pay AFSAT thousands each year for zero customer service, 1gb of download a month and constant grief! (by which I mean the connection is down more often than it’s up and working) Had they been just a little reasonable with a small amount of ‘give’ we would have upped our allocation and had a second connection for guests, they would have made a lot of money through ‘on demand’ internet access payable via our 3G VISA provider. Being told, ‘it costs this much xxxxx, oh there is a problem with your connection, no we can’t advise you, you must pay $5000 for an engineer plus more for new equipment’ isn’t good, especially when Voda can provide 1gb for less than $30 a month!!!!!!!!!!! Basically they have not just priced themselves out of the market, their customer service is really bad, even for here! Our current mobile signal ‘drifts’ partly due to all the coconut trees (full of water which distorts the signal), and also we are 18 kms from the nearest tower. Lets just hope Voda sees the value of all those roaming customers and gets it sorted, hopefully in my next blog I’ll be able to tell you it’s all up and working!! For bookings, don’t forget you can book online with credit cards for no commission charge and know that your booking is secure.

Exciting news kept for last. Tribes have awarded us with a 3 globe rating for our Eco and Social awareness, despite the fact that we do not push our ‘eco’ or sustainable side as there is as yet no substantive international charter it is lovely to have it recognised by such a high profile Fair Trade agent.

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