: CIA / Cybersurf VoIP Service Review and Discussion
2006-04-22, 02:26 PM
PROBLEMS WITH CIA
I'm in Montreal, with CIA since february.
1. After 3 months my old phone number is still not switched even though i paid for switching my old phone number. I still have to pay my local Bell service in order to keep my phone number. All i got from CIA is ticket numbers and promises that the issue will be resolved....
2. I enjoyed my long distance for 1 month (on my temporary number). A few days ago my long distance stoped working. A promise again....and ticket numbers ..now i'm waiting...
3. I have bought SB5100 (not to rent their modem). And I talked to a technical rep - he approved... and I waited 7 days (without service) to register my MAC. After 7 days I HAD TO CALL THEM UP to see what's going on, and they told me that it's not possible to hook up this modem( due to their "setup issues in Montreal"), they switched me back to the old modem (SB5101) and now I ended up with 2 modems... (my 40$ SB5100 is in my drawer collecting dust - if anyone wants it i'll sell it for less).
4. Every timne you call the support number, you're in for at least 20min wait...not to mention lost connection after the long wait (happend to me twice).
Sympatico offers me 3 months DSL for free without a contract (it's a Microbytes promotion)....
I don't know what i'm doing with this miserable CIA company...
DO NOT BUY SB5100 - it does not work in Montreal
CIA PHONE SERVICE IS NOT RELIABLE IN MONTREAL
2006-04-28, 09:14 PM
Here is the e-mail that I just sent to a bunch of e-mail addresses at cia about the customer service I received. Sorry about the length of it.
I had heard about the cia.com service and thought it was a good idea and so on February 9th, 2006 I signed up for the service over the internet. From the initial sign-up page I had picked a cable set-up appointment for February 16th. No one showed up. I phoned the same night about this and was told that they were going to phone me back with a new appointment date. I phoned again on February 20th after no one had phoned me. I was then told that an appointment was made for February 26th. That date didn't work for us and so I told them to change it to February 27th.
On February 26th the cable guy showed up just as we were leaving the house, however we could not do the installation then. I phoned the tech support line again on the morning of February 27th to see if we still had an appointment for that evening. There was no record of an appointment. I talked to a supervisor named Michael at around 11:15. He assured me that he would phone me back in 20-30 minutes.
On February 28th I phoned the tech support line again after I still had not heard back from Michael. I waited on hold for 50 minutes. I then talked to Michael the supervisor again. He apologized for not phoning me back. He then said that he would phone me back when Shaw got back to them about an install date and said that they were going to look into the previous problems that I had.
On March 6th I phoned the tech support line again after still hearing no word about an install date. I waited on hold for an hour and ten minutes before the system hung up on me. I didn't want to waste any more of my time that day and so I waited until the next day to phone again. On March 7th I phoned again. I was then told that Shaw still had not gotten back to them and that they would send another request to them. I told them about the glitch in the hold system that sometimes hangs up on customers.
Sometime shortly after that (I didn't note the date) we received an installation date and on March 16th the cable set-up was done. We had already received the cable modem and the internet was working fine. We hadn't heard a word about the VOIP terminal and I assumed that it was going to be sent out then and/or someone was going to contact us about a cia employee coming to set it up (and bring the terminal with them).
On March 29th after still knowing absolutely nothing about the VOIP terminal I phoned tech support again. I told them that we hadn't received our terminal yet or had been contact about it. A call center employee informed us that there was a problem at their end. Our account status was somehow set to rejected and the VOIP terminal was never sent out. I was told that the VOIP terminal was going to be sent out right away and should be there early the next week (around April 3-5). My family went on vacation for that week. When we got back on April 10th there was still no VOIP terminal. On April 11th, while we still had not received our terminal, our Telus phone service was disconnected. We had no phone service. Fortunately the terminal was delivered to our post office that day, but for most of the day we had no phone service. When I talked to the tech support person that day, I got our tracking number for the parcel that we didn't know the location of at that point. The estimated delivery date was for April 10th, not April 3-5. The disconnect date for the Telus should have been set for the 12th if not the 13th or 14th of April.
I hooked everything up and it all worked great. Unfortunately this is not the end of my service complaint.
On April 22nd our VOIP terminal stopped working. I was changing some of the settings in the advanced tab of the terminal set-up to make the VOIP terminal work optimally with our wireless router, something that I should be able to do without any problems. I phoned tech support on April 23rd and after much testing it was determined that the VOIP terminal was broken with possibly a bad ROM chip. The employee I spoke to told me that they would send another terminal right away, it would be sent express and would arrive by wednesday (April 26th). I phoned tech support again on April 28th after nothing had arrived. I was then told that the modem was being shipped out today and that it would be here next monday or tuesday (May 1-2). Meanwhile we still have no phone service and have to rack up our cell phone minutes while we wait for our terminal to arrive.
So that's the events leading up to today, April 28th. It has been 3 months of nothing but screw-ups and sloppy mistakes from your company. One month after I signed up, we got the cable modem hooked up after numerous examples of horrific customer service and follow through. The communication between CIA, Shaw and myself was horribly lacking which caused numerous failed installation dates and many days of lost time waiting for installation dates. This is unacceptable. You should have a better system of communcation with Shaw and should definitely keep your customers better informed of what is going on.
Roughly two months after we signed up we got our VOIP terminal hooked up after being overlooked by a company who should had worked overtime to provide us with great service after the previous failures. We had no phone service for a day because the Telus disconnect date was set far too close to the estimated delivery date of the VOIP terminal. I think that between having to pay an extra day or two of Telus phone service and having no phone service, anyone would gladly choose the pay the extra amount to have continuous phone service.
After only 11 days of service our faulty VOIP terminal breaks leaving us again with no phone service. Then after being told that the replacement terminal would arrive by April 26th, I find out that it's not even being sent until two days after the estimated delivery date. This is absolutely unacceptable and horrible customer service. I am without phone service for over a week due to the incompetence of your company. Why on earth are the VOIP terminals sent from Ontario with absolutely no available terminals here in town. I'm in Calgary, the location of your head office and yet your company can do no better than to send be a terminal from across the country. Make a couple of terminals available for situations like this so that your customers don't have to wait over a week to get their phone service back.
In short I am incredibly frustrated by the customer service provided by your company and the number of mistakes that your employees have made. Also not to mention the fact that in total I'm sure that I have waited on hold for over 5 hours in total in dealing with your companies mistakes. My time had been wasted and I certainly don't feel like a valued customer. When the problems began no effort was made to ensure no other problems would come up, in fact we were overlooked numerous times. I'm appaled by the quality of service and I hope that you are too.
With all that said and done I now ask you a question. What is Cybersurf going to do to show me that I am in fact a valued customer? What is Cubersurf going to do to build my trust that if I continue with their company that no other problems will occur? How is Cybersurf going to satisfy me such that I am not compelled to inform every single person I know about the kind of service that I received? I am very unsatisfied right now and in no way would I recommend that someone go with your service. I want to be able to make that recommendation but with my experience so far I'm unable to.
2006-04-29, 01:14 AM
Let us know what they say if they do get around to answering you. :)
2006-04-29, 01:51 PM
Yes I would like to know too. I think most people who ordered the service around the time you did didn't recieve the voice terminal til beginning of April (happened to me).. they were saying it had to do with a Contract they were waiting to be signed by the province.
The voice terminal was also supposed to come with a UPS which I called in about, they say its on back order and will be mailed out when available. (Almost a month now on that).
When I signed up I asked that my number be ported over to them, still to this date it has not been ported.
I didn't have the trouble you were having with the cable modem because I went from 3web to CIA (same company...to which I went from Rogers Cable to 3web back in October).
They are a new company yes, but they really need to do something about their service. I'm thinking things are bad like this is because their employees quit because they themselves can't believe how terrible their service is and are sick of dealing with negative escalations from customers (I definently would quit if I had to deal with **** like this 50 calls/day).
"my two cents is worth more than CIA's service"
2006-04-30, 09:24 AM
I was seriously considering switching to them, but after reading the various experiences everyone has been posting in the last few months, I decided to hold off for now. Phone service for me is not important at all, I have an unlisted number and I make most calls from my cell anyway. So being without phone service for a little while wouldn't bother me at all, but the fact that they just make empty promises each time you call is no way to operate a business.
2006-04-30, 01:57 PM
I have no complaints with my 3Web internet through them. Had it for a year now.
2006-04-30, 05:10 PM
Compared with you guys. I'm very luck. Here are two things why I'm different:
1. I switched from Rogers and I owned my own modem;
2. I DON NOT keep my old number. I just paid Bell for $5/month which give the caller a reminder for my new CIA number.
I put my order in April. Ordered and picked up my number online in Monday and got the UPS in Friday. The VoIP terminal should be delivered in same day but Canada post didn't give a delivery notice to me or they lost the notice. I called CIA in Monday and they gave me a tracking number. I went to Canada post and picked up the adpater in Tuesday(or Monday?). To say Tuesday, 6 business days from order to deilvery. Not bad in my opinion.
I was 3web (CIA) long distance customer since 2001. I found they're becoming a little better and better every year. In my opinion, at least they're better than Rogers, who still hold my Yahoo account with them and I can't login. I ever used 3web DSL service before I moved to current new house. It's good experience too.
Maybe I'm the only happy customer in the forum so far, but who knows.
2006-05-02, 06:24 PM
I've been noticing for the past week that whenever someone leaves a voicemail and I goto check it, I can barely hear the message. I can hear background noise but no voices. Its been happening for the last 10 messages i've recieved this week.
Anyone else having the same problems?
2006-05-05, 02:42 PM
Update to my long post, but not much of an update. :rolleyes:
The same day I sent out that e-mail (April 28th), I received an e-mail from Rafael, a Help Desk Team Leader at CIA. He said only this.
I can contact you on your work number Tuesday or if you prefer I can call your cell phone today or tomorrow.
Please let me know what works better for you.
Help Desk Team Leader
I asked him to phone me at work. As of today I still hadn't received a call from him and so I sent him another e-mail. :D
When you said that you were going to phone me Tuesday, did you mean last Tuesday (May 2nd) or some unknown future Tuesday? I have yet to hear from you and unfortunately I'm not surprised by this. Hopefully you will contact me sometime in the near future.
Do you think I'm being too harsh? ;)
2006-05-05, 04:43 PM
So what is the deal with the phone routing? On the website it specifically says:
Do my calls actually go over the Internet?
No. Unlike CIA's competitors that send your calls over a combination of the unsecured and public Internet and more secure calling networks, CIA does not use the Internet at all for your voice traffic. Your voice traffic is carried over our secure, managed network. Only your computer's Internet traffic is routed over the Internet.
Well I am no expert but if you hook up a phone to a terminal that connects to the "LAN" port on your cable modem then it is going over the internet. It may never leave your ISPs network but it is still going over the ISP's unsecured public internet. If you take it abroad (even though they don't support that) it will work so that means it is going over the internet.
What is with this misleading statement. That alone gives me reason to worry!
2006-05-17, 09:26 AM
So, as I have mentioned in an earlier post, I signed up for CIA March 6th (2 1/2 months ago). At sign up, ask that they port my Yak Voip number over to them. Contacted them at least once a week to check status on this, had it esclated to a few supervisors.
Beginning of April, received an email from Yak, saying all their last year voip customer will lose their number effective May 17th as they have upgraded their system which they will no longer support old voip adaptors.
I then called CIA about this and said they have to port this before this date, else I am out of luck and will lose the number for good. Every person I spoke with at CIA assured me I should have the number well before then and that they were working on it.
Another 2-3 weeks later by which brings us to the beginning of May, I called CIA again about the porting as it was getting very close to the day that Yak would cancel my number. CIA tells me that they put in a request to YAK for the number on May 2nd. I was extremely upset by this. I signed up on March 6th, and only a few days before that call (May 2nd) did a request to yak be submitted. They said it should take a maximum 2 weeks for the number to be ported. (Which brings it extremely close to the May 17th date).
Well, I then received a call from CIA (1st time ever, even after a few supervisors promised me callbacks that never happened) this past Monday (May 15th) saying it would probably take longer to port the number since they are still waiting a reply from Yak. I just replied about how extrememly disappointed I am with CIA as I made the request on March 6th, and it took until May 2nd for CIA to make the porting request even when I informed them about Yak cancelling my number from the beginning of April. Anyways, I doubt the supervisor could careless about all the things I said.
So now, today we're to the last day (May 17th). Number still has not been ported, it is just a bit after 8am, but I still have my Yak service which will be disconnected at somepoint today. I called Yak yesterday to find out if its possible for them to cancell my services but keep the number alive for CIA to take. They said it wasn't possible and that everything will be cancelled on the 17th.
I should probably just cancel CIA, and go through the upgrade process with Yak and resign up with Rogers Highspeed. I have had nothing but issue after issue with CIA and all I can say is "you get what you pay for". Not sure if paying $39.95 is worth all of the headaches I've dealt with from CIA.
If anyone else has had simular dealings with CIA or any other provider, please let me know..as you know what they say, misery loves company.
"Very sad, but knows you get what you pay for"
2006-05-17, 11:23 AM
I had had enough of the porting delays and decided to cancel my second Vonage number that I was waiting to have ported. As mentioned earlier they didn't hit their porting dates and I too escalated to numerous supervisors. So, I called them the other day asking about my transfer request to see what status it was in. It says the ticket was closed. No detail in the ticket - just closed. So, the ticket was re-opened and escalated to a Supervisor. Again, once an update appears in the ticket I was supposed to receive a call back. Fortunately, I didn't hold my breath. No phone call. I know they have a number of open job postings on their website but from other previous Cybersurf customers I have spoken to (granted their experience was in Cybersurf's earlier days) they stated their experience was similar to mine in terms of service to the customer.
It doesn't surprise me, then, to learn that their stock is sitting at $0.175 on the TSX.
2006-05-17, 11:33 AM
I just got off the phone with CIA's tech support. The file was sent in on March 29th for porting. It went to Vonage. No response from Vonage. It went to the VOIP admins at CIA. They sent it to the company they use to port the number.
(Interesting. I knew that companies had to be a CLEC, I think is the term, in order to be able to port the numbers. I know Shaw had arranged for this ability so that they could port numbers for their Digital Phone subscribers but I never thought about CIA having or not having that ability. (See here re: Shaw: http://www.shaw.ca/NR/rdonlyres/BD89DB86-694E-47B8-9DA1-D98ADDB3BB70/0/Feb04_ShawTelephony.pdf) I'm not sure who Cybersurf/CIA are using for this service. Perhaps one of the companies they have listed in previous press releases regarding phone service. I think it was Rogers.)
So, once they hear from this other company and the ticket has been updated then I'll hear back from someone....
2006-05-17, 03:01 PM
I have been a CIA client since March now. So far my High Speed service is flawless and fast. My temporary second phone line quality is as good as Bell. Only sometimes, I would say 10% of the time, I here hicks and pops. Acceptable to me for 40/Month!
The only issue is I'm still waiting for my phone number to be ported. Two weeks ago I received a message from bell saying my account has been canceled. So far my Bell line still works. I just called CIA and the agent told me in the Ottawa area there was an issue with the porting of numbers and it was resolved on Apr 27th and it should take 3 weeks to be resolved. This brings us to tomorrow. Will see.
Overall my experience is if you want to save money and don't need any technical assistance go for it.:)
p.s. I was able to get a credit for the mandatory install kit (which we don't need for now). The agent told me since I purchase the voice terminal it should have been free.
2006-05-19, 01:03 PM
Has anyone ever had a reply from emailing CIA?? I've sent a couple of messages without any reply.
2006-05-20, 05:11 PM
I am soooooooo angry right now, I do not know where to begin.
As y'all have read in a post(s) above, I was having number porting difficulties. Well Yak obviously cancelled my service (for the reasons stated in the other post) so I have lost the number for good that I've been wanting CIA to grab for the past 3 months.
Next Thursday (May 25th), I will be moving into a new building (still in ottawa). Called CIA about it so they can setup me up with my Internet/VOIP there. Rep put in the order for a Rogers tech to come out there for that day. The call was made this past Wednesday May 17th around 11am. About 3:30pm that day (over 4 hours later), I lost Internet Connection. Rebooted the modem/etc... Every website I tried to visit, sent me to a Rogers Modem Activation page.
With no phone service nor cell phone, I ran downstairs and across the street to use the payphone and called CIA. Rep Told me he reset some settings on his end and that I should go back and do an ipconfig /release /renew/etc (basic troubleshooting steps).. Did that.. still was getting ip address beginnign with 10.x.x.x and every website was showing Rogers Modem activation..even on my other computers ..even when I connect the modem directly to my computer.
So I go back downstairs, run across the street.. Call CIA again on the pay phone (keep in mind, the hold time to a tech is at least 15-20 minutes each call). Next tech said, well, its probably a provisioning issue with Rogers, and he's gonna submit a ticket to rogers with my MAC Address/Customer Serial number, etc. Told me Rogers should respond and fix the issue within the next 1-2 hours.
Waited well over 3 hours..(by then its almost 8pm). Still no internet. Ran downstairs and across the street (Had started to rain at this point). In the rain holding for another 15-20 minutes (IN DA RAIN). Rep said, he hasn't heard any replies back from the ticket to rogers, and that It should be resolved by the next day.
Next morning. Still no Internet. AT this point, I was thinking..maybe, due to me schedling my move next thursday, that they accidently cancelled it. But anyways, the next day, I called CIA from work (on my 30 minutes lunch break).. didn't get to a Tech until about 25 minutes into my break.. told the tech it still wasn't working. And that I had to get back to work.. so he said he'd look into the issue, and update my ticket with any thing he found. Got home from work, still no internet, but I had plans for the evening and couldnt continue to do what I did the night before.
Brings us to today (2 days without internet/phone). At work, I called CIA. Told him that I'm still not connected. After reviewing the ticket/etc.. he said what I had thought a few days before (When I called to schedule a move to my new place, he said rogers jumped the gun and stopped the internet until my move next thursday). Obviously told them that this wasn't right, blah blah blah. He said, he'd send a ticket for rogers to correct this, but since its Long weekend, it may not be fixed until Tuesday. Told them that is completely unacceptable to be without phone/internet til then. He suggested that I contact rogers myself. *sigh*. So I did (their work) and contact Rogers, explained the situation to the Tech. Lady said according to them, the line is fine, and has been untouched...June 1st is the date to schedule termination of the service. So I called back CIA. (got the same tech). asked what rogers said, told them.. he said..well that tech probably just brushed me off.. I said, well god, we have to at least do a 3 way with Rogers. CIA tech agreed, called rogers, he was on the line with him for about 5 miinutes, I had to go back to work, so I hung up letting both CIA Rogers tech talk to each other. So now, I'm here at the end of my day at work hoping that when I get home my internet/voip will be working. Should I hold my breathe?
Since day 1 with CIA, I have had nothing but problem after problem. From not receiving the Voice terminal for the first month (yet, still having to pay the full 39.95 for just the internet), to them taking more than 3 months to port my number (which can no longer be ported since Yak cancelled me) to my voicemail not working for 3 weeks, to them still not sending the UPS, to now finally them cutting of service because I told them to move my service next week to my new address.
Trust me, If I have to go until Tuesday without phone/internet, I'm gonna cancel in a heartbeat. I will most likely cancel regardless if they get me online or not, but if they do, I'll stay with them until I'm able to find an alternative for internet/voip.
"THIS IS THE WORST COMPANY EVER!!!!!!"
2006-05-21, 05:04 PM
So here we are now (Day 4) without Phone/Internet. When I came home yesterday from work, I still was without Internet. CAlled CIA, no information on the call that the CIA tech had with Rogers. the Tech I spoke to, said the last tech sent off an email that they are waiting a reply from.
I decided to call Rogers again. The tech there was able to see that my internet service was indeed Disconnected, but it was at CIA's request. I told the tech about CIA waiting for a reply to the email they sent. He said, that Rogers handles CIA's request through a different department and it has to come from CIA.
Called back CIA with the info Rogers told me.. the tech said, that then we have to wait for a reply to the email they sent Rogers.
So in the meantime, I'm just screwed with no Phone/Internet until they decide to reconnect me. SOOOO TERRIBLE!!!!
"Still can't use Internet/Phone"
2006-05-24, 08:25 PM
I've been lurking for awhile, but made an account specifically to post my experience with CIA.com's $39.95 Home phone deal that comes with "free internet" ... I was tempted to start a new thread, but this way people will find out the whole deal.
I decided to try CIA.com in my new apartment in Ottawa. The big plus is of course, the price. As I don't really use my land line (and will use it even less while SkypeOut is around...), $40+$10rental sounds pretty darn good for phone and internet. Best of all, no setup fees at all -- either for the Rogers tech to get the cable setup in my apartment, or for the service itself.
I had no prior number to port, so have not experienced any problems there.
And now, the negatives..
Firstly, their call centre -- You're on hold for ages, and there's some form of intermittent interference that means you're listening to static with a bit of hold music popping in now and then. It seems as if this static is affecting the call centre conversations as well ... as the tech in my latest call couldn't hear me. (BTW, I've called CIA using a Cell phone, my office phone, and now my home phone)
Next, I had some issues come up with installation. I originally called them on May 1st. Because I was going to be out of town later that week, the Rogers tech wasn't going to come until the 11th. CIA couriers their Modem, Phone Adapter, and UPS backup to your home -- and actually the sales guy said they ship from Ottawa. The Rogers guy comes in no problem on the 11th, however I had not yet received the cable modem or the voip adapter. I figured the delivery had been made, but the delivery slip had never gotten back to me.
So I call up CIA to track the shipment, to discover that they had not even shipped out my modem yet. The woman put a "rush" on it and forwarded it up to her supervisor. Now, I did not expect it to take too long to ship something out (transportation time, perhaps). However, I call the next day and nothing had been done yet (it still had yet to be looked at by the supervisor) ... kinda ironic I had even gotten the same person on the phone.
I was finally on the internet on the 18th. (One week after the Rogers guy had come on the 11th, and... just over 2 weeks from when I had made my original order.)
But, I'm not upset... It's a cheap deal, right?... Well, see my next post to see what my current grievance with them is.
2006-05-24, 08:40 PM
CIA.com will not operate behind a router. This according to "Adrian", the tech I spoke to today. The Motorola phone adapter only gets up to Four blinks.
I can accept "We do not recommend it" or even "We will not support it," however the line was that even though the manual on the phone adapter says it can run behind a router, it is in fact not possible.
(I kind of found "Adrian" to be very unhelpful, but I'll admit I was getting a bit snarky. I got him to admit that he was simply required to say that it will not operate behind the router, as he could not explain why it can't.)
Some of my applications don't work behind 2 NATs, as well, my router updates dyndns.org for me so that I can VNC into my computer when I'm at work. This is why I need to have my router first, and I explained this to Adrian. He was pretty much speechless, unfortunately. When I checked to see if he was still there, he said "thank you for calling" and closed the call.
I'm not sure if I'm going to stay with them. ... I probably will, until I can find someone cheaper for internet only that doesn't require a large setup fee.
2006-05-25, 12:09 PM
Interesting timing. I too have recently tried to have my voice terminal work behind my router. Steps I tried that had not worked for me:
1. MAC address cloning of the Voice Terminal. (Just in case the MAC was registered and only allowed that address.)
2. DMZ. (I thought this would have worked.) I placed the voice terminal in the DMZ.
3. I changed my network to 192.168.102.x just in case. (This was not required to see the 192.168.102.1 web page depending on how I wired it.)
I called CIA today and was asked why I was looking to have a firewall/router in front. I explained I wanted to use the Fortigate 60 device to segment my network at home into VOIP, LAN traffic and wireless traffic but wanted to prove the concept before spending $1000. (http://www.fortinet.com/products/telesoho.html)
The suggestions were:
1. Had I placed the voice terminal in the DMZ?
2. Had I forwarded the ports the voice terminal requires (as listed on the Advanced page of the voice terminal's web site (192.168.102.1): 5060, 20000-20011) from the firewall / router to the voice terminal? (I had not.)
3. A request was placed for me to receive a second public IP address. I think this is the key depending on how I configure my network.
I hope this helps. I will try it this weekend.
I also realise that this can degrade call quality unless I can give VOIP traffic the priority over data traffic.