This is a review of my WIND Mobile experiences in Calgary since joining WIND 20 days ago on March 11th, 2010 plus a phone interview with WIND’s CEO Ken Campbell (see below) where Ken very candidly answered my questions.
Special thanks to Ken for talking to me after WIND launched in Ottawa last Friday.
I was a Bell Mobility customer for over 10 years, but dropped calls/poor voice quality, non-responsive customer services, and expensive new plans (for the values) stopped me from signing another 3-year contract with Bell.
I also want to give WIND a try after having such a high hope for them when reporting of the news of the government overturning the CRTC decision (where I interviewed Tony) and the WIND launch in Calgary (where I interviewed Ken and Chris) in Dec 2009.
WIND Mobile Review Background
Keep this in mind when you read this review:
I do trust WIND is working hard to resolve the problems and issues. And as you will hear in my phone interview with Ken, WIND is now my only mobile service provider, so if WIND goes down, I go down with it. So I fully expect WIND to deliver on their promises (soon).
WIND Mobile Calgary experiences review
Here are my WIND experiences in chronological order.
- The WIND website (see this price/value comparison chart) and the few WIND customer service reps I talked to were helpful.
- I signed up with WIND knowing fully their current limited coverage (Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, and Ottawa was added last week). But I also know and believe WIND is working hard to add additional cities before end of 2010 (cities like Vancouver).
Overall comment & rating: The WIND reps were pleasant to talk to. Nice to see WIND’s openness in accepting customers’ ideas/comments and keep an active blog dialogue. So, overall, I say I received good services from WIND.
2) Signup Day
- The Blockbuster store kiosk was quite professional looking and it blended in well with the rest of the Blockbuster location.
- Would be nice if the salesperson had a bit more in-depth knowledge of the basic features of the phones (in my case, the Samsung Gravity 2).
- After I signed up, unfortunately, this WIND location, didn’t have the proper and up-to-date software to transfer phone numbers from my old cell phone to my new phone. The 15+ minutes wait didn’t do any good as the rep didn’t have the computer privilege to install the new software update.
- I asked WIND to port my existing phone number over. And that gave me my first taste of inconsistent information and services. You see, I was told previously on the phone by a WIND agent that porting of existing phone number will take less than 4 hours. At the store, I was told the porting process might take 24 to 48 hours even I bought my old phone bill so they could have the exact information need to do a smooth phone number porting.
- By the way, this may be a bit of a speculation but if Blockbuster was to go bankrupt as some in the business community were talking about, I don’t know how will WIND adjust and how quickly.
Overall comment & rating: I had expected more from WIND and was a bit disappointed.
3) Ongoing experiences
WIND was launched in Calgary over 3 months ago in mid-Dec 2009, so I thought all of the basic and key problems/issues should/would have been solved already. Unfortunately, there remain to be some key problems.
There were random static/noise during phone calls since day one. Looking at the bright side, the frequency of the static/noise seems to be dropping in the last few days, so I hope all the static will soon be gone completely. Good voice quality is so basic that it is disappointing to experience static/noise.
3b) Dropped Calls
Some local and long distance calls were dropped in the middle of a conversation. And these dropped calls have been very annoying and even more unacceptable than the static/noise.
3c) Unable to make calls
In two separate cases, once when driving and once when not moving, in both cases I were well-within the Calgary WIND covered area (i.e. not at the edge of the network), I was unable to make calls. In the case while I was driving, I kept redialling for 5 times within 3 minutes but got no connection even the screen said “WIND Home”.
3d) “Limited Service”
Well, it wasn’t nice when one night I saw my phone display turn from “WIND Home” to “Limited Service” out of the blue. Sure, it went back to “WIND Home” 5-10 minutes later, but that was a bad experience at 8:30pm.
3e) The unlimited calling
To end on something positive, it was nice to have unlimited anytime minutes and also unlimited Canada-wide calling with no long-distance charge for the $45 plan that I have.
Overall comment & rating: I’ve downwardly adjusted my expectations of WIND’s service quality. Yes, I am disappointed of the problems I’ve faced so far but I am willing to give WIND a little bit of time to work out its problems and improve.
Here is a telling question I can ask myself:
Would I rather have WIND resolved all its technical issues before launching in Calgary? My answer will be, “Absolutely NOT!” You see, I would rather endure some short term service problems that will/should improve in time, instead of being locked-up in another 3-year contract with any of the existing service providers.
Phone Interview with WIND’s CEO Ken Campbell
After WIND launched in Ottawa last Friday, Ken was very helpful and gave me a chance to interview him to talk about some of the serious problems I have experienced with WIND. I want to thank Ken again for his time and his candid answers.
Here is my phone interview (mp3) with Ken (or you can stream the interview here) where I asked Ken about many of the problems I experienced in Calgary and also about WIND’s expansion plans, etc.
On the day I signed up with WIND, I honestly felt and wanted to post the line,
“Free at last! Free at last! I am free from Bell at last!“
Sure, I wish WIND was perfect and I didn’t have any voice problems. But in the long run, I am very happy that I did not sign another contract and locked myself into another 3-year jail sentence with anyone.
Since WIND doesn’t use contract and penalties to lockup customers, it has to earn my business every month. And WIND has to show its customers that it is working hard to improve the services. Unless WIND improves its call qualities and its services quickly, it may not be able to keep its existing customers and recruit more customers.
If you are a WIND customer in Calgary or thinking of joining WIND in Calgary, please leave a comment to share your thoughts.