Sunday, September 25, 2011

ISP in Italy: Tiscali

I'd like to share my experience with local Internet Providers as a regular user, not a tech guy. Hope it'll help those looking for ISP offers.

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with none of them; nobody pays me for doing this. This post is valid for Northern Italy. The deal might be different in your region.


This is a second post of the "ISP in Italy" series. Follow this link if you're interested in Fastweb: alex.cloudware.it/2011/09/isp-in-italy-fastweb.html

TiscaliThings I currently don't like

  1. Really bad PR moves I've seen so far. This is NOT cool removing feedback of your clients, be it positive or negative.
  2. As you can guess, the tech support sucks even MORE than Fastweb. Who the hell designed your tech support workflow and how the f..k do they think your clients would reach you by your internal phone number or an online form if the ADSL line simply DOES. NOT. WORK?

    They do have "alternative" phone numbers reachable outside of Tiscali network, but those are pay-per-minute tech support line. No, I don't mean regular costs, an extra per minute charge just to get this precious tech support of the ISP that I am a client of! This is more than ridiculous.

    I did try other methods at the beginning when my ADSL line just stopped working. There's an online guide (again, how the f..k could I reach that online guide if I didn't have some side internet connection?) which, at the end, says something like:

    "A notification has been sent to our tech staff.
    You'll get notified about the status on your cell phone"

    Well, I waited about 40 hours. Not a word. The funny thing is there's no even a ticket/something ID to check its status online. So I decided to call their paid (!) service. After about 7th or 8th try (!) I finally got through. Previous attempts were just hangups which, by the way, cost me money 'cuz they do charge you for the phone pick-up.

    Obviously, we went over a "standard procedure" with their operator (which, by the way, I did try by myself about 10 times before calling them), like turning off/on my ADSL modem and, no, it didn't work. Guess what, 
    - after expected "alright, I'll take it to the next level and will have you notified over an SMS" response,
    -  and mine "any idea on how long will it take?",
    - I got this: "well, from 24 ours up to 7 days". What?! A week? Are you guys f..king kidding me? 
  3. Some mixup with their initial setup workflow/timings. You get your ADSL line activated BEFORE your modem arrives. And no, you can't use your own hardware even if technically it were compatible.
  4. They don't provide you with a phone set (Fastweb did), just the modem. Even though in my region they can only subscribe you to the "internet connection plus voice". There's no way to get rid of the useless (in my case) voice service.
Things I liked so far
  1. You can do VPN connections all you want, no problem.
  2. The speed is great but of course it depends on where you're connecting to. I guess Fastweb has some major backbone networks, that's why sites like http://speedtest.net will show you a faster connection from a Fastweb ADSL.
  3. Easy setup. I did everything online. There was no need for their tech staff to stop by in person and check my phone line, etc. Hardware arrived by regular mail even though with a little delay (see n.4)
  4. Tiscali ADSL modem comes with built-in DHCP server and NAT support so, you'll have to problem connecting 3+ devices to your home network.
  5. Clean web interface of "My tiscali" pages where you can get all the info about your contract, bills, etc.
  6. well, maybe their logo/design but, it doesn't help even a little to get my internet connection working.