On-Line at Last

By - July 19, 2005 (Updated: November 30, 2014)

My Telenet installers arrived at 8am. It took them until 4pm but at long last I have internet access from home. The first thing I did when I got on-line was write the following letter to the Belgacom customer service (laugh) department and also their head office.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to express my total dissatisfaction with the service that my husband and I received from your company. Early in July, we visited one of your customer service outlets to order telephone and ADSL. While the service we received at this outlet was pleasant and helpful, my husband repeated our address three times, stressing that our house number is 10A and not 10. We were instructed to call in several days time to obtain a date for our install. My husband phoned and was told the install would take place on July 11th, sometime between 9-5.

On the 11th I remained at home, inside waiting for the installers to arrive. They did not come. Nor did they come the following day or call to explain why no one arrived. On the 13th, my husband phoned your company and was told the previous tenants of our house had not cancelled their service. We contacted our landlord, who was confused as to why this should be. The next day, my husband called Belgacom again and asked for the name of the previous tenant and was given our neighbour’s name at house number 10. He informed the customer service person of the error and was told he would be given a new install date in two days time on the following Friday. No one called with this information on Friday. My husband called again yesterday and was informed that the install date would be on August 4th. We are Canadian expats and communication with home is vital for us. In addition, both my husband and I have jobs that require internet access.
He explained that this was unacceptable because the delay was due to Belgacom’s error. He asked to speak to a manager and was told that no one else would give him a different answer.

Immediately after this call, we contacted your competition, Telenet. We explained the situation and an installer was at our home first thing this morning, not even 24 hours after we placed the call.

We were more than willing to wait our turn for your installer to arrive at the original scheduled time. However, I wasted two full days waiting for your installer to arrive to no avail. Each time we were told that someone from your company would call us, they did not. In addition, good customer service dictates that if your company makes an error, you should make every attempt to correct this error as soon as possible. This utter lack of respect for your customers is appalling.

You have lost a great deal of business from us in ADSL and long distance calling.


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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
All the things we need to RV fill time... Plus some fun stuff. 🚙 - 1 day ago


  1. Comment by The Mad Perseid

    The Mad Perseid July 20, 2005 at 10:52

    Hmmm… That sounds familiar, though for different reasons. I once insisted to the phone company that the reason my dialup Internet(yeah, it was a while ago) and phone service had become so unreliable was that the road construction one 50 meters away must’ve damaged the cable. I insisted this for 3 months straight, and they insisted for 3 months straight that that wasn’t possible, that any damage to the cables would’ve shown up on their Star Trek-like diagnostic panel. I insisted that the problems because as soon as construction started, they ignored me. Three months later, the district manager called me to let me know that my phone and Internet service was bad because the construction site not 50 meters away damaged the cables.

  2. Comment by mare

    mare July 20, 2005 at 12:39

    Hi Alison
    Your post reminds me of the time I sent over $2000 home as a money order from the Post Office in France. For one thing, they sent the wrong part of the form, so it was unredeemable in Canada. Then nobody in Arras, where I had purchased the thing, could help me “because the mistake was made in Limoges, shrug”. Every question I asked “Oh, that was Limoges”. It was very frustrating. Things only started to move when my then boyfriend Christian told the manager that it was very frustrating, that he was going to refund my money, and that basically I had been – and I quote – sodomized by the French postal system.
    The look on the guy’s face…
    Anyway, I feel your pain. Best of luck to you in negotiating European red tape. 🙂

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