WorldCall: 4 month review

“WorldCall”:http://www.go4b.net is the first ISP in Karachi to provide high-speed internet links at an affordable price. [at least in the area where I live]. They have set up their own private fiber optic network in Defence and Clifton, and are providing internet and TV over cable. I’ve been using their service for about 4 months now, and since a number of people have asked me about the service, I’ve written a review of WorldCall’s service.


I, like many others, have been eagerly awaiting the launch of any internet service faster than dialup. For any internet savvy user, dialup just doesn’t cut it any longer. I have been keeping track of all the ‘high-speed’ ISP’s over the years [mainly by reading the newspapers] and WorldCall was the first affordable one. The various DSL services available all start at 7000 Rs. and above, which is way to much for a normal internet user. WC at 1400 Rs. For a unlimited 64k, and 2100 Rs. for 128k was a pleasant surprise, even undercutting most unlimited modem packages.

When they started putting up their advertisements, I excused the fact that they were calling 64 and 128K broadband internet as at least the prices seemed affordable. Technically, anything below 300K cannot be called broadband. Taking into consideration the fact that Pakistan’s entire internet bandwidth is very little, even 128K sounded very good.

There was a WC node near my house, and a few times I stopped by while they were doing work on it. The equipment inside was impressive and looked expensive. Again, that gave me the impression that these people are setting up a proper network and know their stuff.

*Fast forward to installation:* After many phone calls and delays the cable finally got installed. The TV has been very good since day 1, and I recommend it to everyone. The cable internet on the other hand has been problematic from day 1. There are days when it works just fine, and its great. Even at 128k, which is a small step up from a 56K modem, internet browsing becomes a lot faster, and it being always on means that the internet is that much more easily accessible. People have been singing the virtues of broadband for many years now, and I doubt anyone reading this needs to hear about why broadband is the cat’s pajamas.

*Back to the Cable Internet Service:* Almost every single day, WC has some problem or the other with the Internet service. I am not taking into consideration the multiple times PTCL goes down, as that is not WorldCall’s fault, but all the other times it’s down besides that.

Since WorldCall is down so often, in the beginning I used to call them to find out what was going on. I must have called them at least a hundred times in the last 4 months. In 50 of those calls, I got to speak to someone beyond the operator who seemed to know something beside’s answering a phone. I am not even going to go into the operator’s responses as they don’t know anything at all. This also is the fault of the management as they seemingly haven’t trained the operators, and don’t provide them with any information. Anyways, every time I get through to some technical person, they reassure me that they are working on the problem. Every single time they take down my home phone number, cell number, modem number, and sometimes even my email address and promise that they would get back to me. This is another very unprofessional sign, as being a computer literate company they should have a database of customers with all the relevant information. So far, I *have not* received a single response from them. This is completely *unacceptable*. I can live with slow speed, and the service being down, but at the least they should have the decency and the professionalism to inform their customers. Cybernet sends an email a few days before any service outages, and if the service is unexpectedly down or slow, they also send an email. WorldCall not only does not inform, it often denies having any problems at all!

*A few of the explanations I’ve gotten from them:*

# The internet is not working because KESC is working in your area and have cut our lines. We don’t know when they’ll let us reconnect. { TV was working. And here I thought the internet and TV came on the same wire }

# Everything is working perfectly, and your computer is bad. (what can be said to that?)

# You have to let the cable modem be on for a few hours so it can access our system. { hmm, a bit of black magic never hurts }

# The internet is slow because you just turned on your computer. It takes a little while for the modem to warm up, so till then the internet will be a bit slow.

# PTCL link is down. This of course is the #1 excuse for everything. I understand PTCL must be bad, really bad in fact, but WC takes the cake. Sometimes it seems like the chai walla trips on the power to their servers and they run and plug it back in. Or it’s a desi setup where the plug slips out and has to be pushed in.

# Unplug the cable modem, and plug it back in, then call back. Repeat many times.

# Unplug your pc and restart. Repeat.

# You shouldn’t unplug the cable modem while it is running. It must have gone bad.

# We are sorry, technical support is not unavailable. We don’t know anything at all, please call back. {on the call back, same answer. }

# Give me your cable modem mac address (and why don’t they already have it) and we will monitor your connection and in half in hour it’ll be fixed, and we’ll call to inform you. Needless to say, I’ve never received a call/email from them. Problems do seem to get fixed once in a while, but there seems to be no correlation between my complaints and the actual time of fixing.

I have had other equally good answers regarding their server setup which I’ll post later.

Around 5 days of the month I still have to use dialup, and many evenings if I just want to look up something real quick, it’s faster to dial up, then to try to use WC. Most of the time web browsing is working fine, but even then it seems to fluctuate worse than KESC. Many times I have to load a site 4-5 times for it to come up. It then loads very fast, which leaves me wondering why can’t they fix their set up so these stupid problems don’t occur day in and day out!

I am currently working on 3 websites, so I need to upload files every now and then. WorldCall has no upload bandwidth it seems! In the last 4 months, I’ve been using Cybernet for most uploads. WC did expand their upload bandwidth and it worked great for 2 weeks but then it went back to their normal standard. So for 3 out of 4 months I’ve had to use Cybernet anytime I’ve wanted to upload something! It’s not just the speed which is the issue. If I’m uploading some files, I usually just put them to upload and leave the pc. With Cybernet, I’m guaranteed a working upload. With WorldCall, thanks to their servers (mis)configuration, their automatic proxies, huge amounts of lag, numerous times out, lost connections, etc. it’s a huge pain. A typical ftp message using WC:

bq. ERROR:> Timeout (60000 ms) occurred on receiving server response.

ERROR:> Failed to establish data socket.

Using dialup, speeds might be slow, but at least they seem to know the basics of networking. The above message is not something I saved for a rainy day; I just connected to my website right now as I type this and tried to ftp a 13kb file. Their service is that reliable!

They also make a number of mistakes which no ISP should be making. Sometimes, they randomly block a few ports. Now, if they were protecting against viruses, etc. that’s a great thing and it shows that they’re on their toes, but instead they block things like ftp, msn messenger etc. Now they either do that on purpose, or its through sheer incompetence. I cannot think of any reason to block these ports so it must be the second answer. Other things they do on and off is mess with “Squid”:http://www.squid-cache.org/. For those who don’t know, squid is a “transparent proxy server”:http://www1.optusnet.com.au/helpdesk/support/transparent_caching_faqs.html which most ISP’s around the world use and there are numerous websites which teach everything there is to know about “using/configuring”:http://squid.visolve.com/squid24s1/contents.htm squid.

The sad conclusion is: WorldCall is the sorriest ISP I’ve used in Karachi. I’ve been using various [read: many] ISP’s over the years ever since Digicom started offering internet in the early 90’s, and I have yet to come across one as badly run as WorldCall. “Cybernet”:http:www.cyber.net.pk, “Fascom”:http://www.fascom.com, “Supernet”:www.super.net.pk etc. are now three of the biggest ISP’s in the country so it might seem unfair to compare a new ISP like WC with them, but I have been using all three since they first started, and they were even at the beginning a lot better than WC. Dialup, dsl or cable, there are certain standards for these services which have been established worldwide. Even downgrading the standards by the required pakistani amount leaves worldcall far short of the mark.

I am now back at the waiting stage, hoping some other [more professional] company will start up true broadband services. “This gives me hope”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2003_09/dsl_let_the_game_begin.html, but it’s going to take at least 6-8 months more.

*Update:* While the post date for the review is September 6, I wrote it in July/August. As of Sept the 18th, they’re still going strong with their marvelous service, and have introduced a few other features. I started using the worldcall email address for some of my emails, and in the last two weeks I’ve received numerous complaints from people that emails sent to my worldcall email address keep bouncing back. Not only is it bouncing emails, it is the *slowest* email server I have ever used in my life. This includes a decade ago using bbs based email on 2.4K connections. Receiving a 1k email takes a minute, and it times out every now and then.

Recently, about 12 users who frequent the “WorldCall forums”:http://gaming.go4b.net/forums/ went en masse and complained to the management. The “results seem positive”:http://gaming.go4b.net/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=1&t=534&s=3afd34b9d79dcbf8dcb55ecabdf126f9, but so far no go with the improvements. I am a bit disillusioned, as in July I had a meeting with their support manager, in which I had suggested that at the very least they set up an email system to inform customers of service outages etc. I was assured that they would be setting up such a thing and they had already planned it. In another face-to-face in August I again brought it up and they said they’re in the process of implementing it. It’s now September, and no sign of an email from them, let alone any contact. They are getting more bandwidth which should fix most of the internet problems, but it boggles my mind that an email server can be so slow. Not everything can be PTCL’s fault, as they (I hope) must/should know, and when they keep blaming things on PTCL and PTCL alone it just leaves a bad impression of incompetence.

p. *Update:* The South Asian has a great article about the state of the telecoms industry: “Pakistan – Markets in IT & Telecomm Convergent Technologies”:http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sep2003/pakistan_iti_broadband.htm

bq.. *2.9.3 HFC Cable TV*

The only significant entrant into the Hybrid Fiber Coaxial cable [HFC] is WORLDCALL — The hybrid-fiber-coaxial [HFC] system in Pakistan for WorldCall’s HFC network has cost about $ 150 per subscriber. In India this cost is about $ 50 per subscriber due to lower labor cost . The total Capital [ Equipment ] cost for WorldCall Karachi network of 100,000 house passes is therefore $ 15 million US dollars If a Fixed wireless [ LMDS- 28 GHz / MMDS ? 2 GHz] technology is added to this network at a cost of $ 12 per subscriber , the additional system cost is another $ 1.2 million.

…In Karachi, the Clifton and Defense areas are complete with the HFC systems [using high Quality Corning Leaf Single mode fiber for the main Trunk lines and Cable RG6 for the house passes, Cable Modem Termination Systems ?CMTS are from ADC Telecom USA ] ] including Network Management Operations Center. WorldCall?s Karachi HFC system Road show was expected to start by March 2003 end with a media campaign of services such as video-telephony.

*2.9.4 HFC- MSO – Cable TV + Internet — Significant Revenues & Payback.*

For 100,000 subscribers for Cable-TV and high Speed Internet [ @ Rs. 1200 for Internet and Rs.300 for Cable TV = $25 per month ], the annual revenue comes to $ 100,000 x 25 x 12 = $ 30 million before taxes. The estimated Project Payback period is about 2 years. Lahore WorldCall Cable-TV subscribers are 35,000 in total, and therefore the number of 100,000 in Karachi is realistic for the first year.

p. *Update:* It seems WorldCall is running “Sendmail 8.x.x”:http://www.sendmail.org/ with “Qpopper 4.0x”:http://www.eudora.com/qpopper/ as the pop server and also their DNS server all on a “Sun fire 280R”:http://www.sun.com/servers/entry/280r/ 4U machine with Solaris 8. All this through a simple refer log! Maybe this is why email runs so slow sometimes. WC is still loosing emails into some blackhole, even after their bandwidth upgrade of Sept 25. Since tt can’t all be due to choked bandwidth, it’s probably due to the need to choke some heads at WC. It could be that instead of a Ultrasparc 1.2 ghz processor they mistakenly got a 0.12ghz machine. Slow slow slow!!! The email server is still slower than on dialup! I just can’t comprehend why such a state of the art system can get so slow. They did complain that people leave on Kazaa etc. all week long and that slows down their network. Jeez, next they’ll be telling us that tv reception is bad since too many people are watching tv. It seems they were going by dialup usage statistics, which are quite low, even for heavy users. They are slowly getting it into their heads that if you sell unlimited internet people are actually going to use it, and not just polish the cable modem and keep it on a sidetable.

*Update:* I had really expected things to get better. I was even starting to regret writing such a bad review of WorldCall, for I thought they would get better and no longer deserve such a bad review. Well, it seems I was wrong. Dead wrong. For the last 3 days their email server has been down. They did manage to get it working for an hour in between, but it conked out again. Internet not working I can understand, and WorldCall can come up with a thousand excuses. However, not being able to keep a simple email server up and running is just unbelievable! Providing an email service is one of the most important functions of an ISP. If for some reason their server goes down, there has to be a backup running. If they don’t have a backup running, then they should be running to the nearest shop and buying a pc to run the mail server on. In 3 days they haven’t managed to do this. Did I mention that their website has also been down, as they run everything on the same machine? (ed: _As noted above_)

While up till now I had overlooked/forgiven all their past mistakes, this one reeks to much to just let go.

*Update:* It’s November now, and WorldCall just doesn’t learn. Some WC users have had a number of meetings with them, and despite repeated promises there hasn’t been any progress. So, one of the WC users, King_Huzi got hold of a tech guy at WC:

bq.. I talked to our source in worldcall (u know who .. i wont mention him) … and he cleared a lot of points for me . I will discuss them in detail.

Worldcall uses a state-of-the-art HFC network capable of everythign that a foreign network can . It has the capability to have data upto 30 Gigabyte at a time so the 27 mbyte was a total bahana . The problem is not in PTCL or in the end-user but with worldcall itself and its workmanship . They have made a very good network but they are not maintaning it that well . Pings they receive from PTCL are in the 100-200 range like any good ISP but after passing through their network it goes to the high pings that we get . All the seniors at worldcall do not care about customers and consider us fools (The message about the anti-virus and ethernet-to-modem signifies that) .

1. The bad browsing is totally worldcalls fault .. it is because of their bad routing and general maintanence problems and the fact that they do not consider it a problem .

2. The high pings are also related completely to the routing problem … if they fix their routing we shud get ideal pings with no losses which is the standard of a HFC .

3. MSN … well .. it disconnects because there is too much lag between MSN servers and our end .. lag is the high amount of time that it takes for a request to go to a server and come back … at 200-300 pings MSN shud run like a charm .. but cus our pings are in the 1000-2000 range it often looses synchronization with the MSN servers .

4. Local speeds – This is completely and totally selfishness on WC part .. Last time they gave us a bullshit excuse that their HFC cannot take more than 27 megabyte of data at a time … If a HFC engineer will hear this he will go into a fit . They can give us like speeds in MB’s easily … cus HFC is a very powerful medium … So this is a demand we wont leave without getting result . Me n Mafia did some research on HFC and will brng proof that what we are askin is legit . And also people in WC confrmed our findings … that we can easily get high speeds on HFC WAN …

p. *Dec 4 2003:* In early November, 35 _angry_ users stormed the WC offices to complain once again. This time around, they got hold of the MD and the CTO. After much arguing, WC finally admitted that they had problems and said they’ll do something about it. They seemed to have no idea whatsoever that there was something very wrong with their setup. ( _Another unprofessional sign_ ). It was clear even to me ( _and I don’t know much about networking_ ) that the problems were with their servers and routers, but they were in such a state of denial that getting them to admit *their beloved network had problems* was almost as hard as getting a smoker to quit.

Anyways, the outcome of all this was that they (once again) promised to _fix_ the service. Some of the users ( _If WC was listening_ ) gave them very good suggestions about how to relieve congestion on the international links by providing means to share content locally, and other suggestions. Some people were genuinely concerned about the level WC had sunk to, and seemed almost like people at a sick man’s bedside in the hospital, looking worried and everyone wanting to know when it would get well!

As of November 14th, it has been working a lot better. If it continues like this for 2 whole months, then I’ll update this review.

_The purpose of this review was not to blast WorldCall, but to try to get them to sit up and take notice of all my complaints which for 7 months went completely unacknowledged. It is ironic that this article got “published”:http://spider.tm/dec2003/szone.html right after they did finally get around to fixing their many problems._

*Email sent on April 23 2004 to WorldCall:*

bq.. To whomever monitors this email:

For the last one week, my internet has been frequently down. Despite

numerous complaints over the telephone (111111925), nothing has been

resolved so far. I’ve been told on three occasions that a team will be

dispatched in 24 hours – this is on three different days.

My main grief is that Internet is not working most of the day. I have

to resort to dialup – which is especially galling as I am in essence

paying for an Internet service (Worldcall) which I am often not being

able to use.

Another major problem I have with your service is the support

personnel. They assume that every caller knows next to nothing about

computers and give out wrong advice. I understand that this must be

the case with many of your customers, but it is not true for all. For

those who are knowledgeable, it is extremely annoying being given

wrong or misguiding suggestions whose sole purpose is to get the

caller of the line. For those who are not computer literate, while

they may be satisfied with whatever they are told – as they don’t

understand most of it anyways – it is still morally and ethically

wrong to give them the run-around. It is also certainly not sound

business practice in any case.

Another suggestion I had made to you earlier was providing alternative

dialup connections to those customers who are experiencing problems

with their cable internet. You can use caller-id to tie these dialup

accounts to specific customers to limit abuse. In any case, no one

would want to use dialup when he has working cable internet. When it

is running, internet at 128 is a lot better than dialup, which is why

I am still a WorldCall subscriber. I just wish that once and for all

my internet problems could be fixed. Once again I will reiterate, as I

have done many times before, if you could have a system in place which

will inform affected users of outages in their areas beforehand than

most users, including me, would not get as upset as I have been the

past few days.

p. It’s almost like talking to a retarded child….

*Update:* See ‘WorldCall: Review Update’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2004_07/worldcall_review_update.html , posted July 10, 2004.

*Comments on this entry are now closed. Please use the ‘forums’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/forums for any further discussion about WorldCall.*

76 thoughts on “WorldCall: 4 month review”

  1. In case their service gets any better, or I recieve a call/email from them, or hell freezes over, I’ll update this. Yesterday I called them again as the net was down (as usual) and this time I received a “cross my heart and hope to die” promise out of them that they would call back by 8pm. That was yesterday.

  2. I agree 100% with the review. I have had exactly the same problems. Its been 2 months and Worldcall hasnt even bothered sending me ONE EMAIL or my username and password. Let them come to collect next months fee… ill show them ass***es…

    I wish i never got the darn connection

    Take care

    Asim

  3. The cable TV is superb!!! BUT – World call’s internet SUXX big time! Until and unless their connectivity doesn’t improve drastically I wouldn’t advice any one else to get a connection. Infact I’m giving it one last month. If it improves fair enough otherwise I’m discontinuing the internet. Theres not a day when Go4B’s internet has worked without any problem. I mean the private cable net operator’s service is far better than this one. (so called “Fiber Optic”)

    I also suggest World Call should change their slogan from Go4B to *GoAWAY4B*.

  4. I like the GoAwayB Slogan, and yes, people ask me about the service and I now tell them that it’s the worst ISP I’ve ever used. Considering I’ve used about a good 30 of them in Karachi, and about 20 of these 30 were rubbish, well go figure.

    I’m positive that it’s going to get a lot better, but most people can’t be bothered to wait and see. Out of the 3 other people I know using WorldCall, two have cancelled it. The fourth, me, is looking for a alternative…

  5. thanks for the updates living in Mohd Ali area i was so hyped/jealous about defence guys having Cheap broadband – atleast now im not that jealous but i do like the idea of 80 or so channels – INCLUDING TECHTV – hey id like to know any info about how to get techtv locally –

    whats the inside info about their expansion plans extending to the KDA zones- personally if they cant handle defence/clifton area alone id rather not have them expand first- handle the present customers then expand

    im using supernet 1500 unlimited 8-8 love it at office i am connected full time and even share the connection with 3 other computers – LOVE it to say the least

    TC

  6. I thought Multinet was operational in Mohd Ali area, their service is quite good. I haven’t seen much of Tech Tv, but it’s geared too much towards a non computer literate audience. WorldCall plans to cover all of Clifton/Defence first, that will take them about 6 more months I expect. They are adding customers as fast as possible in Defence. Pretty soon all the other cable wala’s in Defence will be bankrupt. I haven’t used Supernet for a long time now, (2 years or so) but Cybernet works great.

    I think the best option is going to be DSL, but the local companies here are off their rockers selling it for 7000 Rs. a month for home usage. DSL equipment costs for an ISP now run as low as fifty dollars per line, so they’re reaping enormous profits. That is, they would be if they actually had people using dsl. They don’t seem to understand that broadband is a utility and not a premium service. Sooner or later, one of the ISP’s is going to realize that if they lower prices to the same as dialup, everybody on dialup is going to switch over en masse. It’s simple economics, and not even Pakistan’s can igonore it for too long. There’s a chance for a new entrant in the ISP biz I feel…

  7. I don’t think we all (World Call users) should pay for the internet till it is in “working condition!”

  8. I’m waiting for other providers (Fascom, Cybernet etc.) to provide DSL before I switch. Rumor has it that these players have been deliberately denied from entering the broadband services market (primarily DSL) because they’ll sweep it.

  9. Hi!

    Well what a review………..;). Hmmmm!….

    I had applied for a job @ WC for a Call Center Manager, and it’s been ages if any one from thr ever seen my CV or even considered me in the run. Well I am an Ex-HiNET (ISP) Technical & Call Center Manager who was the person behind HiNET. HiNet was a good ISP whr mostly Cable Net Operators were it’s clients. I am also a Certified FOSS (Fiber Optic System Specialist) and CCNA, MCSE, with over 16 years of I.T experience. Guess WC has NO Vacancy for a my class of a person. Now a days I run a Cable NET in Frere Town Area and have over 70 Users.. I have 2 DSL connections of 256kbps and my net runs ok. I am noit bragging that it is fast but atleast it RUNS!… I never give Excuses to my USERS as there r times when the NET goes down but We manage to UP it a.s.a.p. So n e wayz This fiasco of U people with the experience of WC has certainly given me an edge to WC as they have started laying thier Cable Network near my place of Operations. And have started to Advertize their packages…. Goood now I can be better suited to counter their Gizmos…. Chao especially to Mr. Ejaz Asi.

  10. Man… this s review is 100% on the spot. There Lahore service is pathetic too, same problems and same excuses.

  11. I can’t agree more with you. I actually had the chance to experience worldcall up close and personal, while I did my internship in their lahore gulberg head office.

    I was under the charge of a chap known as Atef Amjad. A prodigy of sorts among local gamers and widely respected. He is the game admin there.

    The first time i saw the VAS (Value Added services) server room, I nearly had a seizure. VAS is the biggest draw of worldcall as it constitutes an mp3 server, a video server, the lahore user forum, and the 4 or so game servers.

    The *ahem* “Server Room” is perhaps about the size of small bathroom. It contained a grand total of one flourescent tube, and a shoddy pedestal fan . Thats right, A PEDESTAL FAN. There was an open circuit box, complete with frayed live wires.

    Right from the start, the admin told me not to expect wonderful things from my stint there. He was so very right. Out of the 4 or so servers, 2 could not be even catagorized as servers, as they were(and are)bastardized machines built from bits and peices of normally junked equipment. A Scci controller from here and a shoddy drive from there.

  12. Most days when we go there the servers were ready to boil, as teh WC brass were too stubborn to install an air conditioner. Server crashes were common, sometimes the machines died for no apparent reason.

    And every few days the Ass clowns upstairs would disable the server uplinks, shutting down they VAS serverices,because in thier own immortal words “your servers are clogging up our bandwidth”

    What about the unfiltered connections upstairs where the so called tech squad used kazaa all day …10 feet from the central servers.

    After my time there, i have come to the conclusion that Worldcall is run by a bunch of GODless Bastards, who think either end uers are stupid or are too weak to do anything. The internal environment is rife with corruption, with countless power stuggles going on amongst the various department managers. The employees are either unmotivated or have given up, as thier pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The game admin belongs to this later groups. In his own words “Let the fuckers do , what the fuckers want to do”

    WC can never improve start looking somewhere else, and hope that however else jumps into the broadband arena take a good hard look at these fuckers and then shows them a trick or two………

  13. i am going to be brif on this: first of let me comment on the review .. its very comprehensive..

    i was also offered an internship at worldcall’s ioc department in lahore.. i got to a room upstairswhich was soo cold that i wished i had a blanket with me .. but it was in very shabby condition…

    all wires here and there..

    the two worldcall employees with me .. played Counter Strike most of the time ..

    there was this bajwa downstairs, who by the way was the most rude person ive ever seen..

    so i went there for an internship but they gave me shit load of work to do.. i mean .. really they expected me to work this a jack from 9 till 6 and that too .. they wanted something done which was a very comprehensive project … and required a team of about 10 people from diff fields..

    anyways .. i left and did my internship from citi bank’s coorporate branch in lahore..

    and i am happy i got out of that shit hole.. (i spend like 3-4 days there).. man it was terrible..

  14. wohooo

    i did my 1st internship too from WC lahore gulberg…i worked in the VAS dept…it was really an awesome experience atef,shujjat,saqib and lastly bhatti sahib were really good with me except the only joker runnin around who was Mr.BAJWA.

    Even though i was not paid :(… but it was fun coz i played Counter Strike alot online and on LAN in a room in which a split unit used to run all day long. Well that does not mean that i didnt even worked i did workd but it was nothing if compared to the gaming i did there…there was absolutely no collaboration between two differrent depts and there were no rules and regulations which was the basic a need ….everyone is coming to the office at whatever time they want….and lastly everyone’s moral was down there was simpley no incentive for the employee’s and i saw ppl searching for other jobs…i think that WC has got the potential to work better only its the envornment and little boost for the workers which would make alot of difference…:P

    Regards,

    xXx

  15. i agree with you over here. worldcall really sucks. i cant seem to understand why they launched such a service when they cant seem to focus on the customers! its sad that they all have short term goals. they should look at long term goals and not earning cash. quality matters. i was always skeptical about worldcall and i guess i was rite. further more the rates for dsl are a joke. i dont think i would ever want to pay so much for dsl. the state of affairs in Pakistan are pathetic. do they expect us to be so stupid and pay thousands of bucks per month so we can use restricted dsl (pay for the amount of data transferred). why is it that we have morons running the telecom policy?i could write a lot more but this really pisses me off and i dont want to waste my breath further.

  16. Y don’t u ppl who use the stupid service of GoAwayB make a complain to PTA ?

    Who knows maybe they take some action ….hahaha

    BB is UrWorstNightMare 😛

  17. Dear KO! I’ve already heard about WC’s services and I’d like to have thier UAN or email or any number for further queries. I want your favor.

    thanx

  18. Hi guys,

    First of all, great review! I was planning to get their service but now I’m not so sure.

    Since you and most of the guys who have posted here use the service in Karachi and I live in Lahore, I’d like to know more about their lahore service. Is it totally pathetic too or is there anyone out there who’ll recommend I use it?

    Also while you’re at it, are there any other cable internet operators in Lahore?

    Thanks in advance for any info.

  19. hey, the lahore servise suxx ass, first of all 128k is shit speed anyway. they have server lagg all the damn time, and its only available in like 4 or 5 freakin areas. I called them like a year ago askin them when they were gonna launch in my area and they were like in 3 months, called them after 3 months and they said another 3 months, its been about 15 months now. id rather wait for them to start up some DSL service in lahore. i think the only good thing about it is their game servers, they run counterstrike, quake3, and a buncha other game servers, so ur likely to always have a good ping on their servers.

  20. A nice review on WC DSL. Well…the main factor of DSL not gaining much popularity is sky rocketed price. An average home user cant afford DSL at a cost of his whole month salary. And if he goes for services like WC then disappointment reach the extreme level. Even small corporate offices sigh on such rates. I have a running network in my office for which i use Supernet 8-8 Package. It easily supports 6 pc at a time with an average browsing speed. Recently i was reffered by my friend for E-CELL DSL. Its a subsidiary dept of Habib Rafiq International (Pvt) Ltd. They installed their setup for demonstration. The speed was awesome both in browsing and downloading (15-20k per second) and i also check the bandwidth speed from a utility posted on http://www.apniisp.com. It shows 108 kbits/sec. But when i compare the cost of both, supernet and Ecell DSL…the difference is so huge that i am ready to sacrifice speed for money.

    Supernet per month charges are 1500 whereas ESL charges are 7500 per month.

  21. Good evening all,

    I’ve been looking through this thread and having been a WC subscriber for over 3 months, can comment:

    1. Their service slows down at times but hey – don’t we all? I notice a slow-down at around 1900H to about 2200H – school-kids at their best. One learns to live with that.

    2. Their e-mail service is not the best in the world – but you have a choice. There are loads of free e-mail services out in the WWW so you don’t have to use the WC service.

    3. At 1500 bucks a month and freeing up a ‘phone line, do you realy expect more? If you need “mission critical” access then get DSL – hey it’s affordable for those who absolutely need it. As they saying goes… “If you have to ask then you can’t afford it”.

    4. If you applied for and didn’t get a job at WC: maybe they couldn’t afford you. Don’t sweat it or make it an issue for this forum – we don’t really want to know about your career problems.

    5. My albeit limited experience with the “cable-wallahs” in DHA5 was fraught with ametuerish attempts at hacking, trying to establish connections etc., – a problem we have to live with when using a shared connection. Do you really think that a “cable-wallah” connection is even remotely secure?

    Bottom line: Get a life guys and girls! It’s all a case of pros and cons! You don’t like WC? Switch! Simple as that!

    Me! I’m sticking to WC and when they are down and I need urgent internet access, I’ll use a dial-up! Been there! Done that! Got the T-shirt and hey even smiled!

    All the best,

    Glen

  22. To answer your points: This is a *four* month review of WorldCall, and is no longer valid today. Their service has gotten a lot better since december. That does not mean that everything I’ve written above is not true. Beleive me, I have not exaggerated the crappiness of their service. As a relatively new user, you have not experienced WorldCall’s earlier days where they had numerous _teething_ problems.

    2. A non working email service is not the end of the world, but it says loads about the professionalism of their tech department, and the management.

    3. Their price is right.. but 1500 Rs. is 26 dollars. You get a lot more bandwidth for that amount in most countries now. I am not going to be happy till I am getting at least a 1 mbps connection at that price. I don’t think sitting backing and being thankfull for 64k does any good.

    4. I completely agree with you.

    5. Cable Wallas hardly know what a pc is, so you can’t really expect much.

    Glen, I would have switched, except there is *no* alternative currently available in Karachi. And yes, dialup is still there. But not everyone can afford to pay for both WC and dialup. Internet access is a utility, and till such time that it becomes affordable for just about everyone, I’m not going to be satisfied with the state of the internet here in Karachi. The way things are going currently, the well-off in Karachi will be shifting over the next 2-3 years to better Internet services while others will be stuck with dialup services which are going to deteriorate over the years as the margins disappear and the better companies concentrate on broadband. WorldCall seems to have established a monopoly on laying fibre in Karachi, and that is never a good thing. It is actually cheaper to provide internet via DSL than cable, so I am not sure what exactly all these DSL companies charging 8K and up are thinking of. No company besides WorldCall seeems to be targetting the _masses_ with affordable Internet, and that is not a good sign for the future.

  23. KO,

    First let me say what a pleasure it is to read your posts: lucid, to the point, no bad language and no slang. It certainly makes a pleasant change from the norm.

    I completely agree with you on the state of Internet access here in Pakistan. Even in overpriced UK we had 1 Mbps cable access from Telewest at £19.99 per month. Although they were the monopoly cable service in the area, they priced the service way below DSL and eventually the DSL providers had to review their pricing – to the benefit of all.

    It seems to be a chicken-and-egg situation here where the ISPs are reluctant to reduce prices of their DSL service preferring to pitch it to those who can afford it: Businesses and wealthy individuals. I believe that their model is flawed as they will have far more subscribers if they price it at say Rs. 1500-2000 per month for home and small business use.

    Of course the hassle is always that we’ll see the Internet cafes misusing this service. But that can be monitored by the ISP.

    I don’t believe that anyone is going to even consider laying fiber – a least where WC already is. The high entry cost of this business makes it prohibitive and just about the only way for ISPs to compete with WC is to ensure that they roll out a competitively prices DSL service. It will happen sooner rather than later as plain ol’ dialup is not going to cut it. The knock-on effect with then be that WC will have to improve their service and be a whole lot more responsive to their customers or risk losing market share.

    All the best,

    Glen

  24. Hello

    Not a Worldcall user, just read the review today. I have been really fed up with the Internet and Cable TV in our area. No matter how bad you say Worldcall is/was , I think it clearly outranks the so called cable wallahs running their obsolete networks sharing dialup connections.

    My Cable internet walla, has a SatNet dialup connection, he used to have a Satellite downlink which used to give speeds upto 86k/sec (hard to believe, but yes, 86k!) Now the Internet is so pathetic, it doesnt even work for days, and when it works, you can’t download anything, Kazaa is blocked, there is no network gaming server, no download server, sometimes even browsing doesnt work. Some sites do not work, some proxy error at Satnet end. and I pay 1000 a month for it.

    I would get Worldcall anytime, seriously.

    I used to be a Cybernet customer, the 1500 Virtual Unlimited package, which had almost 3k constant speed, minimal lag, the only drawback, is the speed is limited due to the use of telephone wires. You use a telephone line, therfore using and paying for 2 services, just to access the internet. I think a broadband connection greatly reduces that stress. Sometimes my telephone line goes dead (Oh so trustworthy PTCL), thats where my Cable connection feels like heaven.

    I think the problems outlined in your review are genuine and such problems should not be occuring in an ISP which is also listed on the Stock Exchange. They seriously need to get professional now, I see they are expanding their network to PECHS etc. Not really a good idea to expand when your current services are not really upto the mark.

    On the other hand, I would also like to say that comparing worldcall with international dsl/cable ISPs would not be appropriate, even India has better technical and physical infrastructure. Give it time guys, I remember a time with dialup internet, when a simple hotmail page used to take 2 minutes to download. Dialup took around 10 years to get better, Worldcall is relatively new, lets hope it gets better with time. Their network is pretty good, that I have seen, they just need to do their jobs a little effectively.

    Regards

    Rizvi

  25. By the way, you did not mention the gaming side of Worldcall broadband. I would love a review on that, if it is possible. The WAN might be bad when it comes to Internet, but sharing files with Worldcall users, or playing games with each other should be one hell of an experience.

    Is there any way, that users can share their folders or files on the network? does it behave like a LAN? What is the speed of transfer when 2 users exchange a file or watch a movie streaming from the server or another person’s box, or play a network game?

    Some comments on this would be appreciated

    Regards

    Rizvi

  26. Hi all,

    Is it my imagination or has WC gotten better? Daytime speeds have definitely improved I reckon! They’re even asking for user feedback by those conspicious scrolling text on several of their TV channels. I haven’t done a speed analysis recently but there definitely seems to be some improvement.

    Comments all?

    All the best,

    Glen

  27. WC has gotten better this past month. They really seem to be getting a handle on their network now, and the internet has been working well almost all the time now. Of course they still do a few things now and then which are really annoying – I can’t login to my WC email using their web interface, only via pop.

  28. I am Gibran Ali, Owner of GibbuSoft Technologies Incorporated.

    It has been 1 year… an entire year……

    Whenever i call WorldCall BroadBand, they say that the service will be coming in my area the next month ‘INSHALLAH’. Now, whenever i call them, i bet with my family and friends that i will get the same answer again… And guess what… They say ‘It will be there in the next month!’

    Huh! I am totally fedup!!!!!

    I am such crzy about DSL that i sent them 43 FAX MESSAGES…. 76 Emails and i gave them 271 Phone calls…. but… no answer..

    I dont even think that they even check their emails and that they ever open their fax machine!

    HAH! what can we aspect? DSL in a third-world country? PLEASE! For Allah’s Sakes…. That can enver be true….

    I WISH…. just WISH that this information was somehow sent to WorldCall BroadBand!

    Please try to help me someone… if you can!

  29. Hi K.O. I like your website, it’s really interesting. I just wanted to know, have things really improved with go4B since Jan04 and can you listen to internet radio with this service?

    Thanks

    J

  30. I haven’t tried listening to Internet radio, so can’t comment on that. Their service has improved, but their quality still remains sketchy. These days the problem is that the internet keeps dieing every 1-2 hours and the modem has to be rest. Once thats done it works fine… then the procedure has to be repeated. Annoying, but they should be able to fix this problem. Otherwise, it works well most of the time. I recommend it to people now. WorldCall’s competition is about 10-20 times the cost, so these days there no other feasible option.

  31. Im afraid that this is true .. and the quality of internet has gone down … Internet dies after every 3-4 hours and the modem has to be restarted .. and worldcall hasnt given us ne logical explaination for this … lets hope things turn around .

  32. Great review. ive been using wc 4 abt 5 months now and this was no doubt true but now as u said the things have improved alot ie if u ignore unplugging and re plugging the modem again and again and again!!! its really irritating. even as i m writing this half of the left side of the page reads the “ERROR

    The requested URL could not be retrieved.

    Read Timeout”

    and to post this i’ll have to reconnect the modem.

    Other then that ofcourse the service is satisfactory.

    BTW 4 some reason i cant connect to forum via my login i had applied 4 and have 2 recreate acct everytime i want 2 read the posts inspite of recieving a number of acct confirmation mails frm administrator, help me with it if u can.

  33. This timeout/slowdown gets really annoying. About not being able to login the forums, call WorldCall and ask to speak to Waqas. Hes the head of Customer support and should be able to fix this issue. Things still don’t run properly at WC – Me and my neighbour got WorldCall at the same time and they still haven’t received an email address. The only reason I got mine is becasue I harrased them no end.

    Even now I still can’t login to my wc email through their “webmail interface”:http://203.81.204.10/atmaillite/index.pl. And I had to guess to figure out the pop and smtp server settings – no one there had a clue. All this screams unprofessionalism. The sad part is that it would hardly take any time to remedy all this – all they need is some sort of support site. If someone like “Cybernet”:http://www.cyber.net.pk/ ever started narrowband dsl/cable, I would be standing in line to switch from WC.

  34. Hi all,

    WC’s settings for POP and SMTP:

    Pop3 access: pop.go4b.net

    Smtp access: smtp.go4b.net

    All the best,

    Glen

  35. Hey KO,

    Apparently WC is coming towards our locality and have left their details with me.. As of now (13/4/04 – almost midnight) their website’s down so I can’t get info on their services, however remembered that I read your review in the December Ed. of Spider and hence here I am.. Could you provide me with the latest on their services as I really am not eager to play “lab mice” to their testing in this area.

    Rgds

    Mave

  36. People

    As of today, april 26 2004 what problems are users facing…..I have read what was goin on in 2003. But need to know if there are any major problems right now. Cable or Net

  37. Hi

    First of all KO I loved your review (which I just read today) and as I was scrolling down I was hoping that the closer I came to the current date the more good news there will be about DSL in Pakistan and the situation still seems sketchy.

    Before I go into anymore detail let me explain a few things. I am currently situated in London and have 1 Mbps line at £35pm and in July 2004 I will be moving to Pakistan and going down from 1Mbps is going to be hell, so I have been searching around for the last 6-7 months for the different DSL services available in Pakistan, but the prices they are asking for are beyond ridiculous.

    I read somewhere that there were people offering DSL services which were unlicensed ISPs, but I was unable to get the prices because I could not find them. Just like to know if there is any truth to this rumour. Also could someone please provide me with information on DSL or ISDN services that I could get which do not exceed RS 10,000 and which are reliable.

    I certainly hope that by July the prices come down ALOT, because living without fast internet for me is like not getting a drugs fix for an addict.

  38. I wrote about ‘dsl in pakistan over here’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2003_09/dsl_let_the_game_begin.html. As things are now, there is nothing decent available for below Rs.20K a month. Even at that price you only get a 128 shared bandwidth, and to top it off they all have bandwidth caps. Some ISP’s set them as low as 5-6gb a month which is insanely low. There are people offering cheaper DSL servces, but they are basically reselling bandwidth which is already shared in the first place… I would definitly not recommend those. There are other people who set up some sort of LAN in their neighbouhood and then share a CIR 128kb DSL or IDSN connection, but again you can’t really expect much from that. There are also sorts of Cable ISP’s and LAN’s with tons of users – all running of a *single 56kb* dialup.

    For office use I had priced all the DSL options a few months ago, and the halfway decent ones (mind you, still at 128kb) were about Rs.40K a month. The cheaper plans (starting from 7K onwards) were all shit – I tested some of them also. Prices might have come down since then, but not by much.

    There is only one viable option costwise in Karachi, which is WorldCall. You can ‘contact them directly’:http://www.go4b.net to find out if they cover the area you’ll be in. Not only that, but when WorldCall is running properly, which it does now and then, and hopefully they’ll continue to improve, it’s actually better then the 40K a month DSL connections! Also there’s always dialup as the backup of last resort if WorldCall is on the blink.

  39. Hi People,

    I live in Bath Island. Does anyone have any recent information about the quality of WC’s internet service in my area?

    I have a few friends in the Defence area who have subscribed and all I get is mixed reviews. Some say it works like a charm, others say it needs a charm to work.

    Also, a rumor that CyberNet is going to launch an affordable DSL (sometimes cable) service pops up from time to time. Does any one have any related factual information?

    Thanks

  40. I’ve been using Worldcall for 3 months now (64kbps), and I have mixed feelings. Sometimes it works like a charm, and things download at speeds of 20kbps (if you download songs from their website, they download at 150kbps), and at other times, it takes 30 seconds for http://www.google.com to open. So, well, it’s a mixed bag

  41. Worldcall is tops! If of course you don’t mind plugging and replugging your modem, calling 111-111-925 every second day, occasionally having to restart your modem and sometimes, as a last resort, using some other isp.

  42. Its now JUNE 2004 and WORLDCALL STILL SUX !

    Customer support is crappy.

    They never answer your phone.

    Internet service unreliable.

    Every 2 mins the net hangs and you have to restart.

  43. I just read through the entire review, the replies, the whole shebang. I am not a WC user, for now I use cybernet, but I did think that shifting to a 24 hour connection, and a faster one would be better. With the reviews I have read, I guess service has ipmroved but I am still not sure if it would be recomended that I shift from cybernet to WC. The other thing is that with no local charges now after midnight, whichis the time I log on anyway, that is about 300 rupees off my monthly log on cost, just the cost to dialup every time. And PTCL has announced a reduction in bandwidht rates also. So perhaps it might be best for prospective customers to waut and see if the cost reduction shows up in WC or in dsl providers. Any advice?

  44. Well, it seems PTCL is waking up (or trying to) these days and realizing that it needs to lower rates. The rates are going to have to go a long way down before DSL becomes affordable for home use, so if you need faster internet, then WC is the only feasible option till at least 2005.

    If you dial a 131 number for internet, then you’re only charged for ONE phone call – so you could be on the internet 24/7, and you’ll only get billed 4.5 rupees or so. So dialup is quite cheap if you’re not having to redial often.

  45. Well guys…I need a bit of advice from you all. I am in PECHS Block 2 and world call has dug up almost every street nook and cranny in the last few months here. Yesterday one of their ‘reps’ came to my home doing a survey of what to expect from this area. I told them two things:

    1. From the reviews I ‘ve seen in Spider magazine their customer support is really pathetic and that’s what I precisely told him. He apparently replied that you will have no problems as our servers in this area are superior to those in clifton / defence and even at 64k you will be amazed at the speeds bla bla bla….

    2. The other thing I told them was that Universal cables is providing a considerably good cable tv service that has no interruptions and their customer support lives upto their word at least 95% of the time. The other thing about Universal cables is that they accept a mistake or malfunction on their part and try to correct it to the best of their capabilities. They offer about 70 or so channels with the last 20 not having a clean picture, but as per them it will be fixed in about a month due to replacement equipment coming in.

    Now I’ve tried the ‘local’ cable thingee in this area and I assure you it was just as worse as the service from world call in early 2003 as mentioned above. I finally got rid of it and returned to good ole cybernet. Now I wonder if WC can deliver something better here. They also offered a regular phone line that will compete directly with PTCL …I wonder what this will lead to.

    So anyone have n e idea about whether I should try WC for either TV or cable or let things be the way they are for a while and hope for something better.

    My decision now depends on what you guys have to say.

  46. i’ve read the article and all reviews above,

    this page seems much better than the discussions held inside the worldcall forums,

    i’ve been using worldcall in lahore since aug 5, 2003

    my consistent problem has been the modem slowing down/ having to reset it

    i guess that is because of signal loss, which could be anywhere in the path from their office down to your modem, the best i can do on my side is to keep the connections/jacks/splitters in good condition,

    i guess their service varies from area to area, if your area people complain frequently, clearly and politely, i think things in your area will get fixed eventually

    i dont think their cable tv is too great too, its good when you’re just browsing channels and listening news and stuff, but sit down and watch a movie for two hours and you will get interrupted a number of times, anyways, i dont watch tv that much so it doesnt bother me, just there was a post above that said tv service is excellent

    recently our neighbor placed his own splitter in our cable line, he thought we wont mind their using it, i reported this to worldcall, and they were absolutely casual about it, one of them told me ‘chulnay dayn, kuchh naheen hota’ , i had to spend a whole day calling/going to their offices in my area and main office in gulberg, and finally round 6/7 pm their guy came and cut the neighbors’ splitter out, just mentioned because their approach in other matters is similar

    i depend on my email a lot, i get lots of emails for my software projects, and from friends, family, clients, project websites, if my email is down my work gets affected, usually their reply to my complain on email is “bus? sirf email naheen chul rahee? ”

    i’ve been using isps in lahore since ever, since there used to be only Brain Net, i think Nexlinx, WOL and cybernet are great, worldcall is quite pathetic compared to them, i wish wol or nexlinx would start cable service, i just dont have an extra phone line , as soon as i have that, i’ll switch to dial up, yeah im lazy and i couldn’t get the phone line in the past year, but now with the rates going down at ptcl its a better alternative i think

    about a bit different matter, there is a cable channel without any logo, it shows wonderful movies, on my tv it comes right after CNN and BBC, does anyone know this channel’s name? or if its movies’ schedule is available somewhere?

    ko, its a good post, thanks

  47. whew that was a long post… just finished reading it. I’ve also got “bus? sirf email naheen chul rahee? “ reactions from WorldCall… its their attitude which really annoyed me about this.

    I don’t watch TV much, but the internet service has improved greatly. I figure the majority of their problems lie with line noise, which they don’t seem to really tackle.

  48. I’ve been reading this review for a while now, and I thought I’d say my bit. Worldcall Cable TV is great, but their Internet (aaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!). Half the time it’s down, and when you call 111-111-925, they put you on hold for 20 minutes before you get a smart aleck guy to help you! It annoys me soooooooooooo much! I’m thinking of switching back to Cybernet! In fact, I definitely will!

  49. new ‘development’

    our tenants have subscribed for a new cable line finally,

    but to my misery, the cable company has split our line at the pole, put a splitter on the pole, and given them the new line through that,

    my download speed used to be around 7.5 kBytes/sec, and now its round 6.5 kBytes/sec,

    i called world call, and they say i am ineligible to complain unless my download speed goes below 5 kBytes/sec, and that there is no signal loss due to the newly placed splitter, tomorrow im going to sell my three old monitors just lying around and take a step towards buying a new phone line and an internet connection with a reasonable ISP like WOL, nexlinx etc, if anyone has a better suggestion , then please let me know, thanks, sincerely

  50. just got worldcall delayed it for a year due to bad reveiews and all i can say is its not the greatest thing on the face of the planet but its not THAT BAD its been very consistent at least here in clifton karachi

  51. this is the third class internet service provider in the city making people with false presentations and publicity .i suggest govt should take serious actions agains them and should shut down all their offices in pakistan due to bad service and bad customer support , and doing fraud with the people of paskistan presenting a broad band company local isps speed is million time better then it 64 ks is worst speed ever any isp presents and illmanner staff who does not give the customer the support the customer required .

  52. This thread of messages has been really helpful. I am a Software Engineer working in NYC. I am considering moving to Pakistan, Lahore that is. I am looking for a reasonably priced, fast and reliable internet connection. I will appreciate if someone could respond with an informative and helpful review of the ISPs in Lahore.

  53. I’m in Defence, Tauheed Commercial… I got WorldCall 64K.. I got meetings and voice-chats almost daily. Uploads every 2 days for work and this is just AMAZING!.. I hate dialup! I have tried every single dialup ISP in this place since 1998… AND out of all the ISPs WC was the one who I had to call the least… I know there are allot of problems and all… but in the end its Pakistan!.. when I get back to Canada is when i enjoy the real shit.. BUT for this place!.. if your in my area.. go for it.. maybe cause we live close to the hub but its pretty good….

    BUT this month has been the worst so I’m not happiest I can be.. but for here… we got long way to go and until then.. something IS better then nothing… 😉

  54. salam

    i request worldcall to start shia channels due to mohram, its very shameful thing that this channel shows all sort of channels but nothing religious though this is a muslim country,

    i hope u will start majlis n nohas soon ,n plz give some thing for islam also

    thanks

    neelam

  55. Surprisingly worldcall is getting worst day by day !!!!

    I read the whole review and its really strange that problem are still same and their responses on technical support 111111925 are same too. I think, they have learnt nothing with in a huge time of one and half year.

    Their upload bandwidth is the worst in earth, I cant upload a few kb file to my server.

  56. Surprisingly worldcall is getting worse day by day !!!!

    I read the whole review and its really strange that problem are still same and their responses on technical support 111111925 are same too. I think, they have learnt nothing with in a huge time of one and half year.

    Their upload bandwidth is the worst in earth, I cant upload a few kb file to my server.

  57. Here’s the email I ve sent to worldcall after 15 days of their so called broadband use. It is self explanatory for all:

    From: K.Alam

    Date: 20 February 2005 03:00

    To: cs@go4b.net

    Subject:

    My net stopped working on the afternoon of 17th Feb. I called two hours later and the person on the helpline tried to guide me for various checks on my system but to no avail. He promised someone would check my connection the next morning, as I mentioned to him that the ‘cable’ indication on my modem is off and probably due to high winds the cable has become loose from the electric pole. Nobody showed up the next morning i.e. 18th Feb I again got a call again from WorldCall and the person tried to repeat the steps for checking the settings on my pc/cable modem. I informed him that it has already been tried and hasnt worked. Yet he insisted and tried the procedure again. Then he informed me that in the evening someone will check the connection at your residence. Again no one came and I inspected the electric pole from the ground and saw several cables broken and hanging. I called the helpline and informed them of the damage to which the person replied that it will be taken care of first thing tomorrow morning i.e Feb 19th. Nothing happened today morning so I called again around 11 am to be told that it would be taken care of by evening. As usual nobody came and I made another call at 8 pm on which the person on the helpline asked me a couple of stupid questions such as when I informed him that the cable is broken so he asked me “then are you getting any internet at your home?”. He also asked me for my customer id which I have no idea of as to what it is and no one asked for it before. Then he asked me whether I have ever received a bill from worldcall for the services I am using. Finally he gave me a complaint number and when I asked him when this problem will be taken care of he replied that there is a three day holiday so it will be taken care of on tuesday the 22nd Feb.

    I am disappointed at the pathetic state of affairs at worldcall. Apparently I am not the first one to receive this treatment as if you search on the internet you will find many forums full of complaints and lack of proper customer support / behaviour by worldcall personnel. And each of these people have done the same as what I am going to do. Say goodbye to worldcall broadband and start using unlimited dialup which costs less and works faster than the pathetic speed of worldcall broadband.

    I am sure this email will neither have any affect on you people to try to improve your service and customer support nor will my discontinuing the service will affect your business as there are lots of crazies out there who are happy to have broadband which they dont realize is worse than the most pathetic dialup service available.

    So only after 15 days of use I am saying goodbye to worldcall broadband and do not desire to see any of your technical personnel at my doorstep for fixing my cable.

    I will quote this mail everywhere I can think of in Karachi to let those who havent gone for worldcall as yet to stay away from it.

    Please consider this as a proper notice for discontinuation of broadband internet service.

    Thank You

  58. I have really valued this blog so I am going to paste a few interchanges I had with KO (here rather than “WC review update” b/c the last comment there is in Dec 04). First here’s one I wrote that got lost somehow:

    I have read all the posts in the “Internet Connectivity” forum and the most recent posts in this one. I saw that there were a lot of complaints about Worldcall in ’03-’04, but was surprised to read this most recent post of less than a week ago. I don’t know how to monitor Worldcall performance-wise as compared with dial-up. For me, it comes down to the fact that with Worldcall I have continuous internet access and tv as well, and internet use doesn’t interfere with my phone line (which is often full of static and sometimes totally down, requiring long waits and plenty of chae-pan for the lineman). A continuous DSL connection, if even available at this time in my area (DHA Ph. V), is too expensive, and the performance is questionable. I HAVE had horrendous customer service experience with Worldcall (though I have come to expect that anywhere in the country), but performance-wise I don’t have many complaints – maybe there is something I’m unaware of. I can’t really base my judgment on bandwidth speed tests, because I’ve tried running those at 3 different places and get radically different results for a 128 Kbps connection (shared with 10 other home users).

    My most pragmatic test has been the use of a Vonage VoIP phone with a local U.S.-based number, and I get good call quality in the mornings, half-decent even at night when traffic is higher, I assume.

    I am open to any enlightenment on this matter and interested to even cancel Worldcall if someone can convince me that there is a better ISP option for DHA Ph. V.

  59. Sorry for the double-post – my browser was hanging (b/c I am using WC?!) so I clicked POST twice.

    KO said he is using Cybernet DSL 128k in my area, so I asked him a few questions:

    _Are you sharing the 128k DSL w/ 10 other users? Or 5?_

    Cybernet says 4. Keep in mind that these figures are basically meaningless. decent isps based on the usage of their networks come to a ratio which delivers acceptable performance at the price level they can live with – it is not a figure set in stone, and should not be. Some months the isp will end up paying more, others less. The theory behind this ‘sharing’ ratio is that most users don’t use the bandwidth they have, and hence isps can oversell – what pakistani isps don’t understand is that this ratio is fluid and has to be calculated according to their users. While some users utilize their connections a lot, others like me use under 0.1 percent – so it balances out. There is always the early adopter problem – which is that the initial wave of users tend to be the ones who will be really using their connections, and then as the service spreads out to regular users the average bandwidth utilization per user levels out. I think what happens here is that ISP’s are overly scared of the first initial wave which end up sucking up whatever bandwidth that ISP has.

    _How does it compare to your 128k WC connection?_

    Uncomparable. You know, out of 15 people I know (family, friends who I sometimes help with the computer issues) who had WorldCall internet, every single one including me has cancelled their WC internet service.

    Their technical people (in my experience) have been mostly useless. Two years into the business, and WC still does not inform its customers about their *planned* network outages, forget about the numerous unplanned ones.

    _How long & how much trouble did it take to get it set up?_

    depends on your telephone line. mine took about a month from signing up. however, the actual work only takes a few days.

    _Did you have to show the deed for the bungalow? We are tenants._

    no. They actually didn’t ask for anything besides an id card.

    _Do you happen to know if Cybernet is giving out new connections now?_

    Not sure. they have a very large backlog right now, a few months.

    _Did you get an ADSL line so you could use the phone?_

    ADSL is the name of the technology. It works on your existing phone line. When you shifted from analog mobiles to gsm, you used the same air right?

  60. _I am open to any enlightenment on this matter and interested to even cancel Worldcall if someone can convince me that there is a better ISP option for DHA Ph. V._

    I think it will take some time yet before there are options. Right now all the ISPs are concentrating on the corporate market. DSL is an option, but currently I know of only Cybernet who’re offering an affordable 128k connection (Rs. 2270), but they have a long backlog, and haven’t yet publicly launched their home service yet.

  61. Slam

    Plz tell me your Phone No

    we are required internet cable at saddar (fleet club)we are looking your No. But fail

    Answer as soon as Possible

    Slam

  62. Dear KO,

    I returned from USA back to Karachi after a long time. I was used to a 45 mps backbone at the university there and was naturally, horrified at the state of interconnectivity in Pakistan. A 5 MB mp3 song used to take 10 seconds to d/l. Here, with a telephone line full of static, 20 minutes to half an hour, in the middle of the night, if you’re lucky. So ofcourse, when WorldCall started bandying about terms like ‘Broadband’, I was ecstatic. My experience with them, was not much different from that of yours. I have shopped all over the place (Paknet DSL, Dancom, etc), but these are all sub-standard, unreliable services managed by buffoons who should only be allowed to manage…buffaloes.

    Last week I visited GoCDMA at their Boating Basin HQ to inquire about their wireless internet service. The same breed of clueless, careless and corrupt morons are managing this wireless technology. However, at 4:45pm on their demo PC in the shop, they showed it to be connected to the internet at 115.00 kbps (although it took them 5 mins to bring up the CNN website).

    The CDMA set that is internet-ready costs Rs. 5000/-. Then you buy internet cards worth 500, 1000 and 1500 (unlimited) per month. This MAY be what we’ve ALL been looking for…but then again, maybe it’s another WC. Only time will tell. But I would like the readers to keep their eyes open and if they hear something, anything regarding this technology, to hook us up here.

    Love your weblog and the reader feedbacks. Keep them coming. It’s comforting to know that you’re not alone in your misery. 🙂

  63. Hi Adnan,

    Some people have posted their ‘GoCDMA views here’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2005_01/internet_connectivity_in_pakistan.html.

    By the way, 115.00 kbps is just the connection from the pc to the modem, not to the internet. Yes, the reader feedbacks are sometimes really informative.

    GAB: _Bottom line: Get a life guys and girls! It’s all a case of pros and cons! You don’t like WC? Switch! Simple as that!_

    Switched, but it’s not that easy when there aren’t any alternatives.

  64. will anybody tell me whtz wit thiz world call phone thing. how do u get thiz whtz itz tarrif.wht advantage am i gona get from it.iz it gona replace ptcl

  65. Worldcall: Keeping our promise 4 a worse life.. than eva..! WORLDCALL SUX…. the most KHASSIEST service.. and the customer helpline is the lamest.. insult em and they’ll do ur work.. thats the way i get my things done..!!!

  66. urmm Rafia its better not to think about replacing ur PTCl phone with WC TRING TRING freephones (false advertisements)!!!

  67. Btw, I have come to know of a few people who work at WorldCall (2 Talwarien) Clifton office, in various technical capacities. The upper mgmt really does not care about us, ‘the customer’. *Really* they don’t . The inner workings, the office politics, their technical priorities have really disgusted these folks and at this time, ALL of them are looking to move to other places (even for lesser pay!).

    It’s really sad. And here, I had such high hopes for this company. Was really rooting for it to succeed. It turned out to be another mirage.

  68. has anybody tried the 3C deal from Inbox. Is GoCDMA really that bad. I never had a chance to try the service because the friggn guy never came over with the GoCDMA phone.

    WC is too slow man.

  69. nice review

    though i have to say i’ve been using world call for 2 years now and have never encountered so many prblems.

    i have a 64 k connection with them and honestly i’ve gotten 300 KB/sec download speeds over filesharing ( bit torrent). about the ping i am surprised bout that.

    i get 200- 300 pings with xbox player in usa when i play online so i am surprised and uc get 200 from ptcl. is that infocorrect.

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