For years, I along with a lot of other Malaysians suffered from the never-improving broadband connection called Streamyx. I mean when Streamyx first came out it was really good. But then years went by and while other countries moved on to 10-20 or even 100mps lines now, Streamyx still stayed at 1mbps. It also didn’t help that most of the time we never even hit that 1mbps.
I get a hint though of the kind of internet that the outside world experiences. When I was in Japan, the lines there were so fast you had YouTube videos loading instantly and downloading any software patches of any sort took minutes instead of hours.
When watching YouTube videos, most Malaysians are used to doing one thing. They would click play on the video, then click pause and wait for the red progress bar to load till the end before they actually start watching the video. Not to mention sometimes the video loads halfway and then it stops so you’ll have to refresh the whole page again.
So when I first heard about Unifi I was excited for it, but at the same time a little cautious. Sure it was going to be fibre optic and had better infrastructure but I was just pessimistic about our providers being able to achieve high-speed broadband in Malaysia. When it first launched it wasn’t available in my area yet. So I kept checking every month and finally it was. I was the first person in my area to get Unifi-ed.
Now the reason why I’m writing this entry is because…. when bad things happen we’re often generous in the flaming we give TM. So I believe that when TM does things right, we should be generous in giving them credit.
Let me tell you about Unifi.
The speed is amazing. I went for a 20mbps line which is the best they got but only because I’m sharing the line with a lot of other very heavy internet users in my household. I just did a speedtest and this was the download and upload speeds I was getting.
Everything is totally different with Unifi. Sure surfing is a breeze but there’s more to that:
I don’t lag in any online gaming I do. It used to be in Starcraft 2 that it would take a long time for every menu page to load because the net was so slow. I don’t get that anymore.
YouTube is a whole new experience. You can click and instantly watch any video on the spot. In fact I don’t even watch standard YouTube videos anymore. I often now go for the full screen HD videos.
Unifi is as fast as any other fast connection that I’ve experienced overseas in Japan, USA or even Singapore. Perhaps they have even faster lines there but I’m not sure how much more faster than 20mbps we need. Unifi is basically how internet should have always been for us in Malaysia… and I’m glad it’s finally here.
Now the speed of it or the product itself is just one thing. It’s the people and my experience with their service that spurred me to write this entry. On the day of the installation, the TM staff (some people say the installers are 3rd party contractors but lets just refer to them as TM staff here) were an hour late to my place but that’s because they got lost finding it. They were very apologetic though. So I forgave them. They came at 4PM and started working on installing my Unifi. They did some of the work outside my house before they came in and then came in just to set up the equipment.
They got the internet connection working in no time but they faced some problems with installing the IPTV. Every time they turned it on it failed to connect to the server or something. So they tried all sorts of troubleshooting and made lots of calls to different TM numbers to find out what’s going on. More than an hour passed and since it was pass 5.30PM I wondered if they were just going to leave the job unfinished and come back another day. They didn’t.
They stayed all the way on till 9PM to try to fix the problem. I felt so bad and I told them that they could just come back another day if they wanted but they said that as long as I’m ok with them staying long at their place, they’ll be happy to stay until they fix it. Dinner-time came and went so I served them milo and cookies which they gobbled up in no time. They were appreciative. After 9PM they decided that there was nothing more they could do but they would get someone else on the equipment side to come fix it another day. I had gotten my internet up working anyway so I thanked them and they left.
A week later or so someone else from TM came and got my IPTV working.
Then just last week I had problems. My internet connection just died. So I called up the Unifi hotline. Their customer service officer was really helpful and she lodged a report for me and told me they were trying to fix the problem remotely. The next morning I followed up with them and they said they were going to send someone over to my place in the afternoon to check it out. This time they were on time… and they fixed it in no time. In less than 24 hours since I had called their hotline, they had sent a team over to fix my problem. Now if that’s not great customer service what isn’t?
So I’m inspired by Unifi… by the people behind it at every level. I’m glad that TM as a Malaysian company has managed to pull itself together and gradually change the perception people had of it before.
To be fair, the IPTV isn’t great. When it comes to TV, Astro is still far superior to Unifi so don’t think of replacing your Astro with Unifi. But if you’re looking for a faster internet connection. Unifi is a good bet.