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Archive for Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sunflower Broadband to offer refunds to residential Internet customers after Wednesday’s outage

August 13, 2009

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Sunflower Broadband residential Internet customers will receive a credit on their next bill equivalent to the charge for one day’s Internet access.

The credit comes after most Sunflower customers were unable to access the Internet for several hours Wednesday evening. The outage was caused when planned maintenance by Level 3 Communications went unexpectedly awry and took out one of the main Internet connections Sunflower uses to bring the Internet to its customers.

Most Sunflower customers were still able to access sites hosted locally, including LJWorld.com and SunflowerBroadband.com, while they couldn’t access outside sites, such as Google.com or Yahoo.com. Some access was restored by 10 p.m. Wednesday night, but final repairs weren’t completed until around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Sunflower Broadband officials said it would be some time until they had a cause of the outage. Level 3 officials didn’t return calls seeking comment.

Sunflower Broadband is owned by The World Company, the parent company of the Lawrence Journal-World.

Comments

madman 5 years, 4 months ago

What about business? It totally barfed up my day and I lost biz because of it....

ralphralph 5 years, 4 months ago

Nice gesture, and sort of a risky precedent. I've always wanted to ask my cable co (which isn't Sunflower) to prorate my bill based on the percentage of time all my channels are available for tv viewing and/or my internet access is out ... don't see it happening. I hope Sunflower is getting reimbursed by whoever caused it.

Ken Miller 5 years, 4 months ago

I still couldn't access the Internet at 6 am this morning - do I get a two-day credit?

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

Well, that's nice of them.

Are they going to refund the right of way fee that they bury in their $10 cable transfer charge for their internet only customers? You know, the right of way fee that is illegal for the city to charge for internet/or broadband services and that Sunflower does not pay for its internet only customers but still passes on the cost to its internet only customers.

/run on sentence runs on

aldo 5 years, 4 months ago

Nearly all businesses were greatly affected by this, including home-based, bricks and morter, and e-commerce entities. These companies have come to rely on high speed internet access to process credit cards, to work with clients and vendors and to run their Point of Sale systems. We accrued losses far greater than one days cost of the service. Business owners should be given one MONTH's free service and that wouldn't come close to covering the administrative costs incurred, let alone the loss of productivity and sales. One month free service would be a nice consolation from Sunflower, to whom we pay dearly for the service.

flux 5 years, 4 months ago

Sunflower is under the microscope right now, thats why.

Bobo Fleming 5 years, 4 months ago

I live in Eudora. I have had great fast internet here for years thanks to Sunflower. So everybody just chill.

CrystalKU 5 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

John Hamm 5 years, 4 months ago

Well, this is a first as far as I can remember. Good PR or Spin or whatever. Now when will someone there realize that an eMail broadcast to customers could have: 1) allowed us to do something to get around the problem 2) assured us that something was being done 3) and we wouldn't have felt the need to TRY to phone in - I HATE it when you shut the inbound lines down when you have a problem! "Due to large call volume........." (why don't you just say GO AWAY we're tired of taking your calls!)

Megan Tugman 5 years, 4 months ago

Oonly: would you rather wait in queue for 20+ minutes waiting for a rep?

leeroy_johnson 5 years, 4 months ago

Oonly -

Email probably wouldn't be a reliable source, since there was routing problems. And people would then complain about it being junk mail or spam any ways.

Rex Russell 5 years, 4 months ago

Not to be too pesimistic but, I'm positive that sans the incoming competition, Sunflower would have just glossed it over and ridden out the consumer storm. Now it's "were so sorry for your inconvience." Before it would be "screw you and quit whining".

jeffds01 5 years, 4 months ago

i haven't been able to access the internet for 3-4 days now, and the sunflower person tried to convince me something was wrong with my computer

got to love sunflower

kansasmutt 5 years, 4 months ago

Our business uses sunflower and we had to hold orders over a day , put off several jobs and wasted 1 full day to the tune of about a $400.00 loss. I think the one month free to all business customers is fair. It doesnt cover the loss but it will show they care. If not, AT&T will get a phone call from us. We allready changed our home to AT&T due to terrible internet and TV reception and outages constantly. The cost of AT&T is about 30% less and the service has been awesome thus far for 4 months. If you are like us and spend $500.00 a month on your phone, internet and T V and you save 30% with AT&T , it adds up to a nice savings over time.

hipper_than_hip 5 years, 4 months ago

That would explain the survey I got from Sunflower a month ago asking to rate their service, if we'd like faster service, etc.

Canopy was out for a week in our area and they refused to compensate anyone because the contract says the service has to be down for 10 business days.

Competition is good.

coolhandluke 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm with Machiavelli_mania. I'd just like to know why losing "one of the main internet connections" resulted in total loss of service for most customers. Does this mean that Sunflower has a single point of failure in their network? Why didn't traffic fail over to one of the "other main Internet connections"? Or don't the "other" ones exist?

Instead of crediting me my $2, please just explain to me how the issue has been addressed so that an issue at Level 3 can't bring down service for most of Sunflower's customers.

puddleglum 5 years, 4 months ago

yeah, I lost 2-3days of reliable usage as well, but I do appreciate the gesture. but I am still upset about this aspect: "Are they going to refund the right of way fee that they bury in their $10 cable transfer charge for their internet only customers? You know, the right of way fee that is illegal for the city to charge for internet/or broadband services and that Sunflower does not pay for its internet only customers but still passes on the cost to its internet only customers"

I call on sunflower to come clean and stop charging everyone the $10.00, since now it is out of the bag that they only give the city 50 cents of it.

what say you, sunflower? this would be a good way to keep my business in your hands

das 5 years, 4 months ago

I agree with these comments.....They need to take a look at ISO 9001 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_9000 and ITIL - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informat... .....and more appropriately, do a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and come up with Irreversible Corrective Actions (ICA). Seems simple in theory at least.

John Hamm 5 years, 4 months ago

imp29 No I wouldn't. If you had read I was commenting that they "pull the plug" on the telephone so you can't get in at all.

leeroy_johnson If you consider this latest outage - eMail was the ONLY thing that was working reliably! A simple broadcast using BCC: would've alerted customers that there was a problem, they knew about it, the problem was being addressed and allowed customers to live with it or look for immediate workarounds. And if a few people complain about a "spam" notification of service interruption well so be it. I'll wager a lot more would've thanked SB for being proactive in this instance.

May Soo 5 years, 4 months ago

As a business, we use Sunflower for our phone lines and internet, during the past 6 months, the phone has not worked for 2 of the Friday nights where we lost $400 each time on the delivery orders and Sunflower just told us there is nothing they can do about it, no credit or anything. I really think Sunflower can do better than this for their business customers.

Suni_Ks09 5 years, 4 months ago

I have had several other providers in other cities and have far worse service and customer service then Sunflower does. At least Sunflower is local and it doesn't take weeks to get a problem fixed!! I say quit the petty complaining and deal with it. So what if you were down for a day, did you take advantage of not being tied down? Business' have more to lose then residents so I can understand their frustrations but have they called in to the place to see what Sunflower has plans on doing for them? No probably NOT!! They just like to gripe!! GMAB

grammaddy 5 years, 4 months ago

A refund equal to the cost of one day's internet. At $29.95 a month, that like $.99... Whooppeee!!The tylenol I took to ease the headache the outage caused was worth much more than that.

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