VPN Providers - Customer Service

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by jaypeecee, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. jaypeecee

    jaypeecee Registered Member

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    Location:
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    Hello Everyone,

    I have chosen to start this thread in order to focus exclusively on the quality of Customer Service offered by VPN Providers. Under this heading, I am including Technical, Sales, Pre-Order - indeed every aspect of customer service. The reason? Well, firstly - it's very important. Secondly - it may well be the only way of deciding which provider to use. And lastly, because my experience is that at least one of the big names cannot deliver on their promises.

    So, if anyone has any recommendations, please share it/them with the rest of us.

    Thanks in advance.

    JPC
     
  2. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    ok, here we go.
    p.s.: ratings below do not reflect any views on providers in terms of service quality but support/customer service per se.

    air:
    pre-order 5/10 (slow & generic replies)
    sales 5/10 (ditto)
    tech 6 (slow, equivocatory & convoluted replies)

    boleh:
    pre-order 5/10 (long procedure to get a trial)
    sales 5/10 (relatively easy refund if required)
    tech 6/10 [slow replies by email, no live chat despite their claim to have one, but well-informed, skilled staff (esp. ruben himself)]

    cyberghost
    pre-order 7/10 (good and helpful staff, fast replies)
    sales 7/10 (easy refund if the need be)
    tech 7/10 (good support, always helpful)

    ibvpn:
    pre-order: 7/10 (good, helpful staff)
    sales 7/10 (ditto)
    tech 7/10 (ditto)

    insorg:
    pre-order 9/10 (very knowledgeable, skilled and helpful staff)
    sales 8/10 (ditto)
    tech 9 (the best support in the industry)

    ivpn:
    pre-order 8/10 (prompt & succinct replies)
    sales 8/10 (ditto & trouble-free refund)
    tech 8/10 (skilled and knowledgeable staff, fast replies)

    mullvad:
    pre-order 7/10 (succinct replies)
    sales 9.9/10 (the most privacy-friendly provider in terms of subscription methods, trouble-free refund)
    tech 8/10 (pretty fast and succinct replies, highly skilled and well-informed staff)

    nord:
    pre-order 4/10 (clueless staff in terms of technical aspects)
    sales 5/10 (meh)
    tech 6 (average staff)

    pia:
    pre-order 4/10 (clueless staff)
    sales 4/10 (ditto)
    tech 5/10 (slow and tiresome mail exchange)

    vpn.ac:
    pre-order 5/10 (average staff)
    sales 5/10 (ditto)
    tech 6/10 (slow, unsatisfactory replies)
     
  3. jaypeecee

    jaypeecee Registered Member

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    UK
    Hi IMDb,

    Wow, that is valuable feedback for which I (and hopefully others) am/will be very grateful. There are a few names on your list that are completely new to me. In conjunction with the relative merits (or otherwise!) of the VPN products themselves, it should now be easier to take an informed decision about which VPN provider to choose.

    I'm now actively researching my next VPN Provider.

    JPC
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    @imdb - Hey, thanks! Great stuff there :thumb:
     
  5. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    Slovenia
    Thnx imdb for sharing your experience :thumb:
     
  6. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    no problem, guys :thumb:
    will add a few others when i get the time.
     
  7. GPM

    GPM Registered Member

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    Posts:
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    IMDb, you must be fun to go car shopping with. :) Great response. I've experience only with PIA and iVPN and completely agree with your comments on both.
     
  8. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    thanks, g :thumb:
     
  9. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    astrill:
    pre-order 3/10 (vague, generic, copy/paste replies if lucky enough to get a reply)
    sales 3/10 (ditto)
    tech 4/10 (ditto, most of the time issues not solved & the customers left on their own)

    btguard:
    pre-order 3/10 (vague, generic replies, not helpful)
    sales 3/10 (ditto)
    tech 3/10 (vague, unsatisfactory replies, most questions left unanswered)

    cactus (same sw code & tech with hideip):
    pre-order 6/10 (helpful but average staff)
    sales 6/10 (ditto)
    tech 6/10 (somewhat good staff, timely replies)

    express:
    pre-order 5/10 (average)
    sales 5/10 (ditto)
    tech 7.5/10 (good, helpful staff, timely replies)

    hideip:
    pre-order 6/10 (helpful but average staff)
    sales 6/10 (ditto)
    tech 6/10 (somewhat good staff, timely replies)

    hma:
    pre-order 7/10 (good, helpful staff)
    sales 7/10 (ditto)
    tech 7/10 (ditto)

    ipvanish:
    pre-order 4/10 (below average)
    sales 4/10 (ditto)
    tech 2/10 (staff almost non-existent, redirects to forums on which questions never get replied)

    ironsocket:
    pre-order 5/10 (average staff)
    sales 5/10 (ditto)
    tech 6/10 (average but helpful staff)

    pure:
    pre-order 3/10 (clueless staff in terms of technical aspects)
    sales 1/10 (worst in the industry, requires dl scan)
    tech 2/10 (never-ending mail exchange, issues not solved most of the time)

    proton:
    pre-order 7/10 (good, helpful and knowledgeable staff)
    sales 7/10 (ditto)
    tech 7.5/10 (well-informed, helpful staff, fast replies)

    securitykiss:
    pre-order 5/10 (average staff)
    sales 5/10 (ditto)
    tech 5/10 (average staff, some questions answered, some not)

    strong:
    pre-order 3/10 (copy/paste replies, half of the time questions not answered)
    sales 3/10 (ditto)
    tech 4/10 (not helpful with problems, questions vaguely answered or passed on to upper-tier staff and never answered)

    torguard:
    pre-order 5/10 (generic replies)
    sales 5/10 (average staff)
    tech 6/10 (mostly helpful staff, help taking longer than expected)

    vpnarea:
    pre-order 5/10 (average but helpful staff)
    sales 5/10 (ditto)
    tech 6/10 (helpful, friendly staff, issues solved most of the time, service not so sophisticated so high proficiency not required)

    vypr:
    pre-order 6/10 (average but helpful staff)
    sales 5/10 (ditto)
    tech 6.5/10 (helpful knowledgeable staff, sometimes vague, generic replies)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  10. jaypeecee

    jaypeecee Registered Member

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    Posts:
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    Location:
    UK
    Hi IMDb,

    I am currently trialling ProtonVPN and, in my view, the product is very good. But Customer Support is confusing; if you browse the ProtonVPN website and click on the Support Tab at the top of the page, you will be greeted by a very basic list which did not answer the question for which I needed a quick answer. So, I clicked on the green tab labelled Contact Our Support Team. There is then a form to complete with an additional note saying "You can also contact us at support@protonvpn.com - (we recommend using the form, email is not always monitored)". Seriously! So, what to do? Instead of clicking on the Support Tab on the Home page, clicking on Pricing did the trick. This took me to another page at which point I was met with a Live Chat popup and it was here that I quickly received an answer to my question. :(:confused::rolleyes:

    I have suggested to ProtonVPN that they consider the use of Live Chat for all support enquiries.

    JPC
     
  11. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    hi there j, most service providers in the industry follow the same path, more or less. and that's understandable, because they don't want their tech staff to be busy with issues easily solvable through faq's & help guides. Live chat staff are the lowest tier, so most of the time they can't help you with technical issues. live chat is only good for situations like when a certain server is down or has very high latency and you wanna know when it'll be fixed, etc.
    i never used their trial, so i can't speak for it but for the paid service. and whenever i had any issues, i submitted a ticket and it was resolved in a few hrs.
     
  12. Tarnak

    Tarnak Registered Member

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    I signed up for Windscribe Pro recently, and so far I have only contacted support once by email, and they responded, promptly. :)
     
  13. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    did you go for the lifetime subscription?
     
  14. Tarnak

    Tarnak Registered Member

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    I certainly did, i.e. 10 years, and at the end of that period, I can extend for another 10 years. I should live that long? ;)
     
  15. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    @Tarnak
    their definition of lifetime is 10 yrs? or are we not talking about the same deal?
     
  16. Tarnak

    Tarnak Registered Member

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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  17. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    @Tarnak
    yeah, that's the one. so, this is valid for 10 yrs? and after that, you need to buy another 10? holy moses, i wonder what country they're based in. because i know of no country where life expectancy is around 10 yrs. :confused:
     
  18. Tarnak

    Tarnak Registered Member

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    You misunderstand! You don't have to buy, again! In 2028, just before it expires I just have to get in touch with Windscribe to request a further extension for another 10 years. Easy peasy. :)

    P.S. If my laptop dies as it most likely will before then, it doesn't matter, I will be able to continue using Windscribe Pro on a new device.

    P.P.S. They are based in Canada, a '5 Eyes' country. ;) But, that doesn't worry me!
     
  19. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    @Tarnak
    oh, ok then. that sounds acceptable. :thumb:
     
  20. Tarnak

    Tarnak Registered Member

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    4,630
  21. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Jan 25, 2009
    Posts:
    6,703
    I've had both bad and good experiences with PIA and ibVPN's support.

    I was having issues with PIA and the customer support was beyond useless. I got lots of unhelpful replies, often giving me the same useless information and at one point I was sent a link to an article for Mac users, even though it was clear I was using a PC! Eventually, I got to talk to level 2 technical support and the guy was very helpful. But, it took a long time (and lots of frustration) to reach that point.

    When I was considering switching to ibVPN, they had a special running, with a huge discount. The discount ended before I signed up. However, when I talked to them via live chat, they let me sign up at the discounted rate.

    I also had terrible customer support from ibVPN. Their answers were not helpful and after my case was referred to level 2 technical support I was not given further updates and whenever I asked for updates via live chat, I was told that they were still looking into it. However, after I left bad feedback on one of their social media pages, they messaged me and asked my the reason for my feedback. After explaining the situation, one of the founders of ibVPN replied to my support ticked and not only did he do his utmost to help me (even setting up another local server for me, so that I could access Chinese websites) and any future support tickets will be sent to him. I was offered a refund, but since they were able to solve my issue, I chose to stay a customer. In the end, the level of support I got, was truly outstanding.
     
  22. jaypeecee

    jaypeecee Registered Member

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    Location:
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    Hi IMDb,

    Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I am aware that there is a layered approach to Customer Support in most organizations and that makes complete sense. But I was faced with having to wait up to 48 hours to get an answer to a question that was resolved in less than a minute by Live Chat. As a result, I've now upgraded from the Free to the Basic option. Watch this space!

    JPC
     
  23. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    hey j, i understand your concern. hope you have a trouble-free experience with proton. looking forward to your feedback. :thumb:
     
  24. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    This is good stuff, @imdb :) It deserves its own website, I think. Or maybe you could contact ThatOnePrivacyGuy, and see if he's interested in cooperating.
     
  25. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    thanks @mirimir :thumb: aamof i do cooperate with a couple of websites :ninja:
     
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