Sunday, June 14, 2009

You Can't hear us now!

For the second time in less than a week, the CityWest cellular system in Prince Rupert has left many of its customers less than happy with their service.

On Saturday, during the height of the Seafest activities in the afternoon, the CityWest cellular platform appears to have suffered another form of a breakdown, leaving many of the city's residents unable to keep in contact with others on the CityWest system.

With crowds numbering in the thousands downtown taking part in the various activities, there was little chance to keep in touch or update friends and families about activities or locations, a situation that attracted a number of locals to the hackingthemainframe site to express their dissatisfaction with the growing inconvenience.

On Wednesday, a similar outage took place between noon and four pm, leaving Citywest customers without service and without much in the way of answers, but for a short advisory that they were working on the problem.

Saturday, there did not appear to be a similar explanation, and with business hours restricted to a Monday to Friday operation, there was but only a telephone link with CityWest to try and learn more about the outages, though information it appears was not plentiful.

Last year, CityWest, which is owned by the City of Prince Rupert, trumpeted the importance of its alliance with Northwestel as part of the larger Bell mobility system for service delivery, during their Wednesday outage they outlined on their website that they were endeavouring to "take steps with partner carriers to ensure that this kind of outage would be avoided in the future."

With Saturday's outage still fresh in their mind for Monday morning, Rupertites that currently remain with CityWest are no doubt hoping that the pace of those "steps with their partner carriers" quickens and that the outages begin to be but bad memories.
Short of that, perhaps just keeping the customers better informed about service disruptions, their causes and solutions might help keep CityWest customers loyal in the very competitive cel phone business.

Otherwise, judging by some of the tone of the local chat board from the last few days, the exodus from CityWest may soon be on.

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