Wateen has seen considerable deterioration in its services since this conversation was started.
I subscribed to Wateen's 1mb unlimited package for around PKR 1,625 per month, with PKR 3,000 deposit for the round-shaped wi-fi device. This I did in Dec. 2008.
I cancelled my account in May 2010.
When I first subscribed, Wateen's main showrooms in Lahore and Islamabad, where I visited, were shining and bustling. There was excellent personal service. The helpline was always prompt.
Now, Wateen's service centers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi offer courses in neglect. It's as if you're visiting a govt department where everyone treats you as if you should be lucky they let you in. They require photocopies of your CNIC for every transaction, regardless of the number of times you've given them copies. And they don't have a copy machine and power outages are frequent, so you are supposed to leave and come back with a copy. The last time I was there I asked them, 'You are a foreign company, based in UAE, and you don't have a power generator?!'.
Despite having service centers at major locations, they are mostly in shambles now, messy, unclean and with broken furniture. All the initial attention to detail is gone. Most of the staffers are not motivated, with a careless attitude.
Although all I was interested in is returning my device and getting back my security deposit amount ASAP, I tried to find out why Wateen's general deterioration. I discovered that Wateen's management is running the company as if it was a general store owned by one stingy sheikh. Everything is centralized from Lahore, where Wateen HQ is. They don't trust any of their employees working in cities other than Lahore. All perks are reserved for Wateen HQ staff. The rest are dogs.
The worst part is that even if you have opened your account from a Wateen center in Karachi or Peshawar or Islamabad, you can't get your security deposit back until at least 5 or 6 weeks later when the Lahore HQ will dispatch your check. Whey they do is they return your security deposit. But you have to go back and remind them that Wateen also has to reimburse the remainder unused days of the prepaid account. Which means that you have to haggle and then wait for another 5 weeks for the new check. So it's a total of 8 to 10 weeks before your money is returned.
The only thing good about Wateen is their helpline. They are always prompt and will always answer and you won't have to wait in long queues, which means they have ample staff on telephone. But that's the surface. After repeated use, you will come to know that this staff is only good at indulging you. That's all. They can't help you with anything else. They will tell you that you have to wait until someone calls you back on your designated number. Generally, this is good. But in my case, Wateen removed one of their towers in one of the prime areas of Islamabad, due to whatever reasons which they refused to share with their clients. Believe it or not, It's been a week now since the Wateen serivce is completely unavailable in this part of Islamabad but Wateen never bothered to inform all the subscribers in the area how long the outage will last or when it will be restored. No information, no alerts and no promises. If you accept this way of treatment, good for you, or simply do what I did and cancel the service. When I went to the main service center in Islamabad/Rwp, I asked the manager why the subscribers were not informed that the outage would be long so we could make alternate arrangements for using Internet, esp those of us who use it for work. The Wateen manager rudely replied, 'Well, now you know [that the service is out]!'.
All in all, I am surprised where did Wateen spend all those millions that they collected from an IPO earlier this year. I bet it's lying in some account in Dubai or Abu Dhabi while Wateen's clients and staffers suffer back in Pakistan.
Great service indeed. Keep it up.