A couple of weeks ago we had an amazing electrical storm, which knocked out our broadband, and also part of our power setup, called the CCGX, which displays information about the whole system and sends it to the outside world. Without it we still had power, though it was harder to see exactly what was going on, and we couldn’t connect to the internet to update etc. So an important (and expensive) bit of equipment but we could manage. Losing the broadband router however was a cheaper but substantially more inconvenient problem. It was a good lesson in how we need to ensure that we don’t become too reliant on the internet.

Anyhow, I can’t help but compare and contrast the attitudes of the two companies involved here. BT, a UK telecoms provider, and Victron, a high tech company from the Netherlands. Not a small company either. BT’s answer to our problem was to provide a non human automated response┬áthat gave a different answer every day for 5 days, until which it announced that all was well (it wasn’t) and I had to spend 2 hours on the phone pleading, following which I was promised an engineer visit (4 days later) to fix the problem. Which turned out not to be the line, as BT said, but the BT router (which Chris the friendly engineer sorted in 10 minutes). So 9 days, a couple of formal complaints, and a lot of time wasted.

Whereas Victron – I mailed to say that my CCGX was broken, and got a response from support within 20 minutes to return the unit. An hour later a confirmation that although a lightning strike wasn’t covered under warranty, they’d replace it anyway, and 2 days later a new unit arrived. And here I am telling the world what a wonderful company they are. Because they are – despite being a big organisation, they manage to look after customers, know that many are relying on their equipment to keep the lights on, and their customer service is incredible. If you are thinking of buying off grid equipment I cannot recommend them highly enough. Victron Energy

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