Feed me!


A few days ago I reviewed ShakaNet’s wifi service at the Honolulu Airport. I found it easy to connect to with speeds fast enough for a mostly stutter free iChat video chat – mostly. At around 5 USD for a couple of hours it was okay in a pinch. Today, I stoppped by to use their internet kiosk. You see them near the interisland terminals. I had about an hour and a half till my flight and did not want to deal with taking out and setting up my laptop. I drop a five in the kiosk. Nothing… Just the error message shown above. To make matters worse – no number to call or instructions on how to get a refund. The only thing that worked was the display that showed how much time I had left. It continued to countdown with no way of logging out or saving the remainder. Do yourself a favor and avoid these kiosks. Besides the flaky nature of these things, the poor customer service should not be rewarded.

4 Comments so far

  1. Nam Vu (unregistered) on June 17th, 2005 @ 3:12 am

    First off, I apologize for the outage. We do take the network down occassionally and there is currently some work being done on the network that may have caused an outage.

    We do have 24/7/365 support which can be reached at our toll-free number 866-SHAKANET or 866-742-5263.

    The number is clearly displayed on all of our front pages.

    In fact, on your picture the number is shown on the bottom right.

    As with any network, there will be some downtime that is un-avoidable and unfortunately you may have just caught one of those times.

    If you will reply back to me, I will be able to give you an account that you can use at any time so that you can check it out again. This is what we would do with any customer that encounters a problem such as yours.

    Our business is in some ways a very challenging one, because were earn our business a dollar at a time. At any time a user can leave and never come back. It is this focus that helps us to ensure that make each customer happy.


    Nam Vu
    ShakaNet, Inc.

  2. Lloyd (unregistered) on June 17th, 2005 @ 9:26 am

    Thank you for your response. I hope the people that were sitting next to me cursing at your kiosk will be afforded the same remedies. I appreciate your comments. Let me offer the following suggestions – improvements that would certainly have improved my customer experience with your service.

    When your network goes down there should be a way to prevent the kiosk from accepting new monies. This was obviously the biggest frustration I faced along with those sitting next to me. Or a way to clearly show on the screen that the network is down. This is not currently the case. The experience of paying for a service that is unexpectedly down and not being able to immediately get refunded is why I described the service as poor.

    There should be a way to logout and save the existing time when the network does go down. Your logout button requires the network to be working in order to create an account to save the time remaining. Clearly this added to the frustration.

    And there should be a clearly marked customer service number with instructions on how to get a refund perhaps on a sticker attached to the kiosk. I looked and did not see one. As did the others. If it is on the front screen I did not see it. The sticker would seem to be a low cost and customer friendly remedy.

  3. Nam Vu (unregistered) on June 17th, 2005 @ 10:46 am


    Anyone who calls us with a problem that is somehow our responsibility is always taken care of. Even when it is not our responsibility we still do what we can.

    We certainly understand the value of being able to detect a network failure and posting an out of order message. We are certainly not in the business to cheat anyone out of their money. We also obviously have a vested interest in this since it would prevent us from having to send someone out on-site to put an out of order sign on the machine.

    Unfortunately, we do not have a solution for this feature, yet and are working on one.

    Regarding logging out, since our system works on a central database that allows our users to be able to use their remaining time at any location, it is extremely difficult to implement a local logout feature. The problems are with synchronization of the data which would have to occur real-time.

    Regarding a sticker, we do have stickers at other some locations. We are working on an entire branding package that would include such stickers for the airport location. If you noticed, there were very few stickers of labels of any kind at the airport kiosks. Part of the reason for that is that everything has to have prior approvals.

    Have you had a chance to review the photo that you posted to see if the phone number is displayed there? The picture posted was too poor quality to see, but knowing where the number is posted, I can make out that it should have been clearly visible. In the picture, you can see part of it on the bottom right just under the green “Login” button. It states: “Problems or Feedback? Email Us [link] or call (866) SHAKANET”. And no, it is not in super small font so that you cannot see it. It is the same font size as the count-down timer.

    I appreciate your comments, but would have thought that you would have allowed us an opportunity to remedy the problem before posting incorrect and incomplete information.

    I hope that in your professional job, people would give you the same courtesy.

  4. Lloyd (unregistered) on June 17th, 2005 @ 10:57 am

    This has been a very interesting and useful conversation. Thank you.

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