From my personal experience, I can tell you that after using a DSL connection for some time, using a standard dial-up connection becomes unbearable. I usually use a monthly pre-paid subscription, and tend to change the ISP from time to time depending on the performance and speed of connection during the past month.
So after my last subscription with AwalNet ended, my brother suggested that we should change the ISP. I thought AwalNet was ok, but he said a change might be good. I did not mind, because to me there wasn’t this huge difference between ISP’s in the Kingdom. The whole internet infrastructure in the country is crappy after all.
I know that a 128 kbps speed is not exactly what true computer geek would hope for, but considering my bankruptcy, and that I’m not a geek, I think it is good enough for my usual internet usage. Plus, BitTorrent and other P2P tools have made even the slowest DSL connections more valuable.
We got a one-month subscription from Sahara. After about ten days of normal usage, interrupted by several hours of disconnection every 2 or 3 days, we were completely disconnected. My brother called the Sahara help line, and after a long waiting he finally spoke to a customer service person. “You are no longer connected because you have exceeded your download limit,” he told my brother, who was totally surprised with what he heard. “You have a 6 GB download limit and you have reached that limit, so your subscription is no longer working,” he added.
My brother told him there was nothing on the pre-paid card about a download limit. “That is correct: this piece of information is only available on our website,” the customer service guy said. My brother, shocked with this kind of policy, did not comment and simply hang up.
I don’t get it: so I have to go to their website to find out about their terms and conditions? But wait, to do that, I need to be connected to the internet, and that’s why I purchased the pre-paid subscription card in the first place, right? What if I read their terms and conditions and did not agree on them? Would they accept to take back their subscription and give me a refund for the service I purchased? I don’t think so.
Based on my experiences with other Saudi companies, and with this kind of policies by Sahara, I don’t think they would do that. Anyways, I got a new subscription from another ISP, with no download limit crap of any kind; otherwise I won’t be able to write this post ;-) and I guess I won’t be dealing with them anymore as that proved to be a total waste of money and time. Conclusion: Sahara DSL service is highly unrecommended, and if you had no other choice you better stick to your not-so-good ol’ dial-up connection.