Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Because that's how I roll

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    Personally, I'm prepared to pay $10 more a month for Telecom/Xtra to have a single point of blame - if the service doesn't work then it's them or the modem, and I have two modems to try.

    IHUG now offer single point of blame service. And actually their phone system has worked perfectly for me for the 5 months or so since I got it. Maybe because I didn't need to talk to anyone to set it up.

    The great joy at no longer receiving a bill from Telecom...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    You know, I used the phrase "that's how I roll" just yesterday

    Ditto that. My mother didn't know what the flip I was talking about. I ain't frontin', holmes. Word.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I've given up on file sharing, since they seem to detect it and throttle it. Silly them, since it was my only reason to have a high cap in the first place. So I dropped the cap, and pay them bugger all now.

    I ditched ihug for that very reason after 9 years of loyalty. I was paying for 60 gig download and they were throttling it in the name of "prioritising web browsing traffic". Which they weren't, they were killing my entire connection if I was doing any torrent downloads, and my browsing was slower than dialup.

    My ambition of downloading the entire contents of legaltorrents.com in tatters, I ditched them in favour of Clear. Unlike ihug, they don't have a business model based on bait-and-switch, and charge me for what I use in 10 gig increments.

    Which is probably why I won't get that new Vodafone phone "line" - I'll likely need to sign up to ihug to get DSL, which, in the Morningside, is reasonably performant*.

    * if one can commit idiomicide, surely one can expound a not-yet-word ?

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I used to give a shit about my file sharing until I got MySky. Now there's always something good on TV, for that brief period when I can be arsed. So I'm happy to wait for mates who do still obsess about getting every last byte out of their ISP to just fill up some SD sticks for me. The backlog of watchingz* is getting out of hand.

    *I feel that such idiomzzz are allowed to my race - pasty white man. But if I hear any gangsta using it, I'll get .... browned off? My rag on? Pinged up? Jeeez this idiom sensitivity is just too hard.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ihug:

    And they were often a price leader and they were big on flat rate when it was a new idea here in NZ.

    They invented flat rate here, and forced the rest of the market to follow them. The other big commercial ISPs in 1996 all wanted to charge $5 an hour, but they had to fold.

    I had the odd run-in with Nick Wood back in the day (on one occasion receiving from him the most abusive email I've ever had) but he'll always have my respect for what he did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Jane,

    Re: the mocha situation in KC.
    It's free, so get a cappucino and a hot chocolate plus one empty cup. Mix them up and bada-bam - two mochas. Free. Give the spare to a suit and see if it makes them smile.

    Since Aug 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Watson,

    It's solid, if not stunning

    I'm finding the announcement of Spoon pretty exciting - indie rock heaven! Was hanging out for a Jens Lekman announcement though, that would have been summer-tastic.

    AK • Since Nov 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Sara, that is genius. But you have to share a marshmallow?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    You only get one marshmallow with a hot choccie in Wellington? Come up to cosmopolitan Hamilton, you'll get two!

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Mate, in Auckland drinking a hot chocolate is heresy unless it comes with a chocolate marshmallow fish.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I ditched ihug for that very reason after 9 years of loyalty. I was paying for 60 gig download and they were throttling it in the name of "prioritising web browsing traffic". Which they weren't, they were killing my entire connection if I was doing any torrent downloads, and my browsing was slower than dialup.

    That's interesting, I've never had that problem with ihug. I torrent NHL games down and get roughly 30-40x dialup speeds. It probably could be faster, but taking 2-3 hours to download a 1GB file doesn't seem too bad to me.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    They invented flat rate here, and forced the rest of the market to follow them. The other big commercial ISPs in 1996 all wanted to charge $5 an hour, but they had to fold

    1. I remember when Xtra controversally dropped their dial-up hourly rate from $5 to $2.50. Smaller ISPs couldn't compete and formed BOHICA (Boldly Opposed to Hositile Internet Corporate Activity), but didn't manage to stick it to the man.

    2. I used to work at Ihug, and then I got a job at Xtra. Even though I had a free phone line and monthly $50 credit that I could spend on the Telecom services of my choosing, I still kept my Ihug flat-rate account because Xtra did not then offer flat-rate dial-up. One of my new workmates was astounded at my daring.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    then I got a job at Xtra. Even though I had a free phone line and monthly $50 credit that I could spend on the Telecom services of my choosing...

    Having just signed a Telecom employment contract (for a very loosely affiliated business unit) I am eyeing this little clause up. How to spend? Upping the 3G cap on the free broadband plan? Or subsidising SKY? Wife's cellphone bill?
    It's like a telco-loving accountants Christmas! Only I'm neither.
    And the irony of having avoided any form of Telecom bill since I returned to NZ up to now hasn't escaped me...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yeah those workplace discounts can be a double edged sword. You wouldn't believe how much half-price MacDonalds I ate while I worked there. Put me off for life.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Ben - ditto!

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Maureen Jansen,

    I agree that Bill Ralston can write. I disapproved of him when he ran TVNZ News but find myself enjoying his columns and articles. He's a natural and I'm so glad the Listener has him and Linley (?) Boniface. I'm still seething about the Black page I'm afraid but I think the rest of the Listener is pretty damn good.

    Rotorua • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Hey, I've just realized. I F&%*$#% roll! Why should I feel guilty for telling people how I do it???

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    we determined that the DSL connection was faulty, and that the Wired Country was working perfectly, apart from it just not working.

    I must admit to being a broadband problem virgin until recently. Very smug I was too. My xtra broadband was working beautifully - and then........ about 7 weeks ago, it all just turned to craq. Sometimes my modem lights would go blinkety blink blink like a cheshire cat on crack, sometimes they just stopped to smell the roses. I put up with it, and then finally rang Telecom. Who told me I had to do a 3 day speed test, even though it was probably my modem (a 302G) that was old, and defunct, and therefore most likely the culprit. Did the speedtest, sent it off. Got an email back assuring me that my connection speeds were completely normal and that - and I quote directly here - " It is important to know when you use the Internet you are sharing it with other users. As a result, the time it takes for your computer to receive or send information will be affected during busy periods."

    The Internet is an international network so some of the factors that affect your overall broadband experience are outside our control. For example some websites limit the speed at which they send out information and sites that are further away (i.e. overseas) can be slower to download than sites hosted in New Zealand."

    No shit, sherlock. After quite a long time being an online user, I think I might know that already. So I ring xtra helpdesk to tell them just how very patronising and offensive I find their email, (in Manila - ain't it grand?) and the very lovely man there said he would send me a new modem. And the point of the speed test would have been what, exactly? After years of being smug, now I am empathy personified.

    I agree that Bill Ralston can write. I disapproved of him when he ran TVNZ News but find myself enjoying his columns and articles. He's a natural and I'm so glad the Listener has him and Linley (?) Boniface. I'm still seething about the Black page I'm afraid but I think the rest of the Listener is pretty damn good.

    I loved that article, Maureen, such good writing. As for Joanne Black, I can't stand the sanctimonious tone she takes.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Ihug:

    They invented flat rate here, and forced the rest of the market to follow them. The other big commercial ISPs in 1996 all wanted to charge $5 an hour, but they had to fold.

    damn straight. after my first $100 bill from some isp i immediately changed to ihug, and enjoyed the service for 2 or three years.

    they also wisely put a rather busty young lady on the front counter for bill payment. geeks would line up down the block once a month to see her.

    these days? the company is shit.

    took me a month to even get broadband connected , i spoke to a number of people who outright lied about when i was getting my service, and when finally i did it started dropping to dial-up for days at a time.

    naturally i was told it was "probably a problem at my end"

    immediately changed to orcon and haven't had a problem since. same modems, same cables to same port on wall. same computer.

    oh, except ihug still trying to charge me for services i'd cancelled.

    COMPLETE. FUCKING. MUPPETS.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    " It is important to know when you use the Internet you are sharing it with other users. As a result, the time it takes for your computer to receive or send information will be affected during busy periods."

    That's good to remember.

    I remember when I lived on Great Barrier island during the late eighties; I'd go into the mulberry grove shop tell the keeper the phone number I wanted to call on Waiheke ; He/Her would plug me in (like an electric guitar) to the appropriate Auckland exchange to transmit my call by microwave to the Ostend automatic exchange, that would in-turn relay my call by copper to wharf road (were the microwave arial is. I'd often be trying to organize funding for my research. This would normally arrive at the Mulberry Grove post shop of the next ferry. Something of an object of anticipation.

    Abruptly, it all changed. Andrew Fagen and Karen Hay started making appearances at the Mulbery Grove shop Bottle store to buy supplies by Eftpos.

    My internet seems to be going pretty good now. I got the $50 unlimited Broadband from Xtra. It appears to be getting more consistently faster. That copper wire drains thou some high literacy
    probably civil servant opulence.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    oh, except ihug still trying to charge me for services i'd cancelled.

    Ironically when I shifted my toll calls from Telecom to Ihug several years ago, Ihug sent the notification through to telecom that they were no longer my provider, and Telecom arranged for my calls to go through ihug with whatever they do.

    For the next three months or so my toll calls got billed by both companies. It took several phone calls to both, and several grumpy phone calls from ihug to telecom before 1. it got sorted, and 2. Telecom agreed that I should get refunded for the 3 months of their bills that I had paid to avoid disconnection, for phone calls that I had already paid for through ihug.

    I find regularly with ihug my broadband just loses its connection. For a while I was swapping to dialup, assuming that broadband was broken. I soon figured out that if I ran the test procedure on my D-Link broadband router, that flicked whatever switch needed to be flicked and it started working again. I still do it about every two weeks or so when I have problems.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Kennedy,

    My xtra broadband was working beautifully - and then........ about 7 weeks ago, it all just turned to craq. Sometimes my modem lights would go blinkety blink blink like a cheshire cat on crack

    A similar experience, same symptoms, in my case a technician called round and checked all the ADSL filters, his diagnoses was that it was a “filter” problem, exacerbated by the recent installation of SKY digital. He did things including replacing all the filters and the problem went away. I seem to recall a comment from the techie that this was the not the first SKY install resulting in ADSL connection problems that he had dealt with.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 224 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I had one a couple of weeks ago, with a friend's mother who I set up with XTRA broadband. I made the shocking mistake of getting her a WIFI DSL router. Shocking not because it's crap technology, but because it gives XTRA so much more opportunity for muppet-outing. There's been at least 6 occasions when she's reached the end of her tether with their lame support and called me, and I've come over and fixed the problem in seconds, knowing full well if I was a technician at the ISP I could have done it remotely.

    The last one was them saying that the router must be totally stuffed because they were getting a very poor signal, and that she'd have to get a new one. I came over and noticed the phone cord had become tangled around a power cord. Untangle, problem solved. Their techos can't engage in the most basic problem solving outside of their process script book. The number of times I solved MY customer's similar problems with a few minutes of being logical.

    In their defense, though, I found it a lot longer a process when they had gear that someone else had supplied, or I had to deal with someone I didn't know. So I do have a lot of patience with them and sympathy for what is actually quite a hard job. I wonder if their service would improve hugely if you got allocated a support person with whom you developed a relationship.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    the phone cord had become tangled around a power cord

    Doesn't that say something about the quality of technology that is ADSL? Not to mention the Sky issue, which I had and solved by unplugging my Sky box (with zero impact on the telly that came through it). My ADSL in an old house was crap because of old telco wiring.

    As an intermediate technology I guess it's filling a gap, but are we going to get something more robust one day?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Rich, it really is bizarre I agree. I wonder if we're going to leapfrog over fibre optic cables, since they'll be obsolete by the time Telecom ever get around to supplying them. Meanwhile DSL gets faster and faster, acting as a better and better stop gap. Surely there is a limit to how good it can get, though? Wireless options are getting better and better all the time. At some point they must break through the DSL pain barrier, and then goodbye Telecom. Not holding my breath, though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

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