Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Misconnection

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    I don't think you were addressing me personally when you talk about 'it being easy to get into siege mode where everything is someone else's fault -- the media, the evil Opposition, the fickle peasants, etc'. I merely note that the news media does not always serve us well.

    Whew! I'm glad you didn't take that as a personal dig, Suze, because it wasn't intended as such. And I don't actually disagree with you there - I can bore to Olympic standards about what an awful newspaper the Herald is, but I really think this unauthorised biography is a long way down the list. But anyway, I'm sure everyone who thinks John Key is the Fifth Horseperson of the Apocalypse will be much happier about part two.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    My three more emails were finally answered today and a refund posted. It took 3 months..

    To Simon and others with domain name management problems the Domain Name Commission is always there to ensure the smooth operation of the .nz domain space.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    the Domain Name Commission is always there to ensure the smooth operation of the .nz domain space.

    I didn't think the DNC would get involved in what is, effectively, a contract dispute? Perfectly willing to crack heads if transfers are being resisted or other issues around the management of the actual .nz space, but Simon's complaint seemed to be more of an invoice for services-not-provided than a refusal to allow the domain to be transferred.
    Unless I misunderstood his post.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Matthew - I am not in a position to comment on what the DNC would or would not get involved in. Just to point out they have an oversight role and registrars have to meet certain standards to maintain their status.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I feel like a PC World letter writer...

    I tell you, this is Personal Computing gone mad.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm posting the following on behalf of a PA reader called Walter:

    ---
    I read with great delight, and some sadness, the post "Misconnection"

    This morning I signed up with Orcon to move our Phone/internet, after over 10 years as an ihug customer including a stretch with the wired country phone. It's rather a long tale, but I can't really shorten it much, besides writing it down will be rather cathartic!

    About a 6-12 months (not sure exactly) after ihug started offering Wired Country connections, we shifted from a regular Telecom line and 56k dial-up to a 256kbps connection. In Glenfield we are a long way from the Sky Tower, but when the installer visited he said that the signal was "well in the green" and apart from going through three Cisco VoIP units before getting one that worked, everything was great and we were very happy. And gleeful at having escaped Telecom.

    Unfortunately this stopped when the storm in March 2007 cut it off. We were without working phone for over two weeks (internet took even longer, and it was several months before we had all the systems - voicemail etc - fully working). The tale is harrowing, but we spent many days constantly ringing ihug, and even Compass direct (while still attempting to repair the wireless), then again constantly ringing ihug and Telecom direct (while attempting to get DSL to replace it). Ironically the technician who came to fix the antenna said the signal was below marginal and couldn't believe it would ever have worked (I believe transmission power for all sorts of services from the sky tower was significantly reduced across the board a few years ago, you may know more).

    Many times during this process we considered telling ihug to go away, but the only option was to get Telecom back in, which was anathema to us, having tried very hard to be shot of them in the first place. Also, it seemed ihug were still the best option to get our phone & internet working in a hurry (and at their expense), most of the delays stemmed from the third parties, and Kane Treadaway at ihug was consistently helpful, albeit powerless to speed things up.

    This weekend, about the same time as the cable was cut in your area, our connection failed again - no DSL, no dial tone. I rang Vodafone twice on Friday evening, both times I was cut off after about 45 minutes and before speaking to a live human. I then rang the vodafone mobile helpdesk (777) and explained my plight to the nice gentleman (I don't think he was Egyptian either!) - he confirmed that Voda/hug were unaware of any issue affecting Glenfield, so requested him specifically to get a message to the ihug team and get them to contact us. Needless to say they didn't and in fact it wasn't until 6:30pm (over 24 hours since discovering the fault) that we were even able to log a fault with the helpdesk - and were told a 24-hours time to fix. This was ok by us, it's pretty standard (although disgusted they hadn't received notice via the 777 guy). However nothing changed over the next 24 hours so Sunday evening we rang the helpdesk again, including being cut off in mid call and probably spending over 2 hours on hold.

    Not once did anyone ever contact US .. and the Cust Service Reps all refused to put us through to a supervisor (and in fact we are still waiting to talk to one - although one did call but two hours later than promised when we were unavailable). Although as of about 3pm today things are working, I still don't if ihug actually know this. They certainly haven't let us know despite saying that they WOULD. In fact apart from relaying that Telecom Wholesale said they'd ATTEND to the fault by 4pm, nothing anyone at ihug/Vodafone has told us all weekend has come true. And I just tested 0800 438448 - the expected wait time is back up to 60 minutes. The appallingness is beyond belief.

    I have no desire to give Vodafone (as they have now nearly become) a third chance to cock things up - so signed up this morning with Orcon - who also have ADSL2+ equipment in our exchange and thus give us a third option. It remains to be seen whether their reputation as an ISP is going to apply to voice services.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    To Simon and others with domain name management problems the Domain Name Commission is always there to ensure the smooth operation of the .nz domain space.

    Thanks Don..it was actually a .info domain for my wife's site. I'd managed to move the registrar to the US based company I use (JaguarPC) and once there repointed the DNS there then transferred the site, but, yep Vodahug would not turn off the hosting and happily billed for it despite the fact that nothing was pointing at it and I'd cancelled it on line (twice..but it still came up as a hosted domain).

    And JaguarPC charge me US$9 per month for unlimited sites ( I have 11 on there), unlimited bandwidth and unlimited email accounts which compared to Vodafone's NZ$22 a month per domain was a no brainer. Oh..and have a responsive help system, although to be fair the last guy I spoke to at Vodafone did seem to be trying but was clearly up against it.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    About a 6-12 months (not sure exactly) after ihug started offering Wired Country connections, we shifted from a regular Telecom line and 56k dial-up to a 256kbps connection

    I tried to do that. Thje tech came round and clambered all over the roof to find the best spot for the antenna, there was a small tree between us and the Sky Tower which was all it took to kill the connection, we ended up with a long pole sticking out over the driveway with a thing that looked like a discarded packed lunch stuck on the end. So, after running about 100 mtrs of cable and checking the signal, the techie guy attempted to get a connection set up. After about an hour of stuffing about on my comp. he finally tried calling the help-desk with the usual result "we're sorry, both of our phone jockeys are taking a nap at this moment. Your call is impotent to us. You are 8274th in the queue" so he "called a friend"
    "sorry chum, the box of IP addresses got wet and they all fell out of the bottom, actually, and keep this under your beanie, we're like totally oversubscribed, under supplied and totally screwed. Come back in about six months"
    So, Luckily I didn't get my Wired Country connection but I did get to keep the ugly pole and 100mtrs of cable but the tech left and took his packed lunch with him.
    I went with Woosh in the end and to be honest, in spite of it not being able to handle hi def streaming video of things that might or might not be interesting, I feel well served.
    Thank you Woosh, now about that WiMax connection...............

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Wurr,

    bloody hell......I'm working for a large provider in the uk and while we might not get it right at least there's decent broadband here!!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    Seconded Bruce, we have been with what is now Virgin Media cable for about 8years all told and the connection is rock solid with very, very occasional outages, good speed increased regularly for the same money etc, etc.

    Internet provision is one big thing I am not looking forward to when looking to return home. It all sounds far too much like going back to dialup (shudder!) to me.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Internet provision is one big thing I am not looking forward to when looking to return home. It all sounds far too much like going back to dialup (shudder!) to me.

    It depends where home is. In Wellington and Christchurch you get the TelstraClear cable and it's a very smooth experience. I'm sure the service is more expensive and slower than in the UK - gotta be - but it's still pretty fast and roomy and I've gone two years with nary a glitch. Plus they give me five bucks every time I mention their name in a blog.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Walter Nicholls,

    This may seem rosy-spectacled, but the LLU is starting to fix the NZ internet/broadband issues - at least in urban areas where there is the population density to support investment.

    Technically NZ broadband is very good - yes slow and expensive compared to overseas, but that's primarily because of lack of competition, Telecom's monopoly on the copper meaning it has had no incentive to improve.

    I don't think Telecom is a bad Telecommunications company, it just BEHAVES badly. Particularly with anti-competitive behaviour like connecting its own customers within 24 hours, but waiting until the Government-stipulated 3 days before connecting customers for its competitors.

    At work we have TelstraClear copper (fortunate to be in an reasonably recently-built business district). It has not failed once since it was installed, it was naked DSL before unbundling. we consistently get the stated bandwidth, and the price is comparable with Telecom supplied DSL (can I haz $5 now?) for a much better service. But the vast majority of the infrastructure is under Telecom's control even with LLU.

    Mind you, with competition like Vodafone, Telecom just has to weather the bad PR. The old IHUG that I hold affection for is gone, and Vodafone have clearly made an absolute hash of it since. Maybe IHUG peaked too early - if LLU had come a couple of years earlier, they would have been formidable now.

    Vodafone have run the customer service into the ground. Ringing the help line still has 'our customer service team is currently receiving a large number of calls' and the expected wait time is 'one hour'. It's been like that for the bulk of the last 5 days. Judging from the conversations we have finally had, the poor systems and badly-trained personell will be largely to blame. One helpdesk person consistent tried to refer us to the "Red network" team - despite the fact that were not on the Red network and surely if they looked at their own computer screen it would have been obvious.

    By the way, it is now 40 hours since a Vodafone supervisor was going to call us back. Still no call.

    I know there are people inside Vodafone who are painfully aware of the mess, so maybe it will improve - I certainly hope so. I look forward to not caring, and being an Orcon customer.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Walter Nicholls,

    Holy c**p - 8:20pm, phoned 0800 438 448 - the advertised waiting time is "1 hour and 40 minutes". My wife says "with a wait time that long I'm surprised there IS a queue"
    Is Vodafone suffering a core meltdown or something?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Internet provision is one big thing I am not looking forward to when looking to return home. It all sounds far too much like going back to dialup (shudder!) to me.

    Make sure you move to Wellington or Christchurch in range of TelstraClear cable. The service is shit compared to the Saturn/Paradise days, but it's still the best option.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Make sure you move to Wellington or Christchurch in range of TelstraClear cable. The service is shit compared to the Saturn/Paradise days, but it's still the best option.

    Unless you want to move to Sweden and be really old

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

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