And no, I don’t mean we are stealing the neighbours wireless. (We have occasionally done that, but that’s not what this post is about.)
@AndrewENZ tweeted my last post about my connection issues with Vodafone. Apparently it caught the eye of someone at Vodafone and I was contacted by their complaints/retention people. They have been very nice and helpful. Because the neighbour’s connection still had to be disconnected before ours could be connected, there wasn’t actually anything they could do to speed up the connection, but they did take some useful steps:
- Admitting that it was a bit of a disaster and apologising profusely. It’s pretty hard to be annoyed at someone who sounds so nice and apologetic.
- Wiping out our bill for that month. Nice to have that done in advance instead of having to get a credit afterwards.
- Giving me some prepay credit to compensate for extra phone calls/data use.
Last Friday was the day we were supposed to get connected. Notice how I said supposed to? Well, we thought we were. The phone was live and the router had an internet connection, but something seemed wrong. The speed wasn’t as good as it used to be, and the connection kept just dropping, sometimes staying dropped for 10 or 15 minutes. This happened a few times on Friday night and Saturday.
On Saturday I downloaded a bunch of new software development tools I’ve been dying to try out on a new project. Our computers did all their updates, I caught up on some YouTube videos and Stephen played his game. By Sunday we had dialup speed. Now, there is no way in hell we blew through a 30GB cap in a day. (I could’ve if I’d put my mind to it, but I didn’t). While doing SpeedTests, I’d noticed that the ISP shown was Telecom Xtra. And when I checked my usage on Vodafone, it said I’d used practically nothing. Figuring something weird was going on, I called tech support this morning.
After having me run SpeedTest (again) and restarting my router (again), and putting me on hold for 5 minutes, they said it seems like only my phone has been connected, but my broadband hasn’t. Our line currently seems to be connected to someone else’s (Xtra) broadband account. I don’t really understand how that works, but it seems like they must’ve had a 1GB cap or less, and we used it all and dropped them down to dialup speed :(
The estimate this morning is that it will be 3 to 5 days before we get our internet properly connected with Vodafone, which will make it just a few days short of a month we’ve been without an internet connection. Hopefully though, it will turn out to be easier to fix and we might get sorted out sooner.
On the plus side, Vodafone have actually been fairly good and proactive about this entire situation, and I know that I never want to switch to Xtra (or Orcon) as long as I’m living where I am now – Vodafone’s speed and reliability in the CBD is much much better.
Still, it just seems ridiculous in NZ that it can be this difficult to move phone and internet services (and this was just moving within the same building!). I don’t think this is entirely Vodafone’s fault, although there were some things they could have done to make it quicker. I think there is just a systemic problem with our telecommunications infrastructure in NZ. By contrast, both power and water changes were done with a single 2 minute phone call, no issues at all. And neither of those companies charged me $149 (or $49 plus locking me into a 12 month contract) in order to move the service.