Consumer's latest ISP survey of almost 10,000 internet users has revealed unprecedented dissatisfaction with Xtra and internet services in general in New Zealand.
The survey found Xtra was rated the worst ISP by consumer.org.nz subscribers for the third year running. Less than half of Xtra subscribers were happy with its service. Only 42 percent rated Xtra's performance as "good" or "very good" overall, and this number dropped to a meagre 36 percent after Xtra's highly publicised Yahoo Bubble email fiasco. 25 percent rated Xtra's performance as "poor" or "very poor", by far the greatest level of dissatisfaction with any ISP in New Zealand.
Consumer CEO Suzanne Chetwin says that while Telecom has repeatedly mentioned improving services for broadband users, that hasn't translated into the reality for most consumers.
Broadband users have been promised so much in terms of faster speeds, larger data caps, and cheaper pricing. But our survey shows that most customers think they're getting a rough deal. And compared with overseas, there's no doubt they are.
The story from Telecom has been, 'Just wait, faster broadband is coming. Wait a little longer.' But the deadline is always pushed out - a year, two years, or the latest statement from Telecom is that faster broadband will be available to everyone in around four years' time. Customers are tired of paying exorbitant prices while waiting for things to improve.
Telecom was forced to repay around $8.5 million earlier this year to subscribers on its Go Large plan. The Commerce Commission investigation initiated by Consumers' Institute found that customers had been misled regarding unlimited download speeds and unlimited data usage.
In addition to Xtra's poor performance in the survey, many customers of other ISPs, such as Orcon and Slingshot openly criticised Telecom for their ISP's performance.
Other common complaints in the survey included poor customer service, long waits for technical support, and the difficulty of changing ISP.
Of the 16 major ISPs in New Zealand, the top ranking provider was Inspire, with 94 percent of its customers happy with its performance. Inspire has rated as the best ISP for four years in a row. Actrix and Maxnet also rated extremely well.