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300 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 95563 8-Jan-2012 07:51 Send private message

Hi

Anyone here had any experience with Compass Communications  VOIP offerings
Good, Bad, Price, solutions etc?

I'm surprised Compass don't have there own forum here.




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84 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 565991 8-Jan-2012 08:23 Send private message

Hi, Na I use 2talk and have done for years, good service lines too 

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  Reply # 565995 8-Jan-2012 09:14 Send private message

Compass seems to be hit and miss. I used to use it and had it running pretty well. The bad thing is support when your internet goes down. You can't call their call centre from a cellphone without calling an Auckland number and they don't tend to answer or call back so I was racking up huge toll bills to get my wireless connection back up and running calling on my cellphone.

I swapped to Packing Shed on wireless using exactly the same hardware and the connection has been rock solid since. My connection hasn't gone down in a year that I know about.

Cheers, Matt.




Nexus 5, Galaxy Tab S, HP Ultrabook, Mysky HDi, 2talk, Pebble Steel

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Geek
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  Reply # 566574 9-Jan-2012 17:05 Send private message

We've just moved off Compass after 12 months of being with them. We had both wireless broadband and VoIP. When the service is working it's good, BUT I would hesitate to recommend them to anyone due to their extremely poor customer service when things go wrong.

Our abbreviated story if you want to read it. (Trust me, this is abbreviated.)

We recently had a 12 day period where we experienced between 20 and 100% packet loss. Customer service had very little information on the outage. When we did finally get information (4 days in) we were informed that it was due to a tree blocking line of sight on their wireless backhaul and that it should only be a problem during periods of high wind. Unfortunately it was a problem *all* the time, not just when the wind blew. We tried to tell them this.

At some point (about day 6) we asked their phone support if we could speak to a supervisor about the outage as we were not getting anything other than "we're working on it" from frontline support. We were told that they don't do that. We asked to log a complaint. We were told to fill in a form, available on their webpage. At that point we were 2 days into a 6 day period of near continuous 100% packet loss. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is not the most practical method of submitting a complaint during a significant outage.

We're calling Compass 1-2 times per day most days during this outage.  We're trying to get information on estimated resolution time, but very little information is forthcoming.  We've even managed to fill in the web form and submit a complaint, which on day 10 results in calls from Compass to tell us what's going on.  We've been fobbed off when we asked about any sort of compensation for the lost service, given the length and severity of the outage.

We eventually conclude that due to poor customer service and the extended nature of the outage (and no end in sight) to cancel and switch back to ADSL.  We called compass to cancel. Only to be lead a very merry dance trying to find the "correct" way to cancel. When cancelling we mentioned that we had 12 months to go on our contract and that we reckon they should waive the cancellation fee based on our recent 12 day outage (12 days is absolutely unacceptable, it could have been mitigated by Compass offering a partial credit for service not received, rather than fobbing us off at every turn).

We feel that Compass deliberately make it hard to do anything, including getting information, complaining and cancelling the service.  It's been an uphill struggle all the way.

We eventually receive a web response to our cancellation request telling us that they'll be charging us the disconnection fee.

Not happy.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 566607 9-Jan-2012 19:24 Send private message

Thanks for all your input guys.

It is not looking good for Compass.
I know there is nothing more frustrating than an ISP that is very difficult to
communicate with, that's why I like forums like these and applaud all the ISP reps that help here as it is a very good way to keep in touch with your customers. Most of them probably do it for free in their spare time, just hope they get a xmas bonus at the end of the year.
Customers are hard enough to get in this competitive business environment you would think they would try to keep customers a bit better than that.




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336 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 566666 9-Jan-2012 21:51 Send private message

Hi Guys,

I work for Compass and I am happy to try and help where I can.

At Compass, my job is to develop the product set that we offer too our business customers.  Over the last two years we have had a big clean out and overhaul of the products and services that we offer as well as a new approach to how we support these customers.

Like a lot of tier 2 telcos (almost any telco really) we have suffered with help desk response and resolution for all our customers.   This is (as we speak) going under a major overhaul, and one of the first changes is a reshuffle of our Customer Care team and a new Customer Care Manager.

I do not have a lot to do with the residential side of the company, but will try and help if required.

Every ISP has many happy customers, and often you only hear from the people with the bad experiences.

On the business VoIP side we have a full product set from small Cloud PBX (hosted PBX) solutions, to full onsite PBX (100+ seats)options with a range of failover options such as dual access methods or traditional PSTN backups.

Let me know if you require any more info.

Cheers

148 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 566721 10-Jan-2012 07:53 Send private message

They are in breach of contract by not supplying service, do not pay the termination cost or the monthly charge for this last month.

Send them a letter and email explaining this, and if they are sensible they will waive it. Disputes tribunal, if it gets to that, will side with you.

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  Reply # 566746 10-Jan-2012 08:59 Send private message

We had a 3 day outage of our Hosted Exchange service late last year. Nobody would answer the phone at the number going straight to the correct department, so we called the main Compass number and the receptionist said all techs were busy fixing the problem and said she'd have someone call us back.

This game went back and forward, we never actually got to talk to anybody until after it was back online. A few weeks later we finally talked to a guy who admitted that the person who managed their Exchange stuff had left and he was in charge of it now, but had never used Exchange before.

We changed provider ;)



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 567020 10-Jan-2012 17:58 Send private message

skyplonk: Hi Guys,

I work for Compass and I am happy to try and help where I can.

At Compass, my job is to develop the product set that we offer too our business customers.  Over the last two years we have had a big clean out and overhaul of the products and services that we offer as well as a new approach to how we support these customers.

Like a lot of tier 2 telcos (almost any telco really) we have suffered with help desk response and resolution for all our customers.   This is (as we speak) going under a major overhaul, and one of the first changes is a reshuffle of our Customer Care team and a new Customer Care Manager.

I do not have a lot to do with the residential side of the company, but will try and help if required.

Every ISP has many happy customers, and often you only hear from the people with the bad experiences.

On the business VoIP side we have a full product set from small Cloud PBX (hosted PBX) solutions, to full onsite PBX (100+ seats)options with a range of failover options such as dual access methods or traditional PSTN backups.

Let me know if you require any more info.

Cheers


Hi Skyplonk

Nice to see Compass is here.

Seems as there is a few unhappy customers here but as you say you have many happy customers as well, tends to be a bit one sided here sometimes. It is good to see that the issues are being addressed
at least.

I have some questions about your broadband for business.
I see on the website that you have premium broadband product with a dedicated VOIP channel
What exactly is that  and how does it work, would it support say an Elastix server with a VOIP service  from say 2talk or do you have to use your VOIP offering.
Also do have VDSL2 yet? I need a connection that has more upload bandwidth than ADSL2+ for my
VOIP installs.

Main reason I am asking all this is because one of my business customers have their broadband with you and I want install a IP phone system for them.




 




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 567028 10-Jan-2012 18:26 Send private message

Didn't they used to own freenet?

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  Reply # 567047 10-Jan-2012 19:25 Send private message

skyplonk: Hi Guys,

I work for Compass and I am happy to try and help where I can.

At Compass, my job is to develop the product set that we offer too our business customers.? Over the last two years we have had a big clean out and overhaul of the products and services that we offer as well as a new approach to how we support these customers.

Like a lot of tier 2 telcos (almost any telco really) we have suffered with help desk response and resolution for all our customers. ??This is (as we speak) going under a major overhaul, and one of the first changes is a reshuffle of our Customer Care team and a new Customer Care Manager.

I do not have a lot to do with the residential side of the company, but will try and help if required.

Every ISP has many happy customers, and often you only hear from the people with the bad experiences.

On the business VoIP side we have a full product set from small Cloud PBX (hosted PBX) solutions, to full onsite PBX (100+ seats)options with a range of failover options such as dual access methods or traditional PSTN backups.

Let me know if you require any more info.

Cheers


Hi Skyplonk,

Great to see Compass here also. To provide some feedback your packages are generally broadband with VOIP. The side effect of the broadband going on the fritz is for the VOIP to go down also and then your customers can't contact you.

Not being able to ring the support line from a cellphone is the biggest problem I faced. This is why I left. If you allow cellphones to call your 0800 number this would go a long way to helping out your customers.

Cheers, Matt.




Nexus 5, Galaxy Tab S, HP Ultrabook, Mysky HDi, 2talk, Pebble Steel

336 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 567055 10-Jan-2012 20:06 Send private message

 
Hi Skyplonk

Nice to see Compass is here.

Seems as there is a few unhappy customers here but as you say you have many happy customers as well, tends to be a bit one sided here sometimes. It is good to see that the issues are being addressed
at least.

I have some questions about your broadband for business.
I see on the website that you have premium broadband product with a dedicated VOIP channel
What exactly is that  and how does it work, would it support say an Elastix server with a VOIP service  from say 2talk or do you have to use your VOIP offering.
Also do have VDSL2 yet? I need a connection that has more upload bandwidth than ADSL2+ for my
VOIP installs.

Main reason I am asking all this is because one of my business customers have their broadband with you and I want install a IP phone system for them.


Hi There,

Thanks for the questions!

Last year had many highs, and sadly, a few lows.  The lows are what people remember, and while it is hard at times (even internally) to see the a bright side, the positives are that it highlights our weak areas and we can address them.  There are some awesome things to happen this year, and personally I think it will be a good one. 

Our Premium Broadband product is mainly in areas where we have unbundled exchanges.  This is a ADSL2+ Annex M service.  For voice we run a 2nd PVC with a CIR (up to 1Mb/s) in what is essentially bridged Ethernet.   Currently it can only be used with Compass SIP services so we can guarantee service levels and there is no "grey areas" of support.  If the service is not working (or not working adequately) it is a Compass problem. 

Outside of our UCLL areas we can look at EUBA, but this is boarding on pointless (for a business) if you want to use G711, or HSNS which can be expensive. 

We are also in the process of rolling out the same voice and data service for our SHDSL connections.

Currently we do not do VDSL2.  Our focus has been on SHDSL in the areas we have unbundled.   I can get a list of exchanges for you if you want. 

Anyway, sing out if I can help.

Cheers

336 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 567056 10-Jan-2012 20:14 Send private message

hairy1:
Hi Skyplonk,

Great to see Compass here also. To provide some feedback your packages are generally broadband with VOIP. The side effect of the broadband going on the fritz is for the VOIP to go down also and then your customers can't contact you.

Not being able to ring the support line from a cellphone is the biggest problem I faced. This is why I left. If you allow cellphones to call your 0800 number this would go a long way to helping out your customers.

Cheers, Matt.


Hi Matt,

You are totally correct!. This has been a big issue for our customers, and I understand the frustration!.   We have just made changes so now mobile callers are able to call for tech support, and if the call is not answered in a reasonable time you are prompted request a call back. 

The call backs will only work if we actually call the customers back, and our new Customer Care Manager (who started on Monday) will be a big part of driving this. 

Maybe not the ideal solution, but it is a step in the right direction. 

Cheers 

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Geek
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  Reply # 567291 11-Jan-2012 11:37 Send private message

This outage occurred 27th Nov - 7th Dec 2011 and the customer service experience was during that period and after.  For me it's not about bad things happening on the tech side, but it's how the customer facing side of things deals with things when this does happen.  We were very happy with our wireless broadband service (and correspondingly our VoIP), despite more weekend outages than we experienced with ADSL. We understand that trees can be unexpectedly affected by high wind in such a way that line of sight can be affected.  We also understand that we chose an ISP with limited residential customer service outside of business hours, so don't expect customer service at those times.

What we don't understand, and this is where most of our frustrations have come from:
  • Why it was so hard, in the first week, for information to be provided in a timely manner.  It seemed to take a couple of days for the frontline people to even know that there was a problem with that particular backhaul.  Solution: Provide frontline staff with information about any outage longer than say 2 hours.  Each new day a fault is still active, add a brief summary about what has been done in the last 24 hours and what you plan to do in the next 24 hours.  It doesn't need to be highly technical, or very detailed.
  • Why there is a system that says "leave a message and we will call you back" when the callbacks don't eventuate.  Over a period we left three requests with this system and received zero callbacks from those requests.  Solution:  Have processes in place to ensure that each and every customer receives a callback in a reasonable time.
  • Why the customer care representative that dealt with the web-submitted complaint was unable to flag our account for later review for the purposes of determining whether a pro-data refund or credit would be appropriate once the outage was resolved.  Instead we were told that we would need to call again once service has been resumed.  Solution: Compass could have gained some brownie points (and quite possibly have not lost a customer) by being pro-active here, rather than requiring us to wade through the telephone queue again.
  • The phone queue.  Lost track of how much time was sat in the phone queue.  It was a lot.  On multiple occasions.   Solution: 1) Reduce the number of times a customer needs to call by being more proactive 2) Add a menu option to listen to currently known faults and keep that information up to date, and include a timestamp 3) Understaffed?
The high points?
  • The customer care representative that dealt with our web-submitted complaints form did call us back as promised with information.  Actual information.  And called us back again, as promised.  Top points to that man.
  • The web-submitted (long phone queue again, and callback has historically been a blackhole for us) ticket we submitted on Monday morning contesting the termination charges was escalated yesterday morning.  We should have another answer within 10 business days.
Honestly, if we hadn't been so frustrated by being sent from post to post whenever we asked for information, or to speak to supervisors, or to request a credit for services not received, I may have been posting here to say that I was happy with our VoIP service.  In fact, I did recommend Compass a few months ago in our local community newsletter; people were complaining about the peak congestion on their ADSL connections and I suggested Compass as a good alternative for people with the appropriate line of sight.  So while you're probably right that, in general, people tend to only post when they're sufficiently annoyed to do so, this isn't always the case.

I really hope that Compass does improve its customer service experience.  I've tried to be constructive, and if I haven't succeeded, then at least I hope that I've been clear about what in particular has irked us, rather than going on a generic rant and rave about nothing specific.

 

 

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Reply # 567309 11-Jan-2012 12:23 Send private message

Compass don't have a great track record with their network stability or customer support.  Looking forward to this improving with skyplonk's participation here.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 567313 11-Jan-2012 12:35 Send private message

nate: Compass don't have a great track record with their network stability or customer support.  Looking forward to this improving with skyplonk's participation here.


Had a few rough patches Nate.  

Had some massive network changes last year (new Cisco and Juniper switches in the core), new paths of redundancy, new back haul providers (international and national) and things are looking very good.  Have had some big SIP wins in the last 6 months of 2011 and things are going well.

It is the legacy products such as Wireless (ex. Wired Country) that gave us big headaches.  Get a POP site down then you have 200+ people all trying to call in for support and it become almost unmanageable.

The migration to Wimax has been going well so light here too!

 

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