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Topic # 108759 5-Sep-2012 10:42 Send private message

i need to vent 

my business has been without phones. internet and eftpos for 2 nights running which equates to absolute loss of income - zilch - cost approx $1500 per evening. 

Get to work 4.30pm monday - no phones - ring and ring orcon business support but on hold until 5pm and then support switched off. Ring residential and told i was a business customer and cant help

ring business support 8.30am tuesday - explained the seriousness of my situation - was told Chorus will be there that day

4pm - no chorus - ring to enquire and was told nothing unusual they will be there before 7pm (didnt come)

ring business support 8.30am  wed (today)- told chorus requested more info at 10am tuesday (the phone number wasnt given when call logged) Orcon fails to respond to this info request and failed to notice this when i called at 4pm the previous day.

I explained my predicament again as it is my livelihood and was offered a call diversion that only takes 30mins to enable. Should have been offered on tuesday - would have at least allowed customers to ring

This on top of Orcon disconnecting my phones for my other business last year on a friday afternoon - took until Tuesday morning to re-connect - They moved my connection to a local cabinet and cut me off at the exchange before enabling the new line at the cabinet. That cost me about $4000 in lost business.

I dont know what to do with these guys - it is so tough trying to make money in these recessionary times without these hassles. My wife told me last year to ditch orcon after that fiasco - i said there all the same these ISP's but now i think they cant all be this bad-  i should move but the thought of trying to get my connections switched over smoothly to another provider terrifies me.

Orcon - You need a kick up your backside

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  Reply # 681658 5-Sep-2012 10:48 Send private message

you say you are a business customer. what are the SLAs in your contract?



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  Reply # 681668 5-Sep-2012 11:17 Send private message

no idea what the actual sla's are - dont even think i have a copy of a contract- all done online

as for compensation - i went through that process last time and was told that even though I was a business customer I wasnt entitled to any compensation unless I had negotiated a SLA agreement with ORcon. I peresevered anyway and after 2-3months of bashing my head against their brick firewall I got a free months base fee. Value was under $200 - Cost of lost business was $4000 +



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  Reply # 681674 5-Sep-2012 11:21 Send private message

Time to change providers then.

Our firm has had good support from Telecom, believe it or not...

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  Reply # 681675 5-Sep-2012 11:24 Send private message

If having your telecommunications online is worth that much to your business what are you doing with a residential grade DSL and phone service? Get a better quality connection with a better quality SLA and ideally at least a separate redundant provider.

I'm guessing you are in hospitality?

I would be going with at least 2 separate providers over different infrastructure. E.g. perhaps one HSNS which runs over copper and one 3g backup. Where about's are you located? There may be cheap(ish) fibre in your area too. It could be risky for you to have both connections via copper for example as if a car crashes into the cabinet....

The reality is no matter which ISP you go with, if you go with a residential grade service there are really no guarantees. Your problem isn't your ISP but the grade of service you are using.





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  Reply # 681683 5-Sep-2012 11:36 Send private message

Agree - seriously - if you are REALLY actually properly LOSING $1500 per evening then there's no excuse not to have at least redundant connections or at least upgrade to something from any provider that has an SLA with bite.

I know for a fact if I ran a business that lost $1500 if my connection was down I would have a live backup (A 3G router kept in a cupboard and tested weekly, with all staff trained to start using it within 5 minutes of the main connection going down perhaps?)

Cheers - N



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  Reply # 681709 5-Sep-2012 12:01 Send private message

thanks for your comments guys

i am just an online restaurant operator - making a profit is very difficult nowadays without additional overheads. I cant afford the redundancy. The prices I was quoted for guaranteed service by Orcon was horrendous and way beyond the reach of small operators. If the $1500 a day lost business was profit then yes but its turnover- bills take care of that

I have no idea how much these 3g routers cost - i will investigate though

Right now Im still without a phone line - Orcon still havent got back to me with a chorus update as promised so getting service resumed is my main concern right now.






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  Reply # 681712 5-Sep-2012 12:08 Send private message

You can use PFsense on any old computer and the $29 3g dongle from 2degrees to get the redundancy you need. If you move to VOIP that means both your internet and phones are fully redundant.

Quick pricing for you:

Ongoing:
- Naked DSL (world exchange): $65/month
- 3g plan (include in your 2degrees): free
- VOIP phone line with world Exchange: $11.50/month

One offs:
- PFsense computer: free (I can donate to you)
- 3g modem: $29
- VOIP ATA: $100

That gets you redundancy and may even be cheaper......





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  Reply # 681713 5-Sep-2012 12:11 Send private message

I would look at moving your EFTPOS facilities to IP, if they aren't already - So that they work over a broadband conenction rather than a dial up phone line. This also keeps a line free for you to use for taking bookings etc. IP EFTPOS is also VERY fast at processing transactions.

For redundancy, there are routers out there that will do automatic fail over to 3G if the main connection goes down. They are not that expensive (Should be able to get one under $200) and then you just plug a compatible USB modem in.

If you do then have the phone lines go down, at least your customers will be able to pay you - and you call and get them to divert your incoming calls to a mobile.

I would also consider VoIP for your phones as this gives you an additional level of control over the calls (Eg, with some providers, you can have the call automatically divert to a mobile if the line isn't up). But VoIP can be volatile itself. You can get a VoIP number for under $7 a month - so you could always have a play and see how it goes before moving any business calling.




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  Reply # 681717 5-Sep-2012 12:13 Send private message

I'd also look into the cost of renting a wireless 3G EFTPOS terminal short term.

It may not be cheap, but at least you would be able to get some money coming in from customers. And get those calls diverted ASAP.

Telecom can make this happen in 4 hrs max if you are on a resale connection - typically it takes much less than that once the order is in. I've seen it happen in 2 minutes. If you are on Orcon gear, they should be able to do it there and them while you are on the phone.




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  Reply # 681727 5-Sep-2012 12:21 Send private message

Something else you could consider is porting your business phone number(s) to a VoIP provider, and then just have them on divert to a POTS line supplied by Orcon (or whoever).

This would at least give YOU control on the diversion, and in the event your phone line ever goes down, you just need to log into the web control panel and change the divert to your mobile number. Just ensure VoIP provider has free local calls




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  Reply # 681757 5-Sep-2012 12:59 Send private message

pbee50: thanks for your comments guys

i am just an online restaurant operator - making a profit is very difficult nowadays without additional overheads. I cant afford the redundancy. The prices I was quoted for guaranteed service by Orcon was horrendous and way beyond the reach of small operators. If the $1500 a day lost business was profit then yes but its turnover- bills take care of that

I have no idea how much these 3g routers cost - i will investigate though

Right now Im still without a phone line - Orcon still havent got back to me with a chorus update as promised so getting service resumed is my main concern right now.







Hi there - sincere apologies for the trouble. Can you flick me an email at [email protected] with your account details - I'll get on to this for you.

Cheers,

Cam



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  Reply # 681969 5-Sep-2012 19:04 Send private message

thanks Bameraon - line is fixed now (4pm Wednesday) some chorus tech had pulled my connection out of the socket in the street cabinet though not sure if an error or just got knocked out when fumbling around.


As for the redundancy options that the rest of you suggested - some are very good ideas and I never knew that some were possible .I will be working on setting up call diversion and a 3g network connection for eftpos.

cheers

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  Reply # 682058 5-Sep-2012 22:32 Send private message

Really with what eftpos terminals cost they all should have a 3G modem in them ready to have a sim put into them for backup when needed.

But yeah, so many small businesses don't spend on their essentials like eftpos, communications etc.

Hell, at one bakery I was at 2 people walked out without buying just because they were too cheap for a separate line for the eftpos and there was someone on the phone and they wanted people to go and get cash out from a machine.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 682144 6-Sep-2012 09:32 Send private message

richms:
Hell, at one bakery I was at 2 people walked out without buying just because they were too cheap for a separate line for the eftpos and there was someone on the phone and they wanted people to go and get cash out from a machine.


Wow, thats really shocking!

I would have walked out too.



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  Reply # 682147 6-Sep-2012 09:36 Send private message

Yup, Ive done similar, left a store because their EFTPOS was unavailable because someone tying up the line... fair enough theyre trying to cut costs, but not at the price of losing business.

richms is right, they need 3G on all terminals.... up to the retailer if they use it, but at least its there.




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