8 Months ago, many will remember that I was our right pissed with TCL over a simple $8 credit and endless poor service.
What most people are unaware of is that I took the time to make contact directly with the TCL shareholder, Telstra Australia. Following an initial phone call I followed up a month later with a 13 page letter detailing mine and others issues with their New Zealand operations.
This was followed up with a number of phone calls with stake holders within their Australian operation at GM level.
As of tonight, I'm willing to rate TCL with a C- on the report card. This, as far as I'm concerned, is a massive improvement.
In the past 6 months we've seen the introduction of more sensible pricing and considerably larger data allowances along with more speed - 100/10.
I note with interest that new capacity that's been brought on line in the international space is no longer using the Reach network which was clearly an issue.
The proxy farm still has issues and I agree with others that this still has to be removed as it clearly doesn't add value.
IPv6 is an issue and it's just a disgrace that New Zealand's second biggest provider is not leading the way on this and driving New Zealand to be a world leader.
Data caps are still way to low and still only a fraction of the value that Telstra is able to deliver consumers in Australia. It's clear from the free weekend and recent issues in TGA that TCL simply doesn't have BRAS resource and hand overs with the Chorus network sorted out.
I can't speak to the customer service issues as I now get what I want done by the guys in the IRC channel or direct contact with Gary, which I have to say is fantastic but also the level of service that all consumers should really be afforded and it really is good that FaceBook has become a better support channel than the telephone or email as it shows that TCL really has moved on from traditional customer service tools and moved in to leading edge support which social media delivers.
Personally I think social media really allows providers to focus on putting their resources into helping people and leaving platform management to someone else who's just paid by the advertising that it carries.
TCP traffic is still poor. Some very basic testing a few of us did recently showed that while the network will move 90 plus mbits to the US over a UDP link, traffic will not even move over 10mbit to the same locations. This is just silly as, when coupled with the proxy farm issues, it just makes more sense to use a UDP vpn to a VPS in .us for everything that's not local (which is impossible to do unless you have a really smart router and a copy of a routing table to tell you whats local and as Telstra don't even publish a hosts file for their freezone traffic, is just a dream).
Access to good technical information, form my point of view, has improved, though is still poor. It often feels like pulling teeth and limited by ones ability to not offend those who are willing to risk saying anything. Personally I do get this. In Australia it's a national sport to sue Telstra, and my ability to rub people up the wrong way is obvious.
Room for Improvement
Planning - clearly more capacity planning is needed and Telstra has to improve relationships with vendors to move far more quickly and re-actively.
IPv6 needs to be delivered and NOW in the domestic space. I have no idea what the exact hold ups are, but if it's a vendor problem then it's time to take some good local advice from a provider like Internode or even Telstra Australia, pick an improved vendor and get on with it. If it's an internal problem then it's time to get some investment, hire some people and get it done.
You guys seem to have forgotten that you used to be at the forefront of innovation delivery in New Zealand.
Product delivery - I still can't get the products I want for my business here in an affordable way. If I can't get what I want then I wonder how many other business customers are not able to get the sort of products they want. Allan, while you did invite me to make personal contact regarding my own products and services, I see little point when your team tell me the network simply can't deliver on my requirements at my business location.
I am very happy that I've seen a serious service improvement in the past 6 months and I do hope that we will continue to see much more value delivered from a network and team that I know can do it as I've seen evidence now that they can and have in the past.