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39 posts

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# 205529 16-Nov-2016 21:47
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Hi All

 

This is my first attempt at a topic on Geekzone - please forgive me if I've made any mistakes.

 

I was looking at my Spark bill that arrived yesterday and it showed the following charges
Ultra VDSL $9.99
Home Broadband Unlimited Data Plan $104.98
Note that we have unlimited VDSL with Landline (no special calling).

 

I am aware that we received a letter from Spark in January raising the price to $114.99.

 

We’ve had a lot of spam in the snail mail lately offering broadband at lower prices so I thought I’d check the spark site to make sure I was on the right plan and noticed that the unlimited VDSL with Landline was $104.99. 

 

I kicked off a chat session with a Spark agent who firstly told me that the $9.99 charge had been added back in August but he would remove it and credit me the last 3 months – I asked why it was added but he couldn’t tell me.  Anyway, I know it’s been there for a lot longer than the last 3 months and mentioned that to him which seemed like news to him.

 

I pushed him a little further as to why I was paying the $9.99 charge (and essentially why I was paying $9.99 more than the current price on the Spark page).

 

The Spark agent advised that it was because when I had VDSL installed I have one of the following and had to have a splitter installed…

 

  • A monitored / medical alarm system
  • A similar device that is hard wired into your phone line
  • 5 or more jackpoints in use

and that Splitters filter the ADSL or VDSL signal at the point where the phone line enters the premises and sends it to a single phone jackpoint, meaning the modem will only work in that jackpoint. 

 

I advised that I didn’t have any of those (we have 3 phone jacks and use 2 of them).  I told him that I paid a $99 installation fee at the time and I understood that it included the cost of the Master filter and the VDSL jack they added to the wall outlet by the modem.

 

He then proceeded to tell me that the monthly $9.99 charge was what Chorus charge Spark for the installation which they recoup from the customer – I pointed out that I paid $99 for installation (got it before it was a free install).  

 

He then told me that the $9.99 cost was (his words) “for a Chorus technician to install a splitter on the line in your house to accelerate the speed of your broadband. The additional cost was built into the cost of the VDSL plan, which was $10 a month more than an ADSL plan.”

 

So I explained to him that it sounds like I am paying for a Master filter that costs circa $20 at a cost of $9.99 a month (since approx. Dec 2013) and that seemed extreme.  His response was “The charge is to do with what Chorus charges us for that VDSL splitter install. Chorus charge us a lump sum fee. We make it back by spreading the payments out over the months of your plan. You are not only paying for the part. You are also paying for the rental of it that chorus also charge us.” 

 

So now he’s saying that the $9.99 covers the parts (which I thought were covered in the $99 installation cost) and Chorus are charging Spark rental of that part which is also covered by that $9.99.

 

He then tells me that he now can’t credit me back the last three months as there were changes on 7 November 2016 where a splitter (at this point I don’t know if a splitter and master filter are the same thing) is no longer required for VDSL installs so the $9.99 fee has been removed. 

 

Anyway – by this stage I was totally confused as to what the $9.99 was really for and why I was paying $9.99 more that the Spark site is advertising for the same plan – however the Spark agent has agreed to remove the $9.99 charge from my account which was great.  

 

I was wondering if anyone else has queried this with Spark or even noticed that they are paying more that the current Spark prices.  Afterwards I looked at some cached Spark pages and it does look like there has been a change to the pricing for my plan in the last week or so.  Was Spark going to offer to reduce the monthly cost or did I need to apply to change my plan (to the same plan at lower cost) to get the cheaper pricing?

 

Apologies for the long diatribe but I thought someone might find it interesting as to the explanation(s) I received.


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1374 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1672437 16-Nov-2016 22:18
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Yes it seems to be a recent price change.

 

 

$104.98 + $9.99 was the price of VDSL, i.e. it used to cost $10 more than ADSL. Now it is the same.

 

 

It is interesting to hear they are now offering copper POTS landline without the splitter though.

 


1609 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1672441 16-Nov-2016 22:24
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yitz: Yes it seems to be a recent price change. $104.98 + $9.99 was the price of VDSL, i.e. it used to cost $10 more than ADSL. Now it is the same. It is interesting to hear they are now offering copper POTS landline without the splitter though.

 

It appears Spark is copying other providers and doing "connection only" for VDSL now.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1672471 17-Nov-2016 01:24
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$99 would have simply been a joining fee. This never covered master filter installation - this was either $199 or built into pricing at $10 month by Chorus. Since you didn't pay out right for the master filter Chorus charge Spark each month for this as part of the VDSL2 price.

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Uber Geek

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  # 1672484 17-Nov-2016 06:39
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i also have this 9.99 on my bill, how do we go about getting this removed if VDSL is now the same price?





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  # 1672516 17-Nov-2016 08:24
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l43a2:

 

i also have this 9.99 on my bill, how do we go about getting this removed if VDSL is now the same price?

 

 

 

 

https://flip.co.nz/what-does-flip-cost/  Remove it completely by going elsewhere....


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  # 1672521 17-Nov-2016 08:35
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noroad:

l43a2:


i also have this 9.99 on my bill, how do we go about getting this removed if VDSL is now the same price?



 


https://flip.co.nz/what-does-flip-cost/  Remove it completely by going elsewhere....



Maybe they are under contract and can't move just like that or they might not want to move ISP

Linux

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  # 1672643 17-Nov-2016 11:36
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l43a2:

 

i also have this 9.99 on my bill, how do we go about getting this removed if VDSL is now the same price?

 

 

Spark still have to pay this to Chorus. Is it fair you don't want to pay them?


 
 
 
 


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  # 1672644 17-Nov-2016 11:36
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l43a2:

 

i also have this 9.99 on my bill, how do we go about getting this removed if VDSL is now the same price?

 

 

Spark still have to pay this to Chorus. Is it fair you don't want to pay them?




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Geek

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  # 1672767 17-Nov-2016 13:23
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So if the items that Spark are paying for (and on charging to customers) are rental items from Chorus and they are now no longer required then can't they be returned to Chorus and the rental cancelled?


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  # 1672781 17-Nov-2016 13:38
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Elmoz:

So if the items that Spark are paying for (and on charging to customers) are rental items from Chorus and they are now no longer required then can't they be returned to Chorus and the rental cancelled?



How? Do you want Chorus to come and remove your master filter which will potentially impact your speed and internet performance?

It's not a "rental" item. It's a contract between the RSP and Chorus to instsll a master filter and wiring that's charged as a monthly fee rather than an upfront installation charge.



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Geek

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  # 1672786 17-Nov-2016 13:47
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sbiddle:
Elmoz:

 

So if the items that Spark are paying for (and on charging to customers) are rental items from Chorus and they are now no longer required then can't they be returned to Chorus and the rental cancelled?

 



How? Do you want Chorus to come and remove your master filter which will potentially impact your speed and internet performance?

It's not a "rental" item. It's a contract between the RSP and Chorus to instsll a master filter and wiring that's charged as a monthly fee rather than an upfront installation charge.

 

 

 

This is where I am confused as to how it all works - Spark are telling me they are rental items and that they are no longer required for new installs making the monthly cost $9.99 cheaper.  Would not having the "rental" items impact speed and performance and if so why would Spark no longer require them - wouldn't that degrade the service they could deliver to their customers?




39 posts

Geek

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  # 1672792 17-Nov-2016 13:51
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sbiddle: $99 would have simply been a joining fee. This never covered master filter installation - this was either $199 or built into pricing at $10 month by Chorus. Since you didn't pay out right for the master filter Chorus charge Spark each month for this as part of the VDSL2 price.

 

The Spark invoice detailed the $99 fee as Ultra VDSL residential installation and I was advised by the Spark person at the time that the charge was for the master filter and the jack on the wall.


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  # 1672802 17-Nov-2016 14:01
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Look at it this way.

 

At the time you applied for VDSL, Spark sold you the premium VDSL product that includes a master filter install for best performance, and that costs $10 more than ADSL.

 

Now, Spark no longer sells the premium VDSL and sells basic VDSL instead, this doesn't come with the master filter so the price is the same as ADSL.

 

The reason you can't change to basic VDSL is that the master filter is fixed to your house and it doesn't make sense for them to come remove it anymore.


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Uber Geek


  # 1672812 17-Nov-2016 14:13
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While the extra $10 may be how it works at the wholesale level (i.e. between Chorus and the ISP and I'm pretty sure it is only chargeable in the period for which the full installation cost is paid off approx 24. months) this is not stipulated in the consumer contract upon sign-up. Additionally past consumer contract states a "connection and wiring installation" being mandatory which under reasonable assumption would include the splitter/master filter installation.

 

 

I know VDSL is typically sold under a fixed term contract but a few months back Vodafone was fined for not automatically adjusting the price of a open term mobile plan of the same name for existing customers. Not sure if similar applies here.

115 posts

Master Geek


  # 1672867 17-Nov-2016 14:48
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I just read your post and realised my bill had changed as well. After finally speaking to someone they put me on hold for ten minutes then came back and told me that this was a new offer for new customers at $105/month. I still have 3 months to run on my current 12 month contract. She said my current rate will just roll over so i need to call spark when the 12 month contract period ends to grab the current spark offer. 

 

To be honest I dont think she really knew why the bill had been split although the $115/month I was paying was the amount i signed up to 


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