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LookingUp

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#300588 20-Sep-2022 16:49
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A bit of a rant on the off-chance others may have advice or sympathy...

 

My mother is coming up 82, lives alone after dad tipped over a couple of years ago, and is a technophobe of the highest order.  She has a mobile phone (dad's) that she will reluctantly use for txt messaging, but that's about it - she can't/won't even answer it if it rings.

 

The problem is that her copper phone connection with Vodafone is about to be retired, and it appears to be inordinately difficult to simply get it transitioned to a fibre one.  There's even fibre in the house, which was installed for free by Chorus several years ago when they were doing the rest of the street.

 

She absolutely won't go to a mobile as would be the solution for most of us, as she's afraid that none of her numerous old friends will call her because it'll cost them money.  Living alone, she does spend a lot of time on the phone, so this is a real concern.

 

Mum's tried phoning Vodafone but gets call centre people she can't understand, and who don't seem to know how to deal with her problem.  She's tried visiting the local Vodafone shop, who said it would be easy, she could keep her number, and that all she'd need to do was call Vodafone again to get it sorted.  She tried that again today and made no progress at all, and then the line went dead at the Vodafone end, and stayed dead when she tried to call it back.  Her phone is still working for the moment though.  She's getting quite distraught, so I thought I'd have a go on the phone with Vodafone today, and that was an hour of pure frustration!

 

After being told that I couldn't pass the security check to be allowed to even have a conversation about options and methods I finally got through to a chap who accepted some account details I do have access to from work, and so he duly started on the sales pitch.  ALL WE WANT IS THE PHONE ON FIBRE, DON'T NEED INTERNET.  After much explanation we get offered a deal that was acceptable (same price has her copper connection), until I find out it's a wireless connection, and not using the fibre that's already sitting ready to be used.  After I explained again that we want to use FIBRE, we get told that would be an additional $35/month over the wireless offer as it comes with an internet package that we don't need!

 

I accept that phone over fibre is effectively 'the internet", but am wondering if others have had similar experiences and what the outcomes were.  This must be a common scenario for older people?  I see Spark have a $55/month plan that will possibly be where we're headed next, and i hope they're easier to deal with.

 

Any thoughts or advice most welcome.


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gehenna
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  #2970577 20-Sep-2022 16:57
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I ended up just cancelling all my folks accounts for things like mobile and internet, and set them up with plans in my name.  Made it much easier to be the family IT guy.  I bet her mates all have mobiles btw.  That was my mums excuse for not wanting to ditch the land line.  I asked all her friends that I knew about and they all had mobiles with good calling plans on them.  Your mum's living in the same decade mine was :) 


 
 
 

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NickR1
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  #2970586 20-Sep-2022 17:50
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Hi there,

 

I'm afraid we don't offer a landline over UFB product. Apologies for the incorrect advice we've given - it's possible the retail store meant our wireless mobile option.

 

Please feel free to PM me some details so I can pass feedback on or if you have any questions around the process involved for changing providers.

 

Nick


Behodar
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  #2970587 20-Sep-2022 17:51
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As far as I'm aware, Vodafone does not offer voice over fibre (i.e. using the ATA in the fibre ONT) [Edit: Confirmed above], only over the Internet (i.e. using the router). Vodafone therefore requires that you have an Internet connection.

 

You mention Spark, which does provide a voice over fibre solution. To be honest, that's probably your best bet for a "technophobe" although I don't know how the pricing compares.




Oblivian
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  #2970589 20-Sep-2022 17:58
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As Vodafone now only sells phone plans that make calls using broadband technology, if customers want to keep a phone service with Vodafone, they’ll need to get a broadband plan that comes with a phone line.


From their 'holding onto your landline ' faq.

So no, no voice only.

quickymart
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  #2970600 20-Sep-2022 18:20
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Time to start looking for a new provider for her then.

 

By the way my Mum (who is a bit younger than yours) wouldn't give up her landline either - but cellphone reception at her location is quite poor, and the DSL is really slow. Her landline works quite well though, so she'll hold onto that for as long as possible.


Wheelbarrow01
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  #2970701 20-Sep-2022 22:23
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Whichever RSP you go to, make sure you request that they roll a truck for an LFC technician to complete Integrated Wiring at the house. This will allow your mum to use the existing jackpoints over fibre. Many proactive fibre installations have not had integrated wiring completed - which means when the line is moved over to fibre, your mum would have to plug her phone directly into the ONT. Apart from the technical challenge of doing this, the ONT may not be in a convenient place for her to plug directly into. Rolling a truck will make it that much more seamless for her as all the phone handsets she is used to will stay in the same location and work exactly the same as she is used to.

 

If she is vulnerable or medically dependent, and the phone is her sole method of calling for help in the event of an emergency, then make sure you tell the RSP. Depending on your mum's circumstances they may be obliged to provide her with an uninterruptible power supply for the ONT (and cordless phone if applicable) so she can call for help during a power cut.

 

https://comcom.govt.nz/regulated-industries/telecommunications/projects/commission-111-contact-code

 

https://www.tcf.org.nz/consumers/landline/phone-services/111-contact-code/

 

Most RSPs also have information on the 111 Code on their websites.





The views expressed by me are not necessarily those of my employer Chorus NZ Ltd


LookingUp

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  #2970776 21-Sep-2022 07:52
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Thanks to everyone for their very helpful replies - they're very much appreciated.  I guess we'll be having a conversation with Spark in the near future to see what they can offer, as it appears Vodafone are off the table unless we accept that she has to go wireless.




nztim
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  #2970785 21-Sep-2022 08:22
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LookingUp:

 

Thanks to everyone for their very helpful replies - they're very much appreciated.  I guess we'll be having a conversation with Spark in the near future to see what they can offer

 

 

Spark is the same, they will put you on Wireless unless you go for fibre broadband

 

If you want ONT based voice your options are

 

NOW (think they do Voice only over ONT)

 

Spark (with Broadband)

 

Vocus Brands (Orcon/Sky/Slingshot With Broadband)

 

Others it will be a broadband connection with the voice over their RGW (two devices to keep powered in a power cut)

 

 

 

 

 

 





Any views expressed on these forums are my own and don't necessarily reflect those of my employer. 


robjg63
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  #2970787 21-Sep-2022 08:31
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LookingUp:

 

After much explanation we get offered a deal that was acceptable (same price has her copper connection), until I find out it's a wireless connection, and not using the fibre that's already sitting ready to be used.  After I explained again that we want to use FIBRE, we get told that would be an additional $35/month over the wireless offer as it comes with an internet package that we don't need!

 

 

 

Any thoughts or advice most welcome.

 

 

You were offered a deal that was acceptable - but you didn't go with that.

 

It costs the telco to use the Chorus network for fibre. It costs the telco much less to provide a 4G router that you can plug your old phone into.

 

Why are you so hellbent on using fibre? My parents got moved over from copper to a 4G router for their phone and it works great.

 

They didnt even need help plugging their old phone into the new router.

 

EDIT: My parents are in their 80s.

 

The other option you could consider would be to move the landline number to a voip service and maybe install a voip app on your mums phone - though I suspect you wont want to support that.

 

Can the landline number be just diverted to your Mums mobile?

 

 





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler


Behodar
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  #2970789 21-Sep-2022 08:37
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nztim: Spark is the same, they will put you on Wireless unless you go for fibre broadband

 

 

Spark's site lists a fibre landline for $55, which is $20 cheaper than the entry-level fibre broadband plan. It seems that it's "on request" since there's no option to sign up online, but it appears that it's possible.


Oblivian
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  #2970790 21-Sep-2022 08:37
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nztim:

Spark is the same, they will put you on Wireless unless you go for fibre broadband




https://www.spark.co.nz/shop/landline.html suggests otherwise depending on service area.

/Edit snap

nztim
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  #2970792 21-Sep-2022 08:40
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Behodar:

 

Spark's site lists a fibre landline for $55, which is $20 cheaper than the entry-level fibre broadband plan. It seems that it's "on request" since there's no option to sign up online, but it appears that it's possible.

 

 

...Interesting this is new since I last investigated it, looks like "they will do it but are reluctant to"

 

 





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nztim
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  #2970800 21-Sep-2022 08:59
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robjg63:

 

My parents got moved over from copper to a 4G router for their phone and it works great.

 

 

Your experience with 4G FWA IMHO is the exception, lots of people I know have had endless issues (mainly with the broadband but a few with Voice too), I see it as a tactic by the "big three" get out of paying Chorus

 

 





Any views expressed on these forums are my own and don't necessarily reflect those of my employer. 


Wheelbarrow01
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  #2970813 21-Sep-2022 09:44
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nztim:

 

Spark is the same, they will put you on Wireless unless you go for fibre broadband

 

If you want ONT based voice your options are

 

NOW (think they do Voice only over ONT)

 

Spark (with Broadband)

 

Vocus Brands (Orcon/Sky/Slingshot With Broadband)

 

Others it will be a broadband connection with the voice over their RGW (two devices to keep powered in a power cut)

 

 

Spark do offer voice only over fibre ATA - I just confirmed with one of my management contacts there.

 

Whilst Spark may have their own reasons for recommending a wireless service, if there is already an ONT there they will definitely connect it on voice only for you.





The views expressed by me are not necessarily those of my employer Chorus NZ Ltd


LookingUp

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  #2970824 21-Sep-2022 10:16
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Thanks everyone for their very helpful and encouraging advice on this :-)

 

The ONT has been installed in mum's hallway, right next to the phone jack, so it should be relatively painless to connect the phone to it if we can do that.

 

To answer the "why fibre" question - because I spend far too much of my professional day sorting out issues with cellular telemetry systems to be confident that it's going be totally reliable and trouble free.  Having a fibre connection is not guaranteed to be perfect either, but at least there will be a degree of diversity given that she can at least txt us on her mobile if the landline is down. Having lived through the Chch earthquakes, when cellular comms were also pretty shaky at times, diversity of connections is a good thing for those who live alone and might need urgent help.

 

PS - I know it doesn't make sense that she can (reluctantly) txt but won't use the cell phone for voice calls, but unfortunately that's the reality of what I'm dealing with.


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