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# 174994 13-Jun-2015 01:15
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Does anyone knows how to defend yourself against SPARK charge for an internet speed check-up "It's not our fault" service?

Just hate it, especially after finding that someone else was charged in the same way:
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=39&topicid=173348&page_no=1#1308402

Our residential ADSL broadband was always running about 15Mbps download, but fell down to 9-10Mbps since 4th of April (East Auckland
area).
While trying to update all on our site starting from network card drivers and finishing with the ADSL modem firmware update, it was
decided to call Spark support.

I've literally spent hours of calling the support line, including waiting time and explaining my story again and again to every
random phone assistant, but their only answers were standard bla bla, like: "Did you check this? Did you do that? Yes, we can
see the history of your connection is down from 15Mbps to 10Mpbs since April 4th, but it's not our fault, please check on your end
or book our technician to come and check your residential connections, but beware of $150 extra charge if he don't find any faults."

"Well thanks, but could you just recover my original ADSL speed please? -No, we can't do anything from our end, or you can also
switch to VDSL/UFB if your speed is not suitable".
During the whole April and half of May is stayed 10Mbps and by making another call to Spark again, their phone assistant noted, that
technician already visited our place on Sunday morning, but no one was at home and he didn't find any fault". -Excuse me? Nobody
even call my number or door bell, but whatever.

I didn't paid a lot of attention to that note, as I was already sick and tired by fighting for these extra 5Mpbs on every day and
believed, that the technician onsite check could be a part of their standard service as I never asked for his visit, but only asked
to check the outside wiring cabinet or whatever else they can do check between the house and their terminal.
I knew for sure, that it wasn't our house problem, as we didn't add any new phones or internet devices during that time.

Little later there was a major power cut for an hour or so in the area, so it could be just a coincidence, but the ADSL speed
switched back to the previous norm of 15Mbps download.
Finally solved, but unfortunately, it wasn't an end of story. Few days ago I've received $150 bill for that "check-up service" done in May.

This is just great, 1.5 months of faulty service, plenty of wasted hours to tweak and upgrade every Internet device or calling Spark
phone support, but wait, you still own some money after all.
Nice job SPARK and very nice start track of young brand "reputation management".

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  # 1323771 13-Jun-2015 01:24
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It makes me wonder that something has been done after the tech visit?

The power cut basically reset the modem - therefore you go back to the normal speed after reboot?







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  # 1323773 13-Jun-2015 01:43
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Nothing was done after visit, I did give up.
I'm not even sure for how many minutes or seconds that "visit" was done for.

Don't you believe, that I've tried to restart every single device while resolving the issue during almost one month?
I did even test the recommended 10 sec -> 15 min complete power offs, but nothing worked.

Oh, one more evidence I forgot to note. 
All my tests were performed with a new TP-Link ADSL modem, purchased in Jan 2015 which had never faulted since the day of install.
The previous modem was Linksys, which also worked fine for years with Telecom/Spark ADSL at 15Mbps speed. Upgraded to have a better WiFi coverage with two antennas instead of one.
So when I swapped that old Linksys modem back to the line and started up, it was running exactly the some 9-10Mbps speed, even when disconnecting all the phones and Internet devices around the house.



 
 
 
 


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  # 1323776 13-Jun-2015 02:33
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Well I recall the days last year was on asdl.. and every time it rained.. heavy it would drop connection and
reconnect at a slower speed.

only got full speed back rebooting router the following day when rain had stopped and drying out around the streets..

techs check line and no faults found.. I guess it depends when they check it.. if its stoppe raining
not more fault huh.. they dont exactly have automated line checkers to log quality control
on all asdl lines... but would of been good if they did at the time.

since going fiber no more issues like that.

asdl is copper to exchange (local) then it hooks into fiber from that point right?


major power cut.. would mean exchange is running of batteries and/or diesel until it runs low or out of gas

then all the exchange routers/switch would of got a reboot

maybe thats where it got a reset

can say I couple routers/switches did die in the local exchange a couple of times..

maybe one in your exchange is dying and problem will reappear

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  # 1323801 13-Jun-2015 08:17
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Stop whining.

You requested a tech visit.
You were told if they didn't find anything, or it was a problem with your home wiring, you'd be charged.
They didn't find anything, so you were charged.

It doesn't get any more simple than that. Spark have done what you requested, and charged what they said they would.





Location: Dunedin

 


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  # 1323901 13-Jun-2015 11:17
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You requested a tech visit that would have resulted in a no fault found incident, and where charged appropriately for it. You would have been told when you requested the job this would be the case.

Had you rebooted the modem beforehand?


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  # 1323902 13-Jun-2015 11:18
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kiwigeek1:

major power cut.. would mean exchange is running of batteries and/or diesel until it runs low or out of gas

then all the exchange routers/switch would of got a reboot

maybe thats where it got a reset

can say I couple routers/switches did die in the local exchange a couple of times..

maybe one in your exchange is dying and problem will reappear


Completely and utterly untrue. Chorus network elements such as ISAM's don't just "go down" during a power cut. Cabinets are even backed up by battery and generators would have been dispatched if there was a chance of the batteries going flat.



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  # 1323915 13-Jun-2015 11:27
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Sorry, but in my view based on what you have written is that you asked for a service, they provided it, and charged accordingly when the outcome was no fault found. You haven't mentioned anything about you house wiring set-up/condition? Filters?  Things change.  Not saying they are right, just that they just might be.  

If the speed isn't appropriate, maybe VDSL or fibre is a better option, if available.   






Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be the Batman



 
 
 
 


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  # 1323929 13-Jun-2015 11:49
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The resync at a higher rate after a power cut is a very commonly reported thing - bascially the background noise floor is lower when everything powers back up, so a higher sync rate is negotiated.

This rate may be maintained for quite some time, but the noise margin will drop. As soon as something causes another resync (like rebooting your modem), the newly negotiated sync rate will be lower, to maintain the 12dB noise margin target.



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  # 1324057 13-Jun-2015 14:22
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andrewNZ: You requested a tech visit.

sbiddle: You requested a tech visit

scuwp: Sorry, but in my view based on what you have written is that you asked for a service


Are we reading the text in a different way? Where about in my message did you find the part of I requested a tech visit?
In this case I wouldn't even start the topic to ask on how to avoid the charge of non-requested service.

The only thing I've asked was to recover the original service, which downgraded by 33%, however the cost of it stayed the same - $99/month, not $66/month.

sbiddle: Had you rebooted the modem beforehand?

Again, did your read my message of spending hours with SPARK phone support reps? I did literally try everything before, during and after!

sbiddle: Cabinets are even backed up by battery and generators would have been dispatched if there was a chance of the batteries going flat.

It might be a guaranteed for couple of seconds/minutes, but not necessarily for 1-1.5 hour power outage, depending on type of the battery and power load of the communication hardware.


The really single thing I wanted to know here, if there is any possible way to defend myself as a customer in such disputes with big companies?

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  # 1324067 13-Jun-2015 14:44
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"Best effort service" - while your speed may have decreased, it's still beating the Commerce Commission's regulated speed.

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  # 1324068 13-Jun-2015 14:45
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airfern: I never asked for his visit, but only asked to check the outside wiring cabinet or whatever else they can do check between the house and their terminal.

You asked for a tech to check wiring, that's a tech visit. You have been billed fairly.




Location: Dunedin

 


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  # 1324071 13-Jun-2015 14:49
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If Steve says the cabinets don't lose power in an extend power cut, he will be correct. Even without his say so, I'd expect a cabinet to last at least a few hours on battery power.




Location: Dunedin

 


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  # 1324075 13-Jun-2015 15:01
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airfern:

sbiddle: Cabinets are even backed up by battery and generators would have been dispatched if there was a chance of the batteries going flat.

It might be a guaranteed for couple of seconds/minutes, but not necessarily for 1-1.5 hour power outage, depending on type of the battery and power load of the communication hardware.


Well i can tell you that after a 4h + power cut we still had a VDSL connection. i have an UPS so we were still using the phone and internet while the power was out

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  # 1324081 13-Jun-2015 15:12
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airfern: The really single thing I wanted to know here, if there is any possible way to defend myself as a customer in such disputes with big companies?


Can you show me a link that shows that with Spark DSL you will get at least 15mbit download speed?



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  # 1324092 13-Jun-2015 15:47
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lxsw20: Can you show me a link that shows that with Spark DSL you will get at least 15mbit download speed?


http://www.spark.co.nz/shop/internet

ADSL FAQS

 

How fast is ADSL broadband?

 

It has been the standard in NZ for a long time and, depending on the quality of your lines, gives download speeds of up to 24Mbps and upload speeds of 12Mbps. The national average is about 1Mbps upload and 10Mbps download. This is plenty for the basics like emailing, surfing the net and checking social networks.


Surely, the wording is on their site, nothing is guaranteed, etc.  Even I've received a 15Mbps link for years and then it dropped down to 10Mpbs, it won't break the "up to 24Mbps" terms.
It would be so nice if NZ customers have an equal right to say: "Depending on the quality of delivered service, the bill would be paid up to $99/month. The national ADSL average bill is $69/month." :) 

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