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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 198233 1-Jul-2016 13:38
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Just received:

 

 

Thousands of Spark customers suffer as weather damage hits Chorus copper network 

 

The severe wet weather sweeping the country has caused a sharp spike in broadband and landline faults experienced by Spark customers who rely on the Chorus copper line network for their services.

 

Fault related calls into Spark have reached over 6000 per day this week – 30% higher than a few weeks ago. Only weeks into the winter season, the number of faults that have required a visit by a Chorus technician has almost reached the volume for the entire 2015/2016 summer. The spike in faults has put even more pressure on Spark’s call centres, hampering initiatives already underway to reduce customer wait times. 

 

General Manager of Spark Care, Bridgette Dalzell says: “The impact on our customers has been severe and widespread. 

 

“The sad reality for our customers whose broadband (ADSL and VDSL) or landline services are delivered via copper, is that the Chorus network is many decades old and highly vulnerable to wet weather. When copper lines get wet or damp, they either stop working or their performance deteriorates badly.” 

 

She says Chorus has warned Spark and other service providers that customers might have to wait for up to two weeks to get faults fixed over the current winter. 

 

“Many of our customers find it unacceptable that they have to wait many days or even weeks in today’s connected world to get their services back up and running. We agree with them and we’re urging Chorus to bring on more technicians. 

 

“While we understand the rollout of fibre across the country is a key focus for Chorus, no one should forget that millions of New Zealanders still rely on the old copper network and they deserve a better service.” 

 

The surge in weather-related faults has put more pressure on Spark’s call centres, with wait times getting even longer in recent days.

 

“We know this is unacceptable and we’re sorry to all our customers who are experiencing frustratingly long wait times. We’ve been throwing all our available resources into helping customers as quickly as we can.” 

 

Spark uses weather forecasts as a factor to determine the number of care agents it needs to roster on to help customers, showing the huge impact that weather issues have on Spark’s customer care channels, Ms Dalzell says. 

 

While the weather problems have made call centre wait times particularly bad recently, Ms Dalzell acknowledges that high wait times have been a challenging issue for a number of months. 

 

“We know we have lots of customers who end up waiting on the phone for too long, and we’re determined to fix things. We’re hiring more customer care agents, improving our digital channels and stepping up efforts to better inform customers about online tools so customers can get help, faster.” 

 

Just this week Spark began hiring a further 130 customer care agents – but it will take some time to get them on board and fully trained. This is on top of 200 new agents who were hired late last year. 

 

Over time, Spark believes the biggest inroads into call centres volumes will be made by helping more customers get the support they need through digital channels. 

 

“There’s an enormous effort underway within Spark to build new and improved digital service channels, enabling our customers to do much more via tools like the Spark app and MySpark online. While we are committed to hiring more call centre staff today, our longer term focus has to be digitally-based.” 

 

As part of the digital initiatives, Spark is trialling a new system where it will proactively contact customers via text or email to advise them of any faults or maintenance taking place in their area, avoiding the need to call, Ms Dalzell says.

 





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  Reply # 1584060 1-Jul-2016 14:04
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Spark (telecom) only have themselves to blame, if only they had maintianed their network "much" better than they did half the faults wouldn't occur today.

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  Reply # 1584068 1-Jul-2016 14:27
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That's one definite advantage of fibre over copper: it's not bothered by moisture.


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  Reply # 1584075 1-Jul-2016 14:36
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I had Chorus out recently as my line was showing issues and a drop in power.

 

I was impressed that this was pre-emptive work as I hasn't rung them myself.

 

The main issue was water had got into the connection at the junction box, so they'd had to bump up the power from the exchange side.





Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.

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  Reply # 1584093 1-Jul-2016 14:47
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kornflake: Spark (telecom) only have themselves to blame, if only they had maintianed their network "much" better than they did half the faults wouldn't occur today.

 

There's also the fact that they got rid of a heap of technicians when Telecom was split up years ago.  Sure many of them went into subcontracting and setting up their own businesses etc... but I'm guessing only Chorus technicians are able to touch core network infrastructure which is where much of the problem is?  And of those Chorus technicians many of them are running around trying to work through the backlog of fibre connections and the red tape that goes with it.


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  Reply # 1584102 1-Jul-2016 15:03
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openmedia:

 

I had Chorus out recently as my line was showing issues and a drop in power.

 

I was impressed that this was pre-emptive work as I hasn't rung them myself.

 

The main issue was water had got into the connection at the junction box, so they'd had to bump up the power from the exchange side.

 

 

I must say with my two faults over the years the technicians have been on the ball and were able to sort it out pretty quickly.


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  Reply # 1584175 1-Jul-2016 16:10
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kornflake: Spark (telecom) only have themselves to blame, if only they had maintianed their network "much" better than they did half the faults wouldn't occur today.

 

I don't follow your logic.   It's now a Chorus network and has been fore some years.  How could they have maintained their network better prior to Chorus taking it over??

 

 





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  Reply # 1584218 1-Jul-2016 17:00
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kornflake: Spark (telecom) only have themselves to blame, if only they had maintianed their network "much" better than they did half the faults wouldn't occur today.

 

 

 

 

 

Except that it is not their network.  It is owned and maintained by Chorus.





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  Reply # 1584305 1-Jul-2016 18:17
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mxpress:

 

kornflake: Spark (telecom) only have themselves to blame, if only they had maintianed their network "much" better than they did half the faults wouldn't occur today.

 

 

 

 

 

Except that it is not their network.  It is owned and maintained by Chorus.

 

 

 

 

I get the feeling kornflake is implying if Telecom had maintained the network better and invested more in it when it belonged to them (ie before the breakup), then modern day Spark and Chorus wouldn't be in this situation.


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  Reply # 1584322 1-Jul-2016 18:56
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Back pre-breakup they were all doing pair swaps to get around damaged pairs and other workarounds rather than replace cables etc.

 

I suspect that this "news" from spark is just to get people feeling sorry for them having to deal with chorus;s brokendown old network and get fewer people yelling at them.





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  Reply # 1584329 1-Jul-2016 19:13
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This is not news. It has been a well known fact for many years that faults go way up when there is bad weather.

It's copper. It doesn't work well with water.

And Chorus have had a policy for quite some time that swapping pairs is the last option for fault man unless it is uneconomical to fix (ie there a plenty of good spares left).

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  Reply # 1584362 1-Jul-2016 19:37
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richms:

 

Back pre-breakup they were all doing pair swaps to get around damaged pairs and other workarounds rather than replace cables etc.

 

I suspect that this "news" from spark is just to get people feeling sorry for them having to deal with chorus;s brokendown old network and get fewer people yelling at them.

 

 

 

 

I get the same feeling as the issues with the copper network will effect all ISP's equally. it's a boohoo look at me moment





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  Reply # 1584372 1-Jul-2016 20:04
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Well other ISPs do not have ignorant people thinking they are the same company as chorus.




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  Reply # 1584376 1-Jul-2016 20:16
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openmedia:

 

I had Chorus out recently as my line was showing issues and a drop in power.

 

I was impressed that this was pre-emptive work as I hasn't rung them myself.

 

The main issue was water had got into the connection at the junction box, so they'd had to bump up the power from the exchange side.

 

 

Nah, that was the CIA jumper getting rusted and they sent one of their teams to change it and keep monitoring your connection...

 

/tinfoil hat





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  Reply # 1584388 1-Jul-2016 20:45
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THE OLD DOUBLE JUMPER TRICK

 


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  Reply # 1584504 2-Jul-2016 09:26
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openmedia:

 

I had Chorus out recently as my line was showing issues and a drop in power.

 

I was impressed that this was pre-emptive work as I hasn't rung them myself.

 

The main issue was water had got into the connection at the junction box, so they'd had to bump up the power from the exchange side.

 

 

When I was with Telecom copper cables were pressurized from the Exchange side to keep water out.  Not sure what happen to the last mile after the cabinets went in..





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Old3eyes


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