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898 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1611888 15-Aug-2016 12:55
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Hi @dmartora,


I see @JasonParis has offered to look into your mobile issue, so I'll throw my hat in the ring to look at your fibre order to see if there is any opportunity for progress to be made, or even just a more comprehensive update for you around what the issues are. Flick me your Spark fibre order number or account number in a private message, and I will see what I can find out for you.





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

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Vodafone NZ

  Reply # 1611905 15-Aug-2016 13:26
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Hi all,

Yes fibre has been around for a while so it's massively frustrating that it's still painful. There are a range of reasons for it but the top 4 are:

1. The internet resellers (ISP's) decided to not have one consistent way of working and integrating with all of the companies who are building out fibre (LFC's) years ago. In our false wisdom we all thought it would be smart to try and create unique customer experience advantages. Unfortunately all that has done is create a nightmare where everyone works in completely different ways across all ISP's and all LFC's.

2. There is no visibility of a customer between the ISP's, LFC's and their subcontractors. What this means is that once you have agreed a plan with your ISP they then put the order into the LFC and then they give it to a sub contractor who then often sub contracts your order yet again. So that's at least 4 different organisations in the process between your original order and the connection happening who don't have one picture of your when something goes wrong (your tech doesn't turn up) it's like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. It's taking an average of between 4 and 14 customer interactions for us to get you sorted.

3. The ISP's don't set the right expectations up front on timing and communication of install or performance post install

4. The LFC's don't have enough quality tech's to do the job right first time or fast enough to meet demand.

So we are trying to work through these (and the other 286 other friction points we have identified!) as quickly as we can.

Jason Paris


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1611926 15-Aug-2016 14:06
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I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage

238 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1611952 15-Aug-2016 14:34
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I've been waiting 8 weeks for a pole approval for UFF to install UFB







??? OT but really




UFF is owned by WEL ....  that is almost as bad as talking to yourself; need I say more





New Plymouth, it is PowerCo, rang PowerCo today, they are yet to get to it....

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1612195 15-Aug-2016 20:58
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JasonParis: Hi all,

*steps up to the plate and gives a decent explanation and some commentary*



Wow, nice work @JasonParis. Good on you for fronting up and sharing this. It may not help fix people's issues but is does go some way to explaining them.


Now hopefully you guys can arrange a good outcome for this customer.

797 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1612198 15-Aug-2016 21:01
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antonknee: Wow, nice work @JasonParis. Good on you for fronting up and sharing this.


Agreed 100%.

386 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1612224 15-Aug-2016 21:58
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Always two or three sides to a story @jasonparis,also how or more importantly why has it taken this long 4+ years for your company and others to identify and start talking about (not really fixing) the many customer burdening issues around UFB! Customers really only see the ISP in the process so when the lfc or subbie fails its not them your customer blame, but you.

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  Reply # 1612236 15-Aug-2016 22:17
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kornflake: Always two or three sides to a story @jasonparis,also how or more importantly why has it taken this long 4+ years for your company and others to identify and start talking about (not really fixing) the many customer burdening issues around UFB! Customers really only see the ISP in the process so when the lfc or subbie fails its not them your customer blame, but you.


That right


And the LFC's fail to employ enough or train enough, so when fibre got traction a year ago, how shall the ISP's force the more than one LFC to hire, hire, hire? Just suggest over a coffee that they hire an extra 250 workers? Your right, but ISP's don't control the network operators.

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Vodafone NZ

  Reply # 1612243 15-Aug-2016 22:40
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Spark were late to the party and only really started selling Fibre about 16 months ago. As soon as we started selling it ramped up the industy fibre run rate considerably and the cracks started to appear. I've hired an additional 350 agents but it takes time to recruit, train and get up to speed - plus as I have outlined above the processes are broken and customer visibility is non existent between the ISP's and the LFC's which isn't something that we can fix - the LFC's need to give us better real time info and visibility......

So then we created a dedicated "in flight fibre team" whose sole job it is to take a call from a fibre customer who is lost in the system and try and get them back on track by trying to liaise with the LFC and their various sub contractors.

In addition in head office we put our best team together to start to map out the fibre process and identify and then fix all of the broken parts of the process that customers were experiencing - some of our making which are easier to sort, and others out of our control which are much harder.

It's right that our customers hold us to account - and we have invested millions in the last year alone to try and improve this for our customers - more than any one else in the industry. I am seeing a lot more focus on improving things from the LFC's like Chorus too, but it's taking a lot longer than we would like.

Jason Paris

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  Reply # 1612553 16-Aug-2016 16:12
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You know, this has been a really interesting experience.


First thing to say absolutely upfront was that my mobile problem has been solved. My pre-pay phone has been added to my account and the residual credit has been transferred also. Great stuff.


So, from the moment I chose to use a social media outlet (twitter, this forum) as opposed to the traditional service channels, the experience changed. Clearly, Spark representatives that frequent this board reached out to me solve this problem. I was contacted by Direct message on Twitter (Scott) who then went out of their way to keep me informed and within two days (Sunday - Today) the problem was solved. Entirely.


I don't want to detract from that. I think it is important to call out that someone went out of there way to deliver a great service, and also completely closed the loop in ensuring that the unused (unusable?) credits were subsequently included in the delivering the solution for me.


So I think it does raise a valid question that is worth discussing, and one that I hope can be considered without the above looking like a back-handed compliment; Bearing in mind the resolution challenges that were experienced across the existing channels (Retail store, Phone, Webchat), are the traditional service channels dead? 


I'm trying to work out whether the use of twitter and this forum is an equivalent channel to the traditional ones, or whether it is viewed as an escalation, hence why I was able to get resolution? Discuss.




those involved in resolving above don't take it is















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Vodafone NZ

  Reply # 1612576 16-Aug-2016 16:43
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Great observations. There are a few things to comment on here:

1. Why did you need service in the first place.? Companies like Spark need to do a better job of designing and developing products, services and experiences that just work. The best companies do this brilliantly.

2. When you do need service we need to be able to use tech much better to help you. Proactive identification so we are onto an issue before you even know you have one, through to encouraging (and rewarding) community generated help (forums like this!) who help customers on our behalf are all priorities.

3. When the crap hits the fan though - you still can't beat talking to someone. But this is where I would suggest that it should be through social media or digital channels first than on the phone. Much more efficient way of keeping a record of conversations and also easier to share links, tips and self help guides.

4. You won't find anyone at Spark who comes into work to do a bad job for our customers - our front line are extraordinary customer focussed...however our systems do let them down sometimes so I don't think that it was because you went onto social media that it got sorted for you....rather just a comedy of errors that you experienced.

5. Although the fact that the boss of the division was on here probably helped ;-)

Great to see you are back on track. You have my email if you need any more help.


Jason Paris

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  Reply # 1612583 16-Aug-2016 16:57
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Where in NZ are you based? If consent is required it's obviously not a Chorus pole so consent takes weeks.


Here in Wellington the vast majority of Chorus UFB infrastructure is only on Chorus poles, not Wellington Electricity poles. Obviously if a lead-in requires use of a WE pole then they require consent from WE to use it. Chorus also have pretty minimal overhead work as the network is all underground with the only overhead equipment being pillars on the Chorus poles. The vast majority of their UFB deployment is all underground, unlike Taranaki and Northland where it's 100% overhead.





Hi, just in response to this, I'm in North Wellington. The fibre has been cabled overhead between the electricity poles in my street.


I get that they need permission to use the pole, I'm simply frustrated that I assumed that this would be a repeatable process by now. Even if you ignore the lack of coordination between other utilities provider and the opportunity of aligning works calendars, there must be precedents of putting fibre overhead on WE poles and therefore what the next steps should be. One of those steps is not marking network roll out as complete when it is clearly not ready for consumption.


If the only way for anyone in the area to consume fibre, is for chorus to (re)gain consent for access to the pole that they gained consent to climb up and down the week before, I would have assumed that this is not only a process they can reference and give timelines for, but that it is also something they have captured for when an order is placed. 


My world went like this:


  • Chorus announce network roll-out complete
  • Spark offer fibre
  • I order fibre from Spark
  • I receive order confirmation
  • I receive call from Chorus to arrange site survey appointment and then installation appointment
  • I wait in for Chorus technician
  • Chorus technician arrives (within promised times by the way)
  • Chorus technician looks at pole and says that consent is required and can't do anymore (I'm not sure why a site survey couldn't be completed)
  • I wait
  • I wait some more
  • A couple of days later I contact Spark to ask for an update, they tell me it's with Chorus and can't offer any more information
  • I call Chorus and they advise I have to progress it through Spark
  • I then have several days of being sent back and forth, and then...
  • I get an email confirmation from Spark that my order has progressed after the site survey. I wasn't sure how, but...Hurrah. So I call them (cue various statements on wait times etc.) and the rep advises it is a mistake as the order is on hold. Boooo. 
  • I call Chorus who say that consent has now been requested, also advising quite nonchalantly that it can take up to 4 months. And then finiahsed with, but I have known it take longer.
  • I wait again
  • A week or so later, I get an email confirmation from Spark that my installation can now be confirmed and give me a date. How excited am I? However, I'm wondering whether they are not going to complete the site-survey that didn't happen with the installation. I'm impressed. I call to confirm. 
  • Spark tell me it's a mistake. The order is on hold. Booo
  • I call Chorus. I need to talk to Spark.
  • So, I take to twitter. So.. that drove a response. I now know it took Chorus over a week to raise the pole consent after the failed site-survey visit, and that was over 5 weeks ago. Once consent is given I have to go through another site-survey then installation.

I think it's reasonable that I am frustrated. I haven't asked for the service to be quick, just predictable. If it takes six months, I am going to be surprised at the duration, but I have little option obviously. What I want is a little bit of understanding that a predictable and reliable time frame is not too much to ask for, and by now they should be able to have a reliable process (I would also hope that they had found ways to apply efficiencies within it, but that's another bit of digression). I also stand by my earlier statement that with consideration to the amount I am prepared to pay across mobiles and data packages, landline and broadband (note: I have never complained about the cost or the price, my affordability of being bled dry across various mediums by a herd of teenage children and my own excessive usage is the issue), thenI would have thought Spark would try that little bit harder to get me surety across the frustration. It hasn't been helped that the surety they have tried to give have been based on system generated emails that have provided incorrect information.




Yep, I know, I want the moon on a stick...















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  Reply # 1612587 16-Aug-2016 17:18
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you do realise that chorus have their own poles too, and they sometimes need to use WE ones to get to your property


the core network roll out is complete though and it is ready for consumption, when fibre is run from the cabinet/exchange down each street. if you need to use a WE pole to get the lead in to your house the pole needs inspected to see if it can handle the extra load on the pole, and that workers up said pole arent going to make it come down.


yes its frustrating but its their infrastructure and they want to last as long as possible and not cause them to spend any money they dont have to.


you could apply your same logic to any install that requires consent from a neighbour or building owner, its not ready for consumption till concent from all affected parties is gained.


it sucks but it is how it is.







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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1612603 16-Aug-2016 17:24
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Wow, your telco budget is on par with our grocery budget!

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Master Geek

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  Reply # 1612610 16-Aug-2016 17:31
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You have chosen to prioritise food over data. Your family is allowed to eat, mine are simply allowed all it can eat data. I haven't quite got CYFs across the line on it yet, but it's a matter of time.

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