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freitasm

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#251238 14-Jun-2019 15:50
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Another case of someone from Spark pushing unnecessary phone changes:

 

 

Oliver said she nearly signed up to the phone system upgrade because she felt pressured by the sales pitch.

 

"[The manager] told me I had better act fast, as the longer I waited the more it would cost and it would be more difficult because everyone else would be wanting new lines, so I could be without lines for a long time."

 

But she had doubts and contacted Chorus which told her it had no current plans to stop operating and maintaining its copper network, and that Chorus had been made aware "some providers" were sending out information that was "not correct".

 

Oliver said the Spark manager visited the school together with a representative from a business partner. They recommended the centre switch to a fibre-optic connection, but the centre was advised that would require a new phone system for which Oliver was quoted about $2700 plus gst.

 

The switch to fibre would have cut the childcare centre's monthly phone and broadband bill by about $73 a month, but as well as investing in a new phone system, would also have required it spend at least hundreds of dollars upgrading its alarm system.

 

Spark's proposed upgrade was a "must" to keep the childcare centre future-proof, Oliver was told by the Spark manager, who also told her by email: "If we don't do anything about it as soon as now, you will end up having no broadband and landline coming by next year".

 

 

Disgusting. The article also says "the company had spoken to the Spark manager who was dealing with the childcare centre and understood he was "confused about the issue". The manager had provided information to Toddlers Turf that he "genuinely thought was correct when giving the customer context around the move to a new fibre plan", she said.

 

In my opinion this is not confusion. The manager was there with a "business partner".

 

We have seen other cases here where Spark is sending people their wireless replacements for phone lines. In any case, there's no immediate need for anyone to switch if you do not want to.





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Aredwood
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  #2258330 14-Jun-2019 16:36

Remember the “Confusion as a Marketing Tool” speech? Looks like nothing has changed.





ockel
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  #2258332 14-Jun-2019 16:38
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Aredwood: Remember the “Confusion as a Marketing Tool” speech? Looks like nothing has changed.

 

 

 

A leopard never changes its spots


MikeB4
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  #2258334 14-Jun-2019 16:42
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I had a Trustpower Rep here a week or two back (they seem to turn up on a regular cycle) telling me I should change to them as the copper was going. We are already on Fibre and haven't had a land line in years. Trustpower seems to be getting quite aggressive, I have told them that my wife works for a Telco, which she does but they still turn up.




ockel
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  #2258337 14-Jun-2019 16:49
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MikeB4:

 

I had a Trustpower Rep here a week or two back (they seem to turn up on a regular cycle) telling me I should change to them as the copper was going. We are already on Fibre and haven't had a land line in years. Trustpower seems to be getting quite aggressive, I have told them that my wife works for a Telco, which she does but they still turn up.

 

 

Trustpower wholesales Spark's wireless broadband doesnt it?  So the tactics kinda make sense.


SpartanVXL
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  #2258339 14-Jun-2019 17:00
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So uh, on a related note when is the majority of copper going? I do distinctly remember there being a date for when we should have a certain % on fibre. Or will this only happen when cost/complexity of upkeep on the old system outweighs the benefit?

Ive got a feeling some friends will remain on copper for quite a while thanks to their landlords.

Aredwood
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  #2258340 14-Jun-2019 17:02

And there was also the “switch Before You Are Ditched” campaign that was run by Spark's sub brand Skinny. Where they said that Vodafone were about to switch off their GSM network, when they were not going to do so for awhile yet. Despite Spark not having a GSM network, and not having any plans to build one.

Sure, we are quick to complain about Trustpower and My Republic. But what else are the smaller companies supposed to do. When Spark and Vodafone seem to both show little interest in legal compliance. As they both seem to consider court fines as just another business expense.

Of note is that both Vodafone and Spark have appointed new CEOs recently. Will they both start taking legal compliance seriously now?

The government needs to also get serious with fines against them as well. Consider the financial hardship that even a $150 driving infringement would have, to someone who is trying to pay rent and feed their kids. While on the DPB.

Fine Spark something like $500 Million dollars. Or cancel their radio spectrum rights. If a small liquor store gets caught selling alcohol to minors, they loose their liquor license. Why should large companies be allowed to do what they want without any serious punishment? Maybe then they will start to take compliance seriously.





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  #2258375 14-Jun-2019 18:03
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Despite Spark using confusion and misinformation as their primary marketing tool, there is a serious side to this.

 

Copper lines are not going anywhere anytime soon. 

 

Copper voice is changing, with the shutdown of the NEAX network already in progress with significant changes from next year.

 

This will mean either CPE based VoIP over copper broadband, or for your current copper voice to be supplied via an ISAM-V (or similar) card in the cabinet or exchange. This means your line is VoIP from the exchange or cabinet, but is still delivered to you over copper.

 

These changes don't just affect Spark customers, it will mean the end of "landlines" as we know it for every provider who currently resells the NEAX based services.

 

Spark are taking the opportunity to continue to charge customers $50 per month for a "landline" delivered over their mobile network, and get to pocket that whole $50 themselves rather than having to give anything to Chorus. Spark has become a vertically integrated telco again, and some people seem surprised by that.

 

 




mattwnz
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  #2258494 14-Jun-2019 20:09
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sbiddle:

 

Spark has become a vertically integrated telco again, and some people seem surprised by that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it actually as reliable as a normal copper landline though, or even a phone line over fibre (if they have a battery backup in case of powerloss) ? eg Will it struggle in a natural disaster if it is using the mobile network? That is one reason people preferred to keep an actual landline. 


gzt

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  #2258518 14-Jun-2019 21:12
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ockel:
Aredwood: Remember the “Confusion as a Marketing Tool” speech? Looks like nothing has changed.
A leopard never changes its spots

This is a case of Spot not changing it's leopards.

taneb1
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  #2258521 14-Jun-2019 21:24
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MikeB4:

 

I had a Trustpower Rep here a week or two back (they seem to turn up on a regular cycle) telling me I should change to them as the copper was going. We are already on Fibre and haven't had a land line in years. Trustpower seems to be getting quite aggressive, I have told them that my wife works for a Telco, which she does but they still turn up.

 

 

Hi Mike - Trustpower still offer both Copper and Fibre services to new and existing customers and our agents should not be using this wording as part of their discussion. If you would like to PM me your address and if you remember when the last visit was, I would be happy to send this through to our sales team management to address with the agent(s) involved and ask to ensure that we no longer visit, especially when you have made it clear of your situation in the past. My apologies for this happening.





Any comments made are my personal views and does not represent those of my employer


chevrolux
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  #2258529 14-Jun-2019 21:51
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So what happens, in 2020, when a business's copper fed landline has a serious fault, and because UFB is available, Chorus says "nah! We aren't fixing it".

Will we still hate spark then for pushing VoIP services?

And as for the "upgrade was a "must" to keep the childcare centre future-proof"... um yes! 100% correct. Your Panasonic 824 wont run for ever!!

The issue I have with the spark sales pitch is that their PBX product isnt all that flash feature wise and for the money they want you can do much better. Not to mention the complete lack knowledge business hub reps have on anything bar mobile plans.

kornflake
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  #2258536 14-Jun-2019 22:14
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Would a Spark Employee, care to ask their PR team to comment here?

Bung
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  #2258583 15-Jun-2019 06:02
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sbiddle:

Despite Spark using confusion and misinformation as their primary marketing tool, there is a serious side to this.


Copper lines are not going anywhere anytime soon. 


Copper voice is changing, with the shutdown of the NEAX network already in progress with significant changes from next year.




Ms Gattung admitted that the telco industry as a whole used confusion as a tool. Spark is not the only guilty party.

The NEAX replacement has been talked about since before many current Spark staff were born so I'm not surprised there's that confusion.

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  #2258599 15-Jun-2019 08:16
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chevrolux: So what happens, in 2020, when a business's copper fed landline has a serious fault, and because UFB is available, Chorus says "nah! We aren't fixing it".

Will we still hate spark then for pushing VoIP services?

 

Reliability issues aside, from the Stuff article:

 

she had doubts and contacted Chorus which told her it had no current plans to stop operating and maintaining its copper network


freitasm

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  #2258623 15-Jun-2019 09:32
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@kornflake: Would a Spark Employee, care to ask their PR team to comment here?

 

 

To be fair, I've quoted the portion where the Spark PR person commented on this specific case, read from "The article also says..."





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