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BDFL - Memuneh
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# 254251 3-Aug-2019 15:50
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Just received:

 

 

Spark has announced today an immediate product recall of a power back-up that has been issued to approximately 14,000 wireless landline phone customers during the last 4 months.

 

Spark has identified that some of the power back-up devices have incorrectly placed wiring due to a manufacturing error. This creates the risk of overheating which may lead to a potential fire risk.

 

While the wireless landline works without it, the power back-up was issued to ensure continuity of service in the event of a power outage.

 

“We are not aware of any fire incidents, or of actual harm being caused to any customers by this manufacturing issue. However, the safety of our customers is paramount, and we are therefore actioning an immediate product recall,” said Product Director, Tessa Tierney.

 

“Spark is therefore asking all customers who have received and installed a wireless landline kit between 22 March 2019 – 2 August 2019 to immediately disconnect the black-coloured power back-up from their white-coloured wireless landline connection box and reconnect the connection box directly to the power socket.”

 

“We will be contacting individual customers as soon as possible to advise them on next steps, including offering them an alternative means of communication should this be required in the event of a power outage.”

 

The recall followed a recent customer report that their power back-up had overheated to the point of smoke emitting from the device. An investigation determined this was likely to be caused by incorrect placement of a wire during the manufacturing process. Other different but concerning wiring inconsistencies were found in a handful of power back-up devices from a sample that were randomly selected and tested. 

 

“Our technical experts advise us that once the power back-up is disconnected from the mains there is a low risk of overheating or fire. Therefore, we urge customers to disconnect the power back-up immediately and reconnect their wireless landline connection box to the power socket.”

 

Customers can either bring the power back-up to their nearest Spark store or contact Spark directly on 0800 159 159 to arrange for collection. In the meantime, customers should store the device in a cool, dry, ventilated place like on a table or garage floor, away from direct sunlight or water.

 

Those customers who have received the wireless landline kit but have not yet installed it are also being asked to return the kit.

 

Spark will be proactively contacting all customers over the coming days to walk them through the disconnection process and assist them if they have any concerns about their ability to remain connected during a power cut. As many of the wireless landline customers are older and some do not have internet access, Spark encourages family and friends to assist in making these customers aware of what to do.

 

The power back-up was chosen by Spark earlier this year after a rigorous testing process. There is no evidence of any design fault or problems with the lithium ion battery that is at the core of the device. Customers can find more information at www.spark.co.nz/productrecall

 

 





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  # 2289246 3-Aug-2019 16:55
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Wonder who will foot the bill?

No mention of a replacement UPS?



BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 2289254 3-Aug-2019 17:15
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From their Comms team:

"We won’t be providing a replacement power back-up but we will be offering a basic prepaid mobile phone free of charge to be used for emergency calls."




 
 
 
 


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  # 2289262 3-Aug-2019 17:37
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freitasm: From their Comms team:

"We won’t be providing a replacement power back-up but we will be offering a basic prepaid mobile phone free of charge to be used for emergency calls."

 

Which isn't really anything like a replacement solution. How is somebody supposed to receive inbound calls during a power cut if nobody knows the number?

 

Most people didn't chose to move to FWA for their landlines. Spark made that decision for them.

 

 

 

 


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  # 2289263 3-Aug-2019 17:41
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What about medical alarms that may be plugged in?


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  # 2289267 3-Aug-2019 17:47
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So customers paid for and received a kit with a UPS as part of switching to wireless, but now due to a recall they won't have a UPS?

 

 


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  # 2289275 3-Aug-2019 18:14
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I can see this turning into a PR ‘problem’ for Spark. Recall should be replacement. A cellphone is pointless for the elderly relative I installed the wireless landline for a month ago. She struggles with anything beyond a standard phone. The power cut backup made it a great option.

Lowest tenderer maybe?




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  # 2289276 3-Aug-2019 18:17
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Who pays the Prepaid bill? 

 

UPS is a Free backup!


 
 
 
 


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  # 2289317 3-Aug-2019 20:25
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Oh it looks like the power is out. Be a dear and go get the mobile phone.
Ok darling. Thump, bump, crash.
What happened dear.
I fell down the stairs in the dark darling.
I'll get the mobile phone then dear and call an ambulance.
Oh, the battery is flat, but don't worry, I'll just plug it in for a quick charge up...




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  # 2289464 4-Aug-2019 11:29
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"The power back-up was chosen by Spark earlier this year after a rigorous testing process. There is no evidence of any design fault or problems with the lithium ion battery that is at the core of the device. "

Was this another case of after the testing was done the price finally agreed on meant that the manufacturer skipped quality control or subcontracted the assembly to save money? I find it curious that the only place I find the particular unit is on the Spark site.

Does anyone have recommendations for an alternative backup unit preferably with a more obvious presence in the market?

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  # 2289757 4-Aug-2019 17:58
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Dingbatt: I can see this turning into a PR ‘problem’ for Spark. Recall should be replacement. A cellphone is pointless for the elderly relative I installed the wireless landline for a month ago. She struggles with anything beyond a standard phone. The power cut backup made it a great option.

Lowest tenderer maybe?


From Sparks product recall page (which the link isn’t very well highlighted I have to say!)
“Your safety is our top priority so if there’s anything we can do to help, just get in touch. ” I’m sure Spark are very happy to help where it will make them more revenue!

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  # 2289761 4-Aug-2019 18:07
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They probably really don't want this happening again hence the non replacement of the UPS. It probably wasn't a great idea to provide this anyway - what happens when the battery needs replacing? I'm betting that wouldn't be free..

 

Customers can buy a UPS like this one to still have a form of battery backup (though I don't know what the provided UPS provided in regards of backup time)

 

https://cdlnz.com/3S550AU

 

or

 

https://cdlnz.com/3S700AU

 

or, if the original power adapter is 12V up to 1.5A

 

https://cdlnz.com/PSDCMIN1218

 

 

 

All purchasable at places like PBTech


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  # 2289838 4-Aug-2019 19:00
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snnet: They probably really don't want this happening again hence the non replacement of the UPS. It probably wasn't a great idea to provide this anyway - what happens when the battery needs replacing? I'm betting that wouldn't be free..

Imo Spark does have an obligation under the Kiwi Share - which later became the Telecommunication Service Obligations Deed For Local Residential Telephone Service - to provide a residential telephone service comparable with landline service levels in December 2001 - which clearly includes telephone service continuation during residential power outages as it had for the preceding many decades.


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  # 2289854 4-Aug-2019 19:17
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gzt:

 

snnet: They probably really don't want this happening again hence the non replacement of the UPS. It probably wasn't a great idea to provide this anyway - what happens when the battery needs replacing? I'm betting that wouldn't be free..

Imo Spark does have an obligation under the Kiwi Share - which later became the Telecommunication Service Obligations Deed For Local Residential Telephone Service - to provide a residential telephone service comparable with landline service levels in December 2001 - which clearly includes telephone service continuation during residential power outages as it had for the preceding many decades.

 

 

I wonder why they've so definitively announced they won't be replacing the UPS's then? Is it because it's not the copper service and they can get away with it?


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  # 2291292 7-Aug-2019 06:57
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With this impacting 14k customers, I'm surprised that there hasn't been more noise about it.

 

The Commerce Commission say they are not going to investigate.

 

Despite this product being sold on the basis that the UPS would be provided as a means of backup power in a power outage, and now Spark are reneging. Um breach of FTA anyone?

 

Once you've switched to this 'Digital' product - is it possible to switch back to copper? Does anyone know?

 

 


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  # 2291335 7-Aug-2019 07:14
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Neeks:

 

With this impacting 14k customers, I'm surprised that there hasn't been more noise about it.

 

The Commerce Commission say they are not going to investigate.

 

Despite this product being sold on the basis that the UPS would be provided as a means of backup power in a power outage, and now Spark are reneging. Um breach of FTA anyone?

 

Once you've switched to this 'Digital' product - is it possible to switch back to copper? Does anyone know?

 

 

 

 

Switching back to copper is always an option. 

 

 


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