Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




28 posts

Geek


#270604 18-May-2020 12:36
Send private message quote this post

A bit of a rant that's not Spark specific but related to most ISPs and companies in NZ...

 

 

 

I've been helping my neighbour in her late 70s get setup with internet/phone. Her ISP has been acquired and she wanted a change now that we have fibre available.

 

For starters - We had to put her onto wireless temporarily because Spark said they couldn't port her landline number directly to fibre. Ok, fair enough.

 

The modem was sent out over a week ago and we all accept things will take longer to get to people at the moment. However, Spark have said that the wireless modem has been 'activated'. Despite the tracking number saying the modem is still at the depot in Manukau. This has cut off her landline and internet.

 

No problem, I'll hop on live chat or book a call. Both services are down and non functional. I left private messages on Facebook and no response after two hours.

 

Yea, I know 'Covid'... But does anyone else think this is totally piss poor?

 

It's bad enough that they get slammed $10 for phone line, $8 for national calls, $14 for voicemail and limited or no options for low usage internet plans.

 

These people live on their landlines. Particularly when they live alone like my neighbour.

 

 

 


View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2
959 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2485546 18-May-2020 12:41
Send private message quote this post

I'll be the first to say it but now probably wasn't a great time to migrate. That said, I realise elderly love their landlines, but my 91 year old grandmother seems to cope ok with a cellphone as well. It's like the cheque debate in another thread, at what point should a company sustain these legacy products?


'That VDSL Cat'
12343 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Spark
Subscriber

  #2485549 18-May-2020 12:53
Send private message quote this post

hi, 

 

 

 

Please can you DM me account details and will see what we can do here..

 

Apologies about the modem activation issues, the autoactivation time is in the process of being adjusted. 





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

 


 
 
 
 


4544 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  #2485550 18-May-2020 12:54
Send private message quote this post

 

For starters - We had to put her onto wireless temporarily because Spark said they couldn't port her landline number directly to fibre. Ok, fair enough.

 

 

That doesn't seem fair enough at all... sounds like a gaping issue with an internal provisioning process. Unless I guess questions asked to the client put her in some weird edge case, but still very strange.




28 posts

Geek


  #2485645 18-May-2020 14:28
Send private message quote this post

I totally accept that a copper line is a 'legacy' product. Hence the move to a newer technology.

 

I also wouldn't recommend anyone that is a heavy landline user with old habits or older friends who can't/won't call cell phone numbers to switch. She has and can use a cellphone but her friends can't/won't.

 

In my neighbour's case she didn't have a choice. Her ISP was going out of business and a change was mandatory.

 

Most ISPs don't even have an ADSL/VDSL option online. You need to phone to be presented with that. In my neighbour's case it was going to cost and additional $30/month to go VDSL. On a pension, that's a lot for her so Fibre basic looked like the better option.

 

The whole situation has made me wonder if there needs to be more effort to help vulnerable/elderly and/or people who struggle with technology. I've seen there have been statements from the government about improving technical literacy but there has to be a large chunk of the population falling through the cracks.

 

In the case of a private company, I guess they have a shareholder obligation to be profitable. It's just a shame there couldn't be a 'Super Gold' pack similar to the following :

 

- 10/20GB of internet

 

- landline number with toll free NZ calling. Or at least nominate 5 people for toll free (family, close friends etc).

 

- priority support or support staff who are more suitable for this type of customer and their needs

 

There are a lot of people 70+ who I think assumed they could surf this out for the rest of their lives. Now most government services, banking etc is all moving totally online and they've been caught off-guard. I just don't think there has been enough consideration given to how to transition these people to the new way of doing things. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a helpful geek in their lives.

 

We all know younger and able folks who refuse to get with the times. That's another story.

 

No one person or company or organization to blame here. Just something I've been pondering more recently.

 


5972 posts

Uber Geek


  #2485649 18-May-2020 14:39
Send private message quote this post

musicismypill:It's just a shame there couldn't be a 'Super Gold' pack similar to the following :

 

- 10/20GB of internet

 

- landline number with toll free NZ calling. Or at least nominate 5 people for toll free (family, close friends etc).

 

- priority support or support staff who are more suitable for this type of customer and their needs

 

 

Vodafone do this, I'd just be a bit hesitant with a recommendation until they've got their customer service sorted. https://www.vodafone.co.nz/goldnet/


gzt

11465 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2485658 18-May-2020 15:03
Send private message quote this post

I've had excellent service from Spark recently. This seems like an exception. I agree the service needs to be optimised for elderly people especially around relatively complex migration like this. Without assistance from someone like yourself it can drag out or get stuck easily.



28 posts

Geek


  #2485681 18-May-2020 15:14
Send private message quote this post

I'd like to reiterate that I have also received excellent customer service from Spark. Hence my recommendation that she move her services over to them. No complaints there.

 

But without me, I doubt she would understand the difference between 4G wireless, ADSL/VDSL, VOIP etc and all of the complications that go with each.

 

Originally she was dead against us (shared drive) getting Fibre installed. After thoroughly explaining it in simple terms to her she consented and after the installation was done she couldn't have been more apologetic for her initial reluctance and was impressed with the quality of work carried out.

 

My point is - should the burden be placed on 'geeks' or 'geek-like' family members and friends? What about people who don't have a geek? They either need to increase their own knowledge or perhaps pay some 'geeks on wheels' type service to help.

 

The current solution reached after three hours of no-phone is to put her onto copper again but with Spark. There is a 48hr period of wait time though...

 

Maybe a simple 'if over 65 double check before disconnecting phone service' could be implemented here. Just sayin.

 


 
 
 
 


2074 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2485694 18-May-2020 15:45
Send private message quote this post

Some knowledge of setting stuff up yourself with things  is always going to be needed, otherwise the installation cost will rocket for everyone.

 

The people that are not able to set stuff up are going to have to pay, or ask friend etc for help.

 

I've helped heaps of people with computer or TV stuff, which I do because it's something that interests me.

 

I'm no good at assembling barbecues and other kit set stuff, but can follow instructions for cables to routers etc. People have helped me out with the kit set stuff.

 

Was even at a work mates place once, he had Sky and brought a wide screen TV, saw the bottom of the screen was cut off. Changed settings in decoder to 16:9 and made a big difference for him, he wasn't even aware up to that point.

 

I was in one shop and to set up a TomTom like Nav device they wanted around $150, thought that was ridiculous for a 10 to 15 minute job.

 

Everyone is probably still learning about the new environment we are in, so the screw up here is not allowing for the longer delivery times, looks like they're onto it.   


318 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2486589 19-May-2020 19:00
Send private message quote this post

I think you're right, and in this case Vodafone do in fact have the perfect product (GoldNet as mentioned upthread) which is well promoted through the likes of SeniorNet. Speaking of SeniorNet, it might be worthwhile your neighbour joining her local SeniorNet chapter if there is one.

 

Would have been great also to see fibre rolled out without the involvement of an RSP to help with situations like this - person in the house currently doesn't really need it, but still a benefit to having the house connected long term.





Ant  Reformed geek | Referral links: Electric Kiwi  Sharesies  Stake


3897 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #2486617 19-May-2020 20:13
Send private message quote this post

musicismypill:

 

But without me, I doubt she would understand the difference between 4G wireless, ADSL/VDSL, VOIP etc and all of the complications that go with each.

 

Originally she was dead against us (shared drive) getting Fibre installed. After thoroughly explaining it in simple terms to her she consented and after the installation was done she couldn't have been more apologetic for her initial reluctance and was impressed with the quality of work carried out.

 

My point is - should the burden be placed on 'geeks' or 'geek-like' family members and friends? What about people who don't have a geek? They either need to increase their own knowledge or perhaps pay some 'geeks on wheels' type service to help.

 

 

This is no different than any somewhat specialised product or service. Car manufacturers don't have a special offering for people who don't understand cars and power companies don't have a special offering for people who don't understand daily charges and high/low user rates.

 

At the end Caveat Emptor will always apply. Mass market companies cater to the mass market, and what it will pay. It doesn't make it easy for people who don't understand specialised offerings. Just as they may have asked their mechanic for advice in buying a car they need to call on their network or pay for help.

 

 


318 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2487381 20-May-2020 20:11
Send private message quote this post

Incidentally the local library where my grandparents are also offers seniors’ tech workshops and classes. They also offer them to low income families and others not so confident with tech. They apparently include tutorials on getting connected and understanding the jargon, as well as using your devices. Plus as mentioned, SeniorNet.

I think the ISPs do have a role to play here - but in fairness I actually think Vodafone do a good job of this, and I have heard the Spark stores are very good here as well.




Ant  Reformed geek | Referral links: Electric Kiwi  Sharesies  Stake


Devastation by stupidity
12277 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2487392 20-May-2020 20:42
Send private message quote this post

Handle9:

 

This is no different than any somewhat specialised product or service. Car manufacturers don't have a special offering for people who don't understand cars and power companies don't have a special offering for people who don't understand daily charges and high/low user rates.

 

At the end Caveat Emptor will always apply. Mass market companies cater to the mass market, and what it will pay. It doesn't make it easy for people who don't understand specialised offerings. Just as they may have asked their mechanic for advice in buying a car they need to call on their network or pay for help.

 

 

 

 

This is a glib, specious dismissal of older people that wrongly conflates a bunch of different things to make a point that misses the point.

 

The Internet and all that derives from it cannot in good faith be compared to motor cars or power companies, especially not when it comes to the concerns of older people. The elderly should not have to be subjected to the usual technobabble bullsh!t in order to use their telephone or email. If a company wants to serve a mass market, it damn well better make special provisions for the older members of that market. People don't cease to be worthy of respect when they get old. This is very disrespectful.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


3897 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #2487394 20-May-2020 20:47
Send private message quote this post

Rikkitic:

 

Handle9:

 

This is no different than any somewhat specialised product or service. Car manufacturers don't have a special offering for people who don't understand cars and power companies don't have a special offering for people who don't understand daily charges and high/low user rates.

 

At the end Caveat Emptor will always apply. Mass market companies cater to the mass market, and what it will pay. It doesn't make it easy for people who don't understand specialised offerings. Just as they may have asked their mechanic for advice in buying a car they need to call on their network or pay for help.

 

 

This is a glib, specious dismissal of older people that wrongly conflates a bunch of different things to make a point that misses the point.

 

The Internet and all that derives from it cannot in good faith be compared to motor cars or power companies, especially not when it comes to the concerns of older people. The elderly should not have to be subjected to the usual technobabble bullsh!t in order to use their telephone or email. If a company wants to serve a mass market, it damn well better make special provisions for the older members of that market. People don't cease to be worthy of respect when they get old. This is very disrespectful.

 

 

In your haste to get offended you chose not to read what was quoted and therefore failed to understand what I wrote.

 

What was quoted was nothing to do with whether someone was old or not. It asked the question of what do people who don't understand technology. If that upsets you bad luck.


78 posts

Master Geek


  #2487409 20-May-2020 21:25
Send private message quote this post

I had to check the heading of this thread ' Treatment of Elderly customers - not good enough,

 

as a person who has been on this Planet a long time, I query why is there a perceived need that 'old' people need to know how something works, why ? If it works, good, if it doesn't then get it fixed.

 

BUT, there are a lot of us who are up with the Technology because we grew up with it.

 

Of course  the problem nowadays is that we have salesmen, Technicians etc who like to impress us with there so called knowledge when attempting to sell something.

 

I have a brother who does not have a Cell phone or Computer, he did have some minor problems when his Landline phone was disconnected and he was put on Wireless ? system as the Copper circuits were rotten (corroded) but he has had it sorted, biggest problem is pushing the wrong buttons on his phone, I have been for a number of months trying to educate him on this new fangled technology, I'm slowly winning đŸ˜£

 

 


Devastation by stupidity
12277 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2487512 21-May-2020 08:44
Send private message quote this post

Handle9:

 

In your haste to get offended you chose not to read what was quoted and therefore failed to understand what I wrote.

 

What was quoted was nothing to do with whether someone was old or not. It asked the question of what do people who don't understand technology. If that upsets you bad luck.

 

 

This thread is about telecom technology and the elderly, as are the comments that you replied to. Since you did not specify otherwise, it is not unreasonable to assume that you were replying in the same context as those other comments.

 

Apart from that, your post also misses the point where other non-technical types are concerned. Anyone can set up and use a power account, whether they understand the pricing structure or not. Anyone with a driver's license can use a car. People don't normally have to be able to install engine components and tune it before they can drive it. 

 

Internet technology can be confusing for anyone without specialist knowledge, but older people generally have bigger problems if things don't work or they have to set something up. Especially if they have no prior experience with this kind of thing. Because Internet access has now pretty much become a necessity, just like a phone, those who do not understand what a LAN cable is have every right to expect full support when they find themselves forced to buy into this technology. It is not enough for a company to just blithely say here is your modem, go figure it out or find a relative to do it for you.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


 1 | 2
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic





Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Chorus completes the build and commissioning of two new core Ethernet switches
Posted 8-Jul-2020 09:48


National Institute for Health Innovation develops treatment app for gambling
Posted 6-Jul-2020 16:25


Nokia 2.3 to be available in New Zealand
Posted 6-Jul-2020 12:30


Menulog change colours as parent company merges with Dutch food delivery service
Posted 2-Jul-2020 07:53


Techweek2020 goes digital to make it easier for Kiwis to connect and learn
Posted 2-Jul-2020 07:48


Catalyst Cloud launches new Solutions Hub to support their kiwi Partners and Customers
Posted 2-Jul-2020 07:44


Microsoft to help New Zealand job seekers acquire new digital skills needed for the COVID-19 economy
Posted 2-Jul-2020 07:41


Hewlett Packard Enterprise introduces new HPE GreenLake cloud services
Posted 24-Jun-2020 08:07


New cloud data protection services from Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Posted 24-Jun-2020 07:58


Hewlett Packard Enterprise unveils HPE Ezmeral, new software portfolio and brand
Posted 24-Jun-2020 07:10


Apple reveals new developer technologies to foster the next generation of apps
Posted 23-Jun-2020 15:30


Poly introduces solutions for Microsoft Teams Rooms
Posted 23-Jun-2020 15:14


Lenovo launches new ThinkPad P Series mobile workstations
Posted 23-Jun-2020 09:17


Lenovo brings Linux certification to ThinkPad and ThinkStation Workstation portfolio
Posted 23-Jun-2020 08:56


Apple introduces new features for iPhone iOS14 and iPadOS 14
Posted 23-Jun-2020 08:28



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.