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Topic # 68214 16-Sep-2010 22:20
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My 81yr old mother recently widowed got talked into changing to Slingshot from Telecom by a cold caller. She had been Xtra/Telecom subscriber  for many years and had up graded to broadband about two years ago.

Apart from the big problems getting Slingshot to work on her Windows 7 laptop (the Slingshot rep was working off XP) the real kicker was a final bill from Telecom where she was charged $178 for the "free" broadband modem she got as she was 12 days shy of the two years that the Telecom broadband contract required her to have so as not be charged for the "free" modem.  

Of course it never crossed her mind two years ago that the "free" modem was not actually "free".   
Slingshot of course neglected to mention there might be some fishhooks leaving Telecom. 

All perfectly legal no doubt. 

Any thoughts on whether it is worth pursuing the issue with Telecom (pro-rata cost?) and how to do so. After spending countless time waiting on call centers she is loathe to go that route.




 
 


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  Reply # 380945 16-Sep-2010 22:45
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I haven't had to wait long when calling Telecom recently, but it's worth a shot asking them about it.

I imagine, but I stand to be corrected, this is all handled by computer and a person doesn't actually look at the situation and say, "well it's 12 days out maybe we can waive this one."




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  Reply # 380953 16-Sep-2010 22:57
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Tatou: My 81yr old mother recently widowed got talked into changing to Slingshot from Telecom by a cold caller. She had been Xtra/Telecom subscriber  for many years and had up graded to broadband about two years ago.

Apart from the big problems getting Slingshot to work on her Windows 7 laptop (the Slingshot rep was working off XP) the real kicker was a final bill from Telecom where she was charged $178 for the "free" broadband modem she got as she was 12 days shy of the two years that the Telecom broadband contract required her to have so as not be charged for the "free" modem.  

Of course it never crossed her mind two years ago that the "free" modem was not actually "free".   
Slingshot of course neglected to mention there might be some fishhooks leaving Telecom. 

All perfectly legal no doubt. 

Any thoughts on whether it is worth pursuing the issue with Telecom (pro-rata cost?) and how to do so. After spending countless time waiting on call centers she is loathe to go that route.




 
 



The modems are free if that is one of the contract terms, the fee paid here would be an early termination fee (as in a contract ended early) feel free to call and verify or pm an account number and I can do this on your behalf, pro rata charging is explained at signup so obviously after some time could be forgotten.




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  Reply # 380965 16-Sep-2010 23:29

Tatou: My 81yr old mother recently widowed got talked into changing to Slingshot from Telecom by a cold caller. She had been Xtra/Telecom subscriber  for many years and had up graded to broadband about two years ago.

Apart from the big problems getting Slingshot to work on her Windows 7 laptop (the Slingshot rep was working off XP) the real kicker was a final bill from Telecom where she was charged $178 for the "free" broadband modem she got as she was 12 days shy of the two years that the Telecom broadband contract required her to have so as not be charged for the "free" modem.  

Of course it never crossed her mind two years ago that the "free" modem was not actually "free".   
Slingshot of course neglected to mention there might be some fishhooks leaving Telecom. 

All perfectly legal no doubt. 

Any thoughts on whether it is worth pursuing the issue with Telecom (pro-rata cost?) and how to do so. After spending countless time waiting on call centers she is loathe to go that route.




 
 




 

 


Sorry but a contract is a contract in my book, and telecom have every right to charge an early termination fee. You could however perhaps chase slingshot up for not fully explaining it to her, as it sounds like it is more of a slingshot problem, if they gave her misleading information, or didn't fully explain the consequences of changing ISPs.

As she was cold called, she should be able to change her mind. I can't remember how many days you get, but I beleive you can change you mind within a certain number of days in this type of situation. It's called a cooling off period.


Why are there so many compliants about slingshot recently? It seems so many posts are being written about slingshot problems.

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  Reply # 380974 17-Sep-2010 00:09
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robbyp:  Sorry but a contract is a contract in my book, and telecom have every right to charge an early termination fee. You could however perhaps chase slingshot up for not fully explaining it to her, as it sounds like it is more of a slingshot problem, if they gave her misleading information, or didn't fully explain the consequences of changing ISPs.


+1.


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  Reply # 380987 17-Sep-2010 02:57
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robbyp:
Why are there so many compliants about slingshot recently? It seems so many posts are being written about slingshot problems.


Because their internet service is so bad at the moment, the support guys are just running people around in circles doing meaningless tests that anyone who knows what a layer 7 filter is would know prove nothing, and as soon as you mention bittorrent or ftp they declare that you are downloading illegal files and will not help you. Things have got much worse since they offered their unlimited plan, but they still claim that they are totally separately provisioned which is clearly a lie. They they blame their suppliers for crap performance. Their internal issues with telecom or whoever are not any of my concern and why should I cut them some slack over that.

They couldnt organize a new connection to a friends empty house, they couldnt arrange to transfer a vodafone LLU connection over to them, things just "failed" and they sat on the a$$e doing nothing till the customer was proactive and called them to ask what was up, only to be told that it had failed for something and they would resubmit it, and again they do nothing.

Yes, there are lots of negative threads here and on other forums about slingshot, but IMO they are all well deserved.




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  Reply # 381010 17-Sep-2010 07:54
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I know its hard to swallow but I am firmly in the "a contract is a contract" camp.  The 'cold caller' and their employer should be ashamed.  Yet another nail in the coffin for Slingshot round here.  They are surely mounting up!

I suggest a polite call to Telecom explaining the situation would be in order, after all it wasn't their fault the contract was terminated early. 




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  Reply # 381016 17-Sep-2010 08:05
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Agree with what the others are saying about contracts. You need to know your contracts and your obligations under them. What maybe you need to do is suggest to your mother that she pass anything like this past you in the future before she signs on the dotted line so that you can advise her.

I hate cold callers and usually will not give them the time of day!

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  Reply # 381022 17-Sep-2010 08:13
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keewee01: I hate cold callers and usually will not give them the time of day!


+1

They may have something truly better to offer, but I NEVER agree to anything on the spot.  Get the info and make an informed judgment once due diligence is completed.  My advice to my elderly mother is the same.




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  Reply # 381034 17-Sep-2010 08:20
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scuwp:
keewee01: I hate cold callers and usually will not give them the time of day!


+1

They may have something truly better to offer, but I NEVER agree to anything on the spot.  Get the info and make an informed judgment once due diligence is completed.  My advice to my elderly mother is the same.


Mercury Energy are canvasing Christchurch and Ashburton at the moment. (Actually they have a far superior rate to what most in Ashburton are on because most idiots around here signed up the Trust Powers "friends" program - which offer rates more expensive than any other local electricity provider for the pleasure of being a Trust Power customer for 5 years Surprised Laughing - hence why I call them idiots, as not one checked if Trust Power was giving them a good rate or not).

Anyway, back to my story - made the girl from Mercury come back 3 times (didn't have time to talk the first 2) and still not signed up Laughing. Is a good rate though, so I should look at it.

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  Reply # 381041 17-Sep-2010 08:34
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 I  Don't know if its an option but would paying out the balance of the contract ie an additional 12 days be a better termination option then early cancellation fees?

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  Reply # 381045 17-Sep-2010 08:44
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I'm sure it would have been better financially for the person in question but its not a term of the contract, it would have stated a termination fee applies to terminating the contract, regardless of the length of time remaining.

Also, it is my opinion that this is not really a negotiable situation, it would have been much better for the person in question to wait out the short remaining period of the contract before switching, obviously Slingshot convinced her otherwise.




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  Reply # 381106 17-Sep-2010 10:33
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Is it an option to cancel the contract with Slingshot and return to Telecom? You may be able to talk them into reversing the termination fee in that instance.

I'm pretty sure that the call from Slingshot would be covered by the door to door sales act which allows a cooling off period. Even if it doesn't just threaten Slingshot with the "81yr old widow" story in the local paper :)

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  Reply # 381150 17-Sep-2010 11:23
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graemeh: Is it an option to cancel the contract with Slingshot and return to Telecom? You may be able to talk them into reversing the termination fee in that instance.

I'm pretty sure that the call from Slingshot would be covered by the door to door sales act which allows a cooling off period. Even if it doesn't just threaten Slingshot with the "81yr old widow" story in the local paper :)


Door to Door Sales Act 1967

"The Act provides consumers faced with this type of selling method with legal protection in the form of a 7 day cooling-off period after the making of an agreement during which the consumer may cancel the contract by notice in writing. The Act also provides that the seller must disclose to the consumer the rights of cancellation in a written statement and that the contract is unenforceable if the disclosure requirement is not met."





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  Reply # 381435 17-Sep-2010 20:42
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Thanks all for the comments.


I will be sending a couple of polite letters to Telecom and Slingshot rather than ring the call centers.  


There is too much time elapsed for the Door to Door to apply.


Ironically she was trying to save some money being on the single pension. It will probably be a year before she starts any savings at all once you add the modem/early termination fee and the Slingshot "connection" fee and she appears to have a worst service due to login problems every time she starts up the computer. 

Of course she is not a reader of Geekzone or she may have checked before signing up :-)


Thanks again


PS I tried to post this both in Telecom and Slingshot areas but couldn't work out how to (if possible). 



 

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  Reply # 381437 17-Sep-2010 21:05

Tatou: Thanks all for the comments.


I will be sending a couple of polite letters to Telecom and Slingshot rather than ring the call centers.  


There is too much time elapsed for the Door to Door to apply.


Ironically she was trying to save some money being on the single pension. It will probably be a year before she starts any savings at all once you add the modem/early termination fee and the Slingshot "connection" fee and she appears to have a worst service due to login problems every time she starts up the computer. 

Of course she is not a reader of Geekzone or she may have checked before signing up :-)


Thanks again


PS I tried to post this both in Telecom and Slingshot areas but couldn't work out how to (if possible). 



 


 

As others have agreed, telecom hasn't done anything wrong here as a contract is a contract, and the issue is more to do with Slingshot. I hope that you get it sorted, and what should happen is that Slingshot pays your mum back the early termination fee that she has to pay telecom. Telecom may just waive it, but as they are the one losing the customer and the income, I don't think they should. I think it should be Slingshot who comes to the party on this, due to the way it was sold, and the hard sell cold calling they do. Personally I hate people taking advantage of the elderly. I am not saying they did this, but I assume they would have known her age/date of birth and lack of technical knowledge when she signed up.

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