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ckc

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  Reply # 1188790 4-Dec-2014 17:10
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Wills1: Given up on Vodafone, Made the call to spark to change over home phone, broadband, sky and mobile. Can't come soon enough.

No customer service from Vodafone, I have been a customer since the beginning with Bellsouth, Ihug. Enough is enough.

Spark answered the phone immediately....


Yeah, Spark answered the phone immediately. Spark are great when they're taking your money and signing you up to a contract. When you have a problem, then you'll be passed around to overseas call centres who can't do anything.

Spark might not have as many as Vodafone right now, but their Facebook page still smells of the staggering incompetence and laissez-faire attitude you can only get by paying foreign workers $3 an hour to sort out people's problems.

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  Reply # 1188854 4-Dec-2014 18:59
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ckc:
Wills1: Given up on Vodafone, Made the call to spark to change over home phone, broadband, sky and mobile. Can't come soon enough.

No customer service from Vodafone, I have been a customer since the beginning with Bellsouth, Ihug. Enough is enough.

Spark answered the phone immediately....


Yeah, Spark answered the phone immediately. Spark are great when they're taking your money and signing you up to a contract. When you have a problem, then you'll be passed around to overseas call centres who can't do anything.

Spark might not have as many as Vodafone right now, but their Facebook page still smells of the staggering incompetence and laissez-faire attitude you can only get by paying foreign workers $3 an hour to sort out people's problems.


We will see, I don't see anyone in the Geekzone spark forum complaining about reaching a CSR, but loads of threads on here. After months of issues that can't be resolved because I can't reach anyone in customer service I had little choice but to move. 

Vodafone may add value with product, but they have nothing to offer in the way of service IMO.

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  Reply # 1188863 4-Dec-2014 19:48
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Wills1:
ckc:
Wills1: Given up on Vodafone, Made the call to spark to change over home phone, broadband, sky and mobile. Can't come soon enough.

No customer service from Vodafone, I have been a customer since the beginning with Bellsouth, Ihug. Enough is enough.

Spark answered the phone immediately....


Yeah, Spark answered the phone immediately. Spark are great when they're taking your money and signing you up to a contract. When you have a problem, then you'll be passed around to overseas call centres who can't do anything.

Spark might not have as many as Vodafone right now, but their Facebook page still smells of the staggering incompetence and laissez-faire attitude you can only get by paying foreign workers $3 an hour to sort out people's problems.


We will see, I don't see anyone in the Geekzone spark forum complaining about reaching a CSR, but loads of threads on here. After months of issues that can't be resolved because I can't reach anyone in customer service I had little choice but to move. 

Vodafone may add value with product, but they have nothing to offer in the way of service IMO.


I have to agree. Whenever someone usually posts here about spark, it's an issue with chorus instead.





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  Reply # 1188868 4-Dec-2014 20:21
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ckc:
Wills1: Given up on Vodafone, Made the call to spark to change over home phone, broadband, sky and mobile. Can't come soon enough.

No customer service from Vodafone, I have been a customer since the beginning with Bellsouth, Ihug. Enough is enough.

Spark answered the phone immediately....


Yeah, Spark answered the phone immediately. Spark are great when they're taking your money and signing you up to a contract. When you have a problem, then you'll be passed around to overseas call centres who can't do anything.

Spark might not have as many as Vodafone right now, but their Facebook page still smells of the staggering incompetence and laissez-faire attitude you can only get by paying foreign workers $3 an hour to sort out people's problems.


I think your argument is invalid. I've visited Spark's call centre in Auckland and followed a couple of calls and they seem to have a good grasp of what/how.






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  Reply # 1188915 4-Dec-2014 21:10
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ckc:
Wills1: Given up on Vodafone, Made the call to spark to change over home phone, broadband, sky and mobile. Can't come soon enough.

No customer service from Vodafone, I have been a customer since the beginning with Bellsouth, Ihug. Enough is enough.

Spark answered the phone immediately....


Yeah, Spark answered the phone immediately. Spark are great when they're taking your money and signing you up to a contract. When you have a problem, then you'll be passed around to overseas call centres who can't do anything.

Spark might not have as many as Vodafone right now, but their Facebook page still smells of the staggering incompetence and laissez-faire attitude you can only get by paying foreign workers $3 an hour to sort out people's problems.

You sound awfully cynical about either company, now I think about it.

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  Reply # 1189062 5-Dec-2014 01:46
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ckc:
Wills1: Given up on Vodafone, Made the call to spark to change over home phone, broadband, sky and mobile. Can't come soon enough.

No customer service from Vodafone, I have been a customer since the beginning with Bellsouth, Ihug. Enough is enough.

Spark answered the phone immediately....


Yeah, Spark answered the phone immediately. Spark are great when they're taking your money and signing you up to a contract. When you have a problem, then you'll be passed around to overseas call centres who can't do anything.

Spark might not have as many as Vodafone right now, but their Facebook page still smells of the staggering incompetence and laissez-faire attitude you can only get by paying foreign workers $3 an hour to sort out people's problems.


I don't know about you but I've been with them for a year and haven't had a single problem with them yet - either relating to Chorus or what Spark offers on top of what Chorus provides. When it comes to calling up CSR I've never had any problems although I do wish that some of the inquiries were able to be resolved online - for example, if I want to make my final payment for the 'interest free' deal I should be able to configure my payment schedule so that I can make the final payment without needing to make a call.

Compare that to the situation with Vodafone where their cable network is up the crapper and around the bed almost every week, the 1 to 2 hour waits on hold, the constant ballsing up of billing etc. honestly, you can kind of understand issues with the old copper telephone network but when you have a brand new HFC network that keeps crapping out on almost a weekly basis I have to ask what the hell is happening at Vodafone. Are their products tempting? sure but given the legacy of poor reliability and horrible support I keep running back to Spark each time because I know for all its faults it is the McDonalds of the telecommunications industry - never great but never bad.




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  Reply # 1189157 5-Dec-2014 09:36
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mattwnz: What is really frustrating I find with companies these days, is not having a way to email them, and the only way to contact them is via phone or snailmail. An email is so much quicker, you just send it through, and if they are good at dealing with emails, you will have a reply within a few hours, usually less if they are very good. To actually wait on hold is pretty much wasted time, as it is difficult to do much when you are on hold, and it is even more frustrating when you have to explain things multiple times, and spell URLs and passwords over the phone, which you often have to do multiple times, and P's and D's, and T's are very difficult to distinguish over a phone line. 



I use the Online Chat service where available and try to avoid being on Queue on hold. Spark has the Online Chat Service which is very handy to log simple jobs with them and get resolutions while at work. 



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  Reply # 1189354 5-Dec-2014 13:54
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Jonski: Whew. What a mission. OK, the phone was answered after 1h10. I spoke to a very helpful Sunny B, who was quite good. In fact, got annoyed on my behalf after reading my customer notes.

But that whole phone call took 2h30, and that was on top of the 1h30 on hold without response last night. So that's half a working day to confirm that as suspected, Vodafone has ported my DSL account to UFB, without having checked if I had any UFB provisioned.

In other words, they've unplugged me without cause. I don't even have fibre down the driveway, let alone the rest of it.

It's now going to take up to 72 hours to get it reprovisioned, and that's apparently as fast as they can move.

Queue comments relating to pissups in breweries. This entire process (of me getting UFB) commenced in mid-September and is not even close to getting resolved. It has been a catalogue of errors and excuses and I'm bracing to see what horrors have yet to come. Because come they will.

Jon


I have now waited almost exactly 72 hours.

Guess what hasn't happened.

Go on, guess.

20 minutes on hold so far, let's see how long it takes today. Colour me extremely pi$$ed off.

Update: 35 minutes. I had tried putting my enquiry through to Sales, thought they might have a more direct line to Provisioning. Nope, the rep dumped me back in the tech support queue. I'm spending my time comparing plans between VF and Telecom!. Interesting that for almost the same package (80 Gb data UFB, 100/20 or 100/50 and an on-plan mobile phone) there is a $30 difference in monthly charge.

Is VF deliberately trying to drive away my business? It certainly feels like it given my earlier recent and this current experience.




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  Reply # 1189409 5-Dec-2014 15:37
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kawaii:
ckc:
Wills1: Given up on Vodafone, Made the call to spark to change over home phone, broadband, sky and mobile. Can't come soon enough.

No customer service from Vodafone, I have been a customer since the beginning with Bellsouth, Ihug. Enough is enough.

Spark answered the phone immediately....


Yeah, Spark answered the phone immediately. Spark are great when they're taking your money and signing you up to a contract. When you have a problem, then you'll be passed around to overseas call centres who can't do anything.

Spark might not have as many as Vodafone right now, but their Facebook page still smells of the staggering incompetence and laissez-faire attitude you can only get by paying foreign workers $3 an hour to sort out people's problems.


I don't know about you but I've been with them for a year and haven't had a single problem with them yet - either relating to Chorus or what Spark offers on top of what Chorus provides. When it comes to calling up CSR I've never had any problems although I do wish that some of the inquiries were able to be resolved online - for example, if I want to make my final payment for the 'interest free' deal I should be able to configure my payment schedule so that I can make the final payment without needing to make a call.

Compare that to the situation with Vodafone where their cable network is up the crapper and around the bed almost every week, the 1 to 2 hour waits on hold, the constant ballsing up of billing etc. honestly, you can kind of understand issues with the old copper telephone network but when you have a brand new HFC network that keeps crapping out on almost a weekly basis I have to ask what the hell is happening at Vodafone. Are their products tempting? sure but given the legacy of poor reliability and horrible support I keep running back to Spark each time because I know for all its faults it is the McDonalds of the telecommunications industry - never great but never bad.


I would personally disagree with a lot of what has gone on in this thread, and not that I like astroturfing another RSP's thread I feel like I had to add a few things in.

Spark is a much smaller company with a much smaller budget now than it was 3 years ago, let alone in the hayday of Telecom. Because of this things have had to change. Some for the better, others for the worse. For the most part it's better in my view.

But when it comes to the answering of the phones and maintaining a stable network I personally consider Spark to be the best and by a country mile beyond the 2nd in line. I have had a DSL line since I joined as an employee 4 years ago and it's never gone down, seriously it hasn't. The last time I had checked the uptime was 9 months. On the engineering side the amount of effort that goes in to not impacting customers is insane. The network is constantly being upgraded both Mobile and Broadband yet I found a whole swag of UFB customers who have been up for 180+ days and in the broadband space considering we have over 50% of the xDSL customer base you would statistically say we should have 50% of the complaints, but it's just not that way. I would say the percentage of complaints is more around the 20% across all ISPs. That doesn't happen by accident or luck.

Yes I would love it if as a company we could be more agile and respond to the industry with things like IPv6 and other services in a timely way. But when you are running 600k+ Broadband customers you have to be very careful when making any changes in production and have thoroughly tested it beforehand.

Reading Geekzone and Facebook never fails to make me feel better when I have had a bad day since threads like these just don't tend to happen all that often on the Spark forum. Or get to page 4 without some resolution.

So I say BS to the statement Spark is the McDonald's of the telecommunications industry in NZ.

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  Reply # 1189601 5-Dec-2014 20:58
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Jonski:
Jonski: Whew. What a mission. OK, the phone was answered after 1h10. I spoke to a very helpful Sunny B, who was quite good. In fact, got annoyed on my behalf after reading my customer notes.

But that whole phone call took 2h30, and that was on top of the 1h30 on hold without response last night. So that's half a working day to confirm that as suspected, Vodafone has ported my DSL account to UFB, without having checked if I had any UFB provisioned.

In other words, they've unplugged me without cause. I don't even have fibre down the driveway, let alone the rest of it.

It's now going to take up to 72 hours to get it reprovisioned, and that's apparently as fast as they can move.

Queue comments relating to pissups in breweries. This entire process (of me getting UFB) commenced in mid-September and is not even close to getting resolved. It has been a catalogue of errors and excuses and I'm bracing to see what horrors have yet to come. Because come they will.

Jon


I have now waited almost exactly 72 hours.

Guess what hasn't happened.

Go on, guess.

20 minutes on hold so far, let's see how long it takes today. Colour me extremely pi$$ed off.

Update: 35 minutes. I had tried putting my enquiry through to Sales, thought they might have a more direct line to Provisioning. Nope, the rep dumped me back in the tech support queue. I'm spending my time comparing plans between VF and Telecom!. Interesting that for almost the same package (80 Gb data UFB, 100/20 or 100/50 and an on-plan mobile phone) there is a $30 difference in monthly charge.

Is VF deliberately trying to drive away my business? It certainly feels like it given my earlier recent and this current experience.

I haven't read the entire thread (please excuse my ignorance) but is there a reason you are (or keep) trying to join Vodafone?

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  Reply # 1189704 5-Dec-2014 23:25
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Is there a Government body that should be looking into bad customer service by ISP's?

Surely some of these wait times have become a consumer issue and the Companies investigated for any breaches of consumer rights?

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  Reply # 1189712 6-Dec-2014 00:13
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How have they breached your rights? By not answering the phone in a timely manner?

 

They're a private company, the Government can't really do anything.

Consumer's Institute might be interested to know, however. They survey ISP's from time to time.

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  Reply # 1189719 6-Dec-2014 01:33
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plambrechtsen:
kawaii:

I don't know about you but I've been with them for a year and haven't had a single problem with them yet - either relating to Chorus or what Spark offers on top of what Chorus provides. When it comes to calling up CSR I've never had any problems although I do wish that some of the inquiries were able to be resolved online - for example, if I want to make my final payment for the 'interest free' deal I should be able to configure my payment schedule so that I can make the final payment without needing to make a call.

Compare that to the situation with Vodafone where their cable network is up the crapper and around the bed almost every week, the 1 to 2 hour waits on hold, the constant ballsing up of billing etc. honestly, you can kind of understand issues with the old copper telephone network but when you have a brand new HFC network that keeps crapping out on almost a weekly basis I have to ask what the hell is happening at Vodafone. Are their products tempting? sure but given the legacy of poor reliability and horrible support I keep running back to Spark each time because I know for all its faults it is the McDonalds of the telecommunications industry - never great but never bad.


I would personally disagree with a lot of what has gone on in this thread, and not that I like astroturfing another RSP's thread I feel like I had to add a few things in.

Spark is a much smaller company with a much smaller budget now than it was 3 years ago, let alone in the hayday of Telecom. Because of this things have had to change. Some for the better, others for the worse. For the most part it's better in my view.

But when it comes to the answering of the phones and maintaining a stable network I personally consider Spark to be the best and by a country mile beyond the 2nd in line. I have had a DSL line since I joined as an employee 4 years ago and it's never gone down, seriously it hasn't. The last time I had checked the uptime was 9 months. On the engineering side the amount of effort that goes in to not impacting customers is insane. The network is constantly being upgraded both Mobile and Broadband yet I found a whole swag of UFB customers who have been up for 180+ days and in the broadband space considering we have over 50% of the xDSL customer base you would statistically say we should have 50% of the complaints, but it's just not that way. I would say the percentage of complaints is more around the 20% across all ISPs. That doesn't happen by accident or luck.

Yes I would love it if as a company we could be more agile and respond to the industry with things like IPv6 and other services in a timely way. But when you are running 600k+ Broadband customers you have to be very careful when making any changes in production and have thoroughly tested it beforehand.

Reading Geekzone and Facebook never fails to make me feel better when I have had a bad day since threads like these just don't tend to happen all that often on the Spark forum. Or get to page 4 without some resolution.

So I say BS to the statement Spark is the McDonald's of the telecommunications industry in NZ.


When I used the comparison of Spark to McDonalds I don't mean in a negative way - the fact that Spark is predictable and reliable. You can go anywhere in the world and know when you enter a McDonalds you know exactly what you're going to get; ok food at an accessible price point, clean restaurant, friendly service and when there is a bad experience it tends to be on the rare occasions rather than consistently bad. In the case of Spark you know what you're going to get - don't expect bleeding edge latest and greatest technology but you will get consistent reliable service at an accessible price point with phones being answered in a reasonable amount of time and a genuine effort to resolve any problems that do arise on the odd occasion. As I've noted - I've been with Spark for a year (and longer as a mobile customer) and never had any issues where as I look over at the Vodafone forum and there is a problem almost every week with their HFC network in Wellington, their call centre wait times are upwards of 3 hours etc. I have a look at the Vodafone Facebook page and if we were getting those level of complaints it wouldn't be something that would take this long to resolve nor would it be left hanging for this long without someone high profile stepping out and saying something on behalf of the organisation. Right now given that no one from Vodafone of an official capacity has come out and said something I can't help but feel there is a massive disconnect between management and the day to day reality of dealing with customers.




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  Reply # 1189744 6-Dec-2014 07:54
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Jonski:
Jonski: Whew. What a mission. OK, the phone was answered after 1h10. I spoke to a very helpful Sunny B, who was quite good.  [...]

It's now going to take up to 72 hours to get it reprovisioned, and that's apparently as fast as they can move.

[...]
I'm bracing to see what horrors have yet to come. Because come they will.

Jon


I have now waited almost exactly 72 hours.

Guess what hasn't happened.

Go on, guess.

Up-fscking-date:

I had another hour on the phone. I rotted on hold for most of that waiting for James, from Customer Care in Manila (official: Outsource partner, not a Vodafone company, but we knew that) to tell me that he couldn't tell me anything and he'd put a request in for the Fixed Line team to call me back. That was the best he could offer me, he wasn't allowed to transfer my call.

So in desperation, I called my commercial VF Key Account Manager (let's call him Bob) who covers the large household-name company I work for. Luckily I have a business relationship with him, but Bob's an ex-TelstraClear guy so I didn't know what he could do for me.

Bob listened sympathetically and said he'd look into it. I got a call back an hour later, and it turned out Sunny B lied to me. There was no reprovisioning order for my DSL. To quote part of Bob's email:

in anticipation of the UFB being working we have completed a porting request to move 09-xxx xxxx from the legacy Vodafone billing platform over to the legacy TelstraClear platform, which still requires a network change even though we own both platforms. Your number no longer exists as a landline connection that we can apply the ADSL service against.


He's now doing everything he can to get me back online, but he reports
I have tried to escalate with Chorus but we are pretty limited in what we can achieve.

If a Vodafone KAM has little sway at Chorus, it's a pretty dire situation. Bob also said he was on an internal pilot of porting to UFB and VF threw several yucky scenarios at him during the process (as tests) so he knows what I'm going through. It's nice to have that sympathy.

But the fact remains that this is (as predicted) an utter horror.  Another VF friend contacted me and said I'd "set GZ off". "Not a good look" he said. Well, that's putting it mildly. Reconnection will probably be Monday, but I'm not holding my breath in the slightest. I will let y'all know how it goes (or, more probably, doesn't).

Jon

(Edit for formatting and clarity)




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  Reply # 1189746 6-Dec-2014 08:16
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It would be interesting to here the other side of this ummm story.




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