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spacedog

376 posts

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  #341687 14-Jun-2010 20:32
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OK...here's an update for those following this thread.

As of this afternoon they restored the username/password account and we are able to authenticate and have internet service again. (FYI...the issue was never a DSL link problem, always an account authentication issue).

w00t!

Total downtime was approximately 60 hours. Far better than 5 days I suppose, but still really unacceptable (especially when it took close to 3 hours on the phone over those 2 days).

I also received a call from a very nice and very concerned manager at Telstraclear this afternoon.

So as I understand it now (and much as I expected) they are 'cabinetizing' our area and the work is scheduled to be completed on the 17th with expected interruptions of service from 1-4 hours at most (which is reasonable). However, in preparing for the 'cabinetizing' it seems that some account migration actions were being done in advance of the hardware changes and they had a 'defect' in the system with those accounts. Since the reps available on the weekend could only see the date of the 17th, they just assumed that was how long would be down for and nothing could be done until then.

As the manager at Telstraclear informed me, they were incorrect/misinformed about what they communicated to me.

So at the moment, we are all good and I will keep my fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong when the hardware changeover occurs.

Either way, this does point out a rather gaping hole in the fault reporting/handling between departments at Telstraclear, in that, whichever division began the action that created the account authentication faults, did not successfully relay that information to the front-line phone support.

Had that have happened we wouldn't have had so many poor customer service reps saying they could only agree with our frustration but take no action except to 'wait it out for 5 days'. In a better scenario, I think they could have realized that there was specific issue going on and logged those faults/cases correctly which could have allowed them to quickly mobilize a technical resolution in less than 60 hours!

As I pointed out...the issue pretty much boiled down to usernames/passwords. As a former sysadmin, I can tell you that even if it was going to take you 48 hours to undo a bad user account migration problem, you can almost always come up with a quick fix to get people up & running while you resolve user/database problems (e.g. issue temporary accounts/passwords while you sort out the backend and then kill the temp accounts when everyone's normal username/password begins to work again).

I'll post here again if any other issues arise, but let's hope this matter is now resolved!


eXDee
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  #341702 14-Jun-2010 21:44
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Thats a good outcome to what could've been a total disaster (well comparatively).

I've had problems in the past with telstra's PPP auth server, after moving to the new plans however i can only think of twice where its dropped.

On the plus side, if you are indeed being cabinetized, then you can expect good speeds. On a cabinet with a 20mbit sync on Telstra and its really fast (when things are working that is).

 
 
 
 


Ragnor
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  #341755 15-Jun-2010 00:38
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spacedog: Business internet connections are too expensive and are overkill. Good ol' residential grade DSL is plenty fine (as long as it doesn't get shut down for 5 days!).


Yes but residential grade connections have no gaurantee they won't be down for multiple days.

If you don't want to pay business grade rates you have to live with this.



spacedog

376 posts

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  #341772 15-Jun-2010 08:21
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Ragnor:
spacedog: Business internet connections are too expensive and are overkill. Good ol' residential grade DSL is plenty fine (as long as it doesn't get shut down for 5 days!).


Yes but residential grade connections have no gaurantee they won't be down for multiple days.

If you don't want to pay business grade rates you have to live with this.




You are certainly entitled to that opinion, but I completely disagree with you.

Should I have to pay for a business phone account to ensure my phone doesn't get disconnected for 5 days? Should I have to do the same for my electricity?

Having worked in the IT industry for many years I know that barring unusual & extenuating circumstances (e.g. natural disasters), the idea that it would be OK to lose your broadband for 5 days (or even 60 hours) at the residential level is absurd if you ask me.

In this situation is was just a plain old mistake on Telstraclears part, one that could have been fixed quicker than 60 hours if there internal communications and policies were running smoother.

astra
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  #341830 15-Jun-2010 10:31
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Well that's good. Glad that you got a positive outcome from TelstraClear.
I think their communication wasn't quite good enough. I mean it's not unheard of large corporations (especially telco's) to have bad lines of communication between departments. However maybe this outlines a gap in TelstraClear's staff knowledge and something that needs to be improved to ensure that communication to the customer is spot on.

But over all, glad things have worked out.

Zeon
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  #341834 15-Jun-2010 10:42
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spacedog:
Ragnor:
spacedog: Business internet connections are too expensive and are overkill. Good ol' residential grade DSL is plenty fine (as long as it doesn't get shut down for 5 days!).


Yes but residential grade connections have no gaurantee they won't be down for multiple days.

If you don't want to pay business grade rates you have to live with this.




You are certainly entitled to that opinion, but I completely disagree with you.

Should I have to pay for a business phone account to ensure my phone doesn't get disconnected for 5 days? Should I have to do the same for my electricity?

Having worked in the IT industry for many years I know that barring unusual & extenuating circumstances (e.g. natural disasters), the idea that it would be OK to lose your broadband for 5 days (or even 60 hours) at the residential level is absurd if you ask me.

In this situation is was just a plain old mistake on Telstraclears part, one that could have been fixed quicker than 60 hours if there internal communications and policies were running smoother.


Providing a guarentee of high uptime is expensive hence why with busienss connections you pay for it and get a SLA. If internet access is that vital for your business to continue then you shouldn't just take it for granted, read the contract! It's like at a data center where the companies need to install UPS and generator backup - allthough they may get a power cut only every 3 years and then it may last for only 1 hour investment in the contingency, even though extremely expensive for the time it is used is a reality of running their business.

While I would be pissed off to if my residential connection was cut for that long at the end of the day my contract says nothing about a minimum service level and if I don't like it I switch ISPs. While at work, as happened last week within 45 seconds of our microwave connection going down we had a call from the access provider saying that the connection had gone and they had a team on standby to come out). Allthough it costs a lot more, for the business to continue running that is just something that you pay for....

To be honest if I were in your position and didn't want to make the jump to business internet access then at least get a seperate line with another provider installed to use in emergencies - preferably not on the same access medium e.g. something like Woosh Wireless.




Speedtest 2019-10-14


Ragnor
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  #341918 15-Jun-2010 13:37
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Exactly.

Residential price = they will fix it when they can - best effort, no guarantees of how fast it will be fixed.

If you are going to rely on a residential ADSL connection at home for a business at the least make sure you have a Telecom T-Stick or Vodafone Vodem as a backup (probably both just in case).


 
 
 
 


spacedog

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  #341925 15-Jun-2010 14:09
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I'm always amazed out how often people come to the defense of Telco's on forums like these and suggest that we should just be happy with what we get and if we don't pay through the nose for basic services then "too bad you shouldn't have been a cheapskate and you should have spent the money on a business grade phone and broadband".

I find this even more interesting considering that our residential rates for telecommunications in New Zealand are among the highest in the world. Frankly, we get absolutely fleeced in this country when it comes to Telecommunictions costs.

I raise these points because I think as customers (and as residential consumers) we should expect more and get more.

I'm not suggesting 6 hour SLAs on residential infrastructure, but 24-72 hours seems pretty reasonable. My guess is that on-average, that's probably what most people get anyways.

Hey, who knows, a savvy ISP might see these posts and realize, "Hey...we could offer a half-decent SLA for little/no-cost and use that as a key selling point!"

So again, my point is, don't settle for the status quo...expect more and ask for more. We sure do pay for it in this country!

p.s. I have failover options for when the DSL goes down at a work from home site (i.e. mobile broadband)...it does in an emergency but it's also hugely expensive to use it extensively...especially when you are doing VPN connections. Read my notes above ^^ about the outrageous price we pay for data/telecom services in this country.

itxtme
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  #341931 15-Jun-2010 14:33
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spacedog: I'm always amazed out how often people come to the defense of Telco's on forums like these and suggest that we should just be happy with what we get and if we don't pay through the nose for basic services then "too bad you shouldn't have been a cheapskate and you should have spent the money on a business grade phone and broadband".

I wholeheartedly agree with you, if the system actually worked it would be worth the investment - in reality its not!  XT network comes to mind, it sure was worth paying those higher Business Plan costs for piece of mind

 

Ragnor
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  #341942 15-Jun-2010 15:10
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In the real world it costs real money to provide gauranteed resolution times, uptime and support.  This is reflected in increased prices for business connections.

I'm sorry but wshful thining won't change anything.

I think progress can be made on wholesale costs which could results in lower prices for internet in NZ but at the end of the day low population density, tiny market (lack of economies of scale) and geographic isolation are real factors in the cost of any internet service here.


spacedog

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  #341966 15-Jun-2010 15:50
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Ragnor: In the real world it costs real money to provide gauranteed resolution times, uptime and support.  This is reflected in increased prices for business connections.

I'm sorry but wshful thining won't change anything.

I think progress can be made on wholesale costs which could results in lower prices for internet in NZ but at the end of the day low population density, tiny market (lack of economies of scale) and geographic isolation are real factors in the cost of any internet service here.



Gee you're a bit of pessimist and a downer.

;)

You have to ask for more you'll never get more. That's not wishful thinking...that's how customer service works and how it improves. If you never raise the issue, then everyone thinks everything is just fine and no one tries to improve their service level. When customers jump ship, they don't know why if they don't listen to the customer.

Also, the 'tiny market' argument just doesn't fly.  I've heard Vodafone make this argument about why they charge so much for mobile phone service because it's a tiny market and geographic isolation/anomalies account for one of the highest costs of mobile service in the world.  Yet at the same time Vodafone New Zealand is the most profitable business unit in Vodafone's global portfolio. I have multiple friends who work for Vodafone who confirmed that. That's just one example of where the "tiny market" argument is a complete red herring.


Ragnor
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  #341985 15-Jun-2010 16:26
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I tell you what if you have a spare couple of billion dollars... we can plan, build and run a nationwide fibre network.

We'll price plans so we make no money and just cover costs so prices are great for consumers.  We'll offer a 48 hour SLA for faults and 99.9% uptime.

You don't mind making 0 return on your investment of your couple of billion dollars, right?




spacedog

376 posts

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  #341993 15-Jun-2010 16:35
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I feel like I'm being trolled now. I'm not going to take the bait and engage in a further derailment. My original points and arguments stand and I'll let other readers make up their own minds.

Not posting on this thread again unless to update on the original issue and if Telstra knocks the service down again.

spacedog

376 posts

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  #343229 19-Jun-2010 12:22
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Well...the fun never stops on this one.

Right, so here is the update as of today.

On Thursday Telstraclear/Chorus "completed" the port changeover/cabinetisation of this phone where our DSL got kicked offline for 60 hours last weekend (see my original post at the top of this thread).

We lost internet access for about 2-4 hours and then it came back up (sweet..no problem there...4 hours downtime is totally understandable)

So, I call the landline number from my Vodafone mobile, it rings through, no one answers and I get the message that the voicemail has not been configured. That pretty much tells me the port changeover is done, voicemail is ready to go now that we are on Telstraclear equipment entirely and the internet is running.

Phew!

Now...here's where the REAL fun begins...I get home from work and try to call that number from my Telstraclear landline at my home. It rings...rings...rings....then goes to voicemail. Except it's not the voicemail at the destination number....it's my own voicemail on the landline I am calling from!

Telstraclear's switching is all messed up and if you try to call the number that has been ported/cabinetized you CANNOT call it from another landline!!! If you call it, it loops back to your own phone number.

I know...crazy, huh? 100% confirmed that this is the case. We got on our cell phones and I picked up my phone and dialed there phone and while I hear it ringing...there phone is actually not ringing AT ALL.

I have tried calling their phone number from my home landline, our business landline, my friends landline (who is on Telecom) and another friends landline (who is on Orcon w/cabinetisation). Anyone who calls this phone number gets constant ringing until eventually their own voicemail picks up the line!

So this happened on Thursday about midday. It's Saturday at 11am now and this entire time they cannot receive any incoming phone calls on their landline (with the exception of calling their landline from a Vodafone mobile). I have had tickets in with Telstra and they are apologetic and ensured me this will get resolved, but it's not fixed nor have I been given an ETA on the fix.

I wonder how many people are having the same problem? They wouldn't really know they had a problem because they can make outgoing calls, but no one can call in...so they might very well realize that something is wrong and only be wondering why no one is trying to call them.

When I first logged the fault with Telstraclear they simply did not believe what I was telling them which ensued with a debate about whether I knew how to actually dial a phone (they were convinced that I was calling myself...not an external number).

I'll update this thread again once Telstraclear finally fixes the that phone line so that it can receive phone calls.

quickymart
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  #343272 19-Jun-2010 17:43
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Lol, typically awesome job from TCL.

As an aside, what happens if you call from a landline with no voicemail? Does it just ring into oblivion?

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