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76 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 523659 20-Sep-2011 18:01
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Off-topic, but to clarify. The retail petroleum industry in NZ is regulated. Retail fuels sold in NZ have to comply with the the Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations ( 2008 ) + amendments. There are many other laws, eg HASNO covering the industry, but for this discussion the above define the minimum fuel quality, and retail operations are also controlled.

Fuel retail dispensing and measurement systems comply with the calibration requirements of the Weights and Measures Act, which requires at least an annual independent calibration by an accredited organisation using traceable ( to NZ National Standards maintained by IRL ) devices. That act covers many commodities.

1598 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 523699 20-Sep-2011 19:26
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Let me put it this way: If the usage meters we're showing less than they should it would be fixed in an instant...

 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 523744 20-Sep-2011 20:42
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codyc1515: Let me put it this way: If the usage meters we're showing less than they should it would be fixed in an instant...

You mean the billing meters ;) 

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Uber Geek
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Reply # 523746 20-Sep-2011 20:44
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Skolink:
codyc1515: Let me put it this way: If the usage meters we're showing less than they should it would be fixed in an instant...

You mean the billing meters ;) 

You knew what I meant.
Tongue Out

3889 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 523802 20-Sep-2011 22:38
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TelstraClear: We don’t and can’t accurately measure traffic that passes through your modem. As I noted in an earlier post, we can ‘see’ your modem (ie, we know it’s there and is talking to our network) but we have no way to meter at the modem to count the amount of data it’s sending, receiving and passing, or receiving and rejecting).


Ok, thanks for clearing that up.

Users can not turn their modems off and be assured that traffic hitting their IP address is not metered, so there is very little point in turning the modem off over night or while you are away.  Is this correct?

TelstraClear:  All we know is that a packet of data has your IP address on it (whether sent by you or addressed to you), so that is what is counted.


So, in short what you are saying is that you meter based on traffic thrown at the IP address.  So even if the modem is off, any traffic thrown at the IP address is counted by the ERX.  Is this correct?

In cases where we give our customers zero-rated access to content (such as TradeMe, our Steam server, ClearNet video, Ziln and some others that are in the pipeline) we look at the IP address it’s from and the counting software ignores it.


Does your company publish a list of those IP addresses? 


 (GZers are a bright bunch!).


Agreed.  While many do not run, own or work for ISPs, many have been in the IT and telecommunications sector for a very long time.

Personally I have been working with your company for over 20 years.  At 20 I was the lead tester for a small billing project.  I spent a great deal of time working to integrate billing rates for your company in to our software so that your company could sell its services to our customers with little thanks. 

At the time I worked hard on this because I personally believed in the vision of seeing New Zealand with telecommunications choice, lower prices and better services.

I gave my time and loyalty to your company, yet today I feel fobbed off.  I clearly don't trust in your systems and I feel lied to and miss-lead on many levels.

With all due respect, frankly I find the response from your company insulting. 

I see a common trend of slick marketing and spin doctoring which I encounted from Telstra in Australia a decade ago - something that has change there, but clearly not here.

I do not have confidence in your billing systems.

No detailed technical information to understand and have confidence in the systems has been provided, though I will accept that I haven't asked for it in this forum.

The work done by BiDi cast more doubt on the system than confidence.


Others have talked about how ISPs operate.


Yes, and let me be clear that I honestly find this space very difficult. 

Personally I'd like to think that I should respect your companies right to run your business as you see fit and as others have pointed out, if I don't like the choice you are offering then I should select another provider.

However your company has become a monopoly in my area with 70% market share, it is now almost impossible for anyone else to provide service.

So with as much respect as I can muster, and without being to rude (and yes I know I'm not on the wrong side of that line sorry) I am going to stand on my soap box and tell you how to sort your company out to delivery New Zealanders better service because it has clearly lost focus in my view and even the view of your own staff if the coms I've had this week are anything to go by.

 I don’t know about any others, but TelstraClear builds and maintains networks that carry traffic (data) to and from those requesting and sending it. Every packet has a cost in infrastructure, equipment, software, the electricity to power it all and the people needed to keep it running. Each year we invest around $100m in our network alone. Our profits (a small loss this year, but attributed to the costs incurred in the earthquakes) aren’t exorbitant. Going back to the last ‘normal’ non-earthquake year, our profit (before interest and tax) was $16m. You can see the figures for 2009/10 here: http://www.telstraclear.co.nz/company-info/media-release-template.cfm?newsid=366&myear=2010 and for 2010/11 here: http://www.telstraclear.co.nz/company-info/media-release-template.cfm?newsid=420 



Ok, so in 1 year you went from +16 to -5 - That's $21 million dollars.


As I also noted in another post, the traffic counting system is accurate, and the data billing is accurate.


I don't believe you.

You have provided no technical information about the systems used.

You have provided no verification of the systems, interdependent or otherwise.

You expect us to simply take your word for it? 


The online meter is generally close to real-time and is always accurate up to the second of the date/time stamp on the meter (have a look under the chart and three boxes of written detail at the bottom). For example, mine noted this morning at 09:40 am:

This estimated usage covers the period up to and including 20/09/2011 08:46:14 and excludes any usage via any ISP other than your TelstraClear ISP



Please note the words from your quote that I highlighted.  On one hand you are saying it's accurate and then in the next paragraph you are quoted text from your web site which says it's an estimate.

Which is it?

Accurate or estimated?

We state at the bottom of the page:

Note: The usage meter information is provided as an indication of your usage, the information you receive on your bill is authoritative. In some circumstances information may be a day behind. For your security, password details are encrypted before being transmitted. We provide this service in order to help you estimate your usage. Traffic you consume is your responsibility to account for, and will be charged as per your bill


So again note my bold - are you saying that users must wait until the end of each billing period to understand how much data they have used?

Users can not use their entire allocation without further cost because they have no way of understanding how much they have used until the billing period has completed - is that even legal under FTA law?


While it’s technically possible to have an online meter that provides more data and closer to real-time data that would involve a great deal of computing power (and associated investment and running cost). As PenultimateHop noted earlier, the costs are already substantial.


Ok rubbish.  Small ISPs are using sub $100 dollar routers to provide a very high level of billing information and connection management to customers around the globe every day.  Such routers for hundreds and hundreds of users run on 12volts and use 3.6w  of power and are powered by open source free Linux software - yes you can run this stuff on a solar panel and battery, and there are many providers who do, even here in New Zealand.

I am well aware that Telstra uses larger systems because they are even cheaper than small systems once you get the required volume of users to get economies of scale.

To suggest that counting 60 gigibtyes of traffic, in real time, off 15/2 tails, will involve a great deal of computing power and electricity is just wrong - for less than $100 you could collect over 3  years of my data allocation and store it, so to tell me you can't just count it for a fraction of that cost....  come on, if you want me to believe that then you need to step up with some facts to back up those claims.

Locally in Australia ISPs seem to be able to count massive amounts of data, to the satisfaction of their users while also providing faster speeds and a full range of walled garden services for less money that I'm currently paying your company while also making healthy profits - (ref Internode, TPG, Telstra Australia, iiNet just to name 4).


We believe that our customers receive more benefit from investment in network improvements


This is the comment that really rubbed me up the wrong way the most.

In the past 12 months it's been my observation that you have made a massive investment in:

* Political Lobby Television ads. 
* A massive network upgrade that you now tell us there is no demand for and will not even sell to us at any price.
* Taking jobs from New Zealanders and giving them to people in a non-English speaking country creating a frustrating road block to getting assistance.  While at the same time as making this investment, using the money I am paying, saying it has made significant savings.  Where I would call the help desk once, I now call a number of times - is the company simply paying these people third world wages so it can return a better profit to it's Australian owners?

than they would by knowing to the nearest minute (rather than nearest hour or so) how much of their data has been used. If you want to monitor your data, you can check every hour or two and (usually) have an accurate update.


Again my bold.

Again it seems even you have such little confidence in the system that you use the term 'usually' with the word accurate.

Do you really expect us to have confidence in the systems?

Do you see reason why we should not call for public regulation, vetting and validation of these systems across the entire industry?

Can you explain why I should not petition InternetNZ, TUANZ, the ComCom, MED and MPs to step up their game to assist us in getting these systems at the very least validated by an independant party regularly


Hope this is useful.

Cheers, Gary   


Yes and no Gary. 

I would like to thank you for taking the time to engage the issue.

Again, I do realise you and your company are not compelled to address these issues either publicly or in private.

I fully accept that in an open market driven industry, we as consumers have every right to either choose to accept what ever your company chooses to deliver, at what ever cost it chooses to provide, under any terms it chooses to provide or go and find something else to spend our money on.

I agree that as customers we should not over inflate our own sense of entitlement, and would accept that to the casual reader it may appear that I have clearly got an inflated sense of right given the limited amount of money I personally contribute to the company today.

The coms I've had this week from people both in and out side your company make it clear your company is concerned about the market share it is loosing, though your postings and your companies response to issues leave me with a very clear impression that the company is simply not joining the dots and understanding why we customers are unhappy and leaving.

Ps:  Thanks for the firefox usage meter link - very useful, installed it and do recommend that every Telstra user does the same.  I set it for 15 minute updates.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 523813 20-Sep-2011 23:20
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BruceHamilton: Off-topic, but to clarify. The retail petroleum industry in NZ is regulated. Retail fuels sold in NZ have to comply with the the Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations ( 2008 ) + amendments. There are many other laws, eg HASNO covering the industry, but for this discussion the above define the minimum fuel quality, and retail operations are also controlled.

Regulated in my context means pricing is controlled/fixed by the government, which I don't believe is the case in the case for petroleum since 1988 (Petroleum Sector Reform Act). I did look at the Engine Fuel Specification Regulations document but didn't see it as an immediate parallel to what we were discussing here.

BruceHamilton: Fuel retail dispensing and measurement systems comply with the calibration requirements of the Weights and Measures Act, which requires at least an annual independent calibration by an accredited organisation using traceable ( to NZ National Standards maintained by IRL ) devices. That act covers many commodities.

This, however, is very interesting. I don't think the Weights and Measures act could be interpreted to apply here, but it's an interesting reference that I need to read in more detail. Thanks for the pointer, it was one aspect I had not considered.

I still think Government regulation in this sector would be a pretty bad outcome.

I suspect on global (and probably even across NZ ISPs) average, billing systems _under_ bill users overall for usage, especially when netflow based.


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 523818 20-Sep-2011 23:37
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PenultimateHop: I still think Government regulation in this sector would be a pretty bad outcome.


Yes, so you have said a number of times now.

You have also suggested we should just motivate Telstra to deliver 1Tb plans (16 times the current value going on Australian prices).

However you have not detailed how we should do this.

You have simply said we should just leave Telstra... and go where?  I'm not even in an ADSL2+ coverage area according to Telecom.

I am working on the problem as you well know, but at $55,000 dollars to get up link capacity form my next closest fibre carrier, that is quite a bit of investment.

PenultimateHop:
I suspect on global (and probably even across NZ ISPs) average, billing systems _under_ bill users overall for usage, especially when netflow based.



Yes....  I did note that comment the first time you dropped it.

How does IP Accounting compare in your view?

Also why is netflow lossy?  I've seen no indication in the Mikrotik documentation I've read so far that indicates it's anything but accurate for each flow record that's delivered.






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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 523823 21-Sep-2011 00:23
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DonGould: You have also suggested we should just motivate Telstra to deliver 1Tb plans (16 times the current value going on Australian prices).

However you have not detailed how we should do this.

Sadly it will be competition and demand which drives this.

DonGould: You have simply said we should just leave Telstra... and go where?  I'm not even in an ADSL2+ coverage area according to Telecom.

I can't comment on your specific circumstance, but I generally change suppliers when I'm not happy with them. And yes, this has even involved moving location if it's important enough to me.

DonGould: How does IP Accounting compare in your view?

"IP Accounting" using what?

DonGould: Also why is netflow lossy?  I've seen no indication in the Mikrotik documentation I've read so far that indicates it's anything but accurate for each flow record that's delivered.

Netflow is typically flow sampled since maintaining state for every flow through a router doing significant Gbps or tens of Gbps is not feasible.

There are several constraints:
a) TCAM size for flow caching is finite, there are so many flows you can cache, which means you must either aggressively age flows or accept that you'll only store some of them;
b) Route engine performance can be impacted by high netflow sampling, e.g. on a router which only has a 1G bus from the line cards to the RE you will not be able to sample more than 1Gbps of flow data, or you'll overwhelm that bus
c) Managing and exporting that data is hard on CPU, which also needs to keep with dealing with routing protocols as well
d) Netflow is exported over UDP which is a lossy protocol.

In short, it's not really designed to extract billing data at the high end, especially on any sort of box which uses sampling.

176 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 523848 21-Sep-2011 07:42
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PenultimateHop: b) Route engine performance can be impacted by high netflow sampling, e.g. on a router which only has a 1G bus from the line cards to the RE you will not be able to sample more than 1Gbps of flow data, or you'll overwhelm that bus


That doesn't sit well with me - feel free to point out where I've lost the plot.

Any connection hammering out the traffic will likely be sending maximally sized packets. The packet count to byte count ratio will be tiny.

Hardware exists for extracting the first X many bytes from packets - that is generally how core gear works.

If only the first 40 bytes were read, you would be reading about 3% of the packet, or to put it another way, a 1GBit link could communicate the relevant data for (at most) 330GBit of packets.

I think you'll be statistically more likely to find larger packets than smaller ones, especially in the home user space.

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Ultimate Geek
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TelstraClear

  Reply # 524157 21-Sep-2011 16:21
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Hi Don,

Here are the answers to your direct questions. We won’t comment on anything else as we respect your right to hold whatever opinions or beliefs you wish. We're happy to answer further questions.
Users can not turn their modems off and be assured that traffic hitting their IP address is not metered, so there is very little point in turning the modem off over night or while you are away.  Is this correct?


That is basically correct. That’s why I used the analogy of the postie delivering the mail whether you’re home or not. Turning the modem off means no traffic will be sent by you. It won’t stop traffic addressed to your modem’s IP address from being sent to the modem – powering off the modem simply means that it won’t pass from our network to yours.

So, in short what you are saying is that you meter based on traffic thrown at the IP address.  So even if the modem is off, any traffic thrown at the IP address is counted by the ERX.  Is this correct?


Yes, as noted above.

Does your company publish a list of those (unmetered) IP addresses?


We don't publish IP addresses. The sites that are unmetered for TelstraClear customers are at www.unmetered.co.nz (this is linked to from the Broadband pages, eg www.telstraclear.co.nz/residential/inhome/internet/).
Also www.telstraclear.co.nz/sub-sites/gaming-steam/

We’re working to bring our customers more unmetered sites.

I do not have confidence in your billing systems.

No detailed technical information to understand and have confidence in the systems has been provided, though I will accept that I haven't asked for it in this forum.


If you wish to see your account’s data from the traffic counter please let me know what month you’d like and I’ll ask one of the specialists to provide it to you. We don’t make technical information on the traffic counter or billing systems public as agreements with our systems providers prohibit public discussion of their commercial property. Our systems are monitored, checked and audited.

Which is it?

Accurate or estimated?


The online meter is generally close to real-time and is always accurate up to the second of the date/time stamp on the meter. I maybe should have added, ‘barring any unforeseen issues with the website rendering of the data’.

The use of ‘estimated usage’ on the website is to cover any remote possibility of an error in the presentation of the data, however unlikely (such as the graphics or data engine doing something weird with decimal points).

So, excepting highly unusual website-related data-rendering issues, the online meter is generally close to real-time and is always accurate up to the second of the date/time stamp on the meter.

So again note my bold - are you saying that users must wait until the end of each billing period to understand how much data they have used?


No. Our customers have access to the online data and can check it whenever they wish. We also provided the Firefox net usage link to help.

Our data counting system is accurate and your bill is accurate. The online meter is also accurate (barring any unlikely circumstances that might affect the rendering of the meter on the website). Using the online meter allows customers to see exactly how much data they have used, up to the time indicated on the meter.

The web usage meter sometimes does lump a bunch of data into the wrong time, as BiDi noted. The total usage is correct; it is the period over which that usage was made that is wrong. This is clear if you have no usage for the day you were online but some appears to have occurred at night when you weren’t – clearly the online web meter didn’t update while you were online. We have a project underway to get more accurate time stamping on the web usage meter to improve this and further assist customers.

Hope this is useful (and I've tidied up my formatting!)

Gary

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Ultimate Geek
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UberGroup

  Reply # 524208 21-Sep-2011 17:26
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TelstraClear: Hi Don,

Here are the answers to your direct questions. We won’t comment on anything else as we respect your right to hold whatever opinions or beliefs you wish. We're happy to answer further questions.
Users can not turn their modems off and be assured that traffic hitting their IP address is not metered, so there is very little point in turning the modem off over night or while you are away.  Is this correct?


That is basically correct. That’s why I used the analogy of the postie delivering the mail whether you’re home or not. Turning the modem off means no traffic will be sent by you. It won’t stop traffic addressed to your modem’s IP address from being sent to the modem – powering off the modem simply means that it won’t pass from our network to yours.

So, in short what you are saying is that you meter based on traffic thrown at the IP address.  So even if the modem is off, any traffic thrown at the IP address is counted by the ERX.  Is this correct?


Yes, as noted above.



And this is the failure of cable and any system using static IP's, Jump to DSL everyone so that when your modem is off you dont get accounted for since your PPP is down.

What would you guys do if someone on a big fat connection UDP flooded 50gb of traffic to each of your cable IP ranges? Every single cable user calling you and complaining that their usage is thru the roof and having to hand our credits. I've been watching cable for a long time and always thought this attack vector would be possible but I always dismissed it as I thought Telstra would have systems to prevent this in place. Clearly you do not and it's only a matter of time until users call you out on this or your network gets attacked. Think 1000 zombie computers on UFB connections racking up your clients bills without recourse 




Most problems are the result of previous solutions...

All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 524243 21-Sep-2011 18:39
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Beccara: Think 1000 zombie computers on UFB connections racking up your clients bills without recourse 


Lucky for TC customers, Uber is the only ISP with that many customers at present on the UFB, and the Uber network is a bloody long way away from the TC network, being up there in the far north, so our IPs are safe for now!






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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 524256 21-Sep-2011 19:31
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Hi Gary,


TelstraClear: Here are the answers to your direct questions. We won’t comment on anything else as we respect your right to hold whatever opinions or beliefs you wish. We're happy to answer further questions.


Good on both fronts.

I would like to point out that I very much regard this as a public forum for discussion and not a formal complaints space and that in posting my views, I am very open to others from the community tempering my stance with their views.

Don:  Users can not turn their modems off and be assured that traffic hitting their IP address is not metered, so there is very little point in turning the modem off over night or while you are away.  Is this correct?


Gary:  That is basically correct.


Ok, good we've cleared that up.  So users can be billed for data even when the modem is off and should not assume that just because their equipment is off that their data cap can't be used up.

So a benefit of using ADSL2+/VDSL2 is that users will only pay for data while their equipment is turned on.

The benefit of HFC is that you can get 25/2 in areas that VDSL2 does not currently cover.

I don't think that it's very good that consumers can be hit for traffic when their equipment is off, but I agree that Telstra is quite within their rights to present this offering to the market and if customers don't like that then they need to get focused on finding an alternative solution.

Gary: We don't publish IP addresses. The sites that are unmetered for TelstraClear customers are at www.unmetered.co.nz (this is linked to from the Broadband pages, eg www.telstraclear.co.nz/residential/inhome/internet/).
Also www.telstraclear.co.nz/sub-sites/gaming-steam/


Cool. So users need to make sure that they are using Telstra DNS servers to ensure they're served up the correct IP addresses as it is very possible to have more than one IP address for a domain name.

From my experience, it is common for providers to have different addresses internal and external on their networks.

We’re working to bring our customers more unmetered sites.


ya, more spin doctor crap.  How about you stop teasing the market with stuff like 'trials' and 'watch this space' and just deliver it or present ETA dates. 

Seriously.  You need to go read http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/68 and see how the masters deal with technical users who have a thirst for a quality product and are willing to pay for it.

Gary:  If you wish to see your account’s data from the traffic counter please let me know what month you’d like and I’ll ask one of the specialists to provide it to you.


Will I be charged for this provision?

Can any user make such a request?

How long will it take your company to turn this around?

How would this data be provided?

How much work is involved to deliver this? 

It seems pointless and selfish to ask for a months data and then discover it took a person, paid $120 an hour, 5 hours to sort it out.  Why not just give me a years free net? (<-- Rhetorical )

Having said all that, this is a sensible offer.  But to make it worth while to anyone, I need to have a proper monitoring system on my end to compare the data with.  So I need to know how you're going to present the data so I can best design a test plan to compare the results.  Seems like a worthwhile challenge.

Gary:  We don’t make technical information on the traffic counter or billing systems public as agreements with our systems providers prohibit public discussion of their commercial property.


Ok, that seems like a bad plan that I've seen from Telstra many times in the past.  Hiding behind vendors who hide behind contracts which is a very good reason for regulation to force the market to be more transparent and give consumers much better confidence.

However having said that, if this is the condition by which your company provides service then I view that as your companies right.


Gary:  Our systems are monitored, checked and audited.


Good.  But this image would make it clear that this is nothing but a spin doctor comment and adds to my resolve to not trust you.



Your usage system ran for over 2 day before the linkage between the ERX and the upstream system was noticed.  Clearly the monitoring systems are either not working or not being check.

Who audits the systems?

Gary:  Our data counting system is accurate and your bill is accurate.


Ok, still don't believe or trust you.  But it would seem that a test would be worth while and I'm happy to present findings for the community and be convinced that it is accurate.

Gary:  We have a project underway to get more accurate time stamping on the web usage meter to improve this and further assist customers.


Good.  What is the time frame for this project?


I think my key issue here is the way I was treated by your customer service team.

I've learnt a number of things from this exercise so far:

1.  Do not use the customer service interface.  The Manila call center don't do what they say they'll do, the local faults center just fob you off and will use can'ed emails rather than escalation.

I wonder how many of those staff here or in Manila read these forums and realise the impact on their employment that this poor service is having and will continue to have?

2.  Post your questions on Geekzone with your contact details to get the best results. 

If you want follow up, then just post a request for an update on GZ.  It is fairly prompt in coming.

3.  Usage can be billed to you at any time.  Turning your gear off over night will not stop usage.  However it will stop p2p applications on your computer or an open wifi ap from leaching data, so there still is some value in turning your gear off.

4.  While this thread has had many thousands of views, most readers have no opinion either way. 

Most people who object to the actions of the company simply don't have a strong enough view to voice a word of support for the views of the people who have posted.  Those who disagree with my strong views don't disagree strongly enough to voice their thought. 

So fairly apathetic all round. 

To me this suggests that I'm a very small minority who is not happy and most don't have a great deal of objection to their treatment by Telstra.






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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 524266 21-Sep-2011 20:03
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DonGould: So, in short what you are saying is that you meter based on traffic thrown at the IP address.  So even if the modem is off, any traffic thrown at the IP address is counted by the ERX.  Is this correct?

I gave my time and loyalty to your company, yet today I feel fobbed off.  I clearly don't trust in your systems and I feel lied to and miss-lead on many levels.



I don't understand why the surprise. This seems to be the norm in the industry. Not only ISPs but hosting providers will charge users by the traffic directed at their IP, regardless if there's a box at the end of the pipe receiving those bits.

 




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 524279 21-Sep-2011 20:35
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freitasm: I don't understand why the surprise. This seems to be the norm in the industry. Not only ISPs but hosting providers will charge users by the traffic directed at their IP, regardless if there's a box at the end of the pipe receiving those bits.


I think it's a reasonable consumer expectation that when the modem is off it doesn't use your data cap.

If I use my remote to turn my TV off I know it's still using a bit of power, there are ads on TV all the time that remind me.  If I unplug it at the wall then I know it won't use power. 

When I go away for a holiday I turn the hot water cylinder off. 

If I don't use my car it doesn't consume petrol.

If I don't run the taps and turn the stop cock off at the street then the water meter doesn't count.

Though if I turn my mains power off at the board to the whole house then I do understand that I still pay a "daily charge".

15 years ago dial up was billed in a number of ways - time or data or both.  But when you disconnected you didn't expect to pay any more.

So yes FM, while this might be the norm in the industry for hosting, I don't think it's a consumer norm.

Having said that, more and more in the hosting space, providers are paying for pipe size, BIR and CIR and not data.  I know on one of my servers I actually pay for a combination of both.  I pay for unlimited national traffic up to the size of my BIR (with a contention factor - though it doesn't seem to ever hit), same for upload and a small consideration for download from international sites.  But we're also looking at just changing that so we only pay by pipe size.

At present I can use about 5Tb a month I think.





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