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  Reply # 521140 14-Sep-2011 18:56
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jnawk: I stand corrected. 


Not really... :)  $85 is still $85 in my book. 
jnawk:

Of course, does OP want to spend $85 to save $15?
I guess that depends on whether or not TC continues to stuff up his bill and by how much.


Also depends on how he feels about the principle of the matter and he can always sort it out and then sell the 750.






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  Reply # 521345 15-Sep-2011 10:14
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DonGould:
graemeh:
DonGould:
graemeh: It will, however, cause your internet bill to become more expensive each month.


My account is already bigger because of this problem.  I was charged for 3 additional units last month when I should have been under by 2.


Was this because of delayed usage coming through to the billing system?  If that's affecting your bill then if you haven't already you need to complain.

I was saying the bill would be higher because of the extra cost of certification.


I did complain.  I was sent the standard form letter email.

Then I contacted someone in the NOC and discovered the real issues...

Then I contacted customer service and was told I'd get a credit...

Then the next bill came in - guess what, no credit...

Then I called back - wasting more time, go though the whole story again...

Promised credit again.  Not holding my breath.  I just paid the additional usage.

I've since installed user manager on my mikrotik and am in the process or setting up some scripts to grab the ip accounting so I can monitor the usage.  I've already got a netflow collector running, but it crashed and I haven't got back to it.


It sounds like you are happy with at least some aspects of the service, I would have left after going through all of that.

If you're not already doing it then it sounds like time to record your conversations with the call centre and then take the whole mess to the TDR.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 521356 15-Sep-2011 10:28
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I did complain.  I was sent the standard form letter email.

Then I contacted someone in the NOC and discovered the real issues...

Then I contacted customer service and was told I'd get a credit...

Then the next bill came in - guess what, no credit...

Then I called back - wasting more time, go though the whole story again...

Promised credit again.  Not holding my breath.  I just paid the additional usage.

I've since installed user manager on my mikrotik and am in the process or setting up some scripts to grab the ip accounting so I can monitor the usage.  I've already got a netflow collector running, but it crashed and I haven't got back to it.


Hi Don, if you PM me your account number and contact details I'll ask one of the team to look into this for you.

Cheers, Gary

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  Reply # 521383 15-Sep-2011 11:18
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TelstraClear:
I did complain.  I was sent the standard form letter email.

Then I contacted someone in the NOC and discovered the real issues...

Then I contacted customer service and was told I'd get a credit...

Then the next bill came in - guess what, no credit...

Then I called back - wasting more time, go though the whole story again...

Promised credit again.  Not holding my breath.  I just paid the additional usage.

I've since installed user manager on my mikrotik and am in the process or setting up some scripts to grab the ip accounting so I can monitor the usage.  I've already got a netflow collector running, but it crashed and I haven't got back to it.


Hi Don, if you PM me your account number and contact details I'll ask one of the team to look into this for you.

Cheers, Gary


As I could not find the 'email' button on your user:

Don Gould
31 Acheson Ave
Mairehau
Christchurch, New Zealand
Ph: + 64 3 348 7235
don@bowenvale.co.nz

Let me know if your computer system doesn't allow you to find my account details based on the above information.






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  Reply # 521387 15-Sep-2011 11:30
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Update: Hi Don. We've checked and the credit has been applied. Apologies for it not being applied against your last invoice.

Cheers, Gary


Thanks Don. That should be enough. I'll ask someone to look into it for you. If you don't hear from someone in a day or so, please contact me: gary.bowering@telstraclear.co.nz.

I'll ask Mauricio about the GZ mail as well!

Cheers, Gary

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  Reply # 521400 15-Sep-2011 11:54
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graemeh: It sounds like you are happy with at least some aspects of the service, I would have left after going through all of that.


Less and less, but it takes time to migrate services.

So far I've removed the PSTN service and upgraded to VoIP.

I've migrated the alarm system thanks to the help of the guys from NZ Alarms.

The 2mbit uplink speed is the current keeper.

I have requested a service qualification for VDSL2 from my provider, but I'm guessing they're a bit swamped.  The first one I asked for got done with in 2 days, but following the noise here on GZ, about who you can get service from, it seems to be taking longer.

When we moved in here 3 years ago, TC was the best value choice at the time.  That value has been eroding.  We did used to have triple play, but it just doesn't represent value due to very poor content. 

We have increased our data cap because my wife is finding more value in VOD services from the US (and I'm not talking about stuff like using a VPN link to pick up NetFlix out of territory.    I'm talking about paid programming that is licensed for consumption via the internet in New Zealand.)


graemeh: If you're not already doing it then it sounds like time to record your conversations with the call centre and then take the whole mess to the TDR.


As I use 2Talk, it's as simple as choosing the 'record all calls' option in my 2Talk Live interface, though I confess I haven't even bothered.

I'll also confess that I got so upset during my last conversation with the Manillia based call center that I wished I had at the time.

However after I calmed down about it and gave it some thought I realised this really is my problem and my fault.

You are quire right in suggesting that I could approach the TDR.  But I see very little value in that for me personally and others compared with the direction I am taking.

If you've been following GZ posts by me you'll know I've been working hard to understand this VoIP technology, and many GZ users have been helping me as much as they can.

If you follow the Mikrotik mailing lists and forums you'll know I've been working hard to learn that technology as well.

Personally I find more value and personal satisfaction in sharing what I've learnt with others so they can also benefit.

I now have a number of locations using the technology I've been learning and the profit I've already made from my 2Talk customers has more than covered the extra data charges from TelstraClear even if it hasn't covered my time.

This week the telco's should have been deploying 2 new services in my block.  They won't be, because we've just about set everyone up on VoIP.

One customer is so impressed that he now wants services in his other locations so he can reduce is reliance on his current expensive provider.

No graemeh, calling the TDR to complain really won't send much of a message in my limited view.  Moving half a dozen customers also won't send much of a message either, sharing my experiences with others so they can do the same - also not going to send much of a message - I simply don't have enough influence to send any sort of message other than "I'm just another ungrateful, whinging, annoying, ex-customer".

However setting up my own networks does put me in more control of my own problems and I can reduce the chance of bill shock.  It also gives me a sense of personal satisfaction. :) :) :)







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  Reply # 521421 15-Sep-2011 12:33
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graemeh, I'd also like to add another comment...

This really was my fault.

The company provide the tools for me to monitor my usage and I simply didn't use them. 

I didn't check my usage on the 30th or 31st and notice that nothing was being counted.

I have 2way recording on my cordless phone and when I called the call center and was offered a discount I could have just recorded the confirmation on the spot and I didn't do that either so I had no evidence at all to back up my claim that I have been offered $30 in compensation and all I had to do was press one button on my cordless phone twice. 

I took the call center on their word that they would do what, I'm claiming, they said they'd do and they later denied and all I had to do was make just a fraction of effort - and I didn't.

Putting my tin fill hat on, it just seems stupidly obvious to me what's really going on here. 

The billing system goes off line, and my connection gets attacked with extra data (a DDOS will do this) and the result is that when the bill comes in I'll get all upset, call the call center to complain, get promised a credit blar blar, not get it, call again, get promised another credit... who knows. 

Seems just as obvious that the same thing is happening to the OP.  Someone out there is just running a scan of Telstra's IP ranges to find the modems that aren't connected to anything active and then just pelting them with a bit of UDP traffic to trip the RADIUS counters.

In the mean time, he gets back from holiday, checks his usage (because unlike lazy me, he does check it from time to time, not just when his wife comes in and yells at him), and sees unexplained data.  He calls faults, who argue with him, he gets the standard format email (which really pissed me off, but I know this OP is just a little more polite and well tempered than I am) and joins GZ to ask for help.  That results in the 'Online Marketing Team' then having more 'work'.

In the mean time, I know that call centers get paid on keeping 'customer credits down' and 'per call'. 

More tin foil...  I also know that if they push hard enough I'll leave, which is another telephone call to the call center to cancel my accounts, which if this happens to enough people, then the company will engage in some marketing to get new customers... which results in more calls to the call center to hook me back up to the fantastic new deal I've just been offered...

Big reach for the whole foil roll... The problem with a well managed network that does everything right is that it just doesn't create any work for anyone.  Customers get billed automatically via their credit card, which they pay automatically via direct debit.  Automated systems in the NOC see the DDOS attacks happening and block them, the billing system is well monitored and self healing fixes it before you get 2 days of no accounting... everyone has trouble justifying why they exist!

Now if you're thinking that I'm just paranoid and making this stuff up... and just joining dots that only exist in my wild imagination... cool - I did say I had my tin foil hat on!!! :)












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  Reply # 521435 15-Sep-2011 13:15
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DonGould:
jnawk:   Some routers (the not so dirt cheap ones) will let you SNMP them.  Depends on OP's setup.


$85 - http://www.gowifi.co.nz/ethernet-adsl/mikrotik-routerboard-rb/750.html

SNMP, netflow, ip accounting, user manager.


Do you have traffic accounting working on Mikrotik? I used a MT router for years (still got it for wireless link), but just couldn't get traffic accounting working in a useful manner. In the end I gave up and switched to a Gargoyle router/AP which I quite like.

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  Reply # 521439 15-Sep-2011 13:24
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Skolink:
Do you have traffic accounting working on Mikrotik? I used a MT router for years (still got it for wireless link), but just couldn't get traffic accounting working in a useful manner. In the end I gave up and switched to a Gargoyle router/AP which I quite like.


Gargoyle looks very very cool but I haven't played with it.

So far I've had Netflow running to a nfsen set up.  But nfsen it seemed to die within days.  I'm not quite sure what I did wrong.  I also did a trial with nfcapd and collected some data which I was then able to use nfdump to report on.

I have got the user manager running with pppoe sessions and now have it sorted out so that I get a new session each day so that I can present daily usage.

This doesn't help with walled garden data though.  So to address that I've been looking at the ipaccounting feature which gives you 'ip pairs'. 

This stuff doesn't give you the same features that Gargoyle does, but it will give me the features I want to use the MTK to provide service to a number of users on separate networks.

I really wanted to use vlans, and just have counters on each.  But I haven't found any CPE yet that will do what I want it to do.  I've been in touch directly with a manufacture in Singapore, but discovered that the CPE I'm playing with has a very limited processor so it sort of rules out what I can do.

VLANs would give me the ability to run the 'router/firewall' in my network rather than the customers which means I can avoid double NAT.  But this just got all to complex for words so I've conceded that PPPoE is it for now.

It's caused me to learn quite a bit about RADIUS and SNMP along the way though, so when I struck this billing problem with TC, I was able to understand what the NOC guys were saying to me about the cause of the problem and that's were my tin foil hat comments come from above.

D







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  Reply # 521460 15-Sep-2011 13:45
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DonGould: Now if you're thinking that I'm just paranoid and making this stuff up... and just joining dots that only exist in my wild imagination... cool - I did say I had my tin foil hat on!!! :)


Perhaps a little paranoid but only just a little.  That graph sure looks like something very odd has happened.

You are right that a few consumer or small business customers leaving will not attract any attention from an ISP because in that market it's all just bulk numbers, when it becomes a trend across their customer base and the overall numbers are affected then it should eventually get noticed.

I might have to hire you to migrate my connection as the only thing holding me back is a monitored alarm and a good deal from Telecom.

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  Reply # 521464 15-Sep-2011 13:50
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DonGould:  that's were my tin foil hat comments come from above.


Credit where credit is due - that is a magnificent tin hat!

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  Reply # 521489 15-Sep-2011 14:41
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graemeh:  I might have to hire you to migrate my connection as the only thing holding me back is a monitored alarm and a good deal from Telecom.


Dealing with my monitored alarm turned out to be extremely easy once I got the right answers.

My alarm system talk 'ContactID'.  This means that all I had to do was put AlarmNZ's PostIX box in front of it and they did the rest.

I didn't need to change any of the programming in the alarm system at all. 

Yes, the alarm system still tries to dial my old provider, but the PostIX box doesn't care, it just ignores the phone number and pretends to be the old provider.

The alarm system then identified it self to Alarm NZ.  They then just asked the names of the zones that the alarm had provided and set everything up.

I was using a monitored system that would phone me.  The problem with that was that they'd call one mobile phone.

The new system texts my wife and I at the same time.

The service is meant to be text only.  However I've also had phone calls from them when I haven't set the alarm for over a week to ensure  everything is ok. 

The whole set up costs me under half the cost per month.  So while I had to pay for the PostIX box, it will pay for it self in less than a year.  I reduced my bill by ~$75 a month which more than covers the cost of my ATA.

Do the math - that's $900 a year.






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  Reply # 521491 15-Sep-2011 14:41
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jnawk:
DonGould:  that's were my tin foil hat comments come from above.


Credit where credit is due - that is a magnificent tin hat!


Thanks.  :)






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  Reply # 521519 15-Sep-2011 15:25
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DonGould:
graemeh:  I might have to hire you to migrate my connection as the only thing holding me back is a monitored alarm and a good deal from Telecom.


Dealing with my monitored alarm turned out to be extremely easy once I got the right answers.

My alarm system talk 'ContactID'.  This means that all I had to do was put AlarmNZ's PostIX box in front of it and they did the rest.


Thanks, I'll investigate that.  :)

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  Reply # 521730 16-Sep-2011 00:06
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We checked our usage last night and were shocked to see we had apparently chewed through 84GB of our 90GB cap in just 11 days. On close inspection of the usage trackers, we've suddenly been uploading and insane amount of data. We rang this morning and were told that the problem was on our end and that someone must be connected to our wireless - only we don't have wireless enabled. It's all wired.

What we've realised tonight is that there are peaks of upload data that cannot possibly be right. Our maximum upload speed is 2Mbit, or roughly 250kb/s, which is a maximum of 878MB of data uploaded in any given hour. Telstra is saying we've uploaded 1.1GB-1.3GB in a single hour on certain days.

To furthur disprove the accuracy of their usage tracker, our modem was unplugged from 9am until 7:30PM today. Somehow, data was still sent and received.

They'll be getting a phonecall in the morning. Something on their end is definitely wrong, and they'll have to accept responsibility eventually.

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