It should be made clear here that Spark haven't done anything wrong here - that's perfectly normal.
Kiwi VoIP should understand (and advised you) that this would happen. You were obviously on a Spark plan that associated both services so porting out the PSTN number would result in disconnection of the broadband unless they advised them otherwise so Spark would convert this to a naked broadband plan.
Just to be clear, Steve is correct here. PSTN number binds both the copper service and the DSL circuit.
The best way to do this would have been to customerlink the PSTN number and then transfer it out.
Spark Wrong: I don't wish to get into a discussion about who is right or wrong. Suffice it to say that in my view Spark relies on its market dominance and is woefully deficit in customer relations, and it lost a customer of 22 years.
Kiwi Voip should understand: Well, they don't. They still don't. They may even disagree with the above assertions.
Best way: This is the geekzone, thus I understand that on this forum, customerlink the PSTN number is as natural as breathing air. However, my online spellchecker does not know what customerlink means, or PSTN.
Back in the day, programmers talks about bugs and holes. A bug was defective programming. A hole was correct programming without a fence. Every so often a user - who expects everything to work - falls into a hole because there was no fence around it. In the commercial environment, senior management would view holes as bad as bugs - even worse because the tech people would then make the customer feel bad by telling them it was their fault they fell into the hole... which BTW is my sense of some of the commentary on this thread. Senior management would disagree. Their senior accountant would book good will as an asset, and customers falling into holes resulted in far more damage to goodwill than bugs. As a result, lifesaver policies were put into place to respond to hole events to preserve the asset of good will, and to make sure things like this commentary never made it into a forum where the company loses control.
The Spark procedure is a hole. In a company sensitive to maintaining its good will it would have had a hole policy. With such a policy, the chat would have run like this...
I am very sorry this happened to you, I can understand how frustrating it is. It happened because the landline number is tied to the broadband, thus when you moved the landline it pulled down the account. However, you would not have known that, and I accept your telling me that KiwiVoip did not either. So, we will immediately pass this on to our customer support team who will fix everything in the backend, with a new ID number, so you will have naked broadband on the same automatic bank payment as before. And because this was upsetting to you, and may take a few days to fix, I am authorised to give you a one-month credit as a way of thanking you for your 22 years of loyalty. In addition, our senior management will reach out to KiwiVoip senior management to advise them of the impact of VOIP porting so this won't happen to others in the future.
Let's parse this.
- First, apologise. The customer is always right, even if at the water cooler you say what an idiot they were... remember, the customer pays your salary.
- Next empathise. Put yourself in the customer's shoes, at the bottom of a dark hole after a crash down, when all they were doing was minding their own business
- Third, explain. Set out the facts of why they were in the dark, feeling bruised and upset, but do it in a way that does not admit legal liability
- Fourth, have procedures in place to hit the reset button, to fix what when wrong so the customer is happy. Losing one customer is regarded as a disaster in customer-centric companies, FIX THE PROBLEM/keep the customer.
- Fifth, make a gift. A hundred bucks is not going to damage a company with a $6.79 billion market cap, but it takes all the sting out for the customer who tells their friends what a good company they are
- Finally, commit to contacting the other party, and do so, rather than point fingers and say it is the other company's fault.
That would have been the best way. But it did not happen in this case. I told the story of what did happen... telling it from the bottom of a hole where all I want is to get my landline to work and my backup ADSL operational.
This has turned into a bit of a lecture on how to run a company. I speak from experience having run five tech companies, four as CEO. All my companies grew, they never lost market share. Why? Because I told my customers I wanted to hear from them at 3 a.m. rather than my competitors hearing about it at 9 a.m. the next day. And if you think this is the luxury of a small company, try sending an email to email@example.com about something not right with Amazon. He has a whole team of P.A.'s whose sole job is to deal with holes in the Amazon system. I speak from experience, and while there are many aspects of Amazon that deeply worry me, when it comes to customer focus, they know how to run a company. End of the sermon.