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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 10130 6-Nov-2006 14:40
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Well if the newspapers are to be believed xtra broadband has been "Unleashed" and is now "Unlimited".  What do I say to that? CODSWALLOP.  Last month they sent me a letter saying they were switching me from my 2Mb/10GB plan to the new Go Large thingy.  Well, I thought the 2Mb/10GB plan was expensive, pretty slow and overpriced but I was getting what I was paying for - 230KB/s down easy, whenever I wanted.  But I couldn't keep my existing plan even if I wanted to.  At the end of last month, amongst much media hype, Xtra broadband was "Unleashed" - supposedly to 7Mbit.  I never noticed.  No speed increase at all.  So I thought maybe they'd increase the speed when I switched to a new billing period.  After all, 250KB/s downstream was not really that bad.  Still, the paper said 7.5 Mb/s all over the page, and I wasn't getting it - so I wasn't pleased.  At the end of October I got a bill for the period from the 13th of October to the 13th of November - for the 2Mb/10GB plan I was on.  The price was $59.90 - $10 more than the Go Large plan they promised to move me to.  Cheeky buggers! But I was too busy to do anything about it, and I figured I wasn't paying any more than I'd payed before, and according to the bill I'd still be on the 2Mb/10GB plan.  Now some time around the 31st I noticed my downstream speeds took a major plunge - from 250KB/s down to 32KB/s.  I searched through the mirrors thinking something was stuffed at their end - but these mirrors were all fine before.  I looked for reasons why the pipes might be full - new releases etc.  But nothing had changed.  I was downloading from a mirror with 360Mb/s bandwidth using only 100Mbit of  it at 32KB/s.  This was http and ftp, not peer to peer.  So I checked my Xtra account page - maybe I'd used my 10GB already? No, I'd only used 2 gigs.  But then I noticed they'd put me on "Go Large"  - this is when I'd payed for my 2Mb/10GB plan.  Now I wouldn't mind if it was better, but it was 6 times slower!

Since then thinks have got MUCH worse.  I'm currently downloading from a good mirror at the mind boggling speed of 1.08K/s.  2/3 of what I could do with a 14.4K modem.  Xtras own speed test reports my line speed as "Your line speed is approximately 573.3 Kbps or 70.3 K bytes/sec" Yeah right guys - you think I'll fall for that? Think again.  And even if it was true its neither the 2Mb I've paid for nor the 7.5Mb I've been promised over and over again. 

That's my ranting over with for now.  I better do something about this - I paid for something I am not recieving.  That's breach of contract on Xtra's part.  Not to mention misleading advertising on at least two occasions - "Unleashed" and "Go Large" which was supposedly "Unlimited".  Oh don't forget "Xtraordinary Broadband".  What do you think guys? Now I just need some time to get my cans of whoop ass. 

Anyone else suffering from very mediocre Xtraordinarily Slow Broadband? Has anyone else suffered from newly Unleashed lag? Who here has been condemned to Unlimited Waits while tiny files download?

Cheers,
Tim

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  Reply # 51231 6-Nov-2006 14:48
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Ah.. did you bother to even glance and the last 10 topics before you wrote this.. have a read BEFORE your post.







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  Reply # 51236 6-Nov-2006 14:59
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Yes there are a lot of ranting threads already. Perhaps you should check before you post.

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  Reply # 51238 6-Nov-2006 15:01
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tintenammae: And even if it was true its neither the 2Mb I've paid for nor the 7.5Mb I've been promised over and over again.  [snip] I better do something about this - I paid for something I am not recieving. 

Some valid points are possibly in there somewhere, but when you say things like "the 7.5Mb i've been promised over and over again", you lose credibility with your argument.

Telecom has never promised anyone those speeds. Perhaps you should take your bill to the media and claim money from them, because they are the ones writing the stories without doing fact checking, or fully understanding the concepts or the technologies at hand.

And yes, there are loads of other topics on this exact subject on the forums right now. Your post would have been much better added to one of those.

We wont let the forums fill up with identical topics, so please people - if you havent got a new subject in mind, and there is a thread already running, just add to it. Otherwise our readers have to visit ten threads to read about one topic.




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Reply # 51254 6-Nov-2006 15:44
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As I posted in another thread, I went to a Telecom store to do some "fact checking" of my own. And the fact is that nowhere I could find "7.6 Mbps".

Telecom says they will provide the maximum your line allows. In theory, under optimal conditions, DSL can offer up to 7.6 Mbps. But that's the theory. There are lots of factors that will change this including distance from the exchange, weather, conditions of wiring in your home, number of devices plugged into this wiring, etc.

YMMV.





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  Reply # 51278 6-Nov-2006 16:27
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"Large Wait".. i love it, but the 7.6 argument, no need to get hung up on it, read the fine print, its Telecom, cmon.

But you are right, People are expecting faster speeds "unleashed" than what they previously had, i never expected to
get twice the speed but i was hoping for a 20-40% preformance increase

i previously was able to get 3.5megabit speeds, now im LUCKY to get 1mbit download speeds, and
im connecting at 7.6 down now.

My customers who are on Pro or higher plans are not seeing any improvement on speeds either, infact
on average id say performance has decreased.

Personally i'll give xtra a couple more weeks to get their network sorted, if not i'll take my personal and
the 40+ other business broadband connections im responsible for and move to another ISP.

One of my customers recently moved to Clear, wow its fast. They might not be typical tho as they are using a
Clear PPPOE DSL connection.

(Edit BG [Removed excess spaces at end of post])



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  Reply # 51280 6-Nov-2006 16:42
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I know there are many people saying it is bad.  A similar number say how bad it is.  But none seem to consider clearly what Xtra has promised and how this compares to what they have provided.  That is why I started this thread.

What does Xtra promise?

On the front page of their website: "Xtra broadband has been unleashed"  .  To unleash something is to free it from limits, yes? On the Go Large page they clearly suggest a system providing "Unlimited Data" (underneath "Monthly Data Allowance" which was written in bold blue letters) This makes it quite clear that they are supposedly providing a service with no data cap and the highest speed the line allows - In my case I know this is over 2Mb/s as that is what I was getting before - in addition to this the ADSL specification seems to suggest a maximum speed of 7Mbit within 1.5 Km of the exchange.  To say "Xtra broadband has been unleashed"  implies an improvement.  I hope you all agree.  To say that something is unlimited implies that there are no limits - regardless of whatever "small print" you decide to write.  Unlimited is unlimited.  If something that is described as unlimited is in fact limited - be it due to traffic "shaping", bandwidth pooling or anything else (except for justifiable technology issues) it is misleading.  According to the fair trading act "No person shall, in trade, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive".  Of course companies count as people.  Do you think this is correct?

Another section in the Fair Trading Act states  "No person shall in trade  engage in conduct that is liable to mislead the public as to the nature ,  characteristics , suitability for a purpose, or quantity of services" .  I can think of many ways  in  which this applies to Xtra.  For example  Xtra suggests that  their broadband services are good for online gaming.  Due to interleaving, lag etc . most of us would agree that this  isn't true.  This mislead s us as to the suitability for a purpose of Xtra Broadband.  Another example is  traffic "shaping" and the 700MB a  day pool idea.  When you suggest that the quantity of the service you provide is "Unlimited"  it is misleading to limit the  data you can transfer. 


Another part  applying to xtra:  Part 1 Section 13.  Two  ideas from here - not directly quoted:  No  misleading  representations as to  standard,  quality or grade.   I think this means that if you claim to provide "Xtraordinary Broadband"  you must provide a  broadband  service of a higher standard and quality than  is  normal - this would apply that  traffic shaping, slowdowns,  lag,  et cetera are all not on.  Also  no misleading representations as to "performance characteristics" .  So if it is  "as fast as your phone line allows"  it must not be slowed down below the maximum speed  our  phone lines allow -  for me I know this is at least  2Mb/s, as this was the speed  before "unleashing".


Recently Air New Zealand copped a $600,000 fine  over the "Fare Dinkum"  advertisments.   Their  use of fine print to  disclose  the essential terms did  not  protect them.  According to an article in the NBR  written by a  Kensington Swan  partner  the commerce commission "has long taken a dim view of the use of fine print to disclose essential terms and is also opposed to bait advertising".  Xtra's use of  the same tactics shouldn't protect them either. 


What  do you think guys?  This is  quite different from the material in other threads. 

Cheers,
Tim

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Reply # 51286 6-Nov-2006 17:20
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A leash or a lead is a rope or similar material attached to the neck of a pet (often a dog) for restraint or control. Some leashes clip or tie to collars or harnesses, while others go directly around the animal's neck.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leash

Not that Wikipedia is the be all and end all of the English language, but really - to understand 'unleashed', you need to understand "leashed" and by association "leash".

A common use of the term leash would be in relation to the restraint of an animal.

If you then unleash that animal, does it instantly run away at TOP speed? Or might it wander off at the same speed that it was going anyway, and simply be able to go further, much further.

Just because you define unleashed as being able to suddenly go much further, doesnt make it true.

Telecoms intentions are great.

Their delivery is not, but there must be some serious downloading going on at the moment, and as most smart people are saying "give it a few weeks to a month, let the p2p-ers have their day in the sun, and things should drop back to normal".

If not, or even now, just vote with your feet. But you can bet your bottom dollar that no one is going to get TNZ in front of the ComCom for using the term "unleashed".

The word unlimited could be a different story, though its mitigated somewhat by the very clear terms and conditions, that simply place what is probably a fair cap on the time when most Kiwis want to surf the web, but outside of that, let you go for it...




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  Reply # 51287 6-Nov-2006 17:22
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tintenammae: What  do you think guys? ... 

You've made some good points there Tim and possibly a judge would agree with you.

But unless you've got very deep pockets to pay lawyer's fees, a lot of free time and a determination to see this thing through, I would suggest that your best option is to vote with your feet i.e. change ISP and get on with life.

No offence, but honestly, there are many more important things than arguing with ISPs.  Especially when there are plenty of other players in the market.

Now, if only that were true regarding the "Last Mile" connection to our homes and businesses, but NO... Let's not go there again.

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  Reply # 51291 6-Nov-2006 17:38
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tintenammae: I know there are many people saying it is bad.  A similar number say how bad it is.  But none seem to consider clearly what Xtra has promised and how this compares to what they have provided.  That is why I started this thread.

What does Xtra promise?

On the front page of their website: "Xtra broadband has been unleashed"  .  To unleash something is to free it from limits, yes? On the Go Large page they clearly suggest a system providing "Unlimited Data" (underneath "Monthly Data Allowance" which was written in bold blue letters) This makes it quite clear that they are supposedly providing a service with no data cap and the highest speed the line allows - In my case I know this is over 2Mb/s as that is what I was getting before - in addition to this the ADSL specification seems to suggest a maximum speed of 7Mbit within 1.5 Km of the exchange.  To say "Xtra broadband has been unleashed"  implies an improvement.  I hope you all agree.  To say that something is unlimited implies that there are no limits - regardless of whatever "small print" you decide to write.  Unlimited is unlimited.  If something that is described as unlimited is in fact limited - be it due to traffic "shaping", bandwidth pooling or anything else (except for justifiable technology issues) it is misleading.  According to the fair trading act "No person shall, in trade, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive".  Of course companies count as people.  Do you think this is correct?


Its strange cause when you go to the xtra BB ( http://xtra.co.nz/broadband ) site and look for Go large, it has a 'find out more' link to this page: http://jetstream.xtra.co.nz/chm/0,8763,204548-203090,00.html
It says "Fair use policy and Traffic management applies" underneath the price. Hardly at the bottom of the page too, more like in the top-middle part of it.

Clear as day. Furthermore when switching over to that plan online, it also has a few prompts there asking you about free usage polices/traffic management if I remember correctly. While I disagree with how unlimited and flatrates wordings are being used these days, it seems in line with other companies and also they are very upfront that this is a managed plan.

Whether or not the ADSL specification says that connections within 1.5kb of the exchange will get 7mbps, noone except the media and forum trolls  has actually made any statements on speeds. The downstream speed as promised as been 'unleashed' however there are many other factors involved.





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  Reply # 51299 6-Nov-2006 17:58
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Every advert I've seen has had something similar to that... "as fast as your phone line allows." You can't blame xtra for your speed problems. Every other ISP is suffering too.

If you took the time to do a little research in ADSL before signing up then you would have known that there is no way you expect the maximum theoretical speed unless you live on top of the exchange.

You wouldn't buy a car without looking into it first. Why should this be any different. Xtra did a very good job of explaining that things could limit your experience but still you complain.

Did you know in the U.S they market 768Kbps DSL as highspeed and its what the majority are on. You should consider yourself lucky.


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  Reply # 51301 6-Nov-2006 18:10
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Re: Money for lawyers, not entirely true. If you wanted to you could make a complaint to the commerce commission who (assuming they choose to follow your complaint up) will then take telecom to court re: the purported breach of the Fair Trading Act.

Another set of rights worth checking out if your looking to write a suitably threatening legal letter are those under the Consumer Guarantees Act (which extends a number of automatic guarantees to all consumers in relation to both goods and services like Xtra broadband)


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  Reply # 51303 6-Nov-2006 18:13
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ookisaru:

Re: Money for lawyers, not entirely true. If you wanted to you could make a complaint to the commerce commission who (assuming they choose to follow your complaint up) will then take telecom to court re: the purported breach of the Fair Trading Act.

Another set of rights worth checking out if your looking to write a suitably threatening legal letter are those under the Consumer Guarantees Act (which extends a number of automatic guarantees to all consumers in relation to both goods and services like Xtra broadband)


But that only applies if xtra misrepresented their product, which they didn't. There has been no breach of the FTA or CGA and we certainly would have heard by now if there was....

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  Reply # 51327 6-Nov-2006 19:24
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Solroni: Telecom are falsely advertising. 

Complaints have been sent.

Well then why not describe when and how they have been advertising falsely? Instead of just saying random things

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Reply # 51328 6-Nov-2006 19:27
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  Reply # 51334 6-Nov-2006 20:02
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bradstewart:

Every advert I've seen has had something similar to that... "as fast as your phone line allows." You can't blame xtra for your speed problems. Every other ISP is suffering too.

If you took the time to do a little research in ADSL before signing up then you would have known that there is no way you expect the maximum theoretical speed unless you live on top of the exchange.

You wouldn't buy a car without looking into it first. Why should this be any different. Xtra did a very good job of explaining that things could limit your experience but still you complain.


I found this in a silly Flash popup explaining factors affecting speed

"Telecom network

The number of users on our network, the plan you are on, the speed that your line can support and our management of network traffic and services."

Note that there are other factors mentioned than just "as fast as your phone line allows". They should have made the people writing and approving the Ad copy read their own help pages. The problem with only mentioning line speed is that anyone that can find their line speed can compare that with their throughput (allowing for overhead of course) or lack of.

ADSL1 should sustain reasonable line rates as far as 2.5-3km, you don't have to be right on top of the exchange.

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