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Topic # 152403 25-Sep-2014 12:45
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On 23rd August, I had a visit from the Spark retention team as I was with them 12 months ago and they figured out my current contract with Orcon must have ended and so they tried to lure me back.  They offered me the same free national calls, more data for the same price, free connection and a $75 credit.  So it seemed like a real good deal. Free stuff FTW! 

Having always been told not to contact the losing ISP, I left Spark to sort it all and waited for the changeover.  And waited.  3 weeks later and still nothing and I’m thinking maybe they are not going to do it.  Maybe the paperwork didn’t make it to the office to be processed.  Then finally on 15th Sept, a courier arrives with a new modem and there are a couple of texts to say that the change will take place on the 16th Sept.  So on the 16th I’m waiting to plug the new modem in and then ring Orcon to get the old genius modem sent back to them.  Imagine my surprise then when I got the call from the chorus tech to say that the phone line only had been changed to POTS. 

After a little while I did figure out how to get a POTS phone to work with the Genius Router ADSL and felt quite proud of that, but was still left wondering “where is the internet Spark”?  So the following morning I get the text again – “we will connect you on before 7pm 19th September.”  Internet was connected without incident at 6:30pm.

The following morning at 7:30am there is a courier at my house with a bag to send the Genius Modem back to Orcon.  I sent that back on Monday morning.  Easy.  No phone call to Orcon required.

Then yesterday I got the invoice from Orcon charging me for services up to 19 October – as per their required 30 days notice period which seems to have started from the 19 September changeover date.

Could Spark not notify them of the change before this???  Could Spark not leave me with Orcon until this 30 day period was over? So I will end up paying twice as much for internet this month. Once to spark and once to Orcon.  The $75 credit from Spark won’t cover everything because their first bill is part month in arrears and a month in advance and there is change over charges as well. I could have given Orcon Notice on 23rd August and avoided this, but I have always been strongly advised several times never to do this.  So Spark should have done this for me – I can see no other reason for the time taken by spark to complete this.

Just to clarify also – I have no issue really with Orcon, I understand their policy and their service has been fantastic thru out, but thru bad service from Spark and a flaw in the process procedure in general, I feel I have been unfairly penalised.

I’m posting this here so that hopefully someone from both ISPs can see this and maybe one of them will offer to pay the $68.04 that Orcon are charging me for services that I can’t use at all because they don’t even exist anymore.

The lesson here for all is that a credit from any ISP as an incentive for you to change may not mean that you get anything for free at all...

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  Reply # 1137443 25-Sep-2014 13:17
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I don't see what you're going to achieve. By all accounts Orcon was providing you an acceptable service and you chose to take a petty bribe to switch to NZ's worst internet provider.

Spark isn't going to notify Orcon and it's not Orcon's responsibility to listen to them anyway. DSL switchovers are provisioned through the network provider (Usually Chorus).

Good luck anyway. Spark/Xtra lost control of their email service some years back and they are now beholden to Yahoo (A terrible company in their own right)




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  Reply # 1137448 25-Sep-2014 13:20
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The gaining service provider does not know your contractual agreement with your losing service provider, this is up to the customer to understand the contract they've got and understand if there is a disconnection policy to tell the gaining service provider.

Spark is right here - normally there isn't a need to contact the LSP but some providers (Orcon) can be a bit messy when it comes to a customer leaving them. It only takes a quick phonecall to the LSP to ensure you're out of contract and when you're able to leave them.

MichaelNZ: I don't see what you're going to achieve. By all accounts Orcon was providing you an acceptable service and you chose to take a petty bribe to switch to NZ's worst internet provider.
Spark isn't going to notify Orcon and it's not Orcon's responsibility to listen to them anyway. DSL switchovers are provisioned through the network provider (Usually Chorus).
Good luck anyway. Spark/Xtra lost control of their email service some years back and they are now beholden to Yahoo (A terrible company in their own right)


Erm, Gmail is free? I didn't think people used ISP based email anymore. Also it is your own opinion. I am personally with Spark for my UFB and find them really really good so really that comment was not needed. Lets not start up a flame war about what ISP is better here because Spark have got the majority of the broadband connections in NZ so they must be doing something right.




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  Reply # 1137456 25-Sep-2014 13:22
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MichaelNZ:  NZ's worst internet provider.


Errr... really? Perhaps you could qualify that statement?

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  Reply # 1137460 25-Sep-2014 13:27
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  Reply # 1137474 25-Sep-2014 13:41
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michaelmurfy:
Erm, Gmail is free? I didn't think people used ISP based email anymore. Also it is your own opinion. I am personally with Spark for my UFB and find them really really good so really that comment was not needed. Lets not start up a flame war about what ISP is better here because Spark have got the majority of the broadband connections in NZ so they must be doing something right.


Number of connections is not indicative of competence.

Most of the Internet users in NZ were not on the Internet (or didn't understand what was going on at the time) to recall how anti-competitive and nasty Xtra were when they started up.

One of many examples is they registered a domain name for my company without authorisation and then tried to extort me for it claiming if I didn't pay, they would hold on to it and I couldn't use it.

More recently their own higher-level corporate helpdesk admitted they had a major issue with email and basically said they could not fix it as Yahoo now controlled it and they had to ask Yahoo. What ISP gives away (ie: loses control) of such a core network service?

I have also contacted Yahoo and it's like talking to a very arrogant brick wall. There is a good reason Google is winning and they are loosing... badly.

Have you forgotten the security issues with Yahoo's email in the last 3 years?




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  Reply # 1137480 25-Sep-2014 13:42
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MichaelNZ:
michaelmurfy:
Erm, Gmail is free? I didn't think people used ISP based email anymore. Also it is your own opinion. I am personally with Spark for my UFB and find them really really good so really that comment was not needed. Lets not start up a flame war about what ISP is better here because Spark have got the majority of the broadband connections in NZ so they must be doing something right.


Number of connections is not indicative of competence.

Most of the Internet users in NZ were not on the Internet (or didn't understand what was going on at the time) to recall how anti-competitive and nasty Xtra were when they started up.

One of many examples is they registered a domain name for my company without authorisation and then tried to extort me for it claiming if I didn't pay, they would hold on to it and I couldn't use it.

More recently their own higher-level corporate helpdesk admitted they had a major issue with email and basically said they could not fix it as Yahoo now controlled it and they had to ask Yahoo. What ISP gives away (ie: looses control) of such a core network service?

Have you forgotten the security issues with Yahoo's email in the last 3 years?


This is not what this thread is on about. 




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  Reply # 1137501 25-Sep-2014 13:59
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MichaelNZ: By all accounts Orcon was providing you an acceptable service and you chose to take a petty bribe to switch to NZ's worst internet provider.


I think you're confused, the OP quite clearly said they're switching to Spark, not Joe's Cheap Internets Ltd.

OP, I suspect there is probably some complication around the way Chorus expect to handle these transitions that leads to a crossover period. If your existing service is flagged to cancel too early, the gaining RSP probably has to treat it as a reconnect, rather than a churn, which can lead to delays in getting connected (especially if you're in an area with port waits).




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  Reply # 1137536 25-Sep-2014 14:33
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We were always close to our monthly limit with Orcon so the chance to release that pressure for no cost was a chance worth taking...
If this were a product like a TV, then I would take it back to the shop and demand a refund, but unfortunately I cant really do that?

Surely Spark would know about the 30 day notice as its Orcons standard policy - I was outside of any contract with Orcon.

The actual internet /phone product with Spark is good quality but currently their customer service standard has already determined that I will be moving ISPs again as soon as the 12 month contract ends.  So it would be nice for them to "fix" this situation to get some goodwill....

Otherwise this is just serving as a lesson for others not to get sucked in...

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  Reply # 1137538 25-Sep-2014 14:34
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"OP, I suspect there is probably some complication around the way Chorus expect to handle these transitions that leads to a crossover period. If your existing service is flagged to cancel too early, the gaining RSP probably has to treat it as a reconnect, rather than a churn, which can lead to delays in getting connected (especially if you're in an area with port waits)."


This is the reason that I didnt contact Orcon to give them the 30 day notice that they require yes...

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  Reply # 1137627 25-Sep-2014 16:38
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Bee:

Surely Spark would know about the 30 day notice as its Orcons standard policy - I was outside of any contract with Orcon.

......

Otherwise this is just serving as a lesson for others not to get sucked in...


No, there is no such collusion (I have ever seen) in the New Zealand industry, nor should there be. You are the customer - you should take responsibility for the contractual obligations you choose to enter into.

There is no great lesson here and nobody sucked you in.

If it has been me, I'd have gotten on the phone and asked my present ISP for a bigger allowance. Or is loyalty old fashioned?

I am heavily reliant on Internet in my business. I have always purchased from ISPs who have a reasonable or mostly business customer base and who are reasonably priced, but not the cheapest. I only go with companies who have NZ helpdesks and employ people who, while they may not know as much as I do, who are at least on the level. I also stick with Cisco as my choice of equipment. (Cisco is not the only good product, just saying I buy quality).

In summary I pretty rarely experience issues. On the occasion, I get on the phone to my provider and they usually already know about it and/or take the report seriously. No long spiels read off a script or nonsense.

That's been my experience.




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  Reply # 1137635 25-Sep-2014 16:45
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Bee:

Surely Spark would know about the 30 day notice as its Orcons standard policy - I was outside of any contract with Orcon.



I think you're confused how churn works between ISPs. Nobody at all from Spark will contact anybody from Orcon. There is no way anybody at Spark (or any ISP for that matter) knows, or cares about your contact with your existing ISP.

When you lodge a new connection with a new ISP it's simply lodged in the Chorus system as a churn.



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  Reply # 1137718 25-Sep-2014 18:26
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Could've also talked to orcons retention team and told them Spark had offered you something better

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  Reply # 1137882 25-Sep-2014 22:32
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It comes down to whether spark knows what Orcon's cancellation policy is. AFAIK Orcon bill in advance. So the 1 month notice is mainly to use up the month you have already paid for. And the reason they told you not to contact Orcon was to probably stop Orcon's retention team from offering you a better deal.

A similar thing could have happened to me. Someone from Vodafone came to my house and said UFB is now available in my street. I told them that they were too slow as I had already signed up to UFB with Snap. They said with their deal I could switch and still save money even after paying an early termination fee to Snap. I wasn't interested in switching so didn't bother telling them that the termination fee is actually your entire payments that you would be required to pay under the UFB contract. (so would be a very big amount, Only applies to UFB).

Either way you need to check what the terms to break your contract are. As often the people who go door to door are not employees of the company concerned. Normally they are contractors who are often only paid on a "per sale" basis. Therefore I don't intend this to be a dig against Vodafone.





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  Reply # 1138043 26-Sep-2014 10:26

ALWAYS call your losing service provider.

It can be 'safer' to do this once services have switched over to prevent any confusion (e.g. worst case scenario: LSP submits a disconnection order in error, which prevents the reassignment going through, delays everything, & requires a reconnection), but it is always best to give them a bell to make sure billing has ceased and no ETCs will be applied.

In some cases there can be additional services that will continue to bill because the losing service provider was never told the customer didn't want them any more, in other cases gaining ISPs simply don't know how the losing ISP's services work and give the customer incorrect information. Regardless, it's good manners, and makes sure there aren't any nasty surprises on the final bill - plus, it gives the LSP's retention team a chance to do their job, and you won't know what they can offer unless you ask! :)




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  Reply # 1138128 26-Sep-2014 11:38
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To build on what Nik's said, additional services or even your main services could continue to be billed. If you're moving off or on to a different network that isn't Chorus, there's usually a lack of visibility of this between providers.

The easiest (and safest way for you) is to contact your old ISP to let them know. People have brought up great points on whether you should do it before or after you move, but regardless of when you contact them just let them know to make sure it's been cancelled/request for cancellation.




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