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12 posts

Geek


Topic # 15469 24-Aug-2007 11:48
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If you haven't got to know what is happening, please visit the following links:

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=49&TopicId=15067
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=49&TopicId=15233

If you are one of those who affected by the changes made by i**g and want to do something about it, please report in at here or make contact with Commerce Commission.  Commerce Comssion is currently finding how many people are affected by this, they need the figure!

UPDATE FOR THIS MATTER:

Thanks liquidbeats who reminded me to try to get hold of someone who may be of help. Here is what I have done:

1. I emailed Commerce Commission with the detailed info about the whole story yesterday. They told me that they are currently finding how many people are affected by that. If it is not an individual case and many people affected, they will hand it over to "fair trading department" to decide if a investigation will be conducted. I am emaling this forum's links to them so that they can see what are people's feedback here.

2. I rang up consumer.org yesterday and discussed this with one of their consumer advisor. She agrees this is a breach of fair trading act and suggested me to report this to Commerce Commission which I have done.

3. I rang up ihug yesterday around 3:00pm to discuss the issue with them. They were saying that they have right to change any part of our contract without taking customer's opinion into consideration. It is the contract that gives them the righ to do so, I cannot argue with that which is sad. :-( What I was arguing with them is that I should be informed before I signed up with them as they knew changes were about to be made. And that is apparently misleading. I spent about 15 mins on the phone with the guy, and finally he said he needed to speak to his manager for resolution but I insisted to speak to their manager directly, then he agreed and said will arrange that. However, I haven't heard back from ihug as of now (next day lunch time). I am going to give them another call to request it again.

It seems that my fighting with ihug is more difficult than liquidbeats' one perhaps due to my poor skill, but I will carry on.

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  Reply # 83628 24-Aug-2007 16:33
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I'm one the people affected by this change. Although by way of the contract Ihug may be within their rights to change terms and conditions without notice, the part of this that bugs me is the departure from typical practice. With Ihug previously, and with most ISP's to date, existing customers have had the option of remaining on their plans when new plans have been introduced. We were not afforded this option here.

Ihug's performance has deteriorated significantly for me over the last 6 months, to the extent that I am considering changing ISP's. The problem here of course is that Iwill be stung for leaving the contract, nevermind the fact that Ihug are no longer providing a service even remotely like the terms and conditions to which Isigned up for.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 83630 24-Aug-2007 17:04
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Despite common opinion, it is NOT Ihug's prerogative to change plans at a whim, despite what their Terms and Conditions read. You cannot contract outside the bounds of normal legislation, and consumer protection legislation (eg, the Fair Trading Act) is no exception. Their terms and conditions may well read that they hold the right to change the details of plans as they feel necessary, but they cannot mislead customers in doing so, period. Their plan was touted as an unlimited plan, with the proviso that customers stick to a fair use policy. The plan was designed to lock customers into a contract so it could later be changed to a plan that is FAR from unlimited - 20gb per month, with the extra restriction of no more than 2gb usage per day.

The change in plan is a material alteration of the contract, and because it clearly breaches to Fair Trading Act (by any sane person's assessment), Ihug do not have the right to maintain the agreement. They have no hope against the Commerce Commission.

 
 
 
 




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Geek


  Reply # 83944 27-Aug-2007 11:58
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Update of my negotiation with i**g:
---------------------------------------------

I had been waiting for one of i**g's manager to call me back but that never happened. I then called them up again today (2 working days afterward) and requested speaking to their manager. And this time I received call from their manager within 20 mins.

I explained that I feel being misled by ihug since I had used their original broadband 3 for leass than two months before they changed the plan. He said he understand my feeling but emphasied that in the terms and conditions, they are allowed to make changes to any part of their services provided ONE month notice is given.

Then he agreed to waive my early disconnection fee for $199.00 if I cancel my account with them. However, since what I signed up for includes 3 months free Internet connection and 1 month free home phone, he asked me to repay those credit. I don't know if it is the same with Liquidbeat's case but anyway I accepted it.

Finally, I am now in the process of canceling my account with them and looking at new options. :-)

According to me experience with i**g, i feel that they want to keep things only between customers and themselves, they don't want that issue to be escalated to any higher level as what they have done could possibily fall into the "misleading" category.

In fact, from the current "fair trading act", "misleading or deceptive information on advertisement" is the only way to pick on them, other than that, they are allowed to do almost anything.

I hope my story will be helpful to everyone.

Some more stuff:
-------------------

I ended up keeping my home phone with i**g but terminating the broadband service with them.  I am currently signning up with A*tirix for the only reason that they are having a daily cap system.  That means if you go over the thresold (counted daily), they will restrict you to 64kbps until next day 2:00am.  Daily cap is better than monthly cap for the fact that everyday you will get a full speed start.

Honestly, I didn't want to leave i**g as I had very good experience with them in terms of my broadband speed.  I usually get about 400K bytes (like fro Microsoft website) per second download speed even at peak times. The customer service is not perfect but I still able to get to talk to someone after waiting on the phone for usually 10 - 20 mins.  in summary, if the plan wasn't not changed to limited, I am more than happy to stay with them.

One more little news:  Since the local loop unbundling is going to happen in September, I have confirmed with X*et that they are not going to provide any free VFX for their broadband customer from Sep 2007.  That is another reason I didn't choose them as my ISP, but everything is changing currently, we'd better sit and wait for some good news...  :-)

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Geek


  Reply # 84524 30-Aug-2007 20:57
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Then he agreed to waive my early disconnection fee for $199.00 if I cancel my account with them.


This is strange. I've seen this $199 fee being discussed before. Ihug even mention a fee of $199 for dropping an existing contract term to move to their current offer.

However, the original BB3 contract offer email only mentions a $99 disconnection fee:

To qualify for 3 months of free broadband, i agree to an 18 month contract and understand that i will need to pay $99 if i close my account before this.


Anyway, I do have a big gripe with what I call ihug's "Bait n Switch".

"Bait" = BB3 with 3 day rolling average, with an 18 month contract.

"Switch" = a couple of days after the "Bait" offer expires, 20GB BB3 appears.

To me this is acting totally unfairly, regardless of what the T&C says. I acted in good faith, entered into a contract for what was offered, for 18 months. For ihug to turn around 2 days after the offered expired with big changes, I believe this is not acting in good faith.



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Geek


  Reply # 84683 31-Aug-2007 16:08
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---------------------------
However, the original BB3 contract offer email only mentions a $99 disconnection fee:
---------------------------

They are actually worse than other ISPs in the sense that their conditions are more restrictive:

                    i**g                     VS                     other ISPs
$199.00 early disconnection fee             usually $99.00 disconnection fee
       18 months contract                               9 - 12 months contract

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Master Geek


  Reply # 84706 31-Aug-2007 19:05
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but the 18 months included the 3 free months at the start so it's still only 12 months at full price
and the $99 for others covers only connection and modem costs whereas $199 again included 3 months free internet (worth $150)
And no I don't think what they've done is fair



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Geek


  Reply # 84728 31-Aug-2007 22:05
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I don't know how did you work out the deal bjhoogs,

To me:

    18 months contract with 3 WHOLE months free = 15 months full price (for Internet Connection)

    18 months contract with 1 months free        = 17 months full price (for Home Phone, and you get the first month free, which means you will never get a free whole month as you will almost joint them somewhere between their monthly billing cycle.  In my case, I got credited in $23.23 for my first month home phone as opposed to $41.00 for a whole month)

Taking $199.00 disconnection fee and those free offers into account, you won't break even.  In my case, the total of free offers is worth $150.00 + $23.23 = $173.23, hence I would still need to pay $199.00 - $173.23 = $16.77 from my pocket.

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Geek


  Reply # 84740 31-Aug-2007 22:55
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This is definitely going to result in me changing ISPs. Luckily, I'm not on a contract, so I don't have a disconnection fee, but it really is horrible of them to do the ol' bait and switch. Terrible practice.
Good on you for contacting Commerce Commission.

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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 84750 1-Sep-2007 06:52

I am another not happy with the forced change. I have had no problem with my ISP since 1998. I don't understand how we can be forced to accept this alteration of usage. If I went to a shop and purchased a fridge say, and on delivery I was sent a different model and told that they did not have my chosen model - put up and shut up, I would not have to! I am about to sell my pc to my son and get a new one, install wireless and have both pc's connected to bb3. I will probably end up using all of my month's data for updates to these! (one is XP other will be Vista). With the current version of bb3 I would be slowed up for a few days. Please tell me they can't do this!!!

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  Reply # 84760 1-Sep-2007 09:03
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Ah but there lays the difference in your analogy. If you were purchasing a fridge, you would own it outright, however with an internet connection - you're renting it.

A better one would be that you rented a model of fridge (perhaps it had a built in freezer unit) that did everything you wanted and then a few months into renting it (on a 2 year contract), the rental company decides that they will swap the fridge (without a freezer unit, so you'd have to pay more to get it) with an older model but keep your contract intact.

While it does stink, I would certainly check with your terms and conditions, along with any applicable consumer protection laws/contract law.






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183 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 84790 1-Sep-2007 13:18
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Johnmen: I don't know how did you work out the deal bjhoogs,

To me:

    18 months contract with 3 WHOLE months free = 15 months full price (for Internet Connection)

    18 months contract with 1 months free        = 17 months full price (for Home Phone, and you get the first month free, which means you will never get a free whole month as you will almost joint them somewhere between their monthly billing cycle.  In my case, I got credited in $23.23 for my first month home phone as opposed to $41.00 for a whole month)

Taking $199.00 disconnection fee and those free offers into account, you won't break even.  In my case, the total of free offers is worth $150.00 + $23.23 = $173.23, hence I would still need to pay $199.00 - $173.23 = $16.77 from my pocket.

ok so I can't count. did you not get a free connection too worth $99?
and free modem worth $99?



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Geek


  Reply # 84928 2-Sep-2007 18:40
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-------------------------------------------------
ok so I can't count. did you not get a free connection too worth $99?
and free modem worth $99?
-------------------------------------------------

Sorry bjhoogs I am not saying that you cannot count, the way of working out a deal is a bit personal anyway.

I got the first month home phone for free (instead of a free modem).  In terms of free connection $99.00, I suppose all other ISPs  are not charging it for that either.  It looks to me that waiving new connection fee has become a de facto standard.  Therefore I didn't count it.

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