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583 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 47

  Reply # 1078938 2-Jul-2014 22:20
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.....There's not much hope of help from the government either. Chorus are a publicly traded company, and if the government still holds any shares then it'll only be a minority shareholder. They can't influence things directly. And unless there are major, systematic problems with Chorus as a whole, there's no way that the government will try and change things via regulation.....

I think you might want to research how Chorus came about, it might surprise you

You seen to have conveniently skipped over the first part of that sentence, the bit that says "unless there are major, systematic problems with Chorus as a whole."

When Chorus was split from Telecom, it was because Telecom was abusing its position as a monopoly. The took advantage of the fact that they were both wholesaler and retailer of broadband internet, and made the gap between their wholesale and retail prices so small that other ISPs has to make a choice between being price competitive or turning a profit. Regulation was needed to force a structural split so that Telecom's retail broadband operation was on equal footing with every other ISP.

In every subsequent case where Chorus has seen increased regulation, it has been in response to abuses of monopoly position. For example, there have been recent changes to the wholesale prices that Chorus are allowed to offer, because the regulators decided that the wholesale prices were too far in excess of what it actually cost to provide those services. The absence of competition meant that there was no reason for Chorus to reduce its margins, so it did what was best for its shareholders. Regulation was needed to bring these prices down to more reasonable levels.

One very important thing to note here is that the behavior has to negatively affect consumers before the government will regulate it. The whole idea behind anti-monopoly regulation is to bring the market to how it would be if there was healthy competition. If the same thing would happen regardless of the number of competitors, there's no reason to regulate that thing.

Going back to the original issue at hand, I don't believe that there's anything here that indicates an abuse of monopoly position at the expense of the consumer. What happened here could have happened with any other tradesperson, like a plumber or electrician. There's not really a problem here that the government can address.

583 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 47

  Reply # 1078996 2-Jul-2014 23:29
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mattwnz: Yes but ISPs choose to be an ISP under those conditions, no one is forcing them to provide ISP services. If ISPs weren't happy they could always put people into direct contact with their provider. But I suspect they want to retain a good relationship with their providers. But if they weren't happy they would be openly complaining about it like they did when telecom had the monopoly prior to unbundling. But mAybe it isn't a big enough problem for them yet and isn't affecting their bottom line. Or maybe if is about not rocking the boat, or biting the hand that feeds.

Again, this is a very narrow view of a rather complex subject.

Snap were offering broadband long before Chorus came along, back when everything was being run by Telecom. Are you suggesting that they should shut up shop because Chorus are causing them occasional headaches?

There could be any number of reasons why Snap wouldn't put people directly in touch with Chorus. The most likely is that Chorus explicitly state in their contracts that it's the ISP's responsibility to deal with the end customer. The customer's contract is with the ISP, after all, not Snap. And do you know of any ISPs who have given out contact details for Chorus?

Another possibility is cost. I would guess that most an ISP's dealings with Chorus are performed through online systems. This is very cheap because you don't need actual people to get things done. But you do need people to answer phones, and those people need to get paid. Chorus don't benefit directly from running a call centre, so they'll pass the cost on to ISPs as a value-added service. Why would an ISP pay for this service when they're already running a call centre?

And as I mentioned in my post above, the government need a really good reason before they step in and regulate things. Snap can complain about issues like this, but nothing will get done unless the issues meet certain criteria. I just don't see anything here that comes close to meeting those criteria.


120 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 11

  Reply # 1079381 3-Jul-2014 14:03
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I thought I had submitted my last post but it either got eaten or I have the short term memory of a goldfish. Regardless, the issue has been resolved, it was on Chorus' end. Something to do with the wiring on their side of the pole. I'm syncing slightly higher than I was before, and I'm very glad to finally have the situation resolved. I appreciate all of the comments made and I was interested to see how the conversation scaled past my initial concern.

My final comment on the situation is that I recognize the position Snap is in and that it can be a difficult one. Customers can have unreasonable demands. I don't think I was unreasonable in my approach to this issue. However, as  conscious, informed consumers, we have an obligation to (try to) keep corporations working for us, and sometimes that involves holding their feet to the fire inasmuch as that's the only power we have. I do resent having to contact Snap so many times and leave work early twice, but if I hadn't, the problem would not have been solved.

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