Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
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The past couple of weeks have been hell around here!
Not only am I *still* waiting for my internet and voice-line connection to be switched from the old house to the new one but I also had the misfortune to be struck down by one of the worst colds I've had in decades.
And before anyone asks, yes, I do get an annual flu inoculation but I'm not going to lie and suggest that what I had was influenza. No, it was just an extremely virulent version of the good, old-fashioned common cold. A nasty rhinorvirus that left me unable to sleep for two days and feeling as if I'd already died and ended up in the hot-place.
This was the first time I've been actually bed-bound in more than 20 years -- and that's kind of worrying. It makes you realise just how quickly you can go from hale and hearty to snotty and almost totally useless -- especially when you qualify, as I do, as an "old codger".
This explains why there's been a dearth of Aardvark updates during this period.
There's just no way I was going to haul my old arse out of bed and down the road to sit in this cold unheated room with a computer in order to cobble together a few short words and upload them to this website.
And of course Spark have been about as much use as tits on a bull with respect to helping sort my broadband/voice-line problems.
Some sleuthing has allowed me to work out that the new house is still "connected" to Contact Energy's broadband service but that still doesn't help any because Chorus won't release the connection without the permission of Contact so Spark can't connect me at that address.
The little man from Chorus is now apparently due to come out and wire up a whole new cable-pair by the end of this week (if I'm lucky) so that we can get around that problem.
Yes, we're witnessing levels of incompetence and inefficiency that only a monopoly can create.
For their part, Spark have steadfastly refused to ante-up with a simple and pragmatic gap-fill solution in the form of a wireless hotspot for the new house and had the nerve to ring me, after I complained to the Telecommunications Disputes Resolution service, and advise that they figured the problem was solved because now I had a resolution date.
They also told me that if I wanted to purchase my own wireless hotspot, they'd give me a credit for its use.
Are you kidding me?
I told them, "sorry, but I don't consider that to be an acceptable resolution" so I'll be following this up with the TDR service.
I've said it before -- but I'll say it again because I'm still feeling grumpy with the residual effects of this cold: Spark could do a hell of a lot better than they have.
As the operator of a wireless (cellphone) network, it would cost them ZERO dollars to loan a hotspot out for the (soon to be) three weeks I'm without service at the new house but it would retain the goodwill a customer who has been with them for over 30 years.
Still, this is their decision to make but I'm not a happy camper.
This fiasco has effectively left me almost $1,000 out of pocket (in terms of rent and power I've had to pay to retain the old house until the phone is switched over). Telecom's final offer of "a month's free rental" just doesn't cut it.
What ever happened to the old-fashioned concepts of looking after your loyal customers?
What ever happened to a commitment to service?
So, my apologies for the ongoing patchy publishing schedule. I'll do my best to get back to normal as soon as health and circumstances allow.
I'm still keen to hear from readers as to which is the best broadband (UFB) supplier to use as soon as I'm reconnected because I *WILL* be switching.
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