Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 23 January 2002
Note: the comments below are the unabridged
submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.
From: Ian For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Voyager v Xtra It broke my heart when Voyager sold out to Xtra. It seemed like a betrayal of all I held dear. Most of the ex-Voyager customers dutifully transferred their accounts to Xtra like good little boys and girls, but it now seems that those who live "in the country" have found out what it all really means. I recall the "good old days" of the New Zealand internet wars between V and X with a certain fondness, even though it was $7.95 an hour in those days if I remember correctly. Bruce, your gripes about Xtra's helpdesk make it sound like you are one of the Voyager-to-Xtra bunnies (which surprises me). Perhaps the time is ripe for you to move to one of the other ISPs which have managed to survive in Aotearoa and give them a chance to become as profitable as the 11th best place in the nation to work. (Unlimited magazine survey - I can't believe who came 2nd either) Aardvark Responds No, I'm not an ex-Voyager user -- I had to switch to XTRA when my previous provider got out of the dial-up access business. Since I spend a lot of time on the Net, I needed a true flat-rate connection and the "convenience" of just having your Net connection tacked onto the phone bill lured me (as I'm sure it has with most other XTRA customers). From: Peter George For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Xtra's excuse sequence I have had an account with Xtra from the beginning, and have installed and supported many people using Xtra. I have used their helpline extensively in the past. Occasionally you get a help person who uses their noodle, but most often you a standard line: It's your software/settings It's your hardware/modem It's your line It's your exchange Rarely does the focus seem to get beyond that. I had major problems (in Central Otago) years ago, spent many hours a week (sometimes each day) on the helpline talking to various levels of escalation. Xtra (actually Telecom) went as far as having one of their people travel arround the area doing extensive dial-in and line tests. They assured me I would find out the results, but I didn't. Then Xtra upgraded their modems and the problem disappeared. This sort of thing has happened on a lesser scale since. Incidentally they had different modems on different dial-in numbers - 087 303030 and 087 303032, often giving different results with different end user modems. I have frequently had to go through their normal sequence of checking settings, uninstalling/reinstalling etc when I had already tried their usual things before ringing. I guess this has some sense, because it ensures nothing is missed. Incidentally, their status message typically understates problems, sometimes by quite a magnitude. Once it said "some users on the West Coast may experience occasional difficulties connecting" and it appears the whole South island was down. What this probably meant was that someone on the West Coast was the first to get Xtra to admit it was their problem, and that the help desk had no idea about geography. I think most or all of the South Island is channeled through Christchurch, but most help desk people have little or no knowledge of the area - I have also had "Dunedin? Is that near Wellington?" Appealing to them that if we know the extent of a problem we can save ourselves and them a lot of time and hassle never seemd to matter. Phew, now thats a little of my chest. From: Alan For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: internet service providers Dear Sir, both sites you refer to in your column can be accessed through my internet service provider(Paradise net). It sounds like XTRA have a problem and are trying to pull the wool.Considering XTRA is one of the dearest ISP's in New Zealand i would have thought that they have got there act together.Obviously not. Regards Alan From: Michael For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: A comment from the inside Xtra's helpdesk is outsourced. I have a friend who has worked on their helpdesk, and they commented that because of the outsourcing, the helpdesk staff don't have access to fix this sort of technical problem. They were also less than impressed by the general quality of the staff.Hit Reload For Latest Comments
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