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Noel Leeming Stuffed Too!
Reports of Noel Leeming's launch into the world of online sales are just a little premature.

It would seem that yet again a big-name player has launched a website without doing proper testing and having it externally checked.

Net surfers trying to get in early found the site unreachable this morning and I've been sitting here for four minutes waiting for the front page to load!

I wonder what are all the *real* web designers and project managers doing these days? Does management simply not care or are they just stupid? Someone please tell them to read this page about the importance of adequate server capacity.

See yesterday's column for another example of commonplace this type of incompetence has become.

Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
So Good They Can't Give It Away? 7 August 2002 Edition
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According to a story on IDG today, Telecom are trying to give away two months worth of JetStream access to new customers.

Telecom are denying that the offer represents acknowledgement that the service isn't quite the success it hoped for.

It's probably just coincidence that my mailbox has been slowly filling with complaints from JetStream users in parts of Wellington who claim they've been intermittently without service since sometime yesterday.

One writer says "When I contacted Paradise (my ISP) around 5:30, they said they had been unable to get hold of anybody at Telecom all night."

At the same time, I've been pulling my hair out as the throughput of my dial-up connection continues to decline. These days I'm lucky if I can get download speeds of better than 15Kbps a second and the little light which indicates that packets are being resent due to errors is flashing like a disco-strobe.

It's not like I live in the furthest recesses of NZ's rural backblocks -- I'm just an hour from Auckland in an area that has an increasingly high density of "lifestylers."

Despite the fact I get perfect TV reception, the mail is delivered every day, have good 021 and 025 cellphone coverage, and the Telecom fibre-optic cable runs within 1.5Kms of my doorstep -- the throughput I get from my US Robotics Courier V-everything modem is less than one third of that which most people expect from a dial-up connection these days.

I wonder if, before they start giving away JetStream for free, Telecom might like to pay attention to the fact that there are still a lot of us who simply can't get any kind of half-decent Internet connection, let alone a hi-speed broadband one!

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • adsl... - Tony
  • Noel Leeming... - Simon
  • Broadband... - Alan
  • ADSL, Broadband, Jetstart... - Allister

    From Yesterday...

  • Sure it looks like some... - Stuff Fan
  • Hacking... - Gavin
  • INL & IT... - JJ
  • Have Your Say

    However, if Telecom really wants to increase the uptake of its DSL service here are a few things that might work...

    Firstly, review your pricing. Broadband DSL in New Zealand is outrageously expensive and JetStream Starter is *not* broadband -- it's little better than double the performance of a V90 dial-up connection.

    Secondly, instead of wasting money by giving away two months free access, why not apply that money to sorting out the problems which still plague the service? One can't help but get the feeling that this "give away" offer is simply a case of temporarily adjusting the price of the product to match the public perception of its actual value -- $0/month.

    Thirdly, when you can't provide a decent DSL broadband service to a particular area (such as where I live) due to the condition of the lines, why not throw a wireless node on the cabinet and offer broadband WiFi access? Surely that's not going to be hellishly expensive and it has the potential to significantly increase your potential market-size at a relatively low cost.

    Let's face it, if as is claimed in the IDG article, the current level of DSL uptake in areas where it's available is just 5% then there's got to be something very wrong with the structure, pricing or performance of Telecom's offering.

    Giving people a two-month free trial to discover that it has problems and is overpriced doesn't seem like a very smart way to market the product to me.

    Yes, it really does seem as if Telecom has a product and an attitude that is so good they simply can't give it away.

    Have your say.

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