ISPs take it to Telecom's Customers
Copyright © 1996 to Bruce Simpson

The war of words between independent ISPS and Telecom/Xtra has taken a new turn today with Voyager, iProlink, Actrix and Plain Communications placing display advertisements in a number of daily newspapers including NBR, The Dominion and the Christchurch Press.

The advertisement was also faxed to Telecom's top 30 shareholders, their top 300 0800 business customers, Roderick Deane, Clive Litt, Chris Tyler (Xtra) and Brent Matthews (Telecom 0800).

This moves marks a further escalation in the campaign presently being mounted by independent ISPS against Xtra's alleged unfair pricing tactics.

When contacted, Telecom's 126 service reported no significant number of calls as a result of the advertisement however email outlining the "company-line" had been sent to all staff concerned in the anticipation of some kind of response from the market.

In this email, staff are told that the 0800 service on offer to Xtra is not the same as that provided to other clients and that the 4 cent per minute pricing was only available to Xtra because they had achieved over one million minutes per month of 0800 access.

When asked if that meant that the 4 cents per minute price was available to anyone who could meet the one million minute commitment, the operator was unable to provide such an assurance and I was told that a manager would call me back to answer this question.

At the time of writing, no such call had been forthcoming.

Aardvark Daily will be carrying a comprehensive update on this story next week with comments from the parties concerned.

Clive Litt of Telecom has responded on Telecom's behalf. His comments and those of the independent ISPs will be presented in Monday's edition of Aardvark Daily.

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