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Telecom account support: stunning work there (not)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Apr-2008 13:24

I know it's a weekend, and it's great the Telecom support team actually worked on this request, but...

When I ported my Vodafone number to Telecom I asked at the store to use an existing account number I have with Telecom. They skipped that bit of my request, but that's ok - thought I could just consolidate the two accounts, since it's a lot of paper that comes every month for an account that is only $2.81/month (an old Xtra email I kept).

Anyway, instead of merging the accounts, it would be easier to simply skip the monthly paper statements and get it electronically on

So I added my mobile phone account - fine. Then proceeed to add the second account through a form request, which requires someone at the Telecom mothership to do for me.

Today I got a reply with these words:

I am unable to process this as the two accounts are in different customer names.

The Your Telecom service is registered via your customer number, you can have multiple accounts under the one customer number, and view these on the Your Telecom service under the one login.

The account number you have provide is not in the same name as your currently registered service, if you would like to view this account on your current login we will require the authority from the account holder to transfer the account and services to your customer number. This will mean you will become the owner of the line and be liable for any charges or changes made to the lines/services.

Both accounts have the same full name. Both accounts have the same address.

Most interesting there are two replies in the same e-mail. One suggests merging the accounts, the other says nothing can be done. Those replies came from two different people on the same case.

No, don't tell me to go back to Vodafone. First because I don't want. And second because it looks like it's an endemic problem with customer services in this country.

This takes me to the point... Customer Services in New Zealand is appaling. Most of the discussions on Geekzone are about customer services. Long wait times on hold, incorrect information provided, wrong service provided.

When are New Zealand companies going to wake up?

What O2 thinks of The Register and its readers - would it happen here?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Apr-2008 10:53

I read this discussion between two O2 PR people and had a laugh:

The discussion, between two in-house PRs, centred around how to paint those wanting more bandwidth than the 128Kb/sec O2 deems suitable as clearly being "a bunch of techie nerds".

Of course, these are communications professionals, so they wisely discuss how to avoid using that term, or as they put it, find "...a good way of saying they're all geeks".

I wonder which of the New Zealand telcos and ISPs have people working for them that think so highly of their customers.

I have one or two in mind. Your guess? Post in the comments.

Barcamp Mobile and Barcamp Auckland: mark those two in your diary now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Apr-2008 15:59

You have to mark these in your diary now: Barcamp Mobile, 25th and 26th April 2008, Offices of the State Services Commission, Molesworth St, Wellington.

This will happen at the same time as the Internet Identity Barcamp. I really recommend you attend this event if you are intested in any of those two topics.

The Barcamp Mobile will be of interest to anyone that live and breath mobile and wireless technologies: web, devices, hacking, services.

Another unconference event to attend is the Barcamp Auckland - 12th July, again like the first Barcamp Auckland in the Botany Downs Secondary College, Auckland.

The first Barcamp Auckland was great - unlike the Mobile Barcamp or the Internet Identity Barcamp, the Auckland Barcamp is not focused on a single area of technology and you will find lots of interesting things being discussed.

We saw 80 people attending the first Barcamp Auckland, and the organisers are looking at having 120 attendees this time.

Both Barcamp Mobile and Barcamp Auckland are happy to receive sponsorship.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8: make your voice heard

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Apr-2008 09:27

Many of you might know Internet Explorer 8 is being released in full standards mode.

I have an opportunity to provide your feedback to the Microsoft team - but only a couple of days so this need to be quick.

I am looking for your feedback in those topics:

- what do you think of this decision?
- what is the impact you think this will have on your customer or developer experience?
- any recommendations on how to make developers aware of this?

I understand Microsoft is planning to contact some tech websites around the world, to distribute information about these changes, FAQs and other material. This is related to the third question above. Do you see this as an effective way of doing it?

Anything else I forgot? Post in the comments here or contact me.

Imagine Cup 2008 New Zealand results are in

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Apr-2008 09:18

I spent Thursday last week at the Microsoft offices in Auckland, judging the Imagine Cup 2008. This year's topic is "environment" and we had very good entries in the contest.

The judges were instructed to select three teams to go to the New Zealand finals, but we couldn't select only three - so at the end we agreed to select four teams to go through. You can get more updated information on the competition on the Microsoft NZ Student blog.

The teams are pictured below, in no particular order:

Do you have any questions about OOXML? Ask the team

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Apr-2008 08:03

I have the chance to post some questions ot the Microsoft Office team in Redmond about the OOXML standard, its approval and more.

If you have a question for the team please contact me and I will relay it. I post the answers here in my blog.

Professional Conference Attendee

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Apr-2008 21:08

I work full time on Geekzone. But a lot of people still don't know and ask what do I do... Here is the truth:

Professional Conference Attendee

(click for larger version)

Geekzone Pizza evening is full

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Apr-2008 20:14

While chatting in the #geekzone IRC channel we decided it was time for Geekzone users to get together again for some geek talk, dinner and drinks.

As soon as we decided on a date we had people sending SMS, IMs and Twitters to friends, booking flights to Wellington and soon after we announced the Geekzone Pizza evening in our forums we knew this would be big.

Well it is big. We are happy to announce we have now reached our self-imposed limit (and the venue capacity) of 45 confirmed people.

I am also happy to announce that a few companies joined us to sponsor this evening. So here is the list (a couple more may join later and I will update the post, but these are the confirmed ones at the time we closed registrations):

The first to come on board sponsoring the pizza is WorldxChange!

Then in alphabetical order:

3Bit will be present and is sponsoring drinks;

ASUS is giving an ASUS Eee PC (Windows version) away;

Dell is giving a Dell Photo Printer away;

Google is sponsoring drinks - and expect some Google swag on the night;

Microsoft is giving away a couple of copies of Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1 and some other software;

QuayCorp will have a couple of people attending and are giving a Viewsonic vx2235wm widescreen monitor and a HP Deskjet F4185 printer away;

Telecom New Zealand is giving a couple of their mobile broadband express cards away.

As I said, we have a couple of still unconfirmed sponsors, and when or if they confirm I will update this post.

If your company wants to sponsor this evening with a prize, please contact me. I am sure you would get great exposure from this ;)

Windows XP for Asus Eee PC and others: guaranteed until 2010

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Apr-2008 19:56

Asus has just announced the Eee PC with pre-installed Windows XP and th big question came up: what's going to happen to these little machines, since Windows XP is supposedly being retired from this year?

Microsoft has just announced something that will help this new class of small computer keep running for a few more years - Microsoft has announced that it will extend the availability of Windows XP Home edition for this emerging type of computer referred to as an ultra-low-cost PCs (ULCPC).

The extension will run until either 30 June 2010 or one year after general availability of the next version of Windows – whichever is later.

Of course people will ask "what about Windows Vista?". It all come down to requirements it appears. According to David Rayner, Microsoft NZ Windows Platform Marketing Manager:

While Windows Vista provides many benefits, including an easier and more secure user experience, Windows XP Home edition provides an effective solution on these emerging devices from a performance and cost perspective.

ULCPCs are a new and growing class of mobile computers designed for customers interested in complementing their primary Windows-based PCs with additional, lower spec’d computers. These machines vary, but typically have smaller screen sizes and lower-powered processors than more expensive mobile PCs.

Is Telecom New Zealand going to release Windows Mobile 6.1 for its devices?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Apr-2008 16:16

Microsoft has announced Windows Mobile 6.1 and I was curious to find out if Telecom New Zealand has any plans to release this updated mobile OS for its devices - the HTC Titan, the Okta Touch and the upcoming Samsung Ace.

All these devices have equivalents on Sprint (Mogul by HTC, Touch by HTC and Samsung Ace respectively) and will be getting upgrades according to the U.S. release.

So I contacted the helpful folks there and here is the official information I received from Telecom New Zealand:

The Windows 6.1 Phone client has been released into the market, and customers will have access to this - and be able to download the client.

In terms of TNZ devices, we have every intention to provide this updated platform to our customers.
We are awaiting the matching back-end functionality/server platform to be released from Microsoft.  This will enable us to test and approve a full end-to-end solution, that has been thoroughly tested on our devices.  Timeframe for this part of the solution, is around mid year, with an additional testing leadtime.
Up until that time, customers who do choose to download the upgrade - without it being officially supported or tested by TNZ, may face operating issues, bugs or in some extreme cases - a loss of functionality on their device. This situation is not new, as many applications, software updates, and patches are released by Microsoft & OEM's currently - and should be downloaded or applied by customers at their own risk.

Very nice, providing a tested solution to the market. But it sounds like Telecom's system integrator Gen-i is running the show. I am sure IT Pros will be happy. 

But what about the consumer market, those users who just want the latest OS to take advantage of all the new features and enhancements that do not require Microsoft Exchange Server or System Center Device Manager?

I have already heard of people running "cooked" Windows Mobile 6.1 ROMs in some TNZ Titan devices around the country. So this is a great opportunity to bring the official one earlier for consumer users.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

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