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Slingshot and Woosh woes... Xtra nominated worst ISP in New Zealand

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Nov-2007 20:30

Interesting that Xtra received a mention in the latest Consumer survey (subscription required) as the worst ISP in the country.

Xtra had some problems, no doubt. The Go Large fiasco for example. To refresh your memory, Xtra promised "unleashed" broadband and one specific plan ("Go Large") was supposed to allow "unlimited" downloads with reduced speeds at certain times of the day.

What people found out is that the slow speeds were common at any time, and the service was unusable.

Telecom put it right though, by offering a refund to affected users.

Then the "bubble", the e-mail migration from Xtra servers to Yahoo! servers based in Australia, which caused (and still causes) headaches to users trying to get to their emails, or simply receive e-mails from friends.

Once again Telecom put it right, by offering an automatic compensation, plus an one million dollars donation to charities in New Zealand.

Now I read around the Geekzone forums that two ISPs are in similar trouble. The difference is that Telecom put it right, but the other ISPs don't see to be moving to make it right.

First is Woosh (see discussions 1, 2, and 3 in our Woosh forum). The ISP offered an "unlimited" plan but it sees the 1,000 users still in this plan are using more than Woosh predicted. So instead of a fix, Woosh moved all those users to a reduced speed pool, 24/7, providing speeds that are just below dial-up speeds, while charging the same as before.

But for the first time I am also seeing something I haven't come across much before: people that actually vote with their feet, close their accounts and move to another ISP - in this particular case it seems like a mass migration to Xnet. Xnet is wel known to Geekzone users, because their technical people are active in our forums and provide a great service (I use their VoIP service VFX over my TelstraClear cable modem connection).

Then there's Slingshot, which seems to provide less service than promised (and a discussion in our Broadband forum). In short, it seems that users who are restricted to dial-up speeds on Slingshot as part of contract, also have restrictions on services. Once you use your quote for the month you can access websites and e-mail but that is it. You can't connect to other Internet services such as IRC, Instant Messaging and so on.

The problem is that this restriction is not listed in their site, so when users ask why some services are not working, Slingshot help desk people tell them to "buy more data blocks", which will "unleash" the speeds - and unblock the services.

The discussion is going on, and a self-claimed Slingshot employee says this is not the case, most likely a CSR with wrong information at hand. So let's see how it ends.

Really, is there any limits in what users have to accept? And was Xtra "worst New Zealand ISP" deserved after all?

By the way, here's the list (best to worst):

Kiwi Online

Other related posts:
Microsoft Ignite New Zealand, Microsoft Surface Studio
Geekzone data analytics with Power BI
Now with more fibre

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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!

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