Network outage response slated

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2013
richard taylor
ALEXIA JOHNSTON/Fairfax NZ
NOT HAPPY: Richard Taylor wants answers after he was forced to manually process eftpos transactions using a zip-zap machine during a three-day broadband outage.

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Businessman Richard Taylor wants to be assured that last week's widespread broadband outage across Geraldine is being investigated.

Mr Taylor, of The Cottage Pantry, was one of at least 130 Telecom customers affected by the outage in Geraldine, which started on Friday and ended on Monday.

He was initially told by Telecom that his modem was the problem.

"I was advised that my only option would be to purchase another [modem] from an IT [information technology] supplier."

Anxious to get the problem resolved, Mr Taylor went home to get his own modem, only to find the replacement did not solve the problem.

Telecom later admitted there was a network problem and that Chorus technicians were investigating the fault.

By this stage Mr Taylor had started to rely heavily on a "zip-zap machine" to process eftpos transactions manually.

"On Saturday there was still no broadband and the same on Sunday. All the time Telecom support people . . . were happy to hide behind the fact that it was a Chorus problem and therefore nothing to do with them."

Mr Taylor asked a Telecom representative who he should talk to at Chorus, but he was told that it was not possible.

"I was also told that a team leader would call me back on the Saturday morning, but failed to do so."

The problem continued throughout Sunday. However, Mr Taylor said if it had been resolved he would not have known because he was unaware that unplugging the modem would throw out the machine's configurations. As a result, the machine would not work until it was reconfigured.

He was frustrated that the person who told him to unplug it did not highlight that vital piece of information.

He said that as a small business owner he was just as dependent on broadband as he was on power and water.

"As a business customer of Telecom they charge me for a service and they should be able to empathise with my problem, reassure me that they are driving it to a conclusion and look at how to secure compensation for ‘their' customers when Chorus fail to deliver.

"To simply sit at the end of a phone and say, ‘We are waiting for an update from Chorus', is unacceptable, unprofessional and, quite frankly, pathetic."

Staff at the Geraldine Community Resource Centre were also without broadband for the same length of time as Mr Taylor.

The Herald requested an update on the situation from Telecom and Chorus on Tuesday. Telecom indicated it would provide a response today.

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- The Timaru Herald

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