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COVID-19 a problem? Try switching your broadband provider!

Spark, Contact, NZ Post and Chorus.

Note: This article is a little garbled – I’ll edit it as we go!

We decided after much thinking and research to move away from Spark and use Contact for our broadband. It is quite a bit cheaper when combined with our power account. I discussed this with Contact and arranged for a transfer date of August 6 to allow for the 30 days notice Spark required and I was to let Spark know and arrange for an account termination on the 10th of August, giving us 4 days in case there were issues. I called Spark (7th July) and informed them that I was transferring our broadband account away from them and set up a date for the billing to end on the 10th of August.

Two days later I received an e-mail from Contact telling me that the transfer date was the 15th of July. This meant I’d be paying Spark until the 10th of August for broadband service that was now with Contact. I contacted Spark and explained. Apparently they had a transfer date of the 15th of July set up too – why not the 10th of August they did not know. I called Contact to explain and to also explain again that we were on a VDSL connection, not an ADSL connection and that the e-mail telling me of the revised changeover date was wrong in that respect – it was VDSL not ADSL. Their response left me feeling they did not really understand the point and this was not very reassuring. A modem was to be sent by NZ Post and would arrive in plenty of time (two days away!).

Of course today the NZ Post delivery was not made – “either because it needed a signature, or we didn’t think it was safe to leave it” and it was to be re-delivered. We were at home and not much of an attempt was made to get a signature and it was perfectly safe to leave it – the postie must have been in a hurry and just took off with our router, which we need now, for tomorrow! The note left says redelivery from the next business day. Does this mean the next business day or after the next business day – not clear…

Now, by visiting the NZ Post website and making a few attempts to enter a tracking number – the tracking number has a space after three letters but apparently you are supposed to know that you don’t enter the space. So much stupid webdesign! Anyway, I can see that they do not have any redelivery information! There is no number to call and a message that information might be displayed shortly. What “shortly” means is not clear – is it 10 minutes or 10 hours?

So, we’ve been subjected to appalling service by three big companies, spoken to 6 or 7 people, spent around 3 hours on hold or talking to various staff, sent and received 7 e-mails and I am sitting here wondering why we have to be subjected to all this incompetence. Of course there is a third party in all of this – Chorus, with whom I have not had any contact. Both broadband providers seem to be hinting that Chorus was the source of all the confusion. Which may be true – who could possibly know, who cares. Enough of my life has been wasted on this.

Well, it’s the next day/evening and we now have no landline. We have no new router – it was not delivered today either and the NZ Post parcel tracking app just says they don’t know where it is (!)  So no way of getting onto voice IP through Contact. Contact, by the way, sent two emails this morning, one stating that they’d be in contact with me regarding the changeover scheduled for today, followed a little while later by another email saying I’d be contacted by them for the changeover scheduled for the 6th of August. Our broadband is still operating on the Spark IP address but our landline phone on the copper is not.

It’s not clear what our next step should be however it seems there will be another hour or two on the phone tomorrow, on hold most of the time, while we try and unravel the mess. Spark were nearly helpful at one stage but missed the mark on some info. Hopefully our broadband will stay working! It’s all very frustrating…

It’s now the 1st of August. We have been without a landline for over two weeks, we are still connected to Spark broadband and it seems they are not aware of this as the broadband connection has still not been switched over to Contact, So we effectively have free broadband at the moment.I’m begining to suspect that Chorus are the real culprits. Obviously their systems for this sort of thing have been confused by earlier errors made by either Spark or Contact. Who would know… If I tried to run a business with such systematic confusion we’d only last a month or two!



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Spark, Contact, NZ Post and Chorus.