I have always maintained that KCCS is nothing more than a glorified
collecting service for Telecom. Over the years KCCS has become almost
totally dependant on services from Telecom as they, for all practical
purposes, had the total monopoly on telephone and data services.
This has become more so as KC, from March 1996, moved away from dealing with Waikato University for International data services to directly dealing with Netway, a wholly owned Telecom subsidiary.
Now my attitude has totally changed. (that was in 1997)
To say that I get angry every time Telecom is mentioned is an understatement.
The messing around I have had to put up with from them, broken promises on Stacked Wideband Digital Data services, the announcements that Telecom recognised ISPs as an important business area and have appointed yet another ISP support team/senior manager to take care of our interests, etc., etc., are now all (with 20/20 hindsight) nothing more than an absolute load of bullshit. I have definitely learned that Telecom are masters of telling customers what they want to hear while having no intention or else being totally incapable of delivering promised solutions.
The reason I say this is because over the last year (since August 1995)
KCCS has been treated with (IMHO) what borders on total contempt by
Telecom. The Telecom staff I have had to deal with have made promises and
statements that Telecom were subsequently not prepared to honour.
This has cost KC many lost hours in wasted meetings and phone calls and led to investment in some very costly routing equipment to manage the promised services (the Telecom employee concerned pushed us to get the equipment asap so that the service could be installed).
The situation moved into total stupidity when half of the promised service was installed (at one of three sites in NZ) and Telecom proved that the service was technically viable.
Now just a couple of months down the track we have seen Xtra slashing their
end user rates. $2.50 per hour connect time to Xtra in the major centres.
Wow!, immediate panic from many existing ISPs. How can Xtra offer such a low rate?
A slightly more cursory look at Xtra pricing shows that $2.50 rate is using local dial in numbers in a free dail zone. Outside the major centres there is a $4.95 (or whatever) per hour charge BUT that is using an 0800 dial up number.
Some simple arithmetic. Telcom are selling Xtra 0800 number services for $2.35 per hour!!! How can this be? Call any Telecom sales office and the per minute charges for an 0800 number service is certainly much much higher that $2.45 divided by 60 (about 4c per minute).
And how do Telecom and Xtra justify this?
So now Telecom have used this 'largest ISP in NZ' to justify the price of 0800 number services they provide to Xtra. Apparently anyone with comparable size to Xtra can easily negociate similar 0800 number pricing from Telecom (so they say).Just who the hell is trying to fool who?
Will we ever actually see any of this? Will Telecom disclose the Xtra
user numbers (that can be verified) or truthfully disclose the costs
of running the Xtra ISP or what value of existing Telecom resources are
used by Xtra?
Certainly not. And why should they?
So for this independant business entity rubbish.
What does it mean?
As far as this somewhat myopic ISP can see Xtra are getting some very favourable deals from their parent company. The list is:
Anyway my real heartfelt feeling about Telecom and Xtra could be summed up
by the statement:
Bastards. I hope they go out of business asap.
So now I see that Chris Tyler the bossman of Telecom's Xtra ISP service is
trying to cover his ass as much as possible. He obviously knows about the
complaints either at or on their way to the commerce commission and new
threats of legal action against Telecom seem to be coming from more
directions practically every day.
So his latest ploy is to make it public knowledge that any ISP in New Zealand can get the same priced 0800 number services from Telecom as Xtra obtain. The cop out for Telecom is that Xtra gets bulk prices because of the volume of 0800 number business they do.
Nobody at Xtra or Telecom seems to have any idea what this level of business is or if there is some scale of service or other published scheme with business levels vs prices paid.
One ISP in Hamilton, The Net, has already seen some business moving from them to Xtra. Mike Sanderson cannot get 0800 number service from Telecom for anything near the rate Xtra is advertising.
When he contacted his account manager after seeing an article in the Waikato Times where Xtra boss Chris Tyler had stated that ISPs can get the same 0800 number deals, Mike called his Telecom account manager Peter Vincent to ask for the same deal. Of course Vincent was lost and referred Mike to Clive Litt, Telecom's Media Relations Manager who came out with that well rehearsed story about same prices if you are doing the volumes Xtra are. When Mike pointed out the simple truth that Xtra had these prices from day one and that they had zero customers before that day then how could they be a volume user of Telecom 0800 number services. Too much for Clive Litt so up the Telecom ladder again to a Barry Davis, Market Opportunities, a person who again had the same cost/volume story but promised he would find out more. Problem with this person was that he refused to give Mike his contact number and said that further enquiries had to go his account manager Peter Vincent.
Mike intends to pursue this further next week as he can see Xtra daily taking his customers, the only reason being cost and the very favourably priced 0800 number service that Xtra have. I will be following this one with some interest and I will be calling KC's account manager next week to demand the same 0800 services.
Anyway Clive Litt's number is Wellington (04) 498 9361. Please call him and ask for an explanation.
..and now a warning about Xtra's latest marketing techniques...
From: email@example.com (BR) Newsgroups: soc.culture.new-zealand,nz.general,ihug.people,ihug.general Subject: BEWARE OF LARGE CORPORATIONS BEARING GIFTS. Date: Fri, 04 Apr 1997 06:26:55 GMT Organization: The Internet Group Ltd Lines: 26 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> NNTP-Posting-Host: 184.108.40.206 X-Newsreader: Forte Free Agent 1.1/32.230 Xref: kcbbs soc.culture.new-zealand:44957 nz.general:60565 Last week, someone at my work was silly enough to go to Dick Smith's, pick up one of those Telecon Xtra free install disks, and install it on one of the firm's computers. It stomped all over the existing version of Netscape, and when it was installed, it wouldn't allow us to log on to our ISP. We tried uninstalling it, but to no avail. It kept on telling us that it wouldn't log on for security reasons. We tried uninstalling both versions of Netscape, and re-installing the proper version, but the Xtra directory buttons were still there, along with the same problems. In the end we fixed it by deleting any files that were changed or installed on the the same day that the Xtra disks were installed. So, if you are reading this, and are feeling charitable, you might like to follow these simple instructions: 1) Pay a visit to your nearest Dickhead Smith's store. 2) Grab the whole box of Xtra free install disks. 3) Throw them in the dustbin. Have a nice day. Bill. Telecon Xtra. Don't just say no, tell them to stick it up their arse.