Telecom has inadvertently constrained the speeds of 60,000 of its biggest broadband customers since December 2006. The company announced today that it will credit customers on its Go Large broadband service, after an internal technical review showed that internet traffic has not been managed the way Telecom intended.
Go Large was promoted as having traffic management applied to certain applications, but since December the traffic management process has affected all forms of activity.
“Following customer feedback, our own review has shown that the process involved in managing Go Large internet traffic since early December is not what was originally intended or communicated to customers,” says Telecom’s consumer marketing manager Kevin Bowler.
“The really sad aspect of Telecom’s mismanagement of its ‘Go Large’ plan is that the already low level of trust customers have in phone companies will diminish even further,” says Ernie Newman, chief executive of the Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ).
“Its good that Telecom has come clean, confessed to the mistake, and pro-actively arranged refunds,” he says. “We applaud their openness.
“But sadly it is another episode in a chain of events where customers have signed up for broadband services that were advertised as offering attractive speeds or data limits, but in reality have delivered a whole lot less.
“Telecom needs to understand better that many people organise their lives around the availability of quality telecommunications services. Increasingly they make business, lifestyle, and even location decisions based on expected telecommunications service quality,” says Newman.
“Something in Telecom needs to change. There have been too many disappointments, too much over-promising and under-delivering. This simply adds to the concern of many people that when it comes to the impact of broadband on customers’ lives and businesses, Telecom has not yet got the message,” says Newman.
TUANZ will implement a full review of how Telecom manages and implements its broadband services, he says.
Refunds are expected to total $8.5 million. Go Large customers will be contacted directly by Telecom in the next two weeks and automatically receive the credit, says the company.