Trouble in Paradise

Paradise customers are complaining of slow response times and poor service from the ISP's helpdesk.

Paradise customers are complaining of slow response times and poor service from the ISP's helpdesk.

The complaints come as TelstraClear has begun routing Paradise helpdesk calls to TelstraClear's Auckland-based fault centre. Wellington-based staff have begun moving to Auckland and the transition will be complete from the end of the month.

TelstraClear public affairs manager Quentin Bright says the integration of the two ISPs, Paradise and ClearNet, is continuing although no decision has been made public yet as to the future of the two brands.

"But we are integrating the back-end systems and that includes helpdesk and support services."

Paradise currently employs 32 helpdesk staff, six of whom have already moved to the Auckland centre.

Bright says there are clearly "some issues" while the systems are integrated. He says users should have a wait time on average of between six and 22 minutes although IDGNet has heard from a number of users claiming waiting times of over an hour.

One Paradise user said he was cut off at about the time his wait hit 30 minutes. "I'm sure you can guess how excruciating I found this complete lack of professionalism."

Another user who contacted IDGNet switched his primary ISPs from ClearNet to Paradise because of what he describes as "superior service and understanding" from the Paradise staff.

"I've been involved in this industry since the 1970s and so I tend to know the answers to the basic questions before they ask. If I ring up it's probably a little bit past the basic level and Paradise has someone on their phones who can answer the question."

He describes the move to integrate the two at Clear's fault centre as "sounding like a retrograde step" and would rather see Clear's team move to the Paradise model.

Last week Computerworld reported on problems with the integration of TelstraSaturn and Clear's call centre, to be based in Christchurch, with similar results: waiting times were increasing (Howard's end to the long queue problem). Chief executive Rosemary Howard blamed "teething problems" at the centre for the delays.

Bright says any helpdesk staff who choose not to move to Auckland will be offered a redundancy package based on their length of service prior to the merger plus outplacement assistance.

"Obviously not all of the staff will want to move to Auckland for whatever reason but we are planning to keep the numbers static for the foreseeable future."

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