JetStream users seek refunds over service problems

Disgruntled Telecom customers are lining up looking for a refund for their JetStream accounts, some of which have been out for up to a day at a time.

Disgruntled Telecom customers are lining up looking for a refund for their JetStream accounts, some of which have been out for up to a day at a time.

One Plimerton-based user of JetStream says he will definitely be demanding a rebate off Telecom.

"I pay for the service and it's been out all weekend. I can't roll my 400 megabytes over to next month, so they owe me money. It's that simple."

The user, who didn't wish to be named until he's talked to Telecom, says his JetStream connection often drops out and he rarely minds as he only uses the service for the basic internet functions like email and surfing. However having the service down for more than a few hours is simply not on.

"I spent hours on hold with Telecom as well being told there's no problem or it's a problem with my ISP or my equipment. Finally I got someone to admit they had a problem, but they should be more upfront about it."

Earlier this week IDGNet reported on one user who had managed to get a partial refund from Xtra (see Outages continue despite Telecom's claims). David Slack says the problem has been ongoing for months and finally he demanded a refund.

"I called the helpdesk and said I wanted a refund for the weekend and they said they'd give me 10% on the ISP side of the deal, which I claim as a small moral victory," he says.

Telecom spokeswoman Mary Parker says all customers can call their ISP or the ADSL helpdesk to discuss Jetstream connection problems.

"Regarding credits due to ADSL outages there are few contractual grounds for compensation due the most recent ADSL disruptions. However, JetStream and JetStart customers are welcome to call 123 or 126 and discuss a compromise with our staff," says Parker.

Under the JetStream terms and conditions for residential users there is a number of ways users can claim compensation from Telecom, however lack of service isn't one of them.

The list includes property damage, incorrect phone book listings and late installation of a phone line. Clause 16, exclusion of all other liability, then explains that the Telecom group of companies is not liable: "to you or has to pay you for anything else caused by or resulting from anything any of them does or does not do, or delays in doing, whether or not it is contemplated or authorised by any agreement you have with us."

While Telecom has tried to rule out all possible forms of liability, if a user does find a way of proving Telecom is liable, Clause 17, limitation of our liability, puts a cap on just how much a user can claim: "[Five thousand dollars] for any event or for any series of related events" for a total of $10,000 in any 12 month period.

Business users fair slightly better.

"Where a service we provide to you is affected because we do not meet our responsibilities to you, and you reasonably incur expenses as a result, please let us know. Where we consider it appropriate, we will refund to you all or part of those expenses."

However, the maximum that can be claimed in a 12 month period is $2000, although if you can prove Telecom was liable in any other way the limit is $100,000.

The internet code of practice, introduced by the Internet Society, now InternetNZ, in 1999 does not address the issue of non-provision of service.

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