Musical chairs for ISP customers

In an ironic twist of fate liquidated ISP Asia Online's new owner, Dresden Equities, is offering consumer customers of Voyager almost three months of free internet access.

In an ironic twist of fate liquidated ISP Asia Online's new owner, Dresden Equities, is offering consumer customers of Voyager almost three months of free internet access.

This follows Voyager's parent company's decision to pull out of the New Zealand residential market.

In November when Asia Online's parent company announced it had placed the New Zealand branch in voluntary liquidation, along with its Australian and Hong Kong counterparts, there was a flurry of activity among ISPs fighting for a share of the user base.

"Every man and his dog who had a server seemed to think they'd be capable of hosting us," said one Asia Online customer, auction site TradeMe's managing director, Nigel Stanford, at the time.

Another ISP, StrongNet, ran into trouble with domain name registry company Domainz, for spamming Asia Online customers.

At the time, Dresden Equities managing director Michael Spencer was less than impressed with the way ISPs acted.

"Ultimately so many of them were out there circling that it backfired and customers are telling us they're sick of it. It's reduced their credibility, not ours," he said in early November.

Now his company is targeting Voyager customers with an offer designed to lure them over to an ISP that has been "designed for residential customers only and proves a system custom made for the New Zealand market and clients needs" according to a press statement put out by the company.

Voyager has signed a deal with the number one ISP, Xtra, to add its consumers to Xtra's customer base. This will allow users to keep their Voyager email address for the first six months, although the decision to switch to Xtra or not is entirely up to the users themselves.

Interestingly, Asia Online customers in Australia were handed off to another company in a deal similar to the one agreed on by Voyager and Xtra. That company was OzEmail, parent company to Voyager.

The great consumer user hand-off continues.

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