TUANZ: Telecom needs to change JetStream billing model

Telecom should review its billing procedure to provide users of broadband services with a better picture of their usage says Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) chief executive Ernie Newman.

Telecom should review its billing procedure to provide users of broadband services with a better picture of their usage says Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) chief executive Ernie Newman.

He says that as the JetStream uptake increases the billing will become an issue. He believes Telecom's JetStream pricing as a whole needs investigating further.

"It's quite difficult to reconcile JetStream price on the site with what you actually end up paying in reality."

This follows two IDGNet stories on the problems associated with users being charged by the download under Telecom's JetStream service (see DSL users could end up paying for DoS attacks and Telecom user stung for $600 for unwanted data).

Telecom insists users will be secure if they use a firewall and won't be billed for things like DoS attacks or excessive usage. But it refuses to discuss where its billing system sits in the network and insists data that is bounced off a firewall will not be counted against a user's account.

"All I can say is if people are concerned they should be monitoring their usage every day. It's a real time monitor and they should get in touch with us immediately if anything's wrong," says spokesman Andrew Bristol.

He says Telecom has a free number for customers to call - 0800 253 878 - and an email address jetstream@telecom.co.nz if they do have issues surrounding their billing.

Like TUANZ's Newman, Grant Cherrington, a systems engineer with Wellington-based solution provider Initiative Technology, would also like to see a more detailed bill for broadband use.

"We get the bill and have to pour over our logs to see what's what." Telecom's bill only lists the overall megabyte usage that month, but Cherrington says it would be very helpful for Telecom to break that down.

"I think any major user of that technology would benefit from it." He says planning ahead would be that much easier if he knew what traffic was coming and going and could filter out "half the rubbish that comes through".

Newman says Telecom would also do well to better advertise exactly how much its JetStream charges are as it is very difficult to extract that information from Telecom's JetStream website.

"Even under 'questions about JetStream' there's nothing about price. What's more fundamental than that?"

Newman says Telecom charges more than any other OECD country to install DSL and that is also of concern.

"There are aspects of the way Telecom is rolling out JetStream that almost suggests to me that they don't want people to ask for it."

Related Story:

DSL users report problems with Telecom billing

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