We'll burst Telecom's Bubble, say Xtra users

By Jarrod Booker

Internet customers are threatening to ditch Telecom after losing access to their email, but the company says the introduction of the enhanced new service that led to the problems will be worth waiting for.

Thousands of customers have complained of being unable to access their email or being bombarded by spam since Telecom undertook a major upgrade for more than 500,000 clients over the weekend.

And late on Monday night, Telecom discovered a fault that was still preventing some customers registering for the newly installed Yahoo!Xtra Bubble system. Bubble is being touted as providing, at no extra cost, "an exciting range of new services that will change the way you use the internet".

Telecom said the majority of its customers had been unaffected, but some disgruntled Xtra customers contacted the Herald saying they would leave Telecom over it. "This fiasco has cost Telecom my confidence and all my telecommunications business, internet, tolls, phone lines, the lot," said customer John O'Hara.

Rival internet provider ihug is standing ready to take on customers who quit Telecom. "For customers who are irate and want to move there is a real hot offer out there," said ihug marketing head David Joyce.

Telecom head of consumer propositions, Adrian Littlewood, urged people to be patient as the fault was sorted out. Staff had been working around the clock to fix the fault. Most problems had been with people trying to access webmail, but other "smaller issues" had been fixed along the way.

"We are obviously sorry for the inconvenience we have caused for customers and just want to get it right. We have had some fantastic feedback from customers [about Yahoo!Xtra Bubble]."

Telecom has already stated that it will not offer compensation to customers left without email access.

This left some affected customers outraged.

"How can they not possibly be prepared to compensate customers for loss of communication time - especially with businesses relying on email for their communication?" one customer told the Herald.

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