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Frustrated ACT iiNet customers struggle to connect

By Charlotte Harper 9 January 2017 22

iiNet complaints

Have you come home from the holidays to find your internet is down? We did, and spent much of the first morning back at work for 2017 getting it sorted. The recorded message that answered calls to internet service provider iiNet this morning immediately alerted the listener to the fact that there were iiNet NBN outages in Canberra and that technicians were working to get everyone back online, but with no end in sight, that information doesn’t help much when you have work to do.

Dozens of Canberrans have taken to Twitter and Facebook to complain about the service being down and about frustrations in their dealings with tech support staff. Others have pointed out that iiNet’s Twitter account appears to be unmanned. The account has not tweeted since January 3. Why not tweet the same message that is recorded on the answering service? Communication is preferable to silence, even when the news is not good.

iiNet

Back to our phone call to tech support … as we’re not on NBN, we held on to speak to an operator and immediately explained the situation i.e. that the service was required in order for our business to continue to operate. Jason in Cape Town managed to solve the problem within 45 minutes. After ruling out a fault in our area, with Telstra, with the modem or the line, he ran some tests at iiNet’s end and managed to find the issue and fix it.

Having switched to iiNet from Telstra late last year we’ve been very happy with our service, which provides more than six times the download speed and four times the upload speed we’d had with the Bigpond ADSL service. However, there have been a couple of dropouts in the past week, and we’ll be watching closely in coming weeks.

iiNet complaints

IT specialist media has reported widely on iiNet issues in Sydney, blaming technical and support issues on the fallout from the acquisition in 2015 of the ISP by TPG as well as teething problems for the NBN generally. Perth-based iiNet had an excellent reputation for customer service prior to the takeover, Lifehacker reports in this in-depth examination of the business, but has since laid off hundreds of staff and closed its Sydney office.

Have you been affected by iiNet outages today or in recent days? How have you found customer service?

iiNet complaints


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Frustrated ACT iiNet customers struggle to connect
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RocketRodd 9:53 pm 02 May 17

Currently getting just 340kbps download and 850kbps upload here in Gowrie. The TransACT Supersonic is supposed to be giving me upward of 8mbps. This is garbage!! iiNet don’t have a clue what the problem is and can’t see anything wrong with Telstra’s infrastructure. I’m wondering if the road work on Ashley Drive, between here and the exchange in Monash, is causing issues. Either way, I’m looking for another provider. Any suggestions?

tardis 11:19 pm 20 Apr 17

I’ve recently had very slow NBN speeds in peak times around (8pm to 11pm) in March ( on 100mb download plan usually get 94 mbps out of peak) down as low as 5 mbps on a few nights then around 15 to 20 mbps. I suspect its congestion ( more specifically a high contention ratio issue)

Now in May peak time downloads have got somewhat better, up to between 25_45mbps

Over easter break and school holidays peak time speeds have gone right back up to near speeds as per my plan probably because of people away on holidays.

I will have to wait til next week to see if speed in peak is consistently better( after Anzac day when term 2 school starts)

Customer service has deteriorated to the point that I don’t recognise iiNet as the same company that I signed on to over 3 years ago. It is really sad. I along with many Gungahlin residents had to put up with miserable internet and service from Telstra before NBN and it was refreshing to change to iiNet back then anyway with much better service and pricing.

Firstly email query about slow speeds was ignored and on their toolbox I saw my email case closed without any communication with me

I knew I would be waiting ages on the phone after a voip problem around 6 months earlier and reading about iinet service going pear shaped. I was also quite angered at the email request to investigate slow speeds so I submitted a TIO complaint along with my 1.5 hour wait on the phone only to be told that the fibre team in Australia were the only ones that could help and they would pass on the problem.

A few days later a received a phone call from a iiNet customer relations person ( I am sure the TIO application was the only reason I got the call at all or at least within a reasonable time). He acknowledged the speed issue on my connection and upon my request even offered to apply some credit to my account.

Unfortunately after this everything went pear shaped. It seemed the more the iiNet rep talked to his superiors the worse my support got.

Now they tell my they will not do any testing themselves but I would be required to do a range of tests myself which I’m confident most people would agree were way over the top
https://iihelp.iinet.net.au/NBN_Fibre_Required_Speed_Troubleshooting

These were a multitude of tests over three days morning noon and night, too bad if you had to be at work. There were a range of technical tests that would be beyond many people but my point to iiNet was I shouldn’t have to give up my precious time to carry out these tests and I couldn’t do them during the day because I would be at work anyway. it was like taking a TV to be repaired but beforehand being required to buy a technical manual and equipment to test and diagnose what was needed to be repaired before handing it over for repair.

All this on top of them previously admitting that I had a speed issue and then denying it later.

I’ve spoken to the TIO and they have escalated the issue. Not sure how this issue will pan out but the main reason I’m posting this is to alert people to the atrocious service iiNet now offer if you have a problem and dare to stand up for yourself.

I’m not sure if any other providers are much better but I’m dismayed with how I’ve been treated. It takes time to change providers and I also have all our mobile plans with my children, myself and my wife so its a conundrum about the best way to go; I’m at least hoping that the speed issue will clear up consistently.

If you are deciding on an NBN provider I would recommend that you avoid iiNet. They need to get the message that customer service should be a high priority and not fog people off with ridiculous testing requirements required by the customer and no ability to get help when poor performance is experienced; to the point of aggressive rudeness when you try and question their poor customer service and rigid procedures designed to suit them and the obvious cost cutting within their organisation.

Chris Mordd Richards 2:08 am 17 Jan 17

BTE does anyone remember the really old ISP DingoBlue? Hands down to this day still the best ISP I was ever with, for the couple of years or so until they got bought out the service went down the drain and I had to change. I miss DingoBlue!

http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/24848/dingo_blue_closure_expected_effect_isp_competition_say_players/

Chris Mordd Richards 2:01 am 17 Jan 17

JC said :

canberra born n bred said :

John Moulis said :

Is iiNet the old TransACT? I’ve written here under various pseudonyms about the horror period I switched from Telstra Bigpond to TransACT cable with the promise I would get faster Internet. Right from the start YouTube videos began buffering. Their Net went down on Christmas Eve that year and there was no phone support, it kept ringing out. It wasn’t put back on until the second week of January.

I phoned them and said I was cancelling the contract. They charged me $500.00 then a further $200.00 for getting out of the bundling.

When I phoned Telstra to get Bigpond ADSL2+ put back on the tech told me that TransACT had trashed the old connections and he would have to install a whole new node and line from the telephone pole.

If the NBN ever comes to our suburb I will be bypassing all the cowboy outfits and dealing exclusively with Telstra. And I’m not being paid to say this.

john

My parents switched over to Transact when they first came out saying how better & bigger they would be was with them up until recently when iiNet bought them out..Unhapoy with the service they switched to Optus..when tech came out had to also install new line as Transact had done something to the lines so you couldn’t switch carriers…After 40+ years they have had to change to a new phone number..my dad has lost a lot of business as his regular. Liners were calling his original number Optus can’t put a diversion on their old number as it is now classed as dead

Your parents were given the wrong advice re number porting it seems.

If as you say they ported their number to Transact in the first place then that number could be ported off to another carrier without any issues. That said Transact would probably say not possible, because it wasn’t possible to port numbers from the number range that Transact actually owned. Though believe now fixed. The core difference is if you port a number to a carrier your number still technically belongs to the original carrier. They make an entry in a routing table now saying that number is with carrier X. Want to port back then the original carrier needs to change the entry and all done, but of course needs to be requested by the carrier that is now providing that service.

And re cutting the line to stop people changing back, not quite true. As I mentioned above what some Transact installer would do is cut your incoming Telstra line at the point it enters the house and then join the Transact drop wire to the house wiring. Meant they didn’t have to do any internal cabling. Whilst a bit of a pain, all it would have required to go back is to get Telstra back to disconnect Transact and reconnect the Telstra line. 5-15 minutes work depending upon if the whole drop cable needed to be re-run.

At least there is 1 person in here not peddling furphies about this topic. From what I already knew and what I just checked, there should be no reason you cannot port the number. I am not saying they mightn’t have lied and told you it was impossible, but if so they were lying, because it can most certainly be done, even with the original non-portable TransACT block allocation which as JC says can now be ported.

JC’s comment about the line disconnection and reconnection is also true. if the Telstra tech is telling you that requires a new line, it is Telstra lying to you and wanting to rip you off, and they get away with because of the general bad rep of the NBN overall so ppl are willing to believe the big bad NBN installer screwed them and of course Telstra techs are always honest no matter what, and Telstra has never shown indications of caring more about customers dollars then providing good service in the past right…..

As yo TransACT itself… well it was always going to end up this way. It was structured badly, invovled a mix of different cabling techs that even to this day iiNet are still struggling to support and integrate properly with a wider network, and yes it ripped off the ACT taxpayers something big in the end. Thing is it’s hard to know when ppl complain about TransACT what their actual issue is though, because experiences of ppl on TransACT Cable vs VDSL vs ADSL differ widely and different problems are more inherent to different cabling techs in use. So overall ppl just presume it is all bad, or alternately hold out VDSL as the miracle that is better than a fibre optic NBN, without ever really bothering to understand the technology issues behind the different techs in the first place.

For the record, I spent 6 of my 9 years in the call centre industry as a ISP sales or support tech, for Telstra, Optus, OneTel (remember them!), AOL (shameful I know) and other ISP’s over the years. I only dealt with ADSL back then (this was before VDSL became a big thing) but I know quite well from that how the inner workings operate from the ISP side and not a huge amount has changed in that regards in my day, but I also know from that the lies that Telstra and also Optus have told customers endlessly over the years regarding number porting, new line installation and a wide variety of other issues.

“I have a view that ISPs, like banks, are pretty much of a muchness and that changing can create as many problems as it solves.”

^^ This is pretty accurate in 2017, while there are some better and some worse ISP’s these days, it has gotten to the point now where they all have inherent problems and are just as bad as each other most of the time. I have been an iiNet customer for 13 years consistently now though across 3 premises, and for the moment I am sticking with them. I have looked and I really don’t see a better alternative until I get the NBN give what I know about the industry so I don’t plan on considering a new ISP till then at this stage.

JC 12:17 am 17 Jan 17

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

That VDSL technology is the modern one that was in the Liberal’s business plan?

They had a business plan? Hmmm. And by modern, I meant modern in 1996, not modern in 2017 for NBN, which is what is being rolled out. Albeit the enhanced ADSL2 version (which Transact also has)

Well, this is what you said in an earlier post:

“Just curious if you knew it was the Liberal party that set-up Transact and its (loss making) business model. And no problems with my Google connection. Oddly my NBN fibre service was built by Transact, so all good.”

Dungers I said business model not plan. Subtle but important difference.

dungfungus 10:39 am 15 Jan 17

JC said :

dungfungus said :

That VDSL technology is the modern one that was in the Liberal’s business plan?

They had a business plan? Hmmm. And by modern, I meant modern in 1996, not modern in 2017 for NBN, which is what is being rolled out. Albeit the enhanced ADSL2 version (which Transact also has)

Well, this is what you said in an earlier post:

“Just curious if you knew it was the Liberal party that set-up Transact and its (loss making) business model. And no problems with my Google connection. Oddly my NBN fibre service was built by Transact, so all good.”

JC 4:02 pm 14 Jan 17

dungfungus said :

That VDSL technology is the modern one that was in the Liberal’s business plan?

They had a business plan? Hmmm. And by modern, I meant modern in 1996, not modern in 2017 for NBN, which is what is being rolled out. Albeit the enhanced ADSL2 version (which Transact also has)

dungfungus 7:16 am 14 Jan 17

JC said :

dungfungus said :

I am mystified how the NBN has ended up with TransACT fibre though – I understood that the NBN rejected a proposal from TransACT to take over their fibre network shortly before they sold out to iiNet.

Transact sold the VDSL network to iiNet in 2011 and fibre to NBN in 2013. In 2011 the fibre network would have been quite small hence maybe why NBN wasn’t interested. I don’t recall. And even on sale to NBN, it was on the agreement that Transact finish all estates they had already been signed up for.

But bet NBN kicking themselves they didn’t get the VDSL network, because that modern technology is what NBN are now mostly installing.

That VDSL technology is the modern one that was in the Liberal’s business plan?

JC 3:18 pm 13 Jan 17

dungfungus said :

I am mystified how the NBN has ended up with TransACT fibre though – I understood that the NBN rejected a proposal from TransACT to take over their fibre network shortly before they sold out to iiNet.

Transact sold the VDSL network to iiNet in 2011 and fibre to NBN in 2013. In 2011 the fibre network would have been quite small hence maybe why NBN wasn’t interested. I don’t recall. And even on sale to NBN, it was on the agreement that Transact finish all estates they had already been signed up for.

But bet NBN kicking themselves they didn’t get the VDSL network, because that modern technology is what NBN are now mostly installing.

Dreadnaught1905 1:25 pm 13 Jan 17

dungfungus said :

I am mystified how the NBN has ended up with TransACT fibre though – I understood that the NBN rejected a proposal from TransACT to take over their fibre network shortly before they sold out to iiNet.

Not quite. iiNet acquired all of Transact’s assets in 2011, although it wasn’t fully merged until sometime after that (and some would argue that it still isn’t).

iiNet sold the Transact Fibre network to NBN Co in 2013. It was sometime in 2013 (probably May-June from memory) that an NBN installer had to come out to my then house and replace the Transact NTU with an NBN one, and install the NBN battery backup unit.

News article here:

http://www.itnews.com.au/news/nbn-co-buys-transact-fibre-network-344171

dungfungus 9:43 am 13 Jan 17

JC said :

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

When iiNet may have inherited a bunch of legacy technology when they bought TransACT, ACT taxpayers absorbed a shortfall of some $54 million dollars when all the losses were crystalised.

Can you remind me who was in power in 1996 when Transact was started?

Why?

Are you having problems with your Google connection?

Just curious if you knew it was the Liberal party that set-up Transact and its (loss making) business model. And no problems with my Google connection. Oddly my NBN fibre service was built by Transact, so all good.

Oh, that’s what you were alluding to was it?

Yes, I am well aware of that, so what?

I have always maintained that Governments of all persuasions should not get involved in business ventures unless they become personally accountable for the risks they take using taxpayers money.

It wasn’t just ACT taxpayers who lost millions either – one of the largest Industry Super Funds (or should I say, their members) got burned too.

I am mystified how the NBN has ended up with TransACT fibre though – I understood that the NBN rejected a proposal from TransACT to take over their fibre network shortly before they sold out to iiNet.

JC 9:06 pm 12 Jan 17

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

When iiNet may have inherited a bunch of legacy technology when they bought TransACT, ACT taxpayers absorbed a shortfall of some $54 million dollars when all the losses were crystalised.

Can you remind me who was in power in 1996 when Transact was started?

Why?

Are you having problems with your Google connection?

Just curious if you knew it was the Liberal party that set-up Transact and its (loss making) business model. And no problems with my Google connection. Oddly my NBN fibre service was built by Transact, so all good.

dungfungus 3:56 pm 12 Jan 17

JC said :

dungfungus said :

When iiNet may have inherited a bunch of legacy technology when they bought TransACT, ACT taxpayers absorbed a shortfall of some $54 million dollars when all the losses were crystalised.

Can you remind me who was in power in 1996 when Transact was started?

Why?

Are you having problems with your Google connection?

JC 1:08 pm 12 Jan 17

dungfungus said :

When iiNet may have inherited a bunch of legacy technology when they bought TransACT, ACT taxpayers absorbed a shortfall of some $54 million dollars when all the losses were crystalised.

Can you remind me who was in power in 1996 when Transact was started?

JC 11:57 am 12 Jan 17

canberra born n bred said :

John Moulis said :

Is iiNet the old TransACT? I’ve written here under various pseudonyms about the horror period I switched from Telstra Bigpond to TransACT cable with the promise I would get faster Internet. Right from the start YouTube videos began buffering. Their Net went down on Christmas Eve that year and there was no phone support, it kept ringing out. It wasn’t put back on until the second week of January.

I phoned them and said I was cancelling the contract. They charged me $500.00 then a further $200.00 for getting out of the bundling.

When I phoned Telstra to get Bigpond ADSL2+ put back on the tech told me that TransACT had trashed the old connections and he would have to install a whole new node and line from the telephone pole.

If the NBN ever comes to our suburb I will be bypassing all the cowboy outfits and dealing exclusively with Telstra. And I’m not being paid to say this.

john

My parents switched over to Transact when they first came out saying how better & bigger they would be was with them up until recently when iiNet bought them out..Unhapoy with the service they switched to Optus..when tech came out had to also install new line as Transact had done something to the lines so you couldn’t switch carriers…After 40+ years they have had to change to a new phone number..my dad has lost a lot of business as his regular. Liners were calling his original number Optus can’t put a diversion on their old number as it is now classed as dead

Your parents were given the wrong advice re number porting it seems.

If as you say they ported their number to Transact in the first place then that number could be ported off to another carrier without any issues. That said Transact would probably say not possible, because it wasn’t possible to port numbers from the number range that Transact actually owned. Though believe now fixed. The core difference is if you port a number to a carrier your number still technically belongs to the original carrier. They make an entry in a routing table now saying that number is with carrier X. Want to port back then the original carrier needs to change the entry and all done, but of course needs to be requested by the carrier that is now providing that service.

And re cutting the line to stop people changing back, not quite true. As I mentioned above what some Transact installer would do is cut your incoming Telstra line at the point it enters the house and then join the Transact drop wire to the house wiring. Meant they didn’t have to do any internal cabling. Whilst a bit of a pain, all it would have required to go back is to get Telstra back to disconnect Transact and reconnect the Telstra line. 5-15 minutes work depending upon if the whole drop cable needed to be re-run.

canberra born n bred 10:16 pm 11 Jan 17

John Moulis said :

Is iiNet the old TransACT? I’ve written here under various pseudonyms about the horror period I switched from Telstra Bigpond to TransACT cable with the promise I would get faster Internet. Right from the start YouTube videos began buffering. Their Net went down on Christmas Eve that year and there was no phone support, it kept ringing out. It wasn’t put back on until the second week of January.

I phoned them and said I was cancelling the contract. They charged me $500.00 then a further $200.00 for getting out of the bundling.

When I phoned Telstra to get Bigpond ADSL2+ put back on the tech told me that TransACT had trashed the old connections and he would have to install a whole new node and line from the telephone pole.

If the NBN ever comes to our suburb I will be bypassing all the cowboy outfits and dealing exclusively with Telstra. And I’m not being paid to say this.

john

My parents switched over to Transact when they first came out saying how better & bigger they would be was with them up until recently when iiNet bought them out..Unhapoy with the service they switched to Optus..when tech came out had to also install new line as Transact had done something to the lines so you couldn’t switch carriers…After 40+ years they have had to change to a new phone number..my dad has lost a lot of business as his regular. Liners were calling his original number Optus can’t put a diversion on their old number as it is now classed as dead

dungfungus 12:03 pm 11 Jan 17

creative_canberran said :

John Moulis said :

Is iiNet the old TransACT?

It’s complicated. iiNet bought TransACT (and in turn was bought by TPG recently) and inherited a bunch of legacy technology and back-end systems that they admit they haven’t integrated well. This means there’s a mashup of different services. You might have been using TransACT cable, or TransACT VDSL (in areas where TransACT installed their own DSLAMs), or iiNet ADSL (which uses their own or Telstra DSLAMs), or NBN cable through iiNet (and NBN is buying the old TransACT network). TransACT used Vodafone as a virtual network operator, while iiNet used Optus, and the combined company continued to support both.

I know someone who ditched iiNet because account management behind the scenes was so woeful, it was becoming dangerous. Services would suddenly be cut off, and take up to 5 days to restore. I’ve seen many others have issues too.

When iiNet may have inherited a bunch of legacy technology when they bought TransACT, ACT taxpayers absorbed a shortfall of some $54 million dollars when all the losses were crystalised.

creative_canberran 6:15 pm 10 Jan 17

John Moulis said :

Is iiNet the old TransACT?

It’s complicated. iiNet bought TransACT (and in turn was bought by TPG recently) and inherited a bunch of legacy technology and back-end systems that they admit they haven’t integrated well. This means there’s a mashup of different services. You might have been using TransACT cable, or TransACT VDSL (in areas where TransACT installed their own DSLAMs), or iiNet ADSL (which uses their own or Telstra DSLAMs), or NBN cable through iiNet (and NBN is buying the old TransACT network). TransACT used Vodafone as a virtual network operator, while iiNet used Optus, and the combined company continued to support both.

I know someone who ditched iiNet because account management behind the scenes was so woeful, it was becoming dangerous. Services would suddenly be cut off, and take up to 5 days to restore. I’ve seen many others have issues too.

bronal 12:15 pm 10 Jan 17

Yes, iiNet took TransACT over three or four years ago, before it was itself taken over by TPG.

JC 12:11 pm 10 Jan 17

John Moulis said :

Is iiNet the old TransACT? I’ve written here under various pseudonyms about the horror period I switched from Telstra Bigpond to TransACT cable with the promise I would get faster Internet. Right from the start YouTube videos began buffering. Their Net went down on Christmas Eve that year and there was no phone support, it kept ringing out. It wasn’t put back on until the second week of January.

I phoned them and said I was cancelling the contract. They charged me $500.00 then a further $200.00 for getting out of the bundling.

When I phoned Telstra to get Bigpond ADSL2+ put back on the tech told me that TransACT had trashed the old connections and he would have to install a whole new node and line from the telephone pole.

If the NBN ever comes to our suburb I will be bypassing all the cowboy outfits and dealing exclusively with Telstra. And I’m not being paid to say this.

Yes iiNET (TPG) does own the old Transact VDSL2 network (the fiber network was sold to NBN). However this issue seems to be much deeper in their network so is also effecting ADSL customers on their own network and Telstra Wholesale network.

And your story about ‘trashing’ old Telstra connections is pretty spot on, many installers just cut the Telstra line at the house and joined in the Transact lead in rather than doing any internal cabling. But not a bad thing getting a new Telstra drop cable if going back.

Re NBN, one good thing about it is NBN are the ones who own the actual connection and exchange gear. So in theory doesn’t matter who your ISP (RSP in NBN terminology) is. Except of course once the data gets beyond NBN it ends up in your providers network and issues like the iiNET ones can still occur.

And getting offtopic many complaints people have about NBN fiber to the home, can be pointed to RSP’s not buying enough backhaul bandwidth to handle the traffic they are getting from NBN, but NBN gets the rap for it in the media. Though NBN’s backhaul bandwidth pricing is what fuels RSP’s not buying enough back-haul bandwidth. So vicious circle.

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