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iiNet’s Michael Malone on just how badly TransACT was being run

By johnboy 6 July 2012 18

Jules has sent in a link to a fascinating lengthy post on Whirlpool by the iiNet boss Michael Malone on the mess they’re trying to clean up at TransACT having bought it:

Highlights include:

One of the biggest issues is that the interface to all of the TA networks is highly manual. There is no standardised API for provisioning, the links to the billing system are weak, and there’s a whole lot of paper flying around. This is very foreign for us iiNet types and makes it impossible to just switch the products on to iiNet.

We have a limited amount of CPE (modems) and there are no more being made.

The VDSL network is open for wholesale access, but the way it is done is just plain weird. TransACT bills the customer directly for the wholesale service. The customer then buys a retail service from an ISP like netspeed or grapevine. I’m keen to “fix” that and have the ISP buy the wholesale service from TransACT directly, so the customer gets one bill, from the ISP.

The people on the help desk are very good, but they don’t really have adequate systems and there simply aren’t enough people to handle the workload. As above, it’s all intensely manual as well, which exacerbates things.

No real surprises for the long suffering customers but as always with suspicions, nice to get things confirmed.


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18 Responses to
iiNet’s Michael Malone on just how badly TransACT was being run
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Primal 11:55 pm 08 Jul 12

gooterz said :

Transact might have been as big as iiNet but they knew they had to treat their customers somewhat well.

That’s an interesting perspective, considering that iiNet is generally reputed as a very good customer service ISP (see e.g. Roy Morgan ISP satisfaction report, Whirlpool’s Australian Broadband survey).

gooterz 11:44 pm 06 Jul 12

We were with ozemail (they used to run the racing car), iinet came in the night and brought them out to steal their customers.

The service went downhill and a complete lack of communication that iinet had brought them and things were getting migrated.

So we moved to transact (whom got a great deal of funding from the government and sponsored the capitials). The service was great 99.9% uptime, something i wasn’t used to on ADSL.

Transact were in the process to upgrade all their VDSL customers to VDSL2, giving a great speed boost (after having fought and won the right to do so with the NBN anti-competition laws). Now iiNet are rumored to just wanting to stall and wait for the NBN that may or may not come.

Transact might have been as big as iiNet but they knew they had to treat their customers somewhat well.

bd84 8:17 pm 06 Jul 12

I hope that means that they will review their ridiculously expensive pricing structure as a result of the review..

tommy 6:44 pm 06 Jul 12

I don’t think Michael was saying it was bad – just basic. Transact is kinda time capsule from long ago. It has had no reason to innovate at all until it’s new owners.

Chop71 5:57 pm 06 Jul 12

Thats because electricity, gas and water are all seperate companies.

Should read

That’s (or that is) and I think you should spell check “seperate”

XO_VSOP 4:59 pm 06 Jul 12

Who is this Michael Malone cat ? What happened to iivan 😉

dungfungus 3:26 pm 06 Jul 12

But golly, wasn’t TransACT a great sponsor for a select few?

dungfungus 3:23 pm 06 Jul 12

Grail said :

Processing systems evolve to match the organizations they were built by. I wonder how bad things are on the ACTEW side of things, that they still can’t send out one bill for gas, electricity and water all together.

After years of campaigning I am now getting electricity and water/sewerage accounts in the same envelope. They used to arrive one day after the other.
I still haven’t got any advice from them about increased electricity charges though.

mezza76 2:52 pm 06 Jul 12

ThisIsAName said :

mezza76 said :

iinet were far quicker and easier to deal with – their products were outstanding – Naked DSL was the second best thing Ive experienced in my life.

Ahh yes, another Transact specialty is the “compulsory landline” – there are no naked internet packages. I wonder what this contributed to their bottom line? For the most part, our landline remains unused, with bonus calls from annoying scammers.

It drives me round the f*ing twist. With our mobiles we get $500 worth of free calls so the landline is useless… it’s just a constant reminder of the fact im getting screwed. What’s worst is there is no alternative. I could pay $200+ for another company to provide the same service on their own network. Compared to any other capital city (and im really thinking of how good those in Hobart must have things) – Canberra is the worst for broadband in terms of price, packages and accessability.

When I get the NBN im shooting my landline out of cannon (maybe towards Transact house).

ThisIsAName 2:00 pm 06 Jul 12

mezza76 said :

iinet were far quicker and easier to deal with – their products were outstanding – Naked DSL was the second best thing Ive experienced in my life.

Ahh yes, another Transact specialty is the “compulsory landline” – there are no naked internet packages. I wonder what this contributed to their bottom line? For the most part, our landline remains unused, with bonus calls from annoying scammers.

Deref 1:05 pm 06 Jul 12

Can we hope that this is a prelude to fixing it?

mezza76 1:00 pm 06 Jul 12

Having been a customer of both TA and iinet (in different states), I can certainly see the difference from a customer perspective. iinet were far quicker and easier to deal with – their products were outstanding – Naked DSL was the second best thing Ive experienced in my life.

When I came back here and signed with TA – I could never get my head around why I was getting a wholesale bill for the VDSL service… its as bizzare on the customer end as it is on the retail. Not to mention the fact that with TA you pay more for ADSL than in most other places in the country. The ‘pay tv’ is the worst product ive seen in living memory.

I know Im going to have to pay through the nose when I leave them, but when the NBN hits my place there will be much delight.

p1 12:42 pm 06 Jul 12

The VDSL network is open for wholesale access, but the way it is done is just plain weird. TransACT bills the customer directly for the wholesale service. The customer then buys a retail service from an ISP like netspeed or grapevine. I’m keen to “fix” that and have the ISP buy the wholesale service from TransACT directly, so the customer gets one bill, from the ISP.

This whackyness it one of the reasons I never chose TransACT. I have, however been with iinet for several years and have had quite good service from them.

    johnboy 12:53 pm 06 Jul 12

    It is important to remember that back in the late 90s when the planned TransACT it was supposed to offer a peering network throughout the ACT, accessing the wider internet being the role of the ISPs.

    That peering network never really arrived making the split whacky.

Ate 12:31 pm 06 Jul 12

Grail said :

Processing systems evolve to match the organizations they were built by. I wonder how bad things are on the ACTEW side of things, that they still can’t send out one bill for gas, electricity and water all together.

Thats because electricity, gas and water are all seperate companies.

switch 12:04 pm 06 Jul 12

Grail said :

Processing systems evolve to match the organizations they were built by. I wonder how bad things are on the ACTEW side of things, that they still can’t send out one bill for gas, electricity and water all together.

Or even use the same umpteen digit bpay number for every bill. You know, like every other bpay biller in Australia does.

Grail 11:26 am 06 Jul 12

Processing systems evolve to match the organizations they were built by. I wonder how bad things are on the ACTEW side of things, that they still can’t send out one bill for gas, electricity and water all together.

cross 11:05 am 06 Jul 12

I have been with Transact for years with no issues at all but the main attraction to them besides the fibre network access is the bundling discounts with ACTEWAGL I hope that continues.

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