Unhelpful help desk


The internet wasn’t connected when I checked the computer this morning so I rang the Orcon help desk.

A very cheerful recorded voice answered telling me something to the effect that they were all out partying and to ring back later. It was a joke but I wasn’t greatly amused because this was 6am and the help desk wasn’t going to open until 8.

Two hours later I called back, got a real person and explained the problem, pointing out there were red lights on the wee box which I thought were normally green.

He said not to worry about that, and to turn everything off and back on again. I’d already tried that so he told me to delete the connection icon and talked me through setting it up again but there was still no service.

He then asked me to hang on while he consulted a colleague, left me listening to the sort of music I wouldn’t normally choose to listen to and eventually came back to tell me the colleague was busy and would call me back.

Another two hours later no-one had called back so I rang the help desk again. The woman who answered asked me to turn everything off again but the internet still wouldn’t connect when I turned it all back on. She then left me listening to more music I wouldn’t normally listen to while she consulted a colleague before coming back to say there must be a problem with our connection so she’d talk to their technician and ring me back.

This time it took only a few minutes to get the call back to tell me there was a problem with the network in our area and technicians were working on it.

Would it be too much to ask that when there’s a problem with the network, someone lets the people on the help desk know so that they can tell customers about it when they call so the customers don’t waste their time wasting the time of the help desk staff?

Why not more WiFi?


Internect connection in Argentina was better and faster in 2003 than anything we could get at home at that time.

We’ve got broadband since then and although the rural connection (through Orcon) is much slower than we’d get in a city it’s an improvement on dial-up – fine for emails, net surfing and blogging but slower than desiarable for up or downloading lots of data.

But it doesn’t work on the laptop so when we’re on the road we use a Telecom mobile connection which operates at a similar speed to the home connection.

That’s pretty dismal comapred with many other places and last month’s visit to Argentina showed us their technology has overtaken ours again with the proliferation of free WiFi services which were available in most cafes, bars and hotels.

Bernard Hickey  found a similar level of service in the USA and Fairfacts Media notes free WiFi is offered by British pubs as a way to attract business.

We’re a long way from widespread availability of WiFi in New Zealand although the government has promised a boost to internet services as part of its investment in infrasturcture.

The wee Otago town of Lawrence isn’t waiting for the government though. The ODT reports  the locals are already setting up free wireless internet in the town centre.

More and more people, especially overseas visitors and business people, had laptops with them as they travelled, so it made sense to try to offer them free Internet access so they would stay longer in the town. . .

Quite – it’s good for travellers and it’s good for business and there’s no need to wait for the government to do it.

Tech tantrum #3


When I turned on the computer as I normally do first thing, this morning there was no internet connection.

I truned it off and unplugged everything, waited a minute, plugged everything back in, turned the computer on again, which is the limit of my technical ability, but still nothing.

The next step was to phone the help desk – but Orcon doesn’t open until 8am. Mutter muble, call that service?

We’ve got a backup with the laptop which has Telecom mobile, but 8am to 10.30 weekdays and 8am to 8pm weekend hours for Orcon’s help desk isn’t good enough in a 24 hour world.

Technology tantrum


A few weeks ago we got a letter and an email explaining that Orcon was taking over Telecom’s rural wireless network and that we should check our email settings to ensure we would continue to be able to send and receive emails.


There is a long story of time wasting frustration involving several calls to the help-line. The shorter version is we are now back to dial up speed with lots of can’t-find-website-check-you-are-connected messages; the house computer can send and receive emails, eventually after several disconnects but the office computer can only send.


I don’t know if the problem is with Telecom or Orcon but I’m not very impressed with either of them – and wireless help desks don’t work in the evening. 

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