Web warning after chorus of complaints

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Communications giant Chorus admits it’s dropped the ball over ultrafast broadband installation in Queenstown.

The confession comes after a flood of complaints about the internet infrastructure provider from local commercial and residential customers, over service they call unacceptable.

Anyone planning to get a fibre internet connection is being warned to organise it well in advance to avoid delays.

Remarkable Physios’ beef lies with delays over connections to Spark, its internet provider, after it relocated to The Landing.

Physio manager Simon Smith says it took more than seven weeks and numerous complaints, phone calls and emails before access was arranged.

The company was forced onto costly and time-consuming mobile connections.

Smith: “Our practice is cloud-based - all patient diaries, bookings, patient notes and the payment process is based on the internet, so the impact was huge.”

He reckons the issue has only been resolved because he dropped Mountain Scene into the conversation.

Chorus is responsible for making the initial connection as they own the fibre infrastructure.

Vodafone customer Paula Denton’s also having a nightmare.

The Shotover Country resident says the global telecom behemoth gave the incorrect job sheet to Chorus meaning they wouldn’t process the request.

Denton: “It’s been an ongoing battle. I am still in limbo as to what is happening. My flatmates are getting irritable as they want internet. It really shouldn’t be this hard.”

Chorus PR manager Nathan Beaumont admits it’s to blame but insists installation is fast and smooth for most people.

He says orders were higher than expected, meaning some took longer to process. It is also recruiting more staff to handle increased demand.

Smith criticises communication between the providers saying he had to chase them to fix the problem.

“With multiple parties involved it just adds to the complications. We spent hours on the phone to Spark people to try and figure out what was going on - as well as chasing them up. It seems that Chorus or other network companies don’t necessarily have the capacity to meet connections.”

Spark’s spin doctor Lucy Fullarton admits it needs to work with Chorus to sort out issues. Its hands are tied, she says, as Chorus owns the lines and infrastructure.

“But there is definitely work going on to try and cut down the wait.”

She describes connections at The Landing as particularly complex - but neither she nor Chorus could give details.

louises@scene.co.nz