Orcon – the dark-side

I received an email today about orcon that contradicts my superb service, here it is in its entireity.


I am going through hell with Orcon and I thought you might like to post this as a counterpoint to your standard Orcon lickspittle stuff.

I live in a house with a shared internet connection and unfortunately, some of the other ‘key stakeholders’ got it in to their heads that switching from the largely reliable Telecom service we enjoyed to unknown and untested Orcon.

Orcon is a company that has assiduously created the impression it is a small time, niche corporation that has it’s customers at heart. This in contrast to the heartless, faceless evil corporation all of the hip, anti-establishment kiddies love to hate: Telecom. It was a strategy masterminded by Orcon founder Seeby Woodhouse, who now funds his infamous KFC Party Pack breakfasts by guilting the same young hipsters in to buying bullshit carbon credits.

Selling carbon credits is a lot like selling the shithouse, third world service Orcon provides. You rely on creating the warm fuzzies at the point of sale, then once you have the mug’s money, it’s all over. When you sign up to Orcon, you get some dipshit, spotty-faced teenager slouch up to your door and hand deliver a welcome pack. The purpose of this is clear. Orcon wants to let you know it has a face. Orcon wants to let you know – as Faith no More would say – We Care a Lot.

To be honest, the product was fine to start with, comparable to Telecom. The difference came when there was (in fact, there still is) a problem. Last Thursday, my laptop was slowed to dial up speeds but all of the other computers on the network were fine. This was interesting because my laptop performed fine on the office network, hinting it may not be a hardware problem but anyway, I called a technician and arranged for me to drop off my Macbook Pro with him for a range of hardware tests.

He confirmed there were no problems with the hardware so I picked up my laptop and went back to work on Friday afternoon. I work some pretty funny hours so I wasn’t home that night until eleven but thought that wouldn’t be a problem. Telecom, through the clever use of international call centres, was able to provide me absolutely top quality tech support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Telecom’s critics would now point out that if you call Telecom’s helpline, you end up talking to someone with a funny accent and a strange name in another country. Oh noes!

Anyway, Orcon has made a point of selling itself as the Kiwi telecomms company and when I called their helpdesk, it was definitely a Kiwi voice on the other end. Unfortunately, it was also a pre-recorded voice telling me they shut up shop at 10:30 every night so I hung up, cursing and swearing at Orcon’s failure to compare.

So, I went to bed and went to work the next morning. I made a point of getting home at 7:30 so I could sort things out. By the time I had fixed up some dinner and slipped in to something more comfortable it was about quarter past eight. So I called Orcon, expecting to finally get some service. NOT!

It turns out I didn’t listen to the message properly. Orcon shut up shop at 10:30 on weeknights, but 8 on weekends. Frustrated, I hung up again and sat back down to my dial up internet. Just to inject a bit of background here, I do freelance graphic design work so often need to send and receive some pretty large files – it’s not really an option for me to be cut down to dial up.

I finally managed to get through on Sunday but the service was truly atrocious. People complain about Telecom callcentre staff being a little bit unclear, but the creature at the slack jawed yokel I had at the other end of the phone was unbelievable. I have a lot of time for people who are learning – or struggling to learn – English as a second language. I don’t have any time for scum who pass up 13 years of free education and refuse to develop basic language skills in their first language.

To make things worse, it sounded like there was a stereo blaring out Eminem in the background of the Orcon tech support centre but anyway, about five minutes in to the call, yokel was unable to help me and said he would get one of his colleagues working in the wireless section of the tech support centre in five to ten minutes.

So, 45 minutes later, I get a call back from a new person – this time, one who had developed basic language skills. So, I described all of the symptoms to him and he insisted it was a hardware problem. I explained I had already spoke to a technician and that my laptop was working fine on other networks but he wouldn’t give in. After thirty minutes of back and forth, he agreed to pass me on to someone else who finally agreed it was probably a network problem but that they couldn’t help me because there wasn’t anyone there who knew that much about Macs.

Sorry, what was that? Orcon, supposedly “the only totally Mac-friendly NZ service provider” who made a point of “supporting the mac community” was unabe to help a Mac user? Instead I was given a guarentee that someone would get back to me in the next fourty eight hours.

48 hours passed. I called them on Wednesday morning to ask why no one had gotten in touch – it turns out the call was never logged! At this stage, apopolectic, I demanded they send a technician around to sort things out and they said someone would be in touch in 72 hours and – here’s the kicker – they would be from Telecom’s Chorus!

So a week on, after having spent too much timing listening to out-of-hours recorded messages and fuckwit tech support staff explain how incompetent they are, I am still stuck on dial up.

Fuck you very much Orcon!Zemanta Pixie


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  • Doc

    In case anyone is keeping score:
    I have suffered through Orcon’s “support” line on several occasions and never received one iota of service.

    Every time I call, I must go through the rigmarole of rebooting my connected devices (all of them – because it’s much more likely that they have simultaneously all developed the same fault with their TCP stack, than that the network they’re connected to is no longer routing traffic!) …I have to unplug every single telephony device in the house (despite them all being on filters) and reboot my DSL modem. (as if that’s not the first thing I tried) …further to that, after holding for 15min to get through, then going through all of the above with the ‘support person’ on the line, I am told that they can’t do anything about the problem unless I either perform a complete factory reset on my DSL router and configure it from scratch, or go out and replace my DSL modem. (It’s less than 1yr old, and works perfectly – but hey, you never know – it might have spontaneously combusted internally, so we have another way of passing the buck! Oops – I mean, so we have to rule out yet more of your equipment as a possible source of failure… Fortunately for me, I happen to have a spare DSL modem hiding in my cupboard, so they’re snookered!

    “All right!”, they say, “I will log a ticket for you.”

    What that means, I have no idea… They refuse to give me the ticket number, and are utterly vague about what “logging a ticket” will do to solve my problem. (nevermind, the DSL connection has magically reappeared halfway through arguing with the helpdesk guy about why they’re not able to do anything to help me)

    They promise me that they will call back to report on what is wrong…

    3 weeks later, I’m still waiting to hear back from them…

    (and this occurs pretty much every 3-6months…)

  • Panguna

    i don’t know what going in orcon but it has been grief for MONTHS.  there is sooooo something wrong in their communication networks cos they just not connected.  and there have been many times that i have wanted to punch someone through the phone (if i were that way inclined, cos i am a ‘lady’ after all!) cos it’s like talking to someone who’s seeing headlights and i have to repeat the story over, and over, and over again!!!!!  they had such promise…. :o(