Tuanz: Chorus is taking one for the team
Yesterday, Telecom announced owner/operator staff working for its new contractor, Visionstream, would start work up to three weeks earlier than their original October 1 deadline.
Concurrently, field technicians employed by Telecom’s previous Auckland contractors, Downer EDi and Transfield, received notice that their last working days would be September 6 and 13.
But the Downer and Transfield staff will still be paid salaries through to September 27. Chorus says it does not want them to be disadvantaged by the earlier transition.
The EPMU has said a “panicked” Telecom is rushing Visionstream staff into North and West Auckland early in an effort to plug phone and broadband service backlogs it says now stretch to three weeks, due to strikes and go-slows.
Telecom says it is because Visionstream (which now says it has 70% of required field staff) is running ahead of schedule - and that the backlog is only one to four days on top of the usual 24-hour turnaround.
Tuanz: Chorus doing the right thing by customers
Telecommunications Users Association chief executive Ernie Newman - recently one of Telecom (and Vodafone's) fiercest critics by dint of his organisation's founding role in the Drop the Rate, Mate campaign - says the company's networking division is doing the right thing by customers as it grapples with industrial action.
The Tuanz boss is full of praise for Chorus’ move to support Visionstream’s early roll-out this month, while at the same time keeping Downer and Transfield engineers on salary until the 27th.
“I guess this means for a period Chorus are paying twice over for the same work,” wrote Mr Newman. “If so, it’s a good sign of commitment to customers, which both Telecom retail and all the industry customers should appreciate and welcome.
“Tuanz doesn't have a view on the industrial issue - this is not our turf. But we do most certainly have a view on customer service. On that basis we give Chorus credit for being proactive in minimising disruption to customers. Well done.”
Certainly, through the series of disruptions, Chorus seems to have maintained its good rep with its ISP customers.
CallPlus/Slingshot GM Mark Callander told NBR that his company is experiencing delays, but that they were minor: “It's pretty much business as usual."