Orcon pulls back on Genius ads after customer complaints

Some customers say the company's call centre has taken hours to access. Others have complained about voicemail and set-up bugs.

Orcon has reduced the number of television advertisements for its VoIP product, the Genius, as demand for the product has flooded its contact centre.

The Genius was launched in July and offers an “all-in-one” broadband landline connection, voice calling over the internet (VoIP) and wireless internet.  At the time, the company billed the product as saving people about $40 a month in various phone line charges.

Demand for the product was higher than expected and the company had reduced the number of television advertisements for the Genius so its team could keep up, said head of brand and communications Quentin Reade.

Customer complaints
This demand appears to have swamped Orcon's contact centre, with customer complaints about hours long hold times and a lack of service for issues and faults. 

Intergen software solutions architect Ben Gracewood said trying to contact Orcon had been next to impossible.

“Service-wise, I’ve been really unimpressed with the service, in terms of the time to get service, it takes ages to get through.”

He said for a time after Orcon launched its advertisements, connection to the centre was not possible.

“It basically said ‘Call centre’s overloaded, try again some other time.’  It didn’t connect your call, it didn’t even ask for a call back or anything, which was just appalling.”

He said he did not have any issues with the product’s service, aside from an issue with voicemails, which had a number of bugs, sometimes playing twice or stating the message was 75 minutes long when it was 17 seconds long.

He said the Genius was a good product but the service needed to improve.

“I think that the product is good and the pricing is too popular, so they’re struggling.”

Posts on Geekzone from disgruntled Genius users mention the lack of customer service, with one user recording a total wait time of up to five hours.  

The posts also record various issues with setting the Genius up.

Higher than expected demand
Mr Reade said the demand for the Genius had been higher than expected, putting more pressure on the call centre than was projected.

“The fix is hiring new staff, and getting more people on the phones, and we have been working hard to make this happen.”

He said call volumes were coming right and Orcon would continue to work to make them so.

Mr Reade posted on Geekzone on August 17 that Orcon had 25 temporary staff working on the phones the day before, 10 new staff starting that week and a further 20 in training.

Mr Reade said the company was aware of the issue with voicemails, which he said affected a small number of users, and which engineers were investigating.

“It’s certainly not a widespread problem.”

Mr Reade said the Genius had been well tested before launch.

“The average failure rate for switching people from one ISP to another, across the industry, is around 5% and we have seen this pattern continue with Genius.”

He said the high volume of sales meant that Orcon “naturally” had more faults that normal.

“We have been scaling up our helpdesk as fast as possible to deal with the issues and are getting through them at a good rate.”

He said Orcon teams had also been actively working with the Geekzone community to help resolve isolated issues (on all posts viewed by NBR, an Orcon staffer had contacted Geekzone posters)  and that there were plenty of positive comments from people available that note the Genius was faster, more stable and had commented about voice quality.

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