Hey Orcon, can you hear me now?

For the last month I have been having trouble with my connection to Orcon. The connection has been disconnecting at random times, and moreso when under load, like downloading a large Linux ISO over bittorrent. I’ve been back and forth with Orcon and Chorus several times, had line checks, tried different ADSL profiles, and even disconnected every device in the house. No joy. Same behaviour.

Snap Internet offered to help, and in a comedy of errors, Chorus ended up connecting us to Snap today incorrectly (it should have been via a second line). The upshot is, about 30 minutes ago our line was switched from Snap back to Orcon. I managed to start a test just before the line was switched.

Below is a picture of the speed graph from uTorrent. Let’s summarise:

  • Same copper pair.
  • Same ADSL router.
  • Same jackpoint.
  • Same computer.
  • Same file.
  • Same bittorrent peers.
  • Different ISP termination in the Te Atatu Exchange.

You make your own conclusion:

Snap vs Orcon Graph
Click to Enlarge

Don’t be distracted by the higher speed on Orcon. Yes this implies a lower SNR, but we’ve tried changing the Orcon ADSL profile to reduce the speed and increase the SNR, but the disconnect behaviour is identical.

I believe there is a bigger story behind this, but I need to get Orcon’s opinion before I go to print with it.

78 Replies to “Hey Orcon, can you hear me now?”

  1. For the record: I remain impressed by Orcon’s engagement and openness, especially in social media circles.

    However, I am doubtful about their ability to isolate and resolve issues with their unbundled gear in my exchange, and am investigating similar issues encountered by other users in different exchanges.

    More to come.

  2. Hi Ben, in addition to my tweet we are of the opinion that this is more complex than the scenario you have outlined above. We would certainly appreciate the opportunity to share our side of the story. I want to make sure that I have the details right, so will get those from our tech team on Monday and come back to you.

    1. Hi seeing as you are head of brand and communications perhaps you could assist me with my connection my account number is 13372585, I have been waiting over a month now for my connection to be connected and yet all your technicians and their supervisors can offer promises to resolve the issue yet nothing is being done , it took 2 weeks for a chorus technician to be sent to my address just to find there is a 400m gap between my fully wired up house and the end of your line yet here I am approximately 3 weeks later still waiting to find out wtf is going on

  3. I’d love to know how it can be more complex (seriously). Can we arrange a visit to the Te Atatu exchange so I can eyeball what lies between the end of my cable and the two different ADSL ports?

    I’m struggling to imagine a scenario in which the problem is not with Orcon gear.

  4. Interesting that from all providers I’ve read about so far, the only one that I did not find a single complaint from was Snap Internet.

    I’m still an Orcon customer and plan to say this way since I’m not necessarily experiencing any issues at the moment, but to hear so many stories about them makes me wonder when I should start worrying.

  5. Just chiming in to say that I live in Mt. Eden and have nothing but praise for Orcon. Fast, solid connection with great plans and a few (good) surprises thrown in for good measure (2 for 1 movie passes, free you tube for a few months, Iggy Pop!!).

    Thanks Orcon,
    Thorcon.

  6. I’ve never had a faster connection or better support than I’ve had in my last two places with Orcon.

    Judging by the occasional speedtest.net share-a-thon on twitter, no one else has as fast a connection as I do either, so while this may be anecdotal it’s also measured and consistent, and not imaginary.

    It’s a bummer they couldn’t sort it out, I think it became quite obvious that the problem was at the exchange. Does that mean Orcon were at the mercy of the vagaries of Chorus, or does it mean an Orcon engineer never did the obvious thing and tried plugging you into a different port?

  7. I’m interested to know if you have the same disconnection problems if you are downloading a file over say ftp, maybe orcon have a set up where they disconnect large numbers of connections (eg p2p) as they cause more damage to the network bandwidth than one connection downloading.

  8. I had a billing issue with Orcon a few months back but didn’t get anything useful from their phone support until one time I called and found myself talking to Duncan. He fixed my problem and also promised to look into why it had happened in the first place. So all I can say about Orcon is – they’re fine if you deal directly with Duncan!

  9. @dave
    I noticed the problem initially when gaming and browsing. It was very irregular. The torrent download is the one method guaranteed to reproduce the problem, but it certainly happens at other times.

  10. @The Morgan
    I wasn’t there to observe, but I was told that both the port and the tie pair were changed at various times.

    Although when Snap asked for a second line and couldn’t get one, I have to wonder if Chorus were bullshitting when they said they swapped the pair.

  11. So I had a similar problem with Orcon, the link became unstable under load. Orcon escalated my problem quickly to “Technical Support” where they sat on it. Eventually, my only option turned out to be to switch to another provider as orcon said they wouldn’t look at my problem for “weeks”.

    I didn’t need to use bittorrent to provoke the problem, downloading an iso from citylink’s ubuntu mirror was more the sufficient to make the link drop. The problem was that the PPP LCP echo reply packets seemed to be prioritised below the regular internet traffic, so when you max out your connection, the echo reply packets stop coming back and PPP thinks the link has died. When you stop downloading, the missing echo reply packets all arrive (assuming the link is still up).

    The problem was eventually resolved (switching to another provider turned out to be harder that you might expect) when Telecom installed cabinets and Orcon moved me onto the telecom service (because their unbundled service went to crap with the cabinet in the way).

  12. Orcon used to have good service. Up until last year I would have recommended them, but not any more. Their service is now the pits.

    Here is just one example. I’m still trying to resolve a phone issue that was first reported to them 13 Oct 2009. Got feed up waiting for a solution, so asked them to instead remove the service on 3 Dec 2009. Its now March and I’m still waiting for them to stop charging me for service I’m not receiving. Sent them a reminder 5 days ago via a new support call. Also backed it up by sending the same message via their website feedback form. Am now playing the waiting game yet again.

    If anyone from Orcon would like to shock me with some service the call id is #IIJ-607030 – but based on the last 6 months I think I’ve got more chance of winning Lotto.

  13. I used to have issues like this with Woosh, since being with Orcon I have never had any connection drop outs. I do however suffer from “as fast as the line will go” syndrom. Once 4pm comes around I might as well go to the pub as the connection drops from reasonably fast to pathetically slow most of the time just as school kids come home.

    Since requesting Orcon to increase my upload speed from 128kbps to 1mb my internet experience has got much better

    Overall though Orcons customer service has been amazing

  14. @ Phil – More than happy to shock you. Working on sorting it now, you should hear from one of the team soon.

    @Justin – Speed shouldn’t grind to a halt like that. If you can get some evidence of this happening (comparative speedtests etc) send it through to the team and they will take a look at it – support@orcon.net.nz

    And Ben, still waiting to hear back from Chorus about getting you an exchange visit.

    Duncan Blair
    Head of Brand and Communications
    Orcon

  15. Hurray! Just got a response on my support call. Now I’ll have to wait and see if the execution is as good as the promises.

    I’d like to be more positive but the comedy of errors experienced over the last 6 months does not permit this.

    Thank you Duncan for moving this along.

  16. Have had broadband with Orcon and phone with Telecom for some time now. Moved phone to Orcon unbundled service last week and nothing but problems since.
    1) ADSL router drops connection at random and reconnects after a few seconds. Sometimes hours apart, one cluster two days ago where it dropped the connection every couple of minutes. Behaving itself today but line speeds well down on what we were getting before we went unbundled.
    2) Phone line fine at first, increasing static over a couple of days now all dead. No dial tone. No nothing. Have been trying to get Orcon to look at it for several days now but support@orcon.net.nz seems to be an empty hole. Now had no phone for 40 hours and they just aren’t taking me seriously. XT has never been out for thls long, and at least you only have to wait a cfouple of hours for 1-2-3. Moving the phone line was a BAD move.

  17. Managed after 47 hours to get Orcon to “hear me”. Problem fixed shortly thereafter. Turned out to be a corroded junction up a pole on the local loop, that finally packed up in Wednesday’s rain. The VisionStream PoleMonkey said he was surprised we had any ADSL at all; couldn’t work out how we managed to get a circuit through it. The issue for Orcon isn’t the fault (stuff breaks and shit happens); it is the contortions I had to go to to be “heard”, and get some feeling the fault was being investigated.

  18. Ben – what router were you using? I work for an IT support company, and we have had a number of clients with very similar problems on Orcon+, all using Linksys routers – the connection will drop after a few minutes at maximum load. It appears Linksys routers are incompatible with the Siemens DSLAMs Orcon are using – something to do with the priority of LCP packets, as far as we could tell. Changing to an Orcon-supplied Siemens router (Orcon BusinessHub) fixed the problem in all cases. D-Link routers also seem to work fine for affected connections.

  19. Well we changed over to Ocon (Mt Eden exchange) a year or so ago, and as soon as we did so had a dead phone and dead braodband, was fixed after a several days, but have had on going problems since -phone calls dropping randomly and friends tell us when they call our land line they have a 50-50 chance of actually getting through (they get a disconnected line sound half of the time).

    Last thurday everything stopped working, no phone, no internet nothing. A technician called Friday so say there was a problem at the exchange and it was all fixed. I went home from work to check it out, and phone is still dead (but broadband now works)! Hopeless. Called tech support again and they are looking into it. Its now saturday and we still have a DEAD phone. Called tech support AGAIN and they tell me its being investigated. Great. They havent even setup a redirection so we at least receive calls to mobile while they fix it.

    Absolutely hopeless. I wouldn’t recommend Orcon to anyone who wants a reliable service and a phone that actually works.

    On a side note, our alarm monitoring company called my mobile to say the houses security system is not doing its scheduled checkins (obvously), and when I mentioned we were having ORCON problems, they sighed and said its a familiar -they have other customers of Ocron having the same problem in Mt Eden. Hopeless.

  20. Orcon is great in terms of customer service, but I have to say being an internet professional I am NOT STUPID ORCON.

    I know a lot of people on Orcon in lots of regions who’s speed does not reach more than 3.5mbs, 3.6 if we are lucky. This is across Hamilton and Auckland. I am paying the $120 Gold line, very strange as I think their “fast as the line could go” line speeds allow them to limit the line speed to compensate with their masses on the same lines. The funny thing is my friend down the road on slingshot is getting around 8mbs.

    Its not a technical issue, 3/4 routers tested on every line. I get a constant 3mbs at all times, however I do love my router cutouts every few hours (on all routers tested). Also I see Ben you have outlined that in your pretty picture, I thought that was just me, but after talking to a lot of people there are a lot of disconnections throughout the day, and yes all on international traffic.

    As long as we still have data caps we shouldn’t be paying for poor line speeds! Come on we don’t need another Telescam.

    Thanks for listening to my rant today.

  21. I am so frustrated by Orcon.

    Typical SOE – let’s keep our fingers crossed National sells them to Telstra.

    Since signing up almost a year ago I have continual drop-outs which were only resolved by threatening to move to another provider – only then did they decide to send Chorus out to investigate the line fault (which I’d told them all along was the likely problem) and got my connection sorted.

    However, two days later my Internet connection is still dropping out – and having resolved line faults I am now noticing my RATE LIMITING of all P2P and bittorrent traffic.

    This sucks! I spend at least $200 a month with Orcon for phone + internet and I get this sh1t service.

    I’m so p1ssed off but I don’t know which other ISP would be faster/better value: Telstra maybe?

    @Orcon – you’ve lost the plot. You don’t listen to your customers and you won’t answer questions directly about shaping. I’ve been on the phone for ten minutes waiting on hold for a supervisor who won’t take my call. We’re not in the back blocks – sort your act out – or competition will sort it out for you.

    Thanks for listening,
    Frustrated in Auckland CBD.

    1. Yeah so I have something else to rant about now.

      the other day my internet went down for 5 hours. Now working from home this really got me going. Orcon said there is a 4 hour turn around to find out if things are going wrong on the exchange.

      I rang them up and said, I can actually see the guys working on the exchange… blah blah, won’t bore you all however after the work finished my router was went from 3500kbs (9am) to 19,0000kbs (5pm). So I was right, they were working on it.

      HOWEVER!!! My line speed did not change. I am paying for Max down and Max Up or whatever their most expensive plan is.

      I did question this, and suddenly got an email saying we have upgraded your plan to include 5gb more. Are you trying to pay me up and shut me up orcon????

      So Orcon, are you limiting my line speed? Come on step it up.

      1. Hi Kyle,

        There is no great conspiracy to shut you up. We upgraded our plans for all customers on the plan that you are on, see: http://www.orcon.net.nz/about/article/we_have_increased_the_monthly_data_caps_on_several_of_our_plans

        I am not sure what you mean about your line speed not changing? You say that you went from 5Mbps to 19Mbps (presumably that is your sync speed?), but that your line speed didn’t increase. Perhaps you are talking about your speed test?

        It is important to understand that for residential broadband in New Zealand you are not paying for a guaranteed bandwidth service, indeed if you were we would need to charge you several thousand dollars per month (as some of our dedicated business bandwidth customers are). So, you are unlikely to get your line sync speed in actual real world international traffic speeds.

        I would also direct you to those articles that I have supplied for Frustrated (below), as they will give you a better understanding of how we manage traffic in our network.

        I hope that this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions, more than happy to answer.

        Duncan Blair
        Head of Brand and Communications
        Orcon

    2. Hi Frustrated,

      Sorry to hear that you are (frustrated).

      Firstly, we are quite up front about the way we manage traffic. See:
      http://www.orcon.net.nz/lifestyle/page/broadband_service_control_in_the_orcon_network
      http://www.orcon.net.nz/lifestyle/page/broadband_service_control_in_the_orcon_network_followup

      As per those articles, traffic is ranked in terms of priority, with P2P traffic being managed if the volume of traffic threatens more latency sensitive traffic (http, gaming, etc).

      If you have any further questions I would be happy to answer them.

      Cheers,
      Duncan Blair
      Head of Brand and Communications Orcon

    3. Whatever you do, don’t go to Telstraclear. You will be swapping one set of problems for a raft of new ones, not least their terrible customer service. The reason I am on this site now is because I’m looking for a better isp. I have been put off from using Orcon after reading many of the negative comments. Consumer Mag put out a poll and Actrix (97% rating) & Inspire came out top. Actrix are a bit more expensive than a similar Orcon(84% rating) plan but if their customer satisfaction is as good as stated then the extra cost is worth it. I’ve spent probably 8hrs in the past 9mths waiting for TClr to answer the phone so it’s cost me a lot in wasted work hours.
      There is something very wrong with Telecommunications in this country for there to be so much dissatisfaction. We have had Chorus out 3x in the last year to fix our terribly static phoneline. They go up the pole, do something up there, then 4mths later the line is bad again. They say it’s moisture. If that’s the case then why don’t they just fix the problem for good and waterproof the connection? It’s just lazy, short term thinking. Which is why our network is so 3rd world at times. The sooner they roll out fibre the better.

      1. I would go for Orcon if you are in Auckland, check if you are on their own lines / servers no Telecoms first in your area.

        If there are issues on the line like static it will be your phone line / Telecom / NZ Archaic phone system. I sometimes think that when I push in google.co.nz some dude sitting in a warehouse moves a line to that site.

        Basically whats wrong is the NZ government put a whole lot of regulations / laws on Telecom to upgrade the existing copper wire, before they knew about fiber. So if Telecom starts laying fiber they are actually breaking the law! How freaking crazy and backwards. so the 1.5 billion a year is to upgrade the copper. They said it would take double that to do the fiber, but hey I am willing to wait for fiber and stick out with the shitty copper for a while.

        NOTE TO this forum for other comments, after complaining lots about line speed my line has nearly tripped.. magically.. still 9 dropouts yesterday though…but that will be my line (hopefully) although I did see the Telescam guys stuffing around with the exchange.. Yes Duncan I know conspiracy theories… You might say we are all talking conspiracies on here but the other day when my line was down for 5 hours, and I saw the Telecom vans parked outside my exchange you said you knew nothing about an upgrade… surely Telecom would have told you about a 5 hour down time? Well actual I can imagine they didn’t… Please tell me I am wrong and Telescam doesn’t tell you when they are doing maintenance on exchanges.

      1. Hey Duncan,

        Its not really a dig at Orcon, its all telco in NZ is rubbish. I know Orcon is probably the one and only company in NZ actually doing something about it.

        I figure I will just pay for a technician to come out here to check if there is any noise on the line. I know dropouts are caused by that. They are turning on interleaving in the next few days, so hopefully that fixes most of the dropouts. 1-2 a day no problem I understand the technical world of getting the DSL to the door. I am not going to like the small speed lost by that, but hey its a start.

        Yeah 18000 sync speed, however it was sitting at 3500 for the last while and after the exchange upgrade it went up to 18000. I saw the line speed go up to 7/8 mbs for a whole day which was great but now back to 3.5.

        It must be terrible the amount of crap you get for telecom issues, but hey thats comes with the territory.

        Kyle

  22. Having to wait more than 2 weeks to sort my ORCON email out and then only after getting on to management, sadly once again I’m no longer able to access any email – even on the webmail – Orcon I’m on my way, the 29 days left (still without email) until I start giving Actrix a go can’t go quickly enough… What once was a great ISP seems to have gone the same way as XTRA VPH & Slingshot – too many customers & not enough customer care…

    1. Hi Tony,

      We have had a couple of minor outages this month with Webmail, perhaps this has been what has affected your email account?

      If there is anything I can do to help out please feel free to get in touch with me directly: duncan.blair (at) team.orcon.net.nz

      Duncan Blair
      Head of Brand and Communications
      Orcon

  23. Just to clarify some issues. I’ve experienced the same dropouts as Ben did for pretty much 1 year with Orcon in North Shore. Always suspected the modem (Dynalink RTA1320) of overheating and rebooting if I did over 1GB in traffic in one session. I have one day recorded with over 130 disconnects in the space of 24 hours.

    Replaced it last Thursday night with a DrayTek Vigor DV120 which, although not cheap ($140), made my connection more stable by an order of magnitude.

    It didn’t occur before (I’ve been with Orcon for almost 3 years) because I never had great wiring. After a service from Chorus last year the speeds went up, and so went the disconnects.

    As Ben posted in the original article: the higher speeds may be causing your modem to ‘give up’ after some traffic’s been through.

  24. Hi guys,

    Apologies I have been a little slow getting to some of these comments.

    Just a quick reminder: if you have an issue with your Orcon broadband (or any other product) please make sure you log a fault with us directly so that we are aware of it and are able to find a solution. You can log a fault by email (support@orcon.net.nz) or call 0800 13 14 15.

    More than happy to answer any questions or comments here, but I just want to make sure that we are fixing whatever issues you have.

    Thanks,
    Duncan Blair
    Head of Brand and Communications
    Orcon

    1. Hey Everyone / Duncan.

      Yes do what he says:

      Got this message today from Orcon out of the blue.

      “HI KYLE,

      We’ve made the plan changes that you asked for.

      So now you can jump back online. Happy surfing!

      The Orcon Team”

      And now have this: wow over double the speed, how interesting! http://www.speedtest.net/result/833598237.png

      Thanks, happy Kyle now

  25. If everyone at Orcon was as dedicated as Duncan it might be a good company.

    However I emailed support over a week ago and have still not seen any acknowledgment of the email/request.

    Sigh.

    1. Email = lost in transit. Ring Ring Ring.. It goes onto your account and if you ring enough, they will start listening.

      I generally start the conversation like this.

      Yes checked the router, changed the filter, tried a different jack and yet I did try and turn it off and on again :).

      Why don’t you email him. duncan.blair (at) team.orcon.net.nz, they do want to keep everyone happy – Future goals though if Telecom is still running the show.

    2. Murphy strikes… just as I pressed submit I got a response from the Help Desk! Support must be watching this page closely!!! lol

      1. Haha, you guys and your conspiracy theories!

        As much as I do love reading Ben’s blog I am not watching it that closely. Glad you got a response though. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help out.

        Duncan Blair
        Head of Brand and Communications
        Orcon

  26. Well we switched from Vodafone to Orcon naked dsl on the promise of higher down and upload speeds.

    So far our experience is that page loads in particular from US sites (and our own servers on slicehost (dallas)) is way slower with a lot of latency.

    Not sure what’s going on – is the international bandwidth throttled for or by Orcon vs Vodafone ??

  27. I have been an Orcon customer for many years, and for the years that were lived in Ponsonby Auckland, a very happy customer.

    However I moved to Sandringham in Feb, and continued with Orcon.
    Since then, and till now, 6 months later, I have been experiencing connection speed drops from 11,000kbps, to 1,200kbps, around 3 times a month. And the only way ive been able to solve this is by phoning Orcon and having them do a line reset.

    Every time i call them, i have to explain that:
    YES ive tried with and without a filter,
    YES ive tried 4 different routers
    YES those 4 different routers work perfect at other peoples houses
    YES ive tried all the phone jacks in my house
    YES ive tried different cables, RJ44’s and RJ45’s

    Each time I have to call up about this i end up sitting on hold for 20 mins, and then having to explain to someone totally different the entire story again and again.

    Im paying for ADSL2+ speeds, and not even getting ADSL1 speeds.
    TWISE now a “tech” has been sent to “investigate” the problem at exchange/lines/my house and neither time have i ever even been contacted about it. And the problem still continues…

    Pretty ive got some rights to dispute my bill over this.
    Not happy at all….
    Come on ORCON! What happened to no ques on the customer service, what happened to fast stable speeds???

    Very VERY disappointed customer.

    1. So a tech came out to my house, replaced all the cable between me and the exhange. The problem was fixed for 2 weeks.

      Now my reconnects 45 times a day at least. And my speeds bouce from 1.4mbps to 12mbps

      I cant stay connected long enough to even load a youtube video.

      Seriously awaiting your opinion on this Duncan…. You seem to be pretty on to it answering questions, little dissapointed you skipped mine. Ive been a customer with orcon for around 4 years.

      1. Hi Richard,

        Apologies that I missed yours.

        Obviously something isn’t going right there (45 disconnects don’t lie). I would be happy to get the guys to take another look.

        Perhaps drop me an email directly – duncan.blair (at) team.orcon.net.nz and I will make sure it gets seen to.

        Hopefully we can get it sorted quickly (and permanently).

  28. Hi,

    I have been with Orcon for about 3 years and had great internet speeds and good value for money and had recommended them to a few of my friends, about 4 in total had joined up.

    About 2 years ago I began experiencing issues.
    My internet would drop to below dialup speeds and randomly disconnect. While I’m on the phone the phone line would randomly disconnect.
    The internet would usually be unusable during the day sometime getting 30kbps. I restart of the modem would sometimes get it to 1.8mbps on the ADSL2+ Network.
    At times the internet speed would slow down only when I’m on a call.
    I had called up Orcon who gave me these bunch of tests 2 routers, new , but they had no solution for it.
    They had the call open for ages and threatened me with charges if they sent some one over and it was my fault, but no one came.

    I had moved house twice in that time with exactly the same issue. My friends in other suburbs were also experiencing the exact issue. I have since moved to Telecom a month ago and a few of my friends have decided to do the same. Funny thing now that I’m with Telecom my internet speed is about 16mbps and internet never drops.

  29. duncan:

    i quite enjoy the fact that most, if not all of your answers to comments on this page are answered in the same fashion and language of all communication between a representative of internet service provider and the end user i have ever experienced as an technical professional, perhaps later in life a stint as politician may be nice for you. but for some everyday variety internet consumers, it would be nice for the entity profiting from the end user to not have to put the onus of problem resolution back at the end user, telling me that ‘I’ have to conduct speed tests and the like, measuring over a period of time, manually recording speeds at different time of day, rebooting my networking equipment, will simply not do for me, i expect the service that i pay for to be just that, A SERIVCE THAT I PAY THE ISP FOR, can i bill you my time used whilst conducting these tests of YOUR equipment, or do you put me on your payroll fulltime?

    1. Hi Nathan,

      I am sorry to hear that you think that my answers have been in the style of a regular telco (or, *gasp* a politician). I would like to think I have done a little better than that for a couple of reasons:
      1. I have published my direct contact details (which are also available, along with all other Orcon management staff, on our website). I am not sure how easy you would find it to directly contact someone senior from one of our competitors.
      2. We have been completely transparent and published the information about how we manage traffic on our network for everyone to see. I am not sure how many of our competitors do that either.

      With regard to you providing details for us in order to diagnose and remedy a fault – unfortunately in most situations there is just no better way for us to do this. We have a set of diagnostic tools on our side, but if these are not showing any problems then we need to collect information from you so that we are able to understand the problem that you are having. I am sure that you can appreciate there are a lot of variables in the provision of Internet services. Problems can occour in gear at our end, equipment at our customers location, or the cables in between. They could of course also originate from a specific web server or host. We are unable to effectively test all of these from our end. So, while we will do everything that we are able to, we do need your help to get it fixed.

      I guess you could think of it like going to the doctor… they probably aren’t going to be able to diagnose what is wrong with you without a little bit of help from you, no matter how much you pay them for their services.

      I hope that helps to explain why we need your help.

      Duncan Blair
      Head of Brand and Communications
      Orcon

  30. Had the techies at Orcon been as aggressive to sort out my email problems as the accounts dept. are in collecting an alleged outstanding debt since I left them; I may not of been in the slightest bit interested in this forum – I now realise I’m not alone as a ex satisfied/loyal customer of this once great ISP, and can’t help feeling other contributors here are the tip of the disillusioned Orcon customer iceberg. Come along Orcon, get your corporate act together!
    The sooner the Two Degrees team get into providing broadband services the better.

    1. I have never been more frustrated by a company than Orcon. It appears that their Helpdesk staff know nothing more than a particularly narrow part of what they are dealing with. They also appear to have access to an extremely limited range of information. It has been an absolute nightmare trying to leave them for another ISP. I personally dropped the modem back to their Head Office in Northcote but now they can’t tell me that they have received it. The Helpdesk person asked if I received a receipt when I dropped it back but all the receptionist did was stick a post-it note with my user name to it (I have a horrible feeling it may then have dropped off). When I tried to cancel my services they sent me an email saying that they can’t connect me. I would just like to receive a final bill from them and never hear their name again. I also think that their statement “No fixed term contracts” is misleading – they have one month fixed term contracts and you always need to give them 30 days notice to leave. They should immediately change their slogan to “One month fixed term contracts”. Also I think they need a lot better procedures and to answer emails that are sent to them.

  31. I am having the same problem as discussed at the beginning of this thread, connection is nice and fast then drops to almost nothing. upload speed is also useless. Was with Telecom for over a year and decided to change to orcon but now just have problems. When we moved house it took over a week to have the phone and internet connected, was told but the help desk that the tech had been out twice to connect it so it should be working but still was not. the third time they came out the seem to have connected it and told me that the previous people had connected to the wrong place. the help dest origionally said the tech would call once he was done which he did not and i think this is terrible if they can not even tell if they have done their job properly and then when they find out they have not, even for the second time you have to go to the end of the line and wait for the next free tech to come out.

    I dont recommend Orcon to anyone as it is really not worth the trouble

    When my speed is goot this is what i get:

    Download – 5.12Mb/s
    UPload – 0.12Mb/s
    ping – 18ms

    This lasts a few min then drops to pretty much nothing for a few seconds and then goes back up for a few minutes.

    Is this normal or do you think the problem should be fixed?

    1. Ring them up and get them to turn on interleaving. You will prob drop down to around 4mbs, but international traffic won’t get close to that anyway, so unless you want TradeMe to load faster you’ll be ok 😉

      Also if your speed was crap with Telecom it will be your lines or the distance away from the exchange. But yeah interleaving will fix dropouts.

      Check on your Orcon account as Orcon are the only company that show dropouts, so if there are none on the account it will be your router.

      Another thing to check is all Panasonic cheap cordless phones will cause the line to drop out when the phone calls, so try that.

      Hope that helps.. as an Ex unhappy Orcon customer I am now a happy Orcon customer…

      1. on the phone to them now, will let you know what they say

        thanks for the fast responce. do my upload speeds look slow to you?

  32. on the phone to them now, will let you know what they say

    thanks for the fast responce. do my upload speeds look slow to you?

    1. Yeah your speed and upload looks fine, your not going to come close to both of those internationally. As long as you get a stable connection you should be fine to do most things.. A ping of 18 is good.

      Just check all your phone lines though, also I forgot to say find your master phone point plug in your modem there, have everything else unplugged and make sure your using ethernet and you will see your maxium capability. To give you an idea, i told someone to do that they went from 3mbs to 10+ Mbs. This was in Auckland.

      1. just spoke to rocon and they said they will change my plan to the platinum+ plan which has a much higher upload and download speed. will take atleast a week to do though so now i will just have to wait end see.

        Thanks again for your help

  33. I was following a thread on geekzone slamming orcon and we’re shopping around for a new ISP after having a guts full.

    Orcon used to be great. I have speed test results from 2006 to today getting slowing and slower and our line speed is getting faster and faster.

    Youtube, TVNZ are unusable unless you’re on at about 5:30 AM. Downloads are the same. Seems about 7AM the traffic shaping comes on and you get a little bit of the download then it stalls and you in for a 2KB/s download…

    RIP usable orcon…

  34. HELLO ORCON – CAN YOU F***ING HEAR THIS????

    As you are WELL aware we have been having line dropouts SINCE F***ING MAY (coming up to 12 months now). As you are also well aware, the line drops out at random, sometimes once a week, sometimes several times an hour. And when it drops out, 4 times in 5 it reconnects in a couple of minutes and 1 time in 5 it takes anything from a few hours to a day. Makes it F***ING DIFFICULT to use the internet reliably e.g. provide remote support for clients, as my employer requires me to do.

    And every time we log a fault with your service desk we get ‘We’ll get a technician to look at it’.

    How about getting your technician to F***ING FIX IT?

    And most times we phone the service desk, we get a poxy little email (when it reconnects, that is) asking us to tell you how you are doing.

    Listen carefully.

    YOU ARE DOING CRAP.

    And you give us no method to escalate the problem. The only other contact we have for you is a fax number. After 9 months of recurrent problems, we sent a fax. We got a terse letter back telling us that customers trying to escalate a problem was unacceptable and the only way to contact you was through the support desk, and ‘they’d get a technician to look at it’.

    At least the letter didn’t finish with a request to ‘tell us how we are doing’.

    The only reason we haven’t told you to shove the service up your ass is (i) when it works, it is very good and (ii) if it is a Chorus problem then changing from you to anyone else isn’t going to fix it.

    Our beef with your support desk is that there is NO EVIDENCE that you actually like your customers, no evidence that a recurrant fault SINCE F***ING MAY is being escalated anywhere, and no channel for us to escalate.

    1. Hey Mate, get them to turn on interleaving. Also if you are using the home hub it’s crap. Well there are specific settings you need to make sure the ports work, also disconnections etc.

      Since they turned on interleaving my speed has slightly decreased, which makes no difference as international traffic is capped by telescam.

      Email me on kylegibsonnz@gmail.com if you want me to take a look for you. The problem is, that Orcon can do little as they don’t own the gear.

      1. >They don’t own the gear

        Agreed.

        I demonstrated early on this was a Chorus problem as I could lose then regain the physical circuit between us and the exchange and Orcon’s systems thought it had never gone down.

        We even managed some resistance measuring while it was down at one stage, and worked out it was within 200m on the Chorus side of our demarc point.

        The issue all along was to get the Orcon help monkeys to break away from the scripted response of “We’ll get a technican to look at it” when any sort of CRM/ticket analysis system would have told them that after 6+ months of this approach, it wasn’t actually fixing the problem.

        My second beef was a shitty letter I got from some Orcon marketing monkey when I dared to send them a fax suggesting their service department wasn’t on top of fixing this one.

        My third beef is a software issue I told them about, but they didn’t show any evidence of ‘getting’. If they had fixed that one, the disconnections would have been more an inconvenience than an absolute pain.

        Be all that as it may, once they did get the right Chorus guy out (and that is apparently a challenge following the VisionStream debacle) it took 4 hours to find it, 2 minutes to fix it and the broadband etc service has been faultless since.

        My overall opinion is Orcon does a good job, but were let down horribly by their support desk management software, and its inability to escalate problems that are hanging around unresolved.

    1. The upshot is that we weren’t being taken seriously by Chorus, as we were “only” having 5 disconnections a day “on average”. It has to be higher to get over their threshold.

      And despite us being in this state for a year, Orcon didn’t seem to be kicking Chorus enough in the ass. There is a difference between an average of 5 disconnections over a few days, versus over a year.

      We won the battle when we had a disconnection while on a voice call to the Orcon service desk. Apparently the threshold for voice call disconnection is much lower, and **finally** someone kicked Chorus’ ass enough to get a senior technician out to put the effort in to find the fault and fix it.

      The fault was in a Chorus roadside cabinet. One of our wires had been nicked when someone was snipping the adjacent wire in the cabinet. The metal bit had been cut through but a sliver of the insulation was intact. It was holding the cut ends of the wire together. Therefore we got a circuit.

      But if a truck or bus drove past, the vibration caused the two bits of the wire to bounce apart momentarily, and disconnection happened.

      The wire has been fixed. We haven’t had a disconnection since; so much so we’re probably going to put interleaving etc back to how it was before this all started.

      BUT

      As far as I can tell, the software problem I notified Orcon about is still there. This is where an ADSL circuit can break then electrically reeconnect this way. The customer’s router thinks the logical circuit is down and tries to re-authenticate, but the Orcon end thinks the logical circuit is still up and rejects the re-authentication.

  35. Hey I am out in Te Atatu P as well and I have gone back and forth with Orcon since we moved here 4 years ago with no improvements. I left K Road and a lovely 10mb connection to get 2 – 3.5mb, from about 2007 until now. I think given the money that is extracted from the Te Atatu community this should just get resolved.

    On a side note I contacted Telecom thinking about moving ISPs and they told me the same story, you are screwed for broadband if you live in Te Atatu, perhaps I should move somewhere more affluent:

    “Thank you for your interest in Telecom Broadband.

    Fixed line broadband from almost all service providers (ISP’s) use the same network cables, so the only difference in possible speed will be if the individual service plan has a speed cap.

    All our broadband plans allow the speed to be the best the line provides, so if you current ISP provides an ‘uncapped’ speed plan, the speed will not be any different when changing ISP’s. The only time you will receive different speeds is if you were connecting with other technology, e.g. cable broadband which is provided in some parts of main city centres and Mobile Broadband on 3G.

    Nikolai, I have tested the possible speeds at ***** St Te Atatu and can see that the maximum speed would be around 4Mbps.”

  36. Hey ORCON stpp charging me for a service i don’t have and you should be aware of me not having this your services as you cut it off a week before the date you were informed to. Can’t believe you are still doing this kind of thing to your x customers.

    PS banning customers from posting on Facebook wont stop the truth coming out about your CRAP SERVICE service and INCOMPETENT STAFF

  37. The new Orcon router and phone is like a brick from the 80s DON’T RISK A @$ MONTH PLAN FOR A PHONE THAT’S INSANELY MASSIVE! To late for me

  38. Having just come across this site let me tell you my story. Received an unslocited call one day telling me I could sign up with Orcon but would have to make decision now as there was only one connection left. Said I was with Telecom and was happy with their service. When they told how much better value their similar plan was I had to agree it was $20 per month cheaper. Said I was still happy with Telecom but if they could provide as good a connection with regard to speed then I would certainly take the offer up. Well surprise surprise not only did they say they would provide as good but they should be able to do even better. Note I said should. To cut a long story short ended up with a less than 2Mbps connection from a 7 plus. Also had the dreaded dropouts as well. This was end November last year. Rang support waited the eternity and then went through the usual procedures of checking everything. Would have to say tech guys tried to be very helpful. By end January and lots of support calls later we had Chorus out several times and finally have got to just over a 3Mbps although this is inconcistent. Just ran another speedtest and back to less than 2mbps. Oh well back to Telecom pleading for a connection!!!

  39. Hey Ben I just spotted you down at the village and it reminded me to come and have a look here to see how you were going with Orcon.

    I’m with them too and have similar issues to people above. At best I get 0.75Mb/s and about the same upload speed, in fact sometimes upload is faster than download. Dropouts are pretty common, and my SNR and attenuation rates are bad bad bad.

    I gave up logging faults with Orcon, having to wade through the BS and get quite angry to get anyone to do anything when I could tell THEM that the problem is not at my house because when I moved here I ripped out the spiders web of cabling the previous owners had. Now I have undergrounded the cable down my long drive (I could hear Radio Rhema in the background on my landline and suspected the overhead cable was being an aerial to the nearby AM transmitter..), installed hard wired splitter etc he cabling has all been done properly, because I wanted to make absolutely sure the problem wasn’t me!

    Anyway now that my contract has expired with Orcon I’m looking forward to moving back to Telecom (I NEVER thought I would be saying that!). Reason being that with the recent cabinet install on corner of Taikata and Matipo my theory is my connection with Telecom should terminate there, a LOT closer than all the way back to the exchange near the MW motorway. I really hope my theory is correct because then I should have about 500m cable distance instead of around 4Km.

    I’ve already signed up with Telecom, just waiting for the cutover which should be today or tomorrow then I will hopefully be bathing in fast broadband. Actually I’d be happy with 2Mb/s+ and a reliable connection!

    Bye bye Orcon.

  40. Orcon is a nightmare. This is the worst provider I have ever seen and unfortunately I am bound with it until the end of the year. I have been biterly dissapointed numerous times and I deeply regreat the day I joined Orcon.

    1. i think they have cheated most of us…i wont pay them a single penny as they promise 10MB download speed a part from their price… Now they have sent me a huge bill.

  41. Orcon Sucks…
    Hardly 4MBPS Download and less that 800KBPS (NOT MBPS) upload..
    I am tired of this service.. I was on 80GB Telecom for 85NZD, ORCON offered me 40GB+Home line (with Extra 1000GB to use in 18 months) only for 70NZD per month…
    BUT BUT BUT I received 175 Bill for just 45 Days.

    I am tired of Orcon support center.. and want to join Telecom again..
    Assad
    (06) 5600828

  42. orcon why dont you supply phone support for the genius after hours

    i had called yesterday about home line not working tech said will call me back after fixing never happened

    tried to call before going to work as mrs at home during the day and no phone support for genius home line only support for copper

  43. I have been with orcon for many years. in november my phone number was released for reallocation.
    and then given to a trustpower coustomer. i could still make outbound calls. no i didnt know there was a problem untill my children were abused by the new owners of the number. noise on line poor internet speeds. nearly an hour wait to get through to 0800 number. then there was a periodwhere inbound tolls got a busy signal
    all the while broadband at 1.33mbps at most download and .3 at most upload today its .o3 with a ping of 70ms.
    all the while I have been billed full month charges for a very unreliable service. indeed in november they billed twice for broadband
    lost all phone and internet between christmas and new year…while techs said they would look at it
    nothing happened

    thankyou megan 9th jan for calling them again the line was not restored till 21st jan

    my aged mother now deceased
    my farming operation
    the away from home kids
    have all been greatly inconvenienced

    moving is my only choice.
    I cant afford to stay with orcon. I need a reliable phone service and timely problem solving.

  44. Right Lets bring this big bag of honesty back to life:
    I was just looking at your mission statement: To provide awesome service and innovations to our customers, and help New Zealanders get the most out of the internet.

    Do you have customer service? all i have had is a charge on my account for a fault that was not a my end or chours (fault is with Orcon) but i was charged $130, No phone line for 8 months, Paying for internet speeds i have never received (200mbps – getting 112 max then GIG 1000mbps – getting 69.14mbps) Spent 1hr 26mins on the phone tonight (1 of many nights) being treated like i am stupid. list goes on SO many faults logged, so many promises very little action, sounds like a trip to
    Telecommunication Dispute Resolution is the only way to get what i am paying for….

  45. Shocking Service from Orcon.

    I have been a customer of theirs for almost 5years now and had slow ADSL connection but no real problems for all that time. I have recently (last 2 & half months) had my international calling give me this message “your call cannot be connected at this time” this is to all numbers outside NZ.

    I have supplied them with test numbers (10 of them) on 4 occasions they go away and after 2 weeks come back and say all working we are going to close the ticket. I test and you guessed it exact same result. And not ever even one apology!!

    It obviously affects my business as I cannot call AUS or my oversees family, this is frustrating as my dad who has been sick in South Africa. I Have had to resort to paying Skype to dial the landline and mobile numbers internationally.

    All you get from Orcon are their call center agents who can do nothing for you and cannot request any real people or managers to discuss the issue with you. Orcon also is quite shy with not providing physical addresses etc on their web site? Yet are quite happy to continue to charge the $30 extra for the service a month. and if i want to cancel because they cannot provide me with the service, they want to charge me early termination fees as 5 months ago I upgraded to VDSL.

    All in all this has been the most frustrating “customer service” I have ever received and highlights how they don’t care about their customer just the cash, if you are thinking of using Orcon don’t!

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