February 23, 2010


Well, XT fell over again, not that it's exactly been notice anywhere else (can't find anything about Telecom in the Guardian, BBC, the Register or Economist). In this matter I am struck by the lack of power the consumer has in this situation. I've been close enough to heavy systems users and suppliers to have some idea of the pointy clauses in most service agreements about uptime. Whether it is 99.9% or 99.999%, the customer has a definition of the level of service they can expect - and the sort of compensation or penalties which apply if the level of service is not met.

But apparently this is not available to you as an option if you are a general customer - even a small business one. It's firmly a take it or leave it situation. Given that fair and responsive contracts are supposed to be based on this negotiation and meeting of the minds, it's absence makes me think it would be fair enough for the government to step in and alter the playing field a little. For example, clarifying that the Fair Trading Act or Consumer Guarantees Act interpret contracts for service as having an implied uptime, and providing some mechanisms for resolving the situation - including an implied non performance of contract which would let you hitch up with someone else.

Posted by carla at 07:27 PM

February 21, 2010

it's just a jump to the left

It's been a while since I last saw a pall over Wellington harbour. I expect the last time was a burn in the hills between Lower Hutt and Wainuiomata in the 80s. In those days I remember at least one big black scar on those hills at any given time. However, like roofs blowing off in every big storm, it seems like people have Taken Steps, and those steps have been successful in reducing the problem.

So it was a little weird to recognise the smoke from the Titahi Bay fire today from Haititai. What was more of a surprise, is finding out that Titahi Bay is actually east of my house. Not much east, but clearly not anywhere near the flavour of nor-west I'd been assuming for the last 20-30 years.

Posted by carla at 07:15 PM