Telecom NZ accused of embellishing downloads

Dylan Bushell-Embling
09 Jun 2011

Telecom NZ is attracting negative publicity over reports the company could be overcharging for broadband by inaccurately measuring data traffic.

A residential and a business customer that had independently taken it on themselves to measure their data usage both claim Telecom has routinely been over-counting downloads when billing for broadband services, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Records kept by the business customer, an internet gaming centre, purport to show a discrepancy of as much as 139% per month - amounting to overcharging of over NZ$200 ($163) - and an average embellishment of 62%.

Telecom NZ has acknowledged the issue the customers are having, but said it had yet to find a technical reason for the discrepancy. Its equipment supplier, Alcatel-Lucent, is also thought to have checked out the network but found no errors.

The operator told the Herald it had removed download caps for the affected users, and said its metering system works smoothly for the rest of its customers.

But the nation's Telecommunication Dispute Resolution service has acknowledged receiving a number of complaints about telecom operators over data usage metering.

Oddly, Telecom NZ's metering system appears to have been under-counting uploads for the residential customer even as it embellished downloads, and there was no discrepancy between the metering for data consumption after the user's cap had been reached.

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