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Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
18-08-2014, 09:21 PM
Post: #1
Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
As you may have noticed on Twitter, I was approached this afternoon to give my thoughts on the recent events of Origin Broadband by Sheffield Star Business. I have given my thoughts and this will hopefully be going to press. Meanwhile, Origin Broadband or should I say Pete Lowes, now ironically enough Head Of Operations, delivered this statement to them;

Quote:Hi David,

Thank you for your enquiry. I've looked into the questions you've raised and I have some answersin a statement for you below:

Firstly, I think it's important to say that it was never our intention for ANY customer to lose their connection for any period of time; upon learning of the closure, Origin have made a massive investment and spent the last year building the fourth largest broadband network in South Yorkshire specifically to avoid this issue. We had an agreement in place with a major telecommunications company to seamlessly move customers from Digital Region to Origin's new network. Shortly before the closure on the 15th of August, it was made clear to us that a migration would not be technically possible due to the type of technology that Digital Region used (a standard known as Sub Loop Unbundling) and just to attempt it would cost hundreds of pounds per customer - with no guarantees as to it's success.

The situation as it stands now is that a minority of our customers within South Yorkshire have temporarily lost their broadband service. Our team are working around the clock to reconnect every customer as quickly as possible.

The reason Origin didn't warn customers that they were going to lose service is that we didn't know that this would happen until the closure was imminent. We deeply regret that this has happened. Any customer who has been without service will be refunded for any downtime and we are considering claims for compensation on a case-by-case basis. I can confirm that as an Internet Service Provider, Origin has always maintained regular contact with Ofcom and we have been consulting with them during this process.

Moving forward, every member of staff is working overtime to assist our customers and we are continuing to recruit aggressively to improve our overall customer service operation. We deeply regret the impact that this closure has had on our organisation (and more importantly, our customers), but we are doing everything in our power to restore service to all those affected as quickly as we can.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

This was in response to David's questions here;

Quote:Hello, I'm writing an article about the Digital Region shutdown and the complaints about Origin Broadband.

I'll be talking to individuals and businesses about their experiences.

Can you say please:

* How many customers have been cut off?

* What are Origin's plans for reconnecting them?

* How many customers have been connected to another network?

* How did the problem happen in the first place?

* Why did you leave it so long to warn people about the shut down?

* What went wrong with your plans?

* Will you be refunding people?

* Will you be paying compensation to people/businesses who claim to have lost out?

* Have you been contacted by Ofcom?

My deadline is the end of today, Monday August 18.

thanks and regards

Special thanks to David Walsh of The Star Business for allowing use of this communication to us!

Regards
Spencer Davies
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18-08-2014, 09:38 PM
Post: #2
RE: Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
So completely avoided two of the questions and provided very rough around the edge answers for the remainder.
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18-08-2014, 10:09 PM
Post: #3
RE: Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
I'm still not buying the excuses.

They should have known the circumstances and the costs well in advance. To leave such information to the last minute and with no contingency is at best naive and at worst completely unprofessional in my opinion.

Again, no apology for customers (although at least they 'regret' it now)...

And I'd love to see the numbers. A 'minority' affected. I wonder what the actual stats are and if it is actually a minority or a majority.
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18-08-2014, 10:13 PM
Post: #4
RE: Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
Indeed, so upwards of 1.5k customers were moved correctly apparently?
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18-08-2014, 10:24 PM
Post: #5
RE: Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
This just screams a severe lack of experience and common sense. Proof of concept, testing, pilot - all should have flushed out issues waaaay before migrations are due to take place.

In fact, Origin Pete stated (on a thread here) that they expected a charge from BT for each line migrated - so it couldn't have been much of a surprise. My guess is that the numbers and volumes didn't add up in the end.
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19-08-2014, 11:52 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2014 11:55 AM by Chalky.)
Post: #6
RE: Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
As Judge Judy would say:
   

At the end of the day, none of this excuses the fact that they are not updating customers. Both the Facebook and Twitter pages have had no updates since 15th but we know that they are certainly active on their Facebook page because they're busy deleting posts and banning people!

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20-08-2014, 01:17 AM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2014 01:19 AM by alexatkin.)
Post: #7
RE: Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
Quote:Shortly before the closure on the 15th of August, it was made clear to us that a migration would not be technically possible due to the type of technology that Digital Region used (a standard known as Sub Loop Unbundling)

As I have said before, I do believe that someone promised them a mass migration and then demanded too much money to do it, likely Openreach. How they didn't find out the cost until the last minute is anyones guess but I will give them the benefit of the doubt there. However, its impossible to believe that they didn't know it was an SLU service.

Underestimated how complicated it would be to migrate from perhaps, but in no way could they have been surprised to find out its an SLU service as even I knew that since well before it was even available on my exchange.

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20-08-2014, 07:19 AM
Post: #8
RE: Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
(20-08-2014 01:17 AM)alexatkin Wrote:  How they didn't find out the cost until the last minute is anyones guess but I will give them the benefit of the doubt there.

You are very forgiving, even after all the trouble they have put you through Angel

Either way, it doesn't inspire confidence that they really know what they are doing. It might be a complicated project, but if you can't get the basics right, then what does this say about how the business is run and the people in charge.

Personally I feel it might be safer to be elsewhere.
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20-08-2014, 08:38 AM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2014 08:50 AM by Hippojay.)
Post: #9
RE: Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
Article is online:

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/business/h...-1-6795000

That line confirms that Origin are letting people leave contracts without penalty. I'd post to facebook, but I appear to be banned too...
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20-08-2014, 06:47 PM
Post: #10
RE: Origin Statement 18th August To The Star Business
I've also been told by @Chalky that the sheffield star paper itself has a 2 page spread on the Origin fiasco..it nicely features my ugly mug too lol.

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Spencer Davies
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