XNET are Spineless and Uncaring

I was at a friend’s house the other night, and we were trying to work online. The DSL router/modem was working just fine, our phones and computers were all just fine, but no internet.

The ISP was XNET, who have no phone customer service at night after 8pm – which is not exactly a quiet time for traffic.  I regard internet access as a utility – up there with electricity, gas, water – not that they are much better, and no service means a lot of stuff grinds to a halt.

After calling the next morning (at 8:01 – they open at 8am) we were referred to the email below, which was sent to the customer’s XNET Webmail inbox. That XNET webmail inbox had received a total of 5 emails since mid May – none of which had been opened. (Who uses an ISP’s mail box – especially with boutique ISP’s?)

So XNET sent an email to their own unused inbox, and then dropped access to the internet for the house. No phone calls, no emails to an address that is actually checked. Nothing.


Sender: WorldxChange Communications
Recipient: xxxxxx@xnet.co.nz
Date:
Dear Customer,

We have received notice regarding your IP address (at the time) actively downloading the following copyright material.

“received notice” is one thing, but did you follow up? Did you check?


This activity is against our terms of service which you agreed upon when joining Xnet (Acceptable Use Policy http://www.xnet.co.nz/content/terms.shtml). If you have received this email without speaking to a customer service representative, then please call us on 0800 14 9638 to expedite the notification process.

http://www.xnet.co.nz/content/terms.shtml referred to resolves to a 404 error. T&C’s are actually here (pdf)
There are all sorts of goodies in that policy – like an Excessive use clauses (warn, shape, cancel), simultaneous connections ($5 per connection – execrable), and a final statement that says “All services are provided by WorldxChange Communications under New Zealand Law.” Hold that thought.


What Is A Copyright Infringement Notice?

The movie, game & music industries have empowered a number of organisations to investigate and prosecute breaches of copyright occurring on the Internet.

So another organisation is able to identify a customer from your records? Where is our privacy? Who is this organisation? Are they operating under NZ law? How did they identify the customer? Why did you pass their message through? Did you pass customer name and details to them? Is that legal?

A copyright infringement is notice of a copyright breach which is usually sent to the offending users Internet service provider. You put yourself at risk of receiving a copyright infringement by using third party sharing programs and downloading copyright content from the Internet.

What happens if I receive a Copyright Infringement?

You will be warned and provided with a copy of the infringement in question. We will attempt to contact you within a 24 hour period to notify you of the Infringement. If we are unable to speak with you your internet service will be temporarily suspended until we are able to do so.

No messages left, no voice communications attempted, no effort made to contact the customers. XNET just dropped the connection.

The option is available to contact the copyright organisation and dispute said infringement. If copies of correspondence can be shown to clear the matter the infringement will not be taken into account.

Sure. Contact the RIAA or MPAA or ESA to discuss their allegations that you have downloaded copyright material? That’s asking for a court case that you cannot afford.

What happens if I receive a second Copyright Infringement?

We will attempt to contact you within a 24 hour period to notify you of the second Infringement. If we are unable to speak with you your internet service will be suspended until we are able to do so.

The Internet service will be closed & notice of the second infringement will be given.

The option is available to contact the copyright organisation and dispute said infringement. If copies of correspondence can be shown to clear the matter the account can be re-instated.

Overview

Copyright breaches are illegal and dealt with in a serious manner. We do not wish to lose a customer however repeated Copyright Infringements leave us with no choice. If you receive two infringements (un-disputed) your Internet service will be closed and you will need to find another provider.

Best regards,
WorldxChange Communications
Ph : 0800 14 XNET (0800 14 9638)

— Infringement Follows —
Case:
ID:
Status: Open
Complainant:
Entity: Entertainment Software Association
Contact: Anti-Piracy Enforcement, Intellectual Property Enforcement Manager
Address: 575 7th Street, NW Suite 300, Washington, D. C. 20004 United States of America
Phone: 1(202) 223-2400,1(202) 223-2401
Email: esa@copyright-compliance.com
Service_Provider:
Entity: WorldxChange Communications
Address:
Email: abuse@wxnz.net
Source:
TimeStamp:
IP_Address:
Port:
DNS_Name: xxxxx.xdsl.xnet.co.nz
Type:
UserName:
Number_Files: x
Deja_Vu:
Content:
Item:
Title:
FileName: somegame
FileSize: xxxxx
URL: somerandomemeaninglessurl

So the ESA sends through a breach notice, these spineless guys just nod, append it to an automatic email and then drop the connection. No phone call, no judge, no jury, just capricious disconnection of what these days is regarded as a utility.

My friends are seeking another ISP. And I disagree with Mauricio – XNET shold not put their prices up, they should fix their customer approach and customer service hours first.

Oh – did my friends download the dodgy file? They certainly didn’t themselves, but they have children with computers & they have a wifi network, so who knows? The point is that the ISP presumed guilt, disconnected a service without first contacting the customer and didn’t provide a mechanism for getting back online past 8pm at night.

About Lance Wiggs

@lancewiggs
This entry was posted in Internet Business, Life, media, NZ Business. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to XNET are Spineless and Uncaring

  1. Juha says:

    It’s interesting to see that an ISP would voluntarily agree to implement Section 92A of the new copyright act amendment before it made it into law – and, which is deemed so problematic that it’s suspended for the time being.

    Be more honest by Xnet to say that any kind of P2P activity is banned on their network and that they actively police it for infringements, with the help of unknown third parties that they share customers’ personal details with.

    Guess that wouldn’t work so well from a marketing perspective though.

    Like

  2. Dan says:

    This is interesting considering they’ve only just launched (a few months ago) a new ‘Torrent’ plan which is, quote:

    “Ideal for large volume subscribers, especially those using Peer to Peer or Torrent applications”

    Now I realise that not all P2P is illegal, but they are definitely encouraging its use.

    Like

  3. nate says:

    It may pay you to read this link if you haven’t already:

    http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=7833

    (point 9)

    Like

  4. Lance Wiggs says:

    Nate – thaks for that link, where rthe XNet CEO answers the question.

    Am I right in that it seems she seems to be obeying a law which does not exist?
    Also – who is to know whether the file at question was actually downloaded or not? One node on a torrent does not imply that the full file was downloads.

    My real concern is that this is a lot bigger than it seems.
    Where does it stop? If youtube2 plays copyright material is the ISP going to block access to that site?
    What about other organisations beyond the MPAA/RIAA/ESA – organisatins like the SIS, FBI, MI5, the Australian Government and so forth. Can they also decide what is bad? Are they going to block sites and files that those organisations do not like? Where does it stop? It’s a very very slippery slope here.

    Like

  5. Aaron Coveney says:

    I was actually looking up xnet’s website so as to sign up when i stumbled across this..
    as a result i wont be signing up for xnet and have decided to drop them as my toll call provider as well
    what a bunch of tossers

    Like

  6. DC says:

    Haaa, This happened to me also.

    They are very spineless, they hide behind a “voice recorded legally binding conversation” when you sign up.

    They refer to Terms and Conditions and Usage Policy, that only just recently has actually been available on their website, after three months of it not been viewable.

    Their excuse “I apologise for the inconvenience with viewing our Acceptable Use
    Policy, I have emailed the person who looks after the email program and
    asked him to update the emails to reflect the fact that the pdf file was
    moved to a new location.”

    In this PDF http://www.xnet.co.nz/pdfs/terms_xnet_acceptable_use_policy.pdf
    it links you to :http://www.xnet.co.nz/content/policy
    which is currently not there either

    All and all they appear to have an agreement that means they can cut you off for anything if they want. Very Big Brother type internet aggreement.

    If you send an embarrising photo to someone else, they can cut you off. If you download a pornographic photo, they can cut you off. If you get infected with a bot-net progrram and your computer infects or tries to infect another computer over the net, they can cut you off.

    All I see is they have something to cover their butts and shit on thier customers.

    I recently caught an IE addon from goodness knows where, a java infection type virus that advertises on my computer, I reinstalled my system. But someone used the connection from the world, through world exchange to my computer to breach their terms and conditions. Did they do anything? no. They can’t. the owner of the other ISP would laugh at them.

    I argued with them about this policy and found my internet speed has dropped from downloading @ 700-800kbps down to 100-110kbps. I am feeling a bit port shaped.

    The Torrent Plan is a joke. They make you pay for normal internet traffic at around $1.50 per Gig from 8am till 2am

    And your 75gig free ofpeak downloading is between 2am and 8am. 6 hours and all the time being capped by their management software.

    I definitely warn anyone wanting to go to xnet for broadband. They are shits. I will be changing to vodafone when the red netwok arrives.

    Like

    • knightdemon says:

      lol x-net i havent heard about them in so long lol
      poor excuse for a net compnay in my eyes, they still changed me a monthly bill even after i moved to snap.net.nz 6 months of them trying to get more money out of me saying i was still with them, then had the nerve to past the outstanding bill to baycorp, which i got off anyway.

      KEEP AWAY FROM X-NET aka WORLD EXCHANGE

      Im with snap and would never go to any other net or phone company after being treated like a real human

      Like

  7. DC says:

    Relax all ISPs are ridiculous. Telstra Clear Block access to know child pornography sites, which I agree entirely. But recently I heard that they didnt Block Bestiality sites. Does this mean they agree with Bestiality?

    Lolz Damn, I better not leave this on my screen too long, Xnet will look at what I am posting and kick me off the net again.

    Like

  8. Pingback: Why this site is in #blackout « Lance Wiggs

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