Xtra wishes for a very merry Christmas

This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

Are you ready for Christmas yet? There are just 11 sleeps until the big day and for some reason, I’m more organised this year than I’ve ever been in the past.

christmas-tree-withI’ve already done half my Christmas shopping — something that normally gets started about December 23 — and now I’m taking the time to think about what I’d like Santa to shove into my Christmas stocking.

Sure, it would be nice to have a spot of goodwill to all men and some of that world peace stuff but I’m leaning towards regular e-mail deliveries and perhaps a new tattoo.

Xtra has been the subject of a massive spam attack for weeks now, which has caused a major case of constipation for e-mails travelling through the Xtra network and I’m beginning to wonder if my e-mails will ever return to normal.

Some e-mails are being delivered hours, or even days, after being sent. I spoke to a nice bloke at Xtra yesterday and while he assured me the company was putting 85 percent of its resources into solving the problem, he was unable to give any indication of when, or even if, the problem would be fixed.

Xtra had already been getting slammed on message boards for not living up to expectations on speed with the new broadband plans it launched recently, now the criticism is becoming even louder. I accept that it’s impossible for Xtra to offer a definite date for a return to normal service but perhaps the company should make better efforts to communicate with its customers.

A message on the Xtra website with confirmation of the problem and an assurance that everything possible is being done to fix it would be a good start. And I mean on the front page, not a largely uninformative message tucked away in the help and support section.

There was no problem making the effort to let everyone know about the confirmation of the internet’s worst kept secret yesterday — the joint online venture with Yahoo — so come on Xtra, stop treating us like mushrooms.

The new site, to be called Yahoo! Xtra, will have an enhanced range of news, sport, weather, and messaging and Telecom’s Xtra customers will eventually have access to a range of premium services with mail, enhanced spam and virus-protection management, photo sharing, local news and net radio.

If you’re still stuck for a gift for that special someone, how about the Shewee? Ladies, if you’ve ever had a burning desire to pee standing up, this might be for you.

However, if you’ve just had a burning desire, you might need to see your doctor.


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