The Slingshot Experience, Part 1

A month or two back I wrote that I was considering switching ISPs. I took the plunge mid-January and finally decided to change over. Firstly I went to Slingshot’s website and signed up there for Naked DSL, being assured that everything would be happening and they would send me texts to keep me up to date. After a week, I had heard nothing from them, and so made my first call to the helpdesk. For some reason, as it turned out, my application had not progressed in their systems. The calltaker got some more details off me and assured that a sales rep would call.

After another week went by and I had not heard from this rep, I called the desk again. This time, they said my broadband would switch over on the 4th of February. The guy on the other end had something like an Indian accent, and as is typically the case in such instances, was very hard to understand. Another week rolled by and along came the 4th of February. I took the new modem out of its box, connected it up, and it worked just as expected. Then I got onto the website and downloaded the X-Lite Softphone. But it couldn’t register. So it was time to call the helpdesk again. After a little more work, they changed something at their end and got the phone working. That was OK except that I didn’t have a mic at my end.

So, the next step was to borrow a headset from work, which it turned out was only recognised as an output device – the front panel mic jack wouldn’t recognise the mic when I plugged it in. Rather than muck around trying to connect it to the rear panel jack instead, I decided to wait a couple of days and buy a USB handset from Dick Smith Electronics (Cat. XH7170). When this was plugged in, it was recognised as both an input and output device. Should have been all set now, right? Not so. Because the broadband had died…

…I later found that Telecom had not switched me from their network until the 11th February, and that I continued to access their network between the 4th and 11th, even though I was using my Slingshot modem and account details. This in fact does not seem unusual. I have seen other modems running on the Telecom network with old invalid usernames and passwords, that don’t appear to be an issue. There is something odd when you can be connected to a DSL network without having to enter a valid username and password.

Getting back to the matter of the moment, I spent the next three weeks on the phone to Slingshot repeatedly as they tried to discover the cause of the connectivity problem. Later I discovered that I have never made a successful connection to their network. What has worked so far is the iTalk side, not in being able to make phone conversations through it, but in receiving voicemails as email messages to my Slingshot address (which also appears to work as expected). I have not got around to configuring any part of it except the email address to send these voicemails to.