Telecom Xtra Blocks Out Competitors

It seems as though Telecom Xtra has made another, more significant than normal anti-competitive action by requiring all its customers to record into the Yahoo! Xtra e-mail system any e-mail addresses they use for their business.

So, if you have a professional e-mail address for your business, which is a service not provided by Xtra, you must now log all these e-mail addresses into Xtra’s system.

Under the guise of “Online Identity Theft Protection” or some such thing, Xtra has made it a requirement that in order to send e-mails from your business e-mail account, if your internet connection has been provided by Xtra you must log any e-mail addresses you intend to use, with the Xtra service.

At the same time, Xtra has announced plans for a stronger push into the business market, offering customers the ability to do all their business e-mail hosting and web hosting through Xtra.

Now, as Xtra will now know all e-mail addresses for all their customers, they can easily promote to them the “benefits” of changing their web hosting and e-mail services to Xtra.

Xtra now blocks, as standard, 50% of our services as a web and e-mail hosting services provider. Our customers must send all e-mails through the Xtra service, rather than our service. When a problem occurs with sending e-mail, our customers should be able to call us to resolve this. Rather, we have to send them on to the Xtra “Help”-desk, in order to get the issue resolved. Their enquiries are frequently sent overseas to people who have not been trained correctly, therefore the issue is sent back to us to resolve – which we can’t resolve as it’s not our service.

Needless to say, Xtra is limiting what its customers can do and restricting their ability to easily use a provider other than Xtra for their e-mail services.

In the interests of our customers, our interests, and the interests of other providers in the marketplace, we have lodged a formal complaint with the Commerce Commission in regards to what we see as being anti-competitive behaviour by Telecom in this matter. Watch this space for some action over this monopolistic behaviour in the future.

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