Telecom New Zealand apologises for email woe

The telco will make a £350,000 donation to charity and provide a week's free internet access to customers after recent email outages

Telecom New Zealand is planning a NZ$1m (£354,253) donation to charity and a week's free internet access for its customers, in order to make amends for recent outages in its email service.

New Zealand's incumbent telco has just named the former chief executive of BT Wholesale, Paul Reynolds, as its new chief executive.

Customers of its Xtra service will be able to put forward their suggestions on which charities should receive a donation, with the four most popular, based on users' votes, each picking up NZ$250,000.

All customers will also each receive one week's free broadband or dial-up access — a move Telecom says will cost it up to NZ$6m in total. The freebie comes as Telecom's apology to users who have been experiencing outages.

A Telecom spokesperson said that the problems resulted from an upgrade to the Xtra system: "Customers registered for the new service [Yahoo Xtra Bubble] and initially there was a fault with the registration. That created a backlog at our call centres."

Some customers are still affected by email problems, which the telco is dealing with on "a case-by-case basis" and will resolve "as soon as possible". Telecom's spokesperson said the company has employed extra call-centre staff to handle the backlog.

Telecom could not say how many users experienced the outages, although 500,000 clients were upgraded last weekend.