Unchained FAQs
Posted by Andre Alessi on 14 December 2016 01:57 PM

Who can get it?

Unchained is available to residential customers: if you’re a person and not a business, you fit the bill.  As long as you can get a fixed-line fast internet connection at your house, we’d love you have you aboard.  If you’re a home business, you can pick whether our residential or business plans work better for you, we’re not going to be mad about it, but please note that the Consumer Guarantees Act applies only to residential customers.

How fast is it?

This varies by what type of service and plan you order.  We recommend you choose the fastest connection you can get at your house, but won't stop you if you want to choose a slower one.  Note that Fibre plans have specific speeds associated with the plan you choose, and some will be faster than others.

Service Type
Expected Downstream Speed
Expected Upstream Speed
ADSL Up to 24Mbps Up to 1Mbps
VDSL Up to 70Mbps Up to 10Mbps
Fibre 30/10 Up to 30Mbps Up to 10Mbps
Fibre 100/20 Up to 100Mbps Up to 20Mbps
Fibre 200/20 Up to 200Mbps Up to 20Mbps
Fibre 1000/500* Up to 1000Mbps Up to 500Mbps

ADSL and VDSL connections will generally be much slower than the speeds above, as these services are strongly affected by the distance between your house and your local exchange.

It's important to remember that all our Residential broadband plans are "best efforts".  This means that we will do our best to supply you with the speeds listed above, but can't offer any guarantees because any of the following factors that are outside our control may affect your speeds:

  • The distance between the exchange or roadside cabinet and your property (ADSL/VDSL only)
  • The quality of the copper phone lines to your house (ADSL/VDSL only)
  • The quality of your house's internal wiring (ADSL/VDSL only-if you select the $250 "I need wiring" option on your order form, this shouldn't be an issue)
  • The number of other people in your area also using the internet
  • The capabilities of your router or modem
  • If you are using Wifi, the distance from your device to your router, or obstructions between your device and your router
  • The capabilities of your computer or device
  • The number of devices connected to your router or WiFi network
  • Network-intensive activity from other devices on your router or WiFi network, like downloading/uploading large files or streaming video
  • Overall network performance (e.g. network congestion at a regional, national or global level) 
  • The specific site or service you are trying to reach

* Note that in particular, the "Gigabit" plan (Fibre 1000/500) may never be as fast as the speeds in the name suggest.  While you will see speeds much faster than any of our other plans (assuming none of the other factors above are slowing your connection down) we don't claim that you will always, or even often, see speeds of 1000Mbps down and 500Mbps up. Our testing indicates you are more likely to see download speeds of 300-800Mbps and upload speeds of 80-250Mbps under typical conditions.  This is due to factors outside our control to do with how Fibre services are supplied in New Zealand, but we are always working towards trying to make your connection as fast as it can be. 

If your connection seems slower than it should be, talk to us and we'll help you investigate your options.  If speed is really important to you, we do have a range of business grade services with guaranteed minimum speeds and a corresponding higher price.  Talk to us if you'd like to know more about these.

What does it cost to switch an existing connection to you from another provider?

We have a one off connection cost of $49.  If you'd like to rent one of our ZyXEL VMG8324-B10A routers as well, you can at $10 a month, with an additional one-off courier charge of $14.95.  Alternatively these routers are available for purchase at $225.00 plus a $14.95 courier fee.

What does it cost to install a new internet connection?

In most cases, we charge a $49 connection fee for all new connections.  There are some exceptions:

  • Sometimes our network service partners will advise us that there is extra work required to install your service.  We will discuss these charges with you before proceeding, and if you don’t want to pay these charges, your install will be cancelled.  This applies mostly to Fibre install, but sometimes ADSL and VDSL installs need extra work too.
  • For new installs of ADSL and VDSL, if you select the “I need wiring” option, there is an additional fee of $250.00.  This option ensures a Chorus technician visits your house and checks that your internal wiring is suitable for a connection, including a check whether the service you have ordered actually works.  If you request ADSL or VDSL and don’t select this option when ordering a new connection (rather than a transfer from another provider) we can’t guarantee that it will work on the date we’ve given you.  If it doesn’t, there may be an additional charge to send a Chorus technician out to investigate why.

If you'd like to rent one of our ZyXEL VMG8324-B10A routers as well, you can at $10 a month, with an additional one-off courier charge of $14.95.  Alternatively these routers are available for purchase at $225.00 plus a $14.95 courier fee.

What are your contract terms, and what are your Early Termination Charges?

Unchained is supplied on a no-term contract.  We do have a 30 day notice period if you decide to cancel your services with us, but we don't have termination fees.  If you are renting one of our routers, you are required to return it to us in good condition (if you want, we can send you out a courier bag for $14.95, or you can arrange this yourself) or pay the purchase price of the router, $225.

Do I get a router with your plans?

Our default plans do not include a router.  You can rent a ZyXEL VMG8324-B10A that will work on ADSL, VDSL or Fibre (and also supports our Voice service) for $10 per month, plus a one-off courier fee of $14.95, or purchase it for $225.  If you are renting one of our routers, you are required to return it to us in good condition (if you want, we can send you out a courier bag for $14.95, or you can arrange this yourself) or pay the purchase price of the router, $225.

What are the optional add-ons?

In addition to fast internet, we can also hook you up with a pretty sweet router that’ll work on ADSL, VDSL and Fibre, and if you decide that router works for you, we can even give you really cheap phone calls over the internet for only a little extra.  Want to make your fibre even faster?  Click the “Full Offer Summary” button on this page LINK PENDING to see the rest. 

How do I make changes to my services?

Once you’re up and running, you can always use the Update My Account form on our website to add or remove services, or because you’re moving house.

How much does a move of address cost?

When you move address, we need to check what services are available at your new address, because we may need to change what service we supply you (e.g. you may not be able to get Fibre at your new address, meaning we can only supply VDSL, or VDSL might not be available but Fibre might be.)  There is a standard $49 move of address fee, and there may be additional charges-see the "What does it cost to install a new internet connection?" section.

 Additional moves of address after the first in a year may involve additional charges: we’ll talk to you about this if it happens.  Sometimes moves of address require non-standard installs, and these may result in additional charges, but we’ll always discuss these with you before proceeding.

How do I update my connection to a faster type?

Just use the same form you used to sign up with us, here LINK PENDING.  Enter your address again, and then pick which service you’d like to upgrade to.  (There’s an option on the second page to give us your Voyager account number when you select "Existing Voyager residential customer" from the drop down menu under "New / Existing Internet Connection".)

If you know that you can definitely get Fibre at your address, but the option doesn’t appear, give us a call: sometimes our records for what services you can get at your place need to be updated.  Note that some of the faster speeds plans may not initially be available everywhere as we roll out upgrades to our network.  

Note that there is a one off $49 charge to to upgrade your connection from ADSL to VDSL or Fibre, or from VDSL to Fibre, but there are usually no other upgrade charges other than an increased monthly cost.   Speeds upgrades on existing Fibre connections are free.  If we do determine that there are extra charges involved, we’ll let you know before you become liable for them.

It's important to keep in mind that routers that work with some connection types don't always work with others.  If you'd like to rent one of our ZyXEL VMG8324-B10A routers as well, you can at $10 a month, with an additional one-off courier charge of $14.95.  Alternatively these routers are available for purchase at $225.00 plus a $14.95 courier fee.  Talk to us if you would like us to check whether your existing router will work with different connection types.

How do I pay you?

You can pay us via Credit Card right here, or if you’d like to set up a Direct Debit, you can find a form to print out and send in here.  Our first bill to you will include more options if those don’t work for you.

Is your “unlimited data” plan really unlimited?

We believe that “Unlimited” should mean unlimited: no slow downs, no traffic shaping, no hidden charges.  We want to make sure that this is true for everyone.  As much as we can, we’ll let you do whatever you want on our network as fast as you can, but sometimes there’s a chance that very, very high usage will start to affect our other customers, and when that happens, we’ll talk to you about solutions that work both for you and for our other customers.  We define “Fair Use” to mean the usage patterns of 99% of our users, assessed on a monthly basis.  If you’re in the 1%, we’ll be in touch, but don’t worry, we won’t spring anything on you without talking to you first.

What does “I need wiring” mean on your ADSL/VDSL order form?

This is the option we recommend you select if you don’t already have an internet connection at home.  It involves a Chorus technician coming into your house and making sure the wiring in your walls is up to scratch, then making sure that your connection is working on one of your jackpoints (and showing you which one it is.)  If you don’t select this option, Chorus will only connect your ADSL remotely, so they won’t be able to check if it’s working properly; you’ll need to do that yourself.   If anything goes wrong, or you can’t get it working, you’ll need to call us on 08004SPEED or reply to the email we sent you about your connection, and we may need to get Chorus to visit after all, which generally involves a charge.

What is a static IP and why would I want one?

As a rule, if you don’t know what this is, you don’t need it.  If you think you might, give us a call and we’ll discuss whether this works best for you.

How long will my order take?

If you have an existing connection you’ve asked to transfer to us, generally only a few days to a week-we’ll email you as soon as we have a confirmed date.  Sometimes it takes a little longer if we strike problems, but we’ll let you know when this happens. To make sure things go as smoothly as possible, please make sure you supply the correct account name and account number for your current ISP.  If you’re transferring to us and also upgrading at the same time, things could take a little more time.

If you’re ordering a brand new ADSL or VDSL connection through us, we should let you know within a couple of days when we expect it to be done-most of the time this is around a week from the time you order, but sometimes it takes a little longer.

If you’re ordering a new Fibre connection, and you live in a single house that faces the road that you own, with no shared driveways or Rights of Way,  the connection should be done within a few weeks to a couple of months, barring any unforeseen delays.  If you rent, the fibre company will need to gain the written consent of your landlord.  If you live in a building with other tenants (like a row of flats or an apartment building) or have a shared driveway, and none of the tenants currently have Fibre, installing Fibre can take quite a bit longer, as the fibre company will need to gain written consent from every affected land owner.  A few weeks after after you place your order, the fibre installation company will begin contacting land owners (if you or your neighbours haven’t hear anything after a month, please give us a call so we can follow up.) 

To speed up this process, you can get your neighbours’ landlords to fill in their consent forms ahead of time (if you’re in a Chorus area, you can find it here, if you aren’t sure who your Local Fibre Company is, get in touch with us on 08004SPEED and we’ll help out.)

If your building already has Fibre, the install process is a lot faster, since the connection to your building is already done.  If you already have an ONT (“Optical Network Termination”, the box on the wall you connect your router to for a fibre connection) please include this information in your order.  If you’ve already placed your order, please let us know that you already have an ONT installed, preferably also including details of the serial number listed on the labels on the unit.

Unfortunately, installing Fibre can take a while and it can be hard to tell where your order is up to.  We’ll do everything we can to keep you informed, but to make things a little bit easier for you, if it looks like it’s going to take more than a month, talk to us and we’ll see if we can sort you out with some kind of temporary solution until it’s in.

What do I need to do if I’m switching from another provider?

Once you provide us with the details of your current connection, we’ll do the work coordinating the cutover with your old provider.  As a rule of thumb, you don’t need to talk to your old provider at all about the services you specifically tell us to switch over, but we recommend calling them once we’ve switched you over to make sure there aren’t any extra charges or services still on your account with them that you want with us instead. 

Please note: some services, like fixed copper phone lines, mobile phones or email accounts, may need to stay with your existing provider, and you may need to discuss these with your existing provider before the transfer to ensure they don’t accidentally cut you off. Give us a call on 08004SPEED to discuss if you’re unsure, we can help you figure out what you need to do.

Can I switch my mobile phone to you?

No, sorry, we’re strictly about that fast internet and phone calls running over it.

Can I get a phone line without having my broadband with you?

We don't have a Voice only plan that's specific to residential customers, but if you want to sign up to one of our business Voice plans, give us a call or drop us a line.  Note that our Voice services require special equipment to work: the ZyXEL VMG8324-B10A that we have available for rent or purchase will do the trick, but if you aren't using this router we may need to talk to you about other equipment that you may need to rent or buy.

Can I move my broadband over to you but keep my phone with my current provider?

Yes, this is no problem at all. It might pay to check your contract with your current provider though: some providers offer “bundled pricing” which requires both a phone line and an internet connection, so if you transfer your broadband away, they may start charging you more for your phone line.  To be extra safe, please state “I wish to keep my phone line 0X XXX XXXX with my existing provider” when entering your order.

When will I get my first bill?

We try and get your first bill out to you the month after your connection with us starts working.  We usually won’t charge you before then. Sometimes (such as when additional work is required to install Fibre) we may need you to pay for parts of an install up-front, but we’ll always discuss these charges with you before proceeding.  Bills are generally sent out in the first week of the month, and are usually due on the twentieth of the same month.  We charge fixed recurring costs (like your monthly broadband rental) in advance and variable usage charges (like phone calls) in arrears.

Who do I talk to for updates?

The easiest way to reach us is to reply to one of the emails we’ve sent you regarding your order.  This is because these emails are linked to our internal ticket system, and the conversation is available to everybody you talk to.  Alternatively, you can call us on 08004SPEED or 094444444.

Can I make 111 calls on your Voice service?

Yes, but it’s important to remember that, much like a mobile phone, loss of power or service will prevent 111 calls, and your Voice service is also dependent on your Internet service, so any issue that affects your broadband will also affect your ability to make 111 calls.  For this reason, we strongly recommend that you always have an alternative way to make 111 calls on hand, like a mobile phone.