Customers not told of outage cancellation

Animation Research managing director Ian Taylor at work in his office yesterday. Photo by Gerard...
Animation Research managing director Ian Taylor. Photo: Gerard O'Brien.
Cancellation of a power outage for which all Animation Research Ltd's computers and servers had been shut down has Dunedin businessman Ian Taylor seeing red.

Mr Taylor said his company was contacted by Nova Energy on February 25 and told there would be a "complete shutdown" at 9am yesterday.

It is understood the shutdown was to allow for work on Aurora Energy's network, but notifications were passed on by Nova Energy to its customers.

As a result, 25 ARL staff were told not to come in until later yesterday morning, and an engineer spent Wednesday night shutting down computers and servers catering to international clients, including the Volvo Ocean Race, ahead of the outage, Mr Taylor said.

But, by 9.30am yesterday, the office lights were still on and no outage had taken place, Mr Taylor said.

When he called Nova, he was told the outage had been cancelled, and a notification sent to those who were to be affected, on February 29.

Mr Taylor disputed that after checking ARL's records, saying nothing had been received.

"That's a big deal for us because we've got to turn all of the servers off - everything.

"We went back to them [Nova] and said `Look, this is serious.

"We shut our entire business down, and now we're rebooting machines to get everything up to speed again, because you sent us this note, and we have checked our records. There is nothing.

"We had to make sure none of that was impacted, and they didn't even say sorry."

Mr Taylor said it appeared other customers were also affected, resulting in more "angry phone calls" to Nova yesterday.

"I just think that's unacceptable ... for us it's a significant impact on our business today."

Nova Energy external relations general manager Libby Middlebrook confirmed Nova had informed customers affected by the planned shutdown by the network provider, which she declined to name.

When the outage was cancelled by the network provider, "human error" meant Nova did not pass on the information to "a number of customers", she said.

A review of Nova's processes was under way "to ensure it doesn't happen again", she said.

"Nova Energy take pride in its customer service, and sincerely apologises for any inconvenience this has caused," she said.

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