Telstra – a serious warning!

Posted: April 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Are you in Australia and thinking of using Telstra for a pre-paid telecommunication device i.e. mobile phone or mobile broadband? Then there are a few things that you need to be aware of. These are matters that I have uncovered over the past two weeks during my extended saga.

  1. There is a Complaints Resolution Centre whose role is resolving complaints over Telstra’s failure to adequately address complaints. They can do things like give you credits on your account as compensation for the difficulties you have been put through as well as elevate the complaint too higher levels. But Telstra are under no obligation to reveal its existence. It is not listed in any telephone directory, Directory Assistance or on the the Telstra website. Their staff will not tell you the number. I even found staff who denied the Centre’s existance. But if you call the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and lodge a complaint, they will require you to contact that Resolution Centre before the TIO can take action. And now (drum roll please) that ever-s0-secret telephone number is 1800 665 376. If you are having problems and Telstra are not resolving it properly, call this number before doing anything else. If they continue to mess you around then call the TIO but note that this entails another ten day wait before they can actually act. But every call that the TIO receives in complaint about a telco provider, that telco provider is billed for the call. So you if you wanted to be particularly nasty, keep calling the TIO to run up the charges being billed to your telco. 🙂
  2. You will be given repeated assurances that a Level Three Technician will call you. But do not expect this to happen in anything remotely like the promised time frame. That is because Telstra have such a backlog of serious technical complaints yet to be resolved, that they are unable to cope with it. But this is not actually revealed unless you elevate the matter to higher levels such as the Resolution Centre.
  3. The ‘Customer Service Centre’ will declare your case closed once they have directed it to technicians for further action. The excuse given to me is that they have so many complaints to deal with that they cannot afford to leave them ‘open’ until the problem is actually solved. So congratulations all round to Telstra for being able to hire a workforce of psychics who can accurately foretell the future and declare matters closed before anything has actually happened.
  4. Telstra charges twice the price for half the amount of data download in prepaid mobile band than does its competitors e.g. GRL charge $29 for 750Mb, 3 charge $15 for 500Mb or $29 for 2 Gig, Telstra charge $3o for 400Mb;
  5. Telstra’s customer accounting systems are not able to tell you what your download limits actually are for pre-paid mobile broadband. That accounting is kept in dollar terms even though you are purchasing a set amount of download capacity that is expressed and monitored by the Megabyte. But the download history is expressed in Bytes making it impossible to work out your remaining download limits unless you create and solve an increasingly complex quadratic equation for ‘x’.
  6. Late today, Telstra staff have made the quite damning admission to me that their interest in customer support is not in looking after pre-paid customers but instead devoting its attention to post-paid customers. Any difficulties requiring technical support that may not be resolved by the immediate technicians (who merely use a prepared script) then it is moved to quite low priority queues. Telstra have virtually no interest in providing real support for its pre-paid products.

The bottom line is that if you are after a pre-paid telecommunications option, then do not use Telstra. Their service is virtually non-existent and any interest in you as a customer ends the moment they have sold you the product.

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