Saturday, November 06, 2010

Buggery Telstra Again

Remember not long ago I changed our phone/internet plan. In summary, free local calls, free trunk STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease?) what are they called now? (Operator, give me Long Distance Tennessee!) calls and free calls to Telstra mobiles. And very cheap international calls and calls to other mobiles. The clincher was very fast cable broadband with a 100GB allowance. That was in September.

Towards the middle of October I wondered why the phone bill had not arrived. I rang up. The bill had been sent but our apartment number was missing from their database. A duplicate will be sent and the time for payment extended. Just over a week later, still no bill. Another call, and of course another battle with their voice recognition system. If the voice recognition system asks for my phone number, why do I have to give it again when I eventually talk to someone? Another duplicate bill will be sent and while they now have our street address right, the post code has changed to Melbourne City 3000 instead of Melbourne St Kilda Road, 3004.

Finally the bill arrived and I perused it with interest. But wait, it is the normal bill for this month. Last months shows as unpaid and there is a $5 penalty for not paying. Steam was coming out of my ears by now. While I was still annoyed, I called again. I did not abuse the lass on the end of the phone, but I was clearly angry and upset. Only three times in my life I have not paid a bill on time, only twice it was my fault and it was only a matter of a couple of days. I have never paid Telstra late for 30 plus years, so I felt insulted that they accused and penalised me for late payment. I suggest the computerised billing system needs an alert for regular payers who miss. Hey, the software notices, this is a good customer who pays on time. Something is not right here. We better pass this on to a human to look at before sending out a overdue penalty.

Of course the penalty was waived. I had no intention of paying it regardless.

Upon my death bed, I will be arguing with Telstra about something. But I am old enough and smart enough to know that it could be any phone company/internet provider that I could be arguing with on my deathbed.


  1. Service is not a department, it's an attitude!

  2. I always paid my bill at the post office with the same kind lady who never charged me if I was late.
    I don't know if it was my winning smile or down at heel pensioner appearance.

  3. You're not alone. We had a similar issue with a totally incorrect late payment fee. (Likewise eventually waived - after a splenetic phone call.)

    Seems like the left hand of Telstra doesn't know what their left hand is doing. (Wankers!)

    ... and notwithstanding umpty twelve phone call and emails trying to explain the reality (all ending up somewhere in Mumbai) Telstra STILL sees us as a Business Customer and we we keep getting SUPER DOOPER account offers. The recycle bin deals with those offers with consummate efficiency.

  4. Ho Peter. Not in Australia. Everyone is perfectly nice and helpful, but nothing happens.

    You down at the heel Jahteh? Never. I can't believe that. More likely honour among thieves.

    Oh LS, a business customer. I came across that option and it struck terror into me.

  5. Anonymous11:24 am

    Aren't the STD calls now called national?

    Sol is now probably lyng back on Island Resort somewhere laughing his head off with the shit he left Telstra in.

  6. "Oh LS, a business customer. I came across that option and it struck terror into me. "

    It struck terror into me when after a short period with IPrimus I went back to Telstra (mainly for the Messages 101 answering service to keep my mad mother marginally at bay) and unilaterally they designated me as a business customer with a $100+/- monthly rental.

    Got them to sort that, but in the time that they did that (they move in slow and mysterious ways) the bill was then overdue with a penalty for late payment.

    Got that sorted and refunded, but STILL on their database (not withstanding the aforementioned phone calls and emails to and fro between Strathmore and Mumbai) has the account registered as business.

    I've given up and just throw their junk mail offering wonderfully augmented business offers straight to the recycle bin in the pool room.

    Maybe I'm supposed to be thankful they're still not charging me the business rental fee.

    Don't expect Telstra to chew gum and walk at the same time anytime soon.

  7. May well be called National now Anon. I will always think of them as trunk calls. Sol, another of Howard's finest achievements.

    LS, you are the only person with that problem that Telstra has ever had to deal with. Like when my step father died, he was only person to die who had a mobile phone account. Both are whole new experiences for Telstra.

  8. I got an sms the other day from Vodafone, telling me my account needed paying. I've never ever had a phone or anything else with them! LOL. I deleted the sms!

  9. Fen, I hope it doesn't mean they will switch the number off if the account is not paid.