Saturday, February 04, 2012

The company I love to hate #57

Dear Telstra, this is not the first time this has happened and I find it slightly annoying. Let me give you the background as to why.

I use internet banking once a fortnight, the day I get paid. I pay bills, make adjustments etc. It is my personal accounting fifteen or so minutes. I don't like to log on to internet banking any more often than that. In fact I hate using it.

I am now a very smug person who pays the full amount on his credit card every month, but it wasn't always so. For most of my adult life I have paid credit card interest. But I am now in the company of those ever so superior people who say, ah, I pay my credit card off every month. Well, goody bloody hurrah for them.

Consequently I would get depressed when I logged into internet banking and saw my debt and the interest I was paying, so I only logged in when I had to.

Now, I get a little alarmed when I log onto internet banking and I see my bank balance always going up. Will it continue to do this? Incoming is exceeding outgoings. This hasn't happened to me since 1980. What do I do? I have superannuation to look after me when I am old. What do I do with this money? While I might like to buy a Jaguar, I am not sure I could stomach spending such money on some tin, leather and aluminium to use to travel to and from work.

So essentially I like to log on to internet banking once a fortnight, because I have to. So Telstra, you are really annoying when you send a bill that has to paid in thirteen days. I just paid bills this morning. For me, it means I have to log onto internet banking again. For a pensioner, and I will be one, one day, it could well mean them paying a day or two late and incurring penalties.

Surely twenty days would be fair, which would allow for postage delays, and for the less well off, a new pension payment to pay their bill. Ok, bargain down to sixteen days, but nothing less than fifteen. No other utility gives such a short period. Telstra, have you forgotten you are a utility? There to provide a service to the public? Oh, silly me. You are a private company now. Sorry, my mistake.


  1. I'm not certain about this but I suspect that Telstra's computerised billing only introduces an interest charge if the previous bill hasn't been paid at the time the next bill is issued. If I'm correct then you really aren't caught out by the thirteen days policy. (I take no responsibility if you find yourself charged interest after following my advice!)

  2. You said it all - a private company :( If I could avoid using a private company altogether, I most certainly would.

  3. Don't forget if you pay by internet banking it comes out of your account immediately but still takes 3 days to go the the company you want to pay.

  4. Victor, thanks. I wasn't aware of that. I won't test it though.

    Hels. I have a good idea. Make it government it and call it the Post Master General's department.

    Jah Teh, I didn't know that either. So some bills do technically get paid late.

  5. Have you considered direct debit its much easier as the onus is on the company to debit the amount from your account on or before the due date. The only time it becomes a problem is when you don't have enough funds in your account to cover the full amount. I have several accounts on direct debit and it works very well :-).

  6. Windsmoke, I just don't like the idea of someone being able to take money from my account. Pay deductions are bad enough.

  7. "No other utility gives such a short period". How about an electricity company that is now sending an account every two months where previously it was three? I sent them a "not-happy-Jan" email and now I'll wait and see. If they continue, I'll be looking at changing. Although with the cost of electricity being so high now, it might be easier to pay a slightly smaller amount every couple of months....

  8. River, to be honest, it wouldn't worry me. Our hot water bill (gas) comes every two months. But I very used to a two month gas bill and a three month electric bill. Have you been terrified by how much your supplier has indicated through the press about how much your electric bill is going up this year.

  9. I'm the same, I log into my internet banking once a fortnight when I get paid. Thankfully I have no dealings with Tel$tra.

  10. Like I mentioned to my dear cuz'n (after they had warned us that my mother's phone a/c was due in 2 days - notwithstanding it had already been paid days before at Oz Post - MMM! -with a receipt as proof) Telstra nowadays couldn't organise a banging of uglies in an outsourced Mumbai broffal with a fist full of rupees.

    Well, something to that effect.

  11. Andrew, I am a little terrified. Things are easier for me now that my rent is cheaper, but I'm still worried about whether I can afford heating in the winter. If it comes to a choice between heating and eating, I'll be wearing everything I own, including the feather quilt as I heat up the soup.

  12. Fen, we use them because they are just the best service coverage, and we cable internet which limits us.

    LS, that is an interesting variation on piss up in a brewery.

    River, it may not be as much as you think. They have us alarmed about price rises, and then when they turn out to be not as bad as we thought, we will like the companies, in spite of the price going up.


Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.