Hello, how can we not help you?

by grogers on December 30, 2011

I’d like to relate my experience trying to upgrade from a Bigpond Turbo modem to one of the new 4G ones. I have to vent my frustration, it really was so bad.

I call 13 7663 and say to the robot woman, “new modem” and confirm I’m calling from the phone connected to the account. I spend a lot of time on hold (oh well. Speaker phones are awesome…) and the rep answers. “Welcome to Telstra, this is John.” “Hi, I’d like to upgrade my modem…” He says, “Hello? Welcome to Telstra, this is John.” More silence. Then he hangs up.

Grr. Must be a bad line. I ring back, spend more time on hold. Rep answers, same thing. Can’t hear me. Odd. Because I was bored and had time to kill, I rang again. SAME thing. Wha?!?!

I ring once more and this time I say “Sales” and say “No” to the “is this the phone you’re calling about” question. Rep answers, and hey, he can hear me this time. (I guess they don’t like taking calls about new modems from existing customers) “I’d like to upgrade to 4G.” “Ok”. Confirms my DOB etc… “Yes, the 4G wireless modem.” “No, not the wireless hub” “Yes, I know it’s wireless. I have a wireless account already.” (Under my breath – you have that information on your screen. #%@!! Sigh.)

Everything goes smoothly until he confirms the delivery address. “I’d like it delivered to my work, here’s the address”. “Oh… umm.”, he says. “That address isn’t linked to any of your accounts” “I know that, I just want the new modem delivered there.” “Sorry, I can’t do that”. AND HE HANGS UP ON ME. I know he hung up and the call didn’t drop out because the robot woman came back on and asks me to rate the call. Sure I rated the call. The score wasn’t high. :-/

Exasperated, I call again. I get to the stage, “I want to upgrade to 4G.” “You’ll have to pay a $17 cancellation fee”. “Why? It’s out of contract”. “That’s what the computer says. I can’t help you.”. At this stage I gave up. I said “ok, thanks” and hung up.

I’ve been a Telstra customer for years. Heck, I’ve worked for Telstra. Never in my life have I suffered such appallingly horrid customer service. How hard should it be for an existing customer to call and say, “hey, your stuff is so good I want to give you my money for another 24 months?!”.

With Bigpond, very.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

grogers April 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Since I wrote this I have ordered a new Telstra postpaid mobile. The difference couldn’t have been more different!

Completely using online chat, I ordered and organised delivery of a new mobile and there were absolutely no problems at all.

Good to see that things have improved, Telstra.

fkitimon1 September 14, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Na nothings improved. Telstra own almost $40 billion in assets and so far this year have claimed a $4.3 billion profit. There is no excuse for such pathetic customer service as they have the resources for it. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would feel delivering that customer service.

A while ago I swore to myself that I would never deal with them again. Before going on an overseas holiday I rang Telstra to place an outgoing call lock on my home phone. Just before leaving I tested to see that the lock was in place but it wasn’t. I called back and was promised it would be done but again, it wasn’t. It was extremely frustrating as it used to be as easy as *#43..pin number# or something similar.

While on holiday I checked my bill online and was in a complete rage when I saw the bill was over $2000 in less than a month, thanks to a housemate. I calmed down, but spent the rest of my holiday angry, and even angrier that I had to deal with this on my 10 year consruction industry long service leave. I ended up booking an early flight home and promptly rearranged the housemates bedroom on the front lawn.

I sent Telstra a letter to cancel any of my services immidiately and not to send any bill as I’m not paying good money for a poor service. They sent bills, I sent a $50 billion bill back for inconvienience fees, this balance today is still outstanding. They sent letters with threats for legal action, I sent one back saying I intend to represent myself and claim I’m not paying good money for poor incompetent service.. havn’t heard anything back.

Living in a new FTTH (Fibre to the Home) suburb, I had only one choice of telecommunications provider – Telstra. Every avenue had been exhausted, cellular wireless internet was fast between 2 and 4 am, but congested for the rest of the day.

My options were running out and it appeared the only option was to go back to Telstra. But that wasn’t happening and only made me more determined to find another way. It wasn’t easy but research led me down a path I’m glad I found. It took a full week to accomplish but I now had lightning fast fibre optic internet, and best of all, it was totally free.

I got rid of Windows and swore never to use that again either, I was now using Kali Linux. I knew I could pickup the wifi internet of 5 WPA2 secured networks close-by and never gave up trying to find a way in until I did. 4 of the 5 networks were vulnerable to a WPS Pin attack with a program called reaver, and I learnt I could make 1 attempt to guess it every 30 seconds until I got it. It splits the PINs into two 4 digit numbers so it only took a couple of days for each one.

People have said that its not right, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. If anyone can find another option I’d be happy to use that instead. Unlike Telstra, I’m considerate of others and only use the internet for Facebook and email. The router settings page displays the login password in cleartext when you view the source so on the last couple of days of their monthly contract if there are spare downloads I’ll thrash torrents all night.

Thats my horrible Telstra story with a happy ending =) Everyone wins.

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