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Barn2
Level 2: Rookie

Accessory Repayment Trick

Hi

I recently went into the Sunbury Telstra store to update one of the phones on my plan. The guy pretends to be really nice and suggests i go have a coffee while he sorts the paperwork out and puts a screen cover on the phone. hen i come back he says here is a couple of phone chargers and a case for the phone. The implication was clearly that these were a thank you for my business.

Two weeks later i get my bill and i find out he has added an accessory repayment option on every number of my bill. This totals $75 per month for two years. This will result in paying approx 20 times the value of the accessories. I went back into the store and he smirks and said too bad you have the stuff and i am not arguing about it.

I have spoken to a number of people and i am stunned to find out that this seems to be a widely practiced trick by Telstra stores. How is this acceptable?

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13 REPLIES 13
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

You should lodge a formal complaint via https://telstra.com/complaints

 

Also, if any business gives you something without them explicitly saying that there is no charge for it, then assume that you are going to be charged for it (although, they are required to outline exactly what the charge is prior to giving you the goods. That is covered under Australian Consumer Law).

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Barn2
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Thanks for your reply.  Unfortunately i did assume a level of credibility given it was a Telstra store and i have been a long standing business client.  I am embarrassed to now realise that Telstra stores are franchisees that basically act like secondhand car sales people and i have been a victim of a very basic sales scam.

I am a professional person and fell for the scam, so it saddens me to think of how many vulnerable people may have been scammed.

I have started the complaint process but it is a bit circular, the Telstra complaints refer me back to the store, who refers me to billing who state we need to check what accessories you were issued.  Issued?? Dont you mean scammed??  I am now aware that i am not an isolated victim and there are many victims of this scam in slightly varying circumstances.

I can not believe ACCC has not dealt with this over the years Telstra has been doing this scam, there is no doubt it is misleading and deceptive.

I would recommend no one uses Telstra stores and go online where you are the person ticking the boxes, not a lying deceitful sales rep.

 

 

 

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Hey Barn2, thanks for sharing your story, this is not the experience we're trying to deliver for our customers.

 

I am happy to pass this along to the leadership team of the store in question. So I can do that though, I need the order reference number like the examples here: What Reference Numbers can I obtain from Telstra? which should be somewhere amongst the "paperwork" for the contracts provisioned on the day. I use scarequotes because most in store contracts are paperless these days.

 

Send it through, and we'll see it gets to those who need to see it.

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Barn2
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Hi Dan,

The paperwork was supposed to be emailed to me but was never received.  I returned to the store to get a copy of the paperwork and they were unable to locate it and would have to speak with Dave who is the sales rep.  It also happened to me in April at the same store, although i didn't pick it up until this second situation occurred.  Which is why i believe it must be standard practice at the Sunbury store.

<deleted account information>

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Hey Barn2, disappointing - I had to edit the post to protect your account number - you shouldn't ever post sensitive information like that online. Even over a DM the risk is too great.

 

When you raised the complaint you should have been given an SR number like those on the page I linked to above, can I grab that one?

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Barn2
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Hi Dan,

SR1-2111635848174

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Thanks Barn2, I've emailed the assigned case manager, and their team leader, asking they prioritise providing you with a copy of the contract, and to contact you with an update at the first opportunity. I've also asked the TL to have another team member action the request if the assigned CM is unavailable for any reason.

 

Keep us posted, we'd love to learn this has been resolved.

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Barn2
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Just to give you an update, i have not been contacted by any Telstra representative this week.  I feel like i have been scammed and now Telstra just needs to send me in circles hoping i will go away.

 

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Thanks for the update Barn2, sorry to learn you have yet to be contacted. I'll follow this up for you.

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Barn2
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Telstra support basically tried to get me to agree to accepting the scam.  I have stated that a satisfactory result would be to have the accessory payments that were clearly put on in a deceitful manner, removed.  The Telstra support person has just said your complaint will need to be escalated, but no further contact has occurred.

I have now passed the required 3 weeks so will take my complaint to the ombudsman.

I would urge anyone that has been scammed in this way to be as public as possible and stay away from Telstra stores and report your situation to the ombudsman.

I speak to as many clients as possible about this action by Telstra and many have similar stories or are surprised to find an accessory charge they did not know about,

 

 

 

 

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Hi @Barn2

 

Thanks for letting us know although I am sorry to hear that this hasn't been resolved yet.

 

From what I can see your complaint is still open. I'll follow up with the team that is managing complaints to request contact on your behalf. 

 

It may be also be worth visiting the store you purchased from. I can understand that this can be difficult if you have work & it may be worth booking an appointment to save waiting in store, you can do this online here 

If for some reason you haven't heard anything from the complaint case manager by close of business this Wednesday, please let us know here.

____________________

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Barn2
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

Thank you for your suggestion, but it is just the same circle Telstra has tried to send me in.  Telstra support say go to the store.  The store say too bad call billing.  Whys would i be making a complaint if i agreed to what i was buying??  I am a long term Telstra customer and am disgusted.

For your information i did visit the store quite early.  I tried calling numerous times and after my first visit the statement was oh "we dont know what was discussed during the day" i returned again and managed to see the sales rep "Dave" .  He went around in circles and stated " you have the stuff now so what do you want". I stated this is not what we discussed, he stated" i am not arguing this here" he turned and walked towards the back.

There was no appearance of resolution.  As we are obviously all aware, he had no intention of resoltion as this is standard practice.

Barn2
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Accessory Repayment Trick

It looks like Telstra fully condones this behavior.  Buyer beware even if you thought Telstra had some credibility;

You were concerned that:

  • You would like to get a refund for the Accessory Repayment Option (ARO) that is charged every month on your Telstra bill.
  • You mentioned that you were not made aware that accessories are on top on your mobile plan that is why you should not pay for it because you feel you were scammed.
  • You mentioned that you were not given copy of the accessory contract.

I've confirmed that:

  • We have advised you that we have coordinated with Dave - Assistant Store Manager from Telstra Store Sunbury and he mentioned that you have been fully advised of the charges and they have the copy of the contract.
  • Dave - Assistant Store Manager from Telstra Store Sunbury sent us the copy of your agreement with them with your signature.
  • We have offered you to speak with Telstra store but you mentioned that you already went there but were not assisted. We have confirmed it with Dave - Assistant Store Manager from Telstra Store Sunbury and he mentioned that you just walked out and did not listen to his explanation.
  • We have advised you that based on contract evidence (attached on this email) submitted by Telstra Store Sunbury with your signature, ARO charge cannot be refunded as it is a valid charge.

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