BIG IDEA AT THE END
I am a 57 year old disability support pensioner living in southern Tasmania, who has been a customer of Telstra’s now for almost forty years. I have had many problems with Telstra over the years, most of which have not been resolved to my satisfaction. I am very aware that I am like millions of Australians in this regard, which should be of shame to you.
I write you regarding the latest outrageous situation I have been subjected to by the organisation for which you are responsible.
Here is the situation:
I just received my monthly bill.
Telstra contacted me two weeks before Easter to see if I would like to do new Telstra packages. As Telstra now have plug and play mobile broadband for windows 10, I decided to accept Telstra’s internet offer, they offered me a new package for telephone calls as well, AND they offered me a new phone purchase contract as well. I accepted all three.
Here’s what I was offered: $65 per month phone use, gets me $1000 in calls, and 5 GIG data (data can be used on mobile dongle), $15 per month Mobile broadband dongle gets me 1 Gig per month (between the dongle and the calls package that’s 6 Gig data per month). They said because I had been a Telstra customer in Tasmania for 17 years they gave me 3 extra gig per month on my dongle contract (I assume for the term of that contract but I never received the agreement with that in it, just an email saying “here are your contracts” with a standard contract in it). I also accepted the offer of a new Smart Phone, I think it was $20 per month for 24 months. Given I was getting ALL of the above, the sales person added a bonus for me, JUST FOR THE FIRST MONTH, 25 gig data so that I could get back into using the internet and to help set everything up. I thought the whole package was FANTASTIC!!! And I was so pleased to get internet back on where I am, AND that Telstra had come to the party and allowed their customers to use their phone data across their account (on their dongle as well), AND that I got a few extras for free.
I was so pleased . . . and then it all went wrong.
Everything was due to arrive the day before Easter. Instead I got a phone call (and I am NOT a racist kind of guy, but I couldn’t understand a single word she was saying and perhaps Telstra personnel should be able to speak understandable English as a prerequisite to employment) from a woman from Telstra saying that I could NOT have that contract because (I think this is what she said) the calls package was a BYO package and the phone package wasn’t so I couldn’t have either. I was extremely unhappy. She went on for a little longer, I tried to ask what she was talking about but I couldn’t understand her, and the more I asked questions the less understandable she became. I finally told her she was an idiot, and that she should learn to speak English and hung up on her.
Half an hour later when I calmed down, I rang Telstra. After FOUR phone disconnections and almost three hours of waiting and being transferred between departments, I got someone who’s English I could understand and who could deal with the problem – a complaints manager I think she was. Apparently the Telstra sales person who sold me the three packages (and I assume the ENTIRE call was recorded, so ALL of this should be on record) didn’t know what he was doing – a shame really - I think his name was Josh and he seemed like a nice guy. So In the end they told me I couldn’t have the phone, but I could have everything else that had been arranged. The stupid thing about this is that I can now go to the Australia Post Office locally and buy a smart phone off the shelf for $99 ($300 cheaper than Telstra was to charge me over the 2 year contract – how dumb is Telstra). The whole thing was extremely frustrating and time wasting and made me very angry with Telstra.
BUT WAIT. Not finished yet. I then receiver text messages telling me my order was on the way. It arrived two weeks late with Telstra staff telling me that the package was at the post office on two occasions. I told them it was not. They insisted it was. I WAS AT THE POST OFFICE. Once again, hard to understand the operator, but finally got it through to her. The post mistress, who I’ve known for a decade or so, rang me back in the afternoon laughing. Apparently the courier arrived flustered with a ‘special delivery for Mr Hodge’. It was the Telstra package. I was glad to get it, but by now BOY am I pissed off with Telstra. To drive back in and home again is almost 40 kilometres.
Okay, so now we try to connect to the internet.
I’ll cut it short, it took three operators, four phone calls, five and a half hours on the phone, a week to solve, and THEN I HAD TO SOLVE IT MYSELF ANYWAY. It was a software glitch combined with a sim card problem. And Telstra technicians had no idea. I had a previous Telstra 4G dongle’s software on my computer (not compatible with windows 10). The new 4G dongle software refused to load while the old software was still there. Telstra technicians should NOW know to check for that because I rang them up and told them – previous to this they didn’t know to check for that.
Anyway, after over a month of frustration and Telstra stupidity and transfers and rudeness, I got it all solved and corrected. Until my bill arrived.
Where’s the free introductory 25 Gig for the first month?
Once again, Telstra should have that entire phone call on record.
I thought my bill should be:
Phone package $65
Internet over use: 4 (four) gig data overuse $40
IN TOTAL $120
INSTEAD $350 (FOR THE MONTH)
I must admit, I now think I should have got the $35 a month internet package, but am not prepared to discuss that until this entire mess comes to an end.
This is the worst experience I have ever had with anyone. Telstra has no idea what they are doing.
A PHONE CALL OF COMPLAINT FROM ME TO TELSTRA LATER . . .
I have now spoken to a Telstra complaints operator (and have now found the phone call contract email sent under an odd heading). It IS in fact a $50 plan (and I’m REALLY happy with that) but the guy who sold it to me told me it was a $65 plan, (and I was happy with that too!) I thought I was paying $80 per month for internet and telephone calls, BUT NOW it seems I’m only paying $65 in total. That’s a bonus, but it’s NOT what I was told. ONCE AGAIN, don’t they have all this recorded?
And how come everyone is saying different things?
In my two different contracts there is no mention of the extra 3 gig of data free per month. NONE AT ALL. There is also no mention of the 25 gig first month gift.
As a result, I now understand my phone bill should be:
(I note that the current bill for phone call package is $50 – I thought that was $65 less my $15 pensioner discount which I apparently don’t get – that’s why I misunderstood it.)
My bill should be:
Phone package $50
Internet over use: 4 (four) gig data overuse $40
IN TOTAL $105
In all truth, given my pension situation, I am extremely careful with my expenditure, and I am simply not stupid enough to spend an extra $250 on the internet for the month. I only went over by the amount that I did because I was told there was a free 25 gig first month gift.
So you sold me the wrong package and then called me to tell me I couldn’t have it, you didn’t deliver it when you said it HAD been delivered, you didn’t know how to get the internet dongle to work, AND finally you didn’t honour the offer and sent me an enormously overcharged bill. In fact, you got NOTHING right here.
Honestly Mr Penn, and with all respect sir, what the hell are you people doing?
I am allowing seven days for the charges to be corrected, and I expect an apology and some token of compensation for the many hours of anxiety and frustration you have caused me over this disgraceful and extended farce that you call service.
My option is to go to the Office of Fair Trading, The Ombudsman, and the social media. I hope you will do the decent thing sir, and that the latter will not be required.
Please fix this
OH, AND HERE’S AN IDEA
“I am, you are, we are Australian”
Why don’t you employ some of them here then, preferably operators and assistants who can
speak our language understandably?
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Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.