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I had an overdue account suspended due to a direct debit failing (registered card had expired) and even after updating the direct debit details and receiving a confirmation email, this obviously wasn't enough because the next email i received was that my account had been suspended and the debt collectors were calling. Turned out what the direct debit confirmation email failed to tell me was that changing the direct debit actually didn't do anything and that you had to manually pay the outstanding amout - found out that bit if info from the call centre guy. So paid out the outstanding amount and rang up another telco to port straight away because it seems its always the customers fault for telstras problems. They pretty much force everyone to use paperless and direct debit so you can't pay attention to whats happening to your account then hit you with fees when you're not paying attention and make misleading statements when you try to correct the problem.
So i paid out on 28th Aug. Got a new bill dated 05 Sep for the period 1-31 Aug (of which i was disconnected for at least 28 of those days).
First item was a $15 late fee (which im not going to pay because my payment receipt clearly stated that "If you’ve paid in full by the due date, you won’t be charged a late fee, even though your payment may take up to 48 hours to appear on your Telstra Account").
Second item is a $59 recoonection fee (which I'll pay)
Third item is my monthly phone plan. Now this is where I'm not sure what to do. Generally telcos charge a month in advance so if this was for the period between 1-30September, then i should only pay pro rata to 17th Sep because i just received confirmation from my new telco that the number has been ported. If it was for the month of August, then its illegal because you can't charge for a service you aren't providing and they disconnected me for at least 28 days of the 31 days.
Anyone had luck going to the TIO if Telstra still thinks you still got unpaid bills?
I'd suggest you speak to the Disconnections Deapartment eho specialise in such matters and have more discretion thsy customer service
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I'm not a Telstra employee. 50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas. "Being 75 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"
Once the debt collection agency has been called in (usually after 3 months), then it becomes more complicated. The Disconnections Team may be able to assist, but it might be easier talking to the Credit Management Team (both via 132200).
As far as the being forced on to direct debit and paperless goes: the paperless yes, and I still get my full bill in exactly the same format as the paper bill was, it just happens to appear in my bank account, by email and in the 24x7 app, so there is no excuse in not knowing what is going on there. And as for the direct debit part, I have never used direct debit for any utility, ever, not even Telstra. I wait for my bill to arrive (within the same 3 day period every month) so that I can check it, and then I pay it via BPay. As the Meerkat would say, Simples.
Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.