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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Answered

Yesterday I attempted to have a phone line connected for my 83 year old mother in a nursing home. There is already a line in the room so it's just a matter of setting up an account and connecting the line.

 

First I telephoned Telstra but was advised that I would have to attend a Telstra Shop to get this done as the account was being opened for my mother under a Power of Attorney.

 

I attended the Telstra Shop at Carindale QLD and after an hour of being juggled between 2 staff and the store's trainee manager they told me that they couldn't open the account unless they sight my mother's drivers license. I had the Power of Attorney documents with me and I tried to explain to them that a Power of Attorney meant that I was acting on behalf of my mother so it was my license that they needed to see. I also appealed to their common sense by pointing out that an 83 year old woman in a nursing home is not likely to have a driver's license.

 

Further exacerbating the problem is that even though my mother had an account with Telstra for over 40 years, the account was closed earlier this year when my father died and my mother moved into the home. 

 

So firstly Telstra's system's need an overhaul because they should be able to reactivate the old account. Appartently the details are still on the system but they "can't use it because it's been deactivated". Simple solution I would think - reactivate it.

 

Secondly, what do I do when the Telstra staff are telling me that their system won't allow them to use my ID under a Power of Attorney? I realise that the staff may not have undergone their full training, but the trainee manager on duty wouldn't even make a phone call to get clarification from her superior.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye
Accepted Solution

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

For anyone embarking on a similar endeavour let me suggest you skip weeks of frustration by going directly to the TIO as soon as Telstra employees start acting stupid.

If you try too hard to let Telstra resolve it, the idiocy just intensifies to the point where you will begin name calling. You might even contemplate doing nasty things to idiots.

Save yourself the aggravation (and possibly gaol time) and go straight to the TIO http://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint.

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45 REPLIES 45
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi Barry,

 

Firstly let me apologise for this experience, I can certainly appreciate your frustration given the circumstances.

 

It sounds like the previous account may have been under your father's details so we have deactivated it. We legally can not reactivate an account and connect new services under the details of someone who has passed away.

 

To be eligible to create a new account and connect services in your mother's name the power of attorney documents need to stipulate specifically that you have power to buy goods and services on their behalf. If the documents you have confirm this then this should have been processed in store for you. I can certainly pass on feedback to the store manager if this is the case.

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi, yes I have authority under the Power of Attorney to act for her for all of her financial affairs. This wasn't the issue with the store though. They wouldn't accept my drivers license as identification, they wanted my mothers drivers license, which as I already said she doesn't have as she is 83 years old in a nursing home. The store would not use my drivers licence as ID to create the account even though they sighted the Power of Attorney documents. I wasted over an hour at the store trying to get this done, and I need to know that they will be able to set up the account if I go back there. I don't want to waste any more time if I'm going to get badly trained staff again.

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi Barry, Thanks for this further clarification. The store was not correct with the information they gave you, as long as you have Power of Attorney documents, your driver's license should be accepted, and I am sorry that was this was not the case. There are two stores listed for the Carindale Shopping Centre - one on Level 1, and one of Level 2. Do you happen to know which one you went to, so we can contact them for you? 

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi,

 

Thanks for this. It was the one on level 2. One of the consultants was Lily, but the trainee manager was serving another customer and avoiding eye contact with me when I went back to find out her name. 

 

 

Regards

Barry

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Thanks for clarifying that for me Barry. I am following this up for you now and will provide an update when I can.

 

-Chris

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi,

 

Has this been sorted out yet? Can we go back to the store to complete setting up this account without running into any more problems?

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi Barry_C,

 

Sorry for the late reply. I received initial correspondence however I'm waiting for an email to come back with an outcome. I have sent another email asking for an update ASAP. 

 

-Chris

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hello, this is dragging on. My mother is 83 years old and wants a phone to communicate with the outside world. Can we please try to hurry this along? My mother doesn't have all the time in the world to wait for your people to hit "reply" to your email. It's now 10 days since I initially tried to open the account for her. Pretty disgusting service so far.

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hey Barry_C,

 

I am sorry for the delays that have been experienced with this and do apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused. We do have to await and see what is advised from this team as to the next steps to take and I have reached out again to them via the ongoing contact that we have to get an update. As soon as we have this received it will be passed to you.

 

If you are not happy to follow this process then the next step would be to have this raised as an official complaint so that a case manager can be assigned to investigate and resolve this further. Steps for having this completed can be located at:

 

https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/General-Services-KB/Lodging-a-complaint-with-Telstra/ta-p/681...

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Let's keep waiting for your "team". Just glad they are not a "sporting team" because they would never win anything at the speed they operate. 

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi Barry_C,

 

Sorry this is taking a while. A colleague of mine (MickyCee) has sent you a private message through Crowd Support. Can you please check this and provide him the required information which will enable us to pass this onto the store manager.

 

Thanks,

 

Chris

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

I have replied to the private message but I find it a little odd that they were just asking for my phone number. This isn't something I want to discuss on the phone, it's something I woud like to get in writing. I've already had a bad experience trying to deal with your people in person and I don't think talking to them on the phone is going to help the situation. I would like to have a written record of what they are telling me.

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Once we are in touch we will be able to communicate via email. - Angela 

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

I have provided my email address in the private request. Please contact me by email.

Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Once again we have reached the ridiculous situation where they won't open an account for her. Their reason is that she can't provide the identification that Telstra require to open an account. The identification required is particularly discriminatory against elderly people. An 83 year old is very unlikely to drive and very unlikely to have a passport. These are the two main requirements, with all the other allowable forms of identification being either irrelevant (proof of age for young people, armed forces card, police service card) or specific situation (blind persons etc).

 

My mother has all types of identification that would be accepted by any reasonable organisation (marriage certificate, pensioner card, australian citizenship certificate). But none of these are acceptable to Telstra without one of the forms of ID that an elderly person is unlikely to have.

 

Why is this so?

 

Do Telstra not want to have elderly people as customers? Are they afraid the elderly person might die and make it difficult for Telstra to recover the odd $40.00 that might be owing on their account if this happens.

 

It's a sick world we live in, but Telstra's policies in regards to this are beyond sick. They are disgusting.

 

What is the next avenue to pursue this? We are thinking Ombudsman, local member, media exposure. 

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi Barry_C,

 

I am terribly sorry that your mother has been refused service due to ID requirements. In lieu of what you have mentioned, we accept a Seniors Card or Aged Pension Card as a primary form of identification, when combined with a medicare card as a secondary form of identification. 

 

I am terribly sorry for the confusion this has caused for you and your mother. To confirm, it would need to be your mother who is present in store with her identification, and it is absolutely fine for you to be in store with her to assist her with the connection. As you have power of attorney, I would suggest you request to be added as a 'Third Party Contact' so that you are authorised to act on behalf of your mother, and gives you equal responsibility to act on the account. 

 

We have contacted the store regarding this and they are aware of this process. I apologise that it was not an option to you to begin with and am sure this was an honest mistake of human error. 

 

Please let us know how you go.

-Georgie

 

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi,

 

You just don't seem to be getting the fact that "MY MOTHER IS IN A NURSING HOME IN SYDNEY". She is not in any condition to be visiting a Telstra Store whether in Brisbane or Sydney, and I would not like her to even if she could after the long wait and rude staff I encountered in the Carindale store. 

 

The Carindale store have been in contact with me and we are trying to resolve this, but I am doubtful it will be resolved. My mother won't be attending the store, she is in the nursing home. If it is a Telstra requirement that one of your staff needs to sight my mother then I am happy to assist you to arrange a visit to the nursing home.

 

How many more obstacles is Telstra going to throw at us to get this $40.00 per month account opened for a little old lady?

Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

I have now been in contact with somebody who says they are the "General Manager" of the two shops in Carindale. I have proposed a reasonable solution to the problem in that since it is Telstra who is insisting on sighting the cards and seeing that my mother is a real person, then Telstra should easily be able to divert one of their account managers in the area to visit the nursing home and sight the cards (and my mother). It would only be a 30 minute diversion for one of your people who are out visiting clients in the area anyway, so it shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience, and it satisfies the Telstra self Imposed ID requirement to sight my mother.

 

Unfortunately this supposed "General Manager", Mike Duffy, rejected the proposal out of hand without so much as a reason why? Now I can understand why the staff at the Carindale Telstra Shop are not very customer focused when this is the sort of leadership they have.

 

And what's worse is that immediately after sending the email rejecting the proposal, Mike Duffy turned on his "Out of Office" autoresponder saying he won't be back until Monday 14th November.

 

Can you please advise if there is a reason that Mike would have rejected the proposal, or is he just continuing with the ongoing "let's make this as difficult as possible" stance?

 

Can we get someone else to look into doing this? I had my doubts that the Carindale Telstra Shop staff (or manager) would be interested in solving this problem. 

 

It has now been 18 days that your people have been depriving my mother of a telephone.

 

Also, for some strange reason Mike Duffy keeps wanting to discuss this issue verbally. Is it that he doesn't like commiting his uncompromising stance in writing?

Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

25 days later and we are still not connected. Something about your system is pretty useless. I'm not sure if it's the software or the staff, but either way your service is practically non existent. Why you persist in trying to convince people that you are a "team" is beyond me. Teams coordinate to achieve results. So far your "team" has achieved little other than prolonging what should have been a 15 minute task. We are currently liaising with the complaints "team" to finalise this. Next step will be the Ombudsman if it isn't resolved soon.

 

 

Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

And 6 days later and your staff are continuing to show how useless they are. Yes I am getting annoyed. It happens when I have to deal with useless people. We are now 31 days into this process and Mike Duffy has hand passed it to the complaints resolution people (they are not a "team"). I have my doubts about whether they are even people, as they seem to be automated and operating in low gear.

 

Come on Telstra, is there anyone working there who knows what they are doing?

 

We have wasted so much time trying to get this simple phone connection for an 83 year old lady who will most likely be 84 before she gets connected.

 

Can't we just get one person to take over this and FIX IT?

 

 

 

 

Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

For anyone watching this and taking an interest in how we are progressing I will keep you posted.

 

1. This began with a simple request to have a $40.00 per month phone line installed for my mother in her nursing home room.

 

2. The job was beyond the capabilities of the staff at Telstra Shop Carindale, as was comprehension of the situation.

 

3. The job was escalated to a complaint with the Telstra's complaints system.

 

4. Telstra Shop Carindale got involved again.

 

5. The account has now apparently been created, but Telstra are still asking for forms of ID to be presented that an 83 year old lady will not have before they will connect the line.

 

6. We have not found a Telstra employee intelligent enough or motivated enough to get this situation resolved.

 

7. A complaint has now been made to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

 

For anyone else experiencing problems with Telstra we suggest you also visit the TIO. I'm not sure why, but sometimes complaints to the TIO are the only thing that will resolve a situation with Telstra. Maybe Telstra have all the good staff handling TIO complaints. 

 

http://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint

 

 

 

Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

We now have a reference number from Telstra regarding the complaint. No hurry Telstra. Wouldn't want you to exceed expectations.

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi Barry_C,

 

Now that you have been given a reference number what was the last update you were given in regards to this?


Also, was this a reference number by Telstra's complaints team or from the TIO?

 

 

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff


@JarredD wrote:

Hi Barry_C,

 

Now that you have been given a reference number what was the last update you were given in regards to this?


Also, was this a reference number by Telstra's complaints team or from the TIO?

 

 


Hi Jarred,

 

I have both a TIO reference and a Telstra reference. Telstra just gave me the reference and said somebody would contact me about it, but that was on Friday. It's now Tuesday and I've heard nothing more. The whole thing is really dragging on.

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Thank you for clarifying.

 

Could you please provide me with the Telstra reference number?

 

If you have an ongoing investigation with the TIO what was the last update you were given by them?

 

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff


@JarredD wrote:

Thank you for clarifying.

 

Could you please provide me with the Telstra reference number?

 

If you have an ongoing investigation with the TIO what was the last update you were given by them?

 


Hi Jarred,

 

Thanks for checking into this.

 

The Telstra reference I was given is SR1-986302525994.

 

The TIO situation at the moment is that Telstra have 14 days to rectify the situation before we can escalate it to the next level. The Telstra situation as of Friday 25th November is "we will get back to you".

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Thanks for that, Barry. We are still working on this for you and the case manager will be in touch to resolve this for you. Let me know if they don't get in touch within the next 48 hours.

 

Cheers

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Nope. Nothing yet, but not especially surprised.

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi Barry_C

 

Just a quick check-in. Have you been contacted by your Case Manager since Thursday? 

 

If not, please confirm so I can escalate further. 

 

Kind Regards 

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Somebody tried phoning whilst I was busy. They were supposed to be emailing me, but guess what? No emails.

Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

UPDATE: Telstra still has not attempted to contact me and the phone is still not connected.

Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

And yet another day passes with no contact from Telstra. Almost time for this to be escalated with the TIO. Telstra is sinking back into the service level they had in the 80's and early 90's that lead them to change their name from Telecom to Telstra in the hope that people would forget how bad they used to be. May as well change it back to Telecom now that the brand new Telstra image has been soiled. 

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi Barry, 

 

Sorry to see we have still not resolved this issue. 

 

I have reached out to your mother's Case Manager and requested she be updated as soon as possible. 

 

Hoping this can be resolved soon Smiley Happy 

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Another day passes and yet again no contact from Telstra regarding this. How these people keep their jobs is beyond me.

 

The deadline for contact has now passed so we will escalate the complaint with the TIO. 

 

I am also happy to have just learned that each time a complaint is escalated with the TIO Telstra pay increased fees. Hooray, at least Telstra are paying for their lack of service.

 

Also found this following link online about Telstra topping the national complaints list - definitely not surprised at all. 

 

http://www.crn.com.au/news/telstra-tops-national-telco-complaints-list-404044

 

 

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Hi Barry_C,

 

I am terribly sorry that this has taken so long to resolve. I am confident that your case manager will be in contact to discuss this with you shortly. I can see this is already sitting with our TIO team and it will be a Telstra Case Manager from the TIO team who should be in contact with you.

 

In the meantime, the the latest complaint statistics from the TIO at the following link: https://www.tio.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/226830/Report-Complaints-in-context-Jul-to-Sep-20... and https://www.tio.com.au/publications/news/complaint-statistics-january-march-2016 via the TIO website.

 

-Geo

 

 

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Re; latest data

 

Thanks, so no improvement over the last 18 months then.

 

With people working there like whoever is supposed to be handling this now, and the terrible staff at Telstra Shop Carindale it's really no wonder.

 

 

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

I'd like to think we have improved slightly given that we are not the top of the statistics for Jul to Sep 2016 Smiley Happy

 

In the meantime, I have sent a follow up email to have this attended to as soon as possible. I can understand the frustration given this has taken so long as I remember assisting you with this last month and can only apologise that it has not yet been resolved.

 

Please let me know once your Case Manager makes contact.

 

-Georgie

 

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Thanks Georgie, I know you are doing your best considering you have to rely on other people who aren't doing their jobs. 

 

I have escalated it with the TIO to stage 2 though. Two weeks is more than enough time for the Case Manager to contact me. Good service would have seen that done within 24 hours maximum.  

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Thanks for the reply and update Barry_C.

You are well within your right to escalate the matter further. Please do not hesitate to let us know how you go. 

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

The saga ends.

 

The phone is now connected and working 7 weeks after we originally set this in motion.

 

Thank you to all the support staff who did their bit to put pressure on the people that weren't doing their jobs very well. You deserve a pay rise.

 

For those people who constantly prolongued the process, whether through lack of training, arrogance or sheer stupidity, you should go and take a good hard look at yourselves and see if you are in the right job. I'll start the list with the Carindale Telstra Shop trainee managers and the Complaint resolution "Case Manager" who we never heard from. Maybe she/he was the one who got the job done, and if so I do thank them for that, but a bit of communication would have been nice.

 

All in all a very sad experience, but with a good outcome.

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Happy to hear the matter is now resolved, @Barry_C.

I do apologise for the ongoing frustrations you've experienced, but I'm glad to read that the phone line is now connected.

Please let us know if there's anything we can assist you with moving forward.

Regards

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Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Is it any wonder people get frustrated with you people? The lunacy continues.

 

Even now that the line has been connected I just got a phone call from the Telstra TIO complaints person telling me that my name is not on the list of approved contacts for the account. How idiotic is that? The power of attorney has been provided by email and in person at Telstra shops twice, as well as to the TIO when the complaints were made. Yet still, now that everything has been sorted out I finally get a call from the Telstra complaints person, and it's to tell me that I'm not on the list of approved contacts.

 

Wow! Just WOW!

 

 

Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye
Accepted Solution

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

For anyone embarking on a similar endeavour let me suggest you skip weeks of frustration by going directly to the TIO as soon as Telstra employees start acting stupid.

If you try too hard to let Telstra resolve it, the idiocy just intensifies to the point where you will begin name calling. You might even contemplate doing nasty things to idiots.

Save yourself the aggravation (and possibly gaol time) and go straight to the TIO http://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint.

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Barry, can I offer a way of getting you on as an authorised contact with (hopefully) a minimum of fuss.

 

From your mobile, call your mother, then start another call to 132200 and ask for "Accounts". Then add you mother back into the call. That way, when you are trying to get yourself added, she can give the verbal OK.

 

I know this sounds like a pain in the proverbial, but it should be a lot quicker than having to deal with the runaround that you have previously had to put up with.

 

Btw, I would have gotten pissed off with the store and then got it connected in my name and then lodge a formal complaint, along with a request to change the owner of the service.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Barry_C
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Phone Account for Elderly Mother Refused by Telstra Shop Staff

Thanks for the suggestion Jupiter, but no I won't be calling Telstra for anything. I don't have half an hour to waste in their phone queues. We have provided them with the power of attorney on three separate occasions and I'm not going to waste any more time with them. If anything needs changing on the account we will deal with it then.

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