Level 1: Cadet

Compensation for Poor Service and False and Misleading Advertising

My wife and I had a nightmare customer experience with Telstra over almost 6 months. For making our life so difficult  we are fighting hard for fair compensation. Our case was so neglected, we had to get TIO, the Federal Communications Minister and the Office of the CEO involved. I even set up a website to publicise a hunger strike I planned to go on to draw attention to my issue and Telstra's poor service. I'm keen to understand if anyone has had a similar experience and if you would be interested in joining a class action?


My Story

  • My wife and I signed up for an unlimited NBN contract in June 2019. We live in a new 'NBN only' development.
  • The NBN box was installed at our house in the same month but it didn't work because the NBN Co. registered the serial number on the box to the wrong address. We reported the issue to Telstra.
  • With the NBN connection needing to be repaired, we relied on the Smart Modem's 4G backup for internet. Telstra falsely advertises their modem as providing backup. That's misleading. We were backed up for a handful of days before the data was shaped. Shaping makes the internet unusable for anything other than emergencies. Like shameless criminals, they still charged us for the unlimited internet even though we were not receiving NBN and we had to call Telstra every couple of days to get the Smart Modem backup data unshaped (this experience was always appalling and required at least 45 minutes on the phone to a foreign call centre).
  • We spent a few weeks calling Telstra every few days to have our data unshaped. On some occasions they would refuse, and if they agreed to unshape the data they would never tell you when it would be unshaped. Sometimes they would say within  24 hours, other times 48 hours, other times instant! In the meantime, we racked up large bills on our phone plans because our phones were the only way we could get internet at home. Worth mentioning, the data would always shape at a critical moment in a movie or whilst watching sport on Kayo. I'm an F1 fan. Some mornings I would wake early to watch a race, only for the data to be shaped and the race to cut out. It was incredibly frustrating and undoubtedly took a toll on my marriage and performance at work.
  • After complaining to TIO, Telstra agreed to credit us if we purchased a 4G dongle. This would provide 'unshaped' data whilst our connection was repaired. We were out of pocket $200 and received a credit once we could show proof of purchase. I felt this was an appalling way to treat their customer. What if I didn't have $200 to purchase the dongle? I thought this was a shameless act, clearly designed to improve Telstra's cash flow and whilst delivering the bare minimum service to their customers. To make matters worse, they would only every put 10GB or 20GB of data on the dongle at a time, even though we had signed up to UNLIMITED NBN. On one occasion, a call centre worker refused to put data on the dongle. I spent 4 hours on the phone to them that night for only 10GB to be added to the dongle. Now we had a situation, where instead of calling Telstra every couple of days to have the Smart Modem data unshaped, we had to call Telstra every couple of days to have data added to the dongle which was an equally frustrating experiencing. After contacting the Office of the CEO and threatening a hunger strike, my complaints manager agreed to put about 100GB of data on the dongle (still not unlimited but at least I wouldn't have to contact them for a while for a top up!).
  • As Telstra supposedly worked with the NBN to try and fix our problem, our bills racked up. Our current outstanding balance is over $1,300!!! This is incredible considering we are on a $79 unlimited NBN plan and only signed up in June! We have received multiple 'connection charges' and are currently being billed for two internet bundles (I have no idea why).
  • A few weeks before the matter was resolved, a complaints manager contacted me after a call from TIO and told me that no more complaints would be received by the Telstra complaints team because they had received too many. They would take action by cancelling and re-ordering the NBN but strictly shouldn't call them for an update because they had no time to deliver one.
  • As I live in an NBN only area, when the NBN is down I have no landline phone. I should be entitled to a Customer Service Guarantee but Telstra has said I waived that right in June (I do not recall this)..

If anyone has had a similar experience and has successfully negotiated compensation let me know. If you are interested in joining a class action, please let me know if the thread.

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Support Team
Support Team

Re: Compensation for Poor Service and False and Misleading Advertising

Hi @Brenton_86,


Apologies for the delayed response.


A claim for compensation should be negotiated by your case manager and/or a third party if you've enlisted outside assistance, I recommend discussing this with them directly. 


Please let me know if you need further assistance. 

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today || Get help with any Tech at Home with Telstra Platinum || Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Like to the member(s) who helped you out.

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Level 23: Superhero

Re: Compensation for Poor Service and False and Misleading Advertising

For some....Life is so short, sometimes we just have to move on,  especially at Christmas. 


If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge it.

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 76 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"

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