Level 1: Cadet

Delayed transition to BigPond Broadband

An independent ISP from whom I have enjoyed reasonable service for the best part of ten years changed hands without notice last year.  My account was assigned to another provider on the same terms.  In January we experienced catastrophic disruptions to our email service over a period of more than five weeks.  Decided to revert to BigPond with whom we have all our other services apart from some PAYG mobiles.


Gave 30-days notice to ISP last week in February and applied to BigPond concurrently.  On Monday 11th we began experiencing ADSL outages although our former ISP assured me that they were continuing to provide service and would not disconnect me until I gave them the nod.  Called BigPond who told me that I could expect to be connected by 6pm the same day and should begin changing log in settings.  Called former ISP and arranged to terminate service.


Family member who relies extensively on internet spat the dummy on Tuesday and called BigPond who mentioned heavy backlog of orders but promised to escalate process with order completion by midday.  This did not happen.  More calls made, by which time we had spoken to several different people in - sounded like - Mumbai? More flannel and more promises made.  Family member negotiated deal to use mobile as modem at no additonal cost to herself pending completion of copper connection which, two days later, has not happened.


Modem showss line active but is unable to complete verification of connection to ISP.  Online order tracking shows our completion date scheduled for March 11th but delayed without explanation.  Connection through mobile tolerable at quiet times but slows to 28kbs, and occasionally stalls completely, during peak periods such as atternoons when schools are out.  Capacity of nearest phone tower to handle heavy traffic clearly limited.


We chose to come back to Telstra because BigPond plans are at long last comparable to those offered by most other ISPs and, unlike the independent ISPs, BIgPond is there for the long haul. 


Some people enjoy changing plans and providers often in search of the best deal.  We just want a stable, reliable service with no hassles. 


On the positive side BigPond is obviously busy signing up new customers. On the negative side it seems that BigPond is too stingy to allocate staff and resources where they are needed - at the customer inferface - so that customers get the service they deserve - and pay for! 


Outsourcing is garbage!  We may have met some very charming people from India but they are just not placed to sort out problems at the local level.  Enabling our connection would have been a moment's work for someone in Australia but the Boys from Bangalore have buried us somewhere under a mountain of appicatios they sseem in no hurry to process.  After all, why should they care?  They're earning peanuts and Australia is a long, long way away.

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Delayed transition to BigPond Broadband

Got through to Activation early this morning & received prompt and efficient assistance.  Turned out that, according to one department, everything was up and running.  The customer service guy I was speaking to knew this was not the case so took it to the next level.  I commend him for this because many call centre people either leave it at that or else start the teaching grandmother to suck eggs routine where they suggest you check all sorts of elementary things which you well know are perfectly OK.  He was able to isolate the problem which was that the codes for our former ISP,  who closed our account on the 11th March this year, were still in the system.  With BigPond user name and password already in the modem we went on line again as I was speaking with him.  A happy ending if only I had not had to put up with flak from other members of the household for the three days during which we had no internet access other than through a mobile phone.


Belonging as I do to an era when TV was a miracle, you needed a short wave radio to hear live sports commentary from overseas and interstate, and the telephone was a black bakelite device on the wall, usually in a hallway with a table or shelf for the directory on which house guests might leave coins in appreciation for being able to call home, I was more than happy to get on with other chores while the internet connection was down. Astounding it was indeed to see how other family members played up when deprived of their daily dose of virtual life.


If all this sounds too good to be true, its true but not all good.  Email @bigpond.com still not working.   Thankfully everyone uses webmail of some description.  One less worry, just for now ...

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