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Level 3: Gumshoe

Lessons learned from dealing with Telstra on Outages

For the benefit of all fellow Telstra customers I wanted share the result of a recent experience around outages and some warnings on things to look out for to make sure you don't get done over by Telstra (although I am not quite there yet!). I hope it helps you get things resolved much faster than I was able to.

 

On 9 February there was a storm in our area. Our cable and Telstra Foxtel went down. The next day the Telstra outages website said that we were affected by an outage which would be fixed that day. Of course it wasn't and a couple of days after that when nothing had changed I contacted the 24x7 service. They confirmed that our house was affected by an outage which was being repaired, so please sit tight. They also confirmed that we would not be charged for the cable service and excess data charges on our mobile phones for the period to the outage (not being able to use our unlimited cable allowance), and woudl not be charged for the Foxtel service which was also down.

 

HERE COMES TIP NUMBER 1 - make sure you have a written transcript of what Telstra says to you. Using the 24x7 chat is good in this sense because you have proof later on. Telstra are now putting me through the wringer on the reimbursement and the only thing that is helping me is that written evidence.

 

So to continue, the service remained out for days and days. I rang Telstra faults a number of times and was told repeatedly that there was an outage affecting us involving damage to the NBN hub and it was being repaired, but in the hands of the NBN technicians. I have separately posted on those interactions and the lack of any transparency and reliability when it comes to what is going on. But here is the thing: the repeated default position from Telstra - "It's all in the hands of NBN" - was completely incorrect. After 12 days of outage and a further call to Telstra technicians, the Telstra operator actually bothered to check. They then told me "You are actually not affected by an outage. There is an NBN hub being repaired, but your modem is connected to a different hub. Your hub has never had a problem and so it must be something else."

 

NBN sent someone out to check what was happening within 48 hours of that call and discovered that an NBN comms pit in the street had been struck by lightning and fried everything. They fixed it in a couple of hours and we were back up, two weeks after the initial outage.  

 

For the sake of a simple check by Telstra when we first called, they could easily have known two weeks earlier that our hub was working fine and the problem must be somewhere else further down the line. The failure to make that simple check is a disgrace and has wasted hours of my time trying to fix this. And blaming NBN constantly was a complete furphy. The whole extended inconvenience was caused by Telstra's failure to conduct simple checks.

 

SO THERE IS TIP NO 2: Don't accept that Telstra know what they are talking about when they say "it's an NBN problem". It's way too easy at the moment for them to fob you off with that. Make sure they check that your modem is actually affected by a hub outage.

 

And now the final indignity? I spent over an hour on the line yesterday trying to get Telstra to reverse the charges in my bill for the period of the outage (extra data charges, the Foxtel charge and a portion of the high speed internet charge). Seriously you would have thought I was trying to rob a bank. They are now arguing that I should still pay my cable internet fees for the period of the outage! I pay $1200 a month for all my home Telstra services and have spent over 6 hours of my time trying to get my service back up. 

 

So, having been forced to jump through loop after loop for three weeks, all caused by Telstra not performing basic checks at the start, they are now chiselling me. A very odd attitude to customer (dis-)service.

 

Anyway so that is the final tip - make absolutely sure you keep a written record of your interactions with Telstra because when push comes to shove they will argue a different proposition and force you to prove otherwise. I have not yet got mine resolved and am drafting a note to the TIA Ombudsman. It's a disgrace.

 

I hope this is some help to others in a similar situation.

 

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8 REPLIES 8
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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Lessons learned from dealing with Telstra on Outages

Thank you for sharing your experience, vanderz. It is definitely not what we are wanting for our customers. 

 

If you haven't done so already, please lodge a complaint using this online form so that a case manager can review the history of this issue and help with the adjustments on your bill. If you send me a private message with the SR reference number that it generates, I will request that a case manager be assigned as soon as a priority.

 

 

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Lessons learned from dealing with Telstra on Outages

Thanks for that. I have lodged a formal complaint by letter with the 24x7 interactions attached but do not yet have an SR reference number. Will send this to you when received.
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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Lessons learned from dealing with Telstra on Outages

Shellock, Despite lodging a formal complaint in writing over three weeks ago, I have still not received an acknowledgement or an SR reference number. This is a breach of your own complaints handling procedure. I have sent you a direct message so hopefully you can do something to resolve this.
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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Lessons learned from dealing with Telstra on Outages

Is anyone from Telstra actually there? I lodged a formal, written complaint about the issues in this thread on 6 March. I have not yet had an acknowledgement or an SR Reference Number allocated. At Telstra Rep "Shellock"'s request three weeks ago, I followed up with a private message last Wednesday and the previous post in the feed. No response to any of these. Is it Telstra's preference that these matters simply get handed to the TIO? Is that the only way things get done? Nice way to treat a customer who has been with you for 15 years. Shame Telstra, this is disgraceful.
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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Lessons learned from dealing with Telstra on Outages

I believe @Shellock may be off on Annual Leave at the moment (last online here about a week before your last post - so won't have seen your PM). One of the other Telstra Staff should be able to assist.
Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Support Team
Support Team

Re: Lessons learned from dealing with Telstra on Outages

Hi Vanderz, 

 

I'm really sorry to hear that this has't been resolved sooner and can appreciate the frustration here.

 

Did you end up lodging complaint through the online form as Shellock requested? If so, can you please provide me the SR reference number?

 

If the form wasn't lodged online can you please lodge your complaint by clicking here so that this can be assigned an SR reference number and looked into. Once you've filled out the form, the page will direct you to your SR reference number.

 

Please provide me your SR reference number through a private message so that I can email our complaints team to have it assigned as soon as possible.

 

Let me know how you go.

 

- Matty

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 3: Gumshoe

Re: Lessons learned from dealing with Telstra on Outages

Matty, as indicated in my earlier messages I wrote a letter to Telstra with the complaint so that all the interaction details could be attached (your online version is not flexible enough in that respect). The letter was sent to the address nominated in your complaints handling policy. I also provided a copy of the letter to @Shellock. I have not yet had an acknowledgement and no SR number has been provided. I will separately message the same details to you

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Support Team
Support Team

Re: Lessons learned from dealing with Telstra on Outages

Hi @vanderz,

 

I've responded to your private message.

 

-Matty 

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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