heels
Level 1: Cadet

lightning strike blown NBN power supply

Have just experienced 6 most frustrating days trying to communicate with chat support about a really simple issue. Lightning struck a tree outside my parent's house, immediately next to Telstra termination post. TV dead, A/C dead, NBN box dead. Smart modem switched over to 4g so they did not notice the change in internet speed. Text message arrives from Telstra saying you are running on 4g for some weeks (since 4 feb-5 months) so we are slowing your service. Both in their late 80s no chance of trying to sort this out. In the old days if the phone stopped working you asked a neighbour to ring up and get Telstra to fix it.   

I came to visit and looked at the NBN box - no lights at all - its obviously fried like the tv. Try another power point to be sure, definitely won't power up. So on to the chat support (an unnamed expert) and explain what happened - "ah we have tested your service and you are suffering an outage of the NBN so we must wait until it is cleared before we can do more tests". After another hour of chat I finally convince them to book an appointment to replace the connection box. Naturally no-one turns up from NBN for the appointment, and no message to cancel.

Groundhog day - after the fail to show, back to chat line - ah the NBN cancelled because there is an outage (despite the fact that NBN outage checker for this address showed nothing wrong). Another hour of chat and I convince them again. So 2nd appt set for today. Again a no show. Then text late today saying you need to ring us and do troubleshooting - call 132200 and say faults - the response is "very long wait times - use the app instead". So back to the app and the chat line - once again you are experiencing an outage and we can do nothing till it is cleared. Eventually they told me they had tested my service - guess what - it would not work - (because the NBN box has blown up and does not respond to a ping?). So this time over 2.5 hours of increasingly frustrated chat messages to convince them to yet again schedule an NBN appointment to replace the thing. I cannot believe the lack of basic technological understanding in these chat experts. I fully expect that the next appointment on saturday will also be canceled after the NBN do the same thing - a quick ping test and no response - there must be an outage. Even though their outage checker advises no issue at this address. It appears that all 3 of the Telstra people who are requesting their call are in no way competent to convey a technical message to them.

I demanded that the 3rd chat agent escalate this to a supervisor - that does not happen - where do you turn to in order to address this sort of incompetence? They remain anonymous so there is no accountability. And then today's chat concluded with a comment that I was the best customer today for my understanding - maybe thats because I only demanded to speak to the supervisor once??? go figure. I've tried lodging a "damaged equipment" report with NBNco. We'll see if that helps  

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4 REPLIES 4
Dowser
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: lightning strike blown NBN power supply

NBN Co are a wholesaler, and as such you have to contact your service provider to rectify faults, schedule service appointments etc.

You can read about this policy

 

You could lodge a complaint with Telstra about the situation you have described.

Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: lightning strike blown NBN power supply

Yes, NBN Co are painful to deal with when the issue is with their part of the equation. They are notorious for not doing their job properly and cancelling technician's visits without doing proper basic fault checking (ie ask the customer what they see from there end would be a basic check). You should lodge a complaint about NBN Co's lack of attendance with the Ombudsman (tio.com.au) as these issues need to be recorded.

 

As far as getting through to the Telstra Faults Team, if you call 132203 from a phone that is on the same account as the faulty service (given that their modem is in backup mode, they could call from their home phone), it will get you through a lot quicker - less than 2 minutes the last couple of times that I had to get my Mother-in-laws service fixed).

 

From an electrical safety point of view, after the lightning strike, I hope you got an electrician out to check the integrity of the wiring in your parent's home. A surge from a lightning strike can burn holes in the insulating layer of the electrical wiring which could cause arcing and a fire later on.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
heels
Level 1: Cadet

Re: lightning strike blown NBN power supply

thanks thats a really good point about testing the circuits. Interesting that the text message from telstra to the mobile registered to the account holder, said ring 132200 and not the other help line.

Well surprise surprise, I lodged the "damaged NBN equipment" report late last night with NBN, and had a reply at 8.30 this morning, apologising for the missed appointments, and confirming that they had received the notice from Telstra, and confirming that they would attend the appointment tomorrow. If that is successful, I'd say I was 100 times happier with NBNCo's response than Telstra's. I don't actually know what Telstra told them as part of booking the appointment - their decision to cancel may well have been driven by a poorly described request. We will see what happens tomorrow.     

heels
Level 1: Cadet

Re: lightning strike blown NBN power supply

thanks for that, I guess this really summarises the point, if 3 different Telstra experts all have so little understanding of their basic technology then what hope have we of getting the right information through them into NBN. As Jupiter said, a basic question such as "are there any lights on, or is the box plugged in" would have revealed what I had said on more than 10 separate occasions through 3 different chat sessions. I kept repeating to them - (the dead parrot sketch comes to mind) it is dead, no lights, won't turn on. Despite this they never asked me to check that, and kept doing their checks (I presume pinging the NBN box) and since it would not respond assumed there was an NBN outage. I have around 10 pages of chat transcripts totaling several hours and yes I think its worth lodging the complaint. It suggests to me a systemic failure - none of these people have had enough training to understand the job they are being asked to do. Its not about the staff - its the management who fail to train them to do the job required. If thats the case no wonder the last person said I was their best customer today. I hate to think what they were getting from other people. 

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