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Level 2: Rookie

NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

 

NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS.

 
Hi Crowdies..
 
I'm sorry to say this may be an all too familiar story. 
There are other posts with similar tales of woe, so let me say from the outset, I'm writing to get perspective from the crowd and get the attention of Telstra management personnel in Australia who seem to look at this forum. It seems impossible to get anyone to take this issue seriously, and from the way the support system is set up, it is as if I have no right to approach anyone with Telstra apart from the overseas customer contacts.
 
I feel as though I have been paying for a service that was once amazing and totally satisfying, and am now caught in a never ending cycle off ineptness, with no resloution in sight.
 
To restate:
1. this is to gain perspective and 
2. Alert Telstra customer service in Australia and ask two very simple questions:
 
"Is this good enough?"
 
And 
 
"What do you intend to do about it?"
 
Preamble...
 
We Moved to Newcastle in May of 2016 and chose Telstra as our ISP.  We chose a basic ADSL plan as the NBN was "on its way". We swapped to NBN in Sept 2017. NBN upgraded us from a 25mbps to 50mbps in Dec 2017.
 
Happy as a clam for two years...almost to the day. Direct debit pay, never exceeded our data usage. Absolutely no drama what so ever. Nil. Nada. 
 
No reason to doubt our choice.
 
Then...
 
Problem: Persistent Drop Outs - Unresolved after almost 4 months.
 
Mid May 2018 - 9 Sept 2018 ( approx: 112 days.)
 
Persistent drop outs....sometimes as many as 8-10 per hour. No pattern as to when the drop out occurs. Could be early morning 2am or 4am of middle of the day ~11am, ~12pm or evenings...sometimes the landline was affected other times not. 
 
The new smart modems offer a "satellite back up" when the line drops out, however, in reality the speed of the "back up" varies from 0.1 Mbps to 3-4 Mbps. Usually, at the lower end of that range...despite the 192.168.0.1 Gateway telling us "your back up is online and you are connected", the back up offers no real connection at all. 
 
Telstra don't dispute the drop-outs, in fact, they record them. 
 
 
The Numbers: the numerical shame that is Telstra vs NBN 
 
In our efforts to get this resolved the numbers tell a story. These are in some cases averaged and in others under reported as we are only affected when we actually use the internet. No embellishments here either. I have taken notes with each interaction.
 
Strap yourself in....
 
No. of days affected: 112+
No of drop outs: ~1157
[ based on last 21 days when online & recorded: 217 drop outs]
No. of drop out free days since start of problems ~15/5: 9
No. of phone calls experienced with Telstra:  57+
No. of unique customer service people spoken to [ overseas ]: 37
No. of unique customer service people spoken to [ Australia ]: 0
No. of automated emails sent by Telstra: lost count after 45 or so..
No. of txt messages send by Telstra: lost count; 6-10 per week so, lets say 150+
No. of messages sent to phone numbers we asked not to be used: at least 25
No. of Modems changed: 3
No. of modems sent by Telstra: 4
No. of Private Modems used to see if a modem is the problem by client: 1 
No. of unopened Telstra Modems in the box stored at premise: 1
No. of Technicians visiting the premise: 5
No. of Technicians who identified as being from Telstra: 2
No. of Technicians who identified as being from NBN: 2
No. of Technicians who visited twice: 1 (T)
No. Of Technicians who "claimed" it was the other companies fault: 4
No. of times a socket was replaced / fiddled with and deemed the "problem": 3
No. of Technicians who showed up without gear and talked: 1
 
No. of Tech support team claiming to be Case Managers: 5-7
No of Case Managers "being sacked" and the Job not being reallocated: 1
No. of Case Managers leaving before job was complete: 2
No. of Case Managers replaced due to ineptness: 1
No. of times same issues / problems have been given new SR or Incident Nos: 3
No. of Case Mangers arranging tech visits only for NBN to decline: 4
No. of days waiting at home for techs to arrive / techs arrived: 8/5
 
No. of times heard:
A) “we understand your frustration”: ~ 100
B) “we are customers too, we understand this”: ~53
C) “this been going on too long”: >20
D) “I will help you fix this today”: 1
E) “NBN says there is no fault”: ~12
F) “Telstra say they can't see a fault”: 8
G) “You can always go to another provider, we can't stop you”: 5
H) “A case manager will contact you about compensation”: >10
I) “oh, the low speed of the satellite...we have throttled it!": 2
J) "you can always cancel your account without penalty": 2
K) “thank you for patiently waiting": >200
L) "I'm sorry" : > 150
M) "you'll just have to wait": 3
N) "this needs to be escalated to a specialist team”: > 13
 
 
No. of times agreed "No Charge for Tech" visits have then appeared on a Bill: 1
No. of times I have requested of a Case Manager to organise Interim Data: 6
[Data for a dongle used as back up ]
No. of times Interim Data been arranged: 5
No. of days between request of Interim Data and Data showing on device: 1.5
No. of times Interim Data showing up on dongle is what was agreed: 0
No. of days since recent request for Interim Data: 12
No. of times I have raised an issue and asked for a supervisor: 7
No. of times asking for a supervisor has worked: 5
No. of times a Case Manager has declined my request to speak with a Supervisor: 2
No. of times a Case Manager has not met an agreed call back time  / action: 11+
No. of hours spent by the client pursuing resolution directly to Telstra: >80
No. of hours spent by owner checking connection, connection speed, IV address, rebooting modems: >50
No of times client has failed to meet his obligations to pay on time: 0
 
Read the next one twice to really get the gist:
 
One = No. of times the client, dissatisfied with the process, has initiated a Complaint against Telstra for:
 1) the extensive time taken in having the issue resolved; and against..
2) a specific case manager [Patrick ID D382436] for: not meeting call back commitments, not honouring interim data requests, arguing, hanging up, refusing to follow up, denying client access to a supervisor...
 
....only to be told after waiting 48hrs for a Senior Complaints person, who was to respond within 24hrs, that the complaint was cancelled without advising the client, as it was not possible to raise any concerns against the company or any individual whilst the issue in question remains unresolved.
 
 
I could revisit my notes and add more numbers but this is probably enough.
 
 
 
Wrap Up...
 
So, you can see, the efforts to fix this issue are a real pig's breakfast. To be honest, I have no confidence in anything any of the support people say as being true or in them having any authority or desire to see this ticket resolved. Prioritising and urgency are concepts that either the system of work flow doesn’t allow for, the operators don't understand or Telstra really don't give a toss about. I feel trapped in a perpetual loop where the same actions are taken and different results are expected. 
 
We have tried new modems
We have had non-tech people claim that radio waves are interfering causing drop outs
We have had wiring at the premise triple checked - deemed OK.
We have had an old socket replaced - twice.
We have had a tech person from NBN with forty years experience curse a type of German cable as a "**bleep**" but show his expertise in eliminating issues from the premise to the node. He spend 1.5hrs making sure and testing different things with a tech person on the phone working in tandem. This was impressive.
We have been told by Telstra, they have asked the NBN to check from the node to the fan, the ports, the exchange...
We have  noticed some of these "solutions" have been tried numerous times.
 
And yet day 113 dawns and we are still having drop outs. 
 
Finally....
Our data needs are not huge. But we do depend on being connected. That's the agreement we've made with Telstra. That's the service we enjoyed for the best part of two years.
 
We have business interests and educational interests that all depend on the connection being stable and there when we need it. Of course, we have mobile phones and back devices as a contingency. But, I find myself asking the question:
 "Why the hell should I be relying on the contingency? We've paid for a service at home and we're not getting it."
 
So, Telstra how about those questions:
 
"Is this good enough?"
 
"What do you intend to do about it?"
 
Sincerely..
 
The Lohse Family
Neal, Marg and Maddy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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11 REPLIES 11
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Level 19: Deputy Director

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

I haven't read all of it, but you are not alone as newspaper articles suggest. There may be legislation passed this month to ensure a better deal for consumers, but that was when Malcolm Turnbull was minister.
ISP's cutting people off or threatening to do this soon has also been scrutinised and condemned by ACCC and TIO. I'm hoping to stay connected till I am sure the NBN HFC hybrid cable is working properly before disconnecting. I believe there is still an 18mth "switchover" period for users to try out options before they are disconnected from non-NBN equipment. But between the politicians, Optus, Telstra etc and the NBN I'm beginning to think if it works you are blessed.
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Level 19: Deputy Director

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

Unfortunately if it is a NBN link fault Telstra can not force NBN to fix the fault. The only option is to raise a complaint with the TIO. Prehaps they might be able to get NBN to fix the fault.

If you have an FTTN/B connection your line stats will show if it is a line fault. Link retrain counts would definitely indicate a fault between the node and the modem. To check these log into the modem http://192.168.0.1 and go to Advanced > Broadband > DSL Diagnostics

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

Thanks for the speedy reply.
Checked it.
There is link retrain counts indicated. Last 15min. 5; today 5; prior day 5; showtime 0

What is a link retrain count? Is this iyo high / low ? Does is suggest what you thought: problem between the node and modem?

I'm curious.

Thanks,
N
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Level 2: Rookie

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

Yes, indeed. Keep your fingers crossed. It was going swimmingly for us and then.....it didn't. Go well.
Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

Thanks.
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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

Link retrain counts occur when the modem or node can no longer decode the signal accurately and disconnects so that the link can resynchronise. So each retrain count indicates a total loss of the link. A lot of the other errors can also cause you to lose the internet even though the link has no disconnected.

There is a errors in the DSL Diagnostics displays. Some of the errors in the 15 minutes are the same as the previous days errors..

For examples of a good and faulty link see section 26 of this document
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zTNtnPDXF_nyOK58cxXUig_JuWXr_-Uj/view
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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

Did either of the NBN Techs tell you that they had re-terminated your connection at the node (ie physically disconnected the wires, then reconnect them)? A dodgy termination is one of the main causes of this type of behaviour.
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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Level 19: Deputy Director

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

CF4
That is a handy manual to have for the Smart Modem. I managed with just the "cheat sheet" in the box and the router setup, but handy to have for future reference.
If you have gone to the trouble to spend a lot of your own time doing this - well done. If Telstra used something like this I'm sure a lot of calls for help from customers would be avoided. I don't know why they don't at least provide a link.
Maybe you could copyright it?
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Level 2: Rookie

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

UPDATE 20/9/18
Breakthrough.
I spotted an NBN van in the street two blocks away working on a pillar.
I asked him if he was out here because of my complaint...
"Not specifically".
He looked at our "pair" on the pillar attachment, one of two, and said it was done sloppily.
Said he would run a program to indicate errors in the line / equipment for a few days.
Three days since we have spoken and there has been only one drop out.
Program stats at the end of the week...all looking good so far.

Thank you for the comments and suggestion. They added to my understanding. Cheers, NL
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Support Team
Support Team

Re: NBN vs Telstra: persistent drop outs for almost FOUR MONTHS. When will it end?

Glad to hear you have experienced this improvement to the service Nealaus. Keep us posted.

Thank you.
- Ryan

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