Level 2: Rookie

Mystery email signals further disaster

I received an email from the BigPond team informing me that my international roaming had been removed from my BigPond 4g wifi hotspot at 8.24 on 18/10/12. I had not requested this.


I went on to online chat, who told me that it could be a phishing attack. When I posted them a copy of the email, I was told to just forget about it.


Oh, to be able to just forget about it.


History: October 2011: I repeatedly tried to join BigPond with a 3g wifi hotspot and was sent 3 separate mailings of usb dongles. I gave up on BigPond and purchased a Pre-paid elite wifi hotspot.


After using this successfully with an RFI high gain antenna, (blackspot is my middle name) for months I tried again and finally got signed up to BigPond in January 2012, with a Sierra 3g wifi modem.


The first one would not keep a steady connection to my antenna and the patch lead I had purchased from the Telstra shop which had worked perfectly with the ZTE pre-paid was broken. They sent me a replacement 3g sierra. It also wouldn't work with my antenna beyond the first week. I could use it perfectly well, if I drove to town and sat beside the tower, or when I visited larger towns.


When this one failed, I asked to be released from my contract but they told me I would have to pay them >$300. I tried to get across the fact anyone could see from my usage summary that I was unable to access the service. It was not a matter of me just 'changing my mind'. In the end I told them I would pay them their ransom just to be free of the hassle of having ownership of such a destructive item .


This was now April and I let them talk me into trying a new 4g modem, the offer of a $20.00 member discount and a couple of new patch cables was very generous. So I said I would try it,even though the patch cable required me to buy a separate adaptor which I had to source myself from a Queensland supplier. I was really pleased to see the sliding door over the antenna ports, as the flip ones had probably been the problem and the antenna worked, the modem got a medium-strong 3-4 bar HDSPA+ signal. And I had a member discount for the rest of the contract. If it seems to good to be true it usually is.


I activated the device on my Window 7 Toshiba. Then it wanted to be activated on the Asus netbook, and the Mac OSX10.6.8. And it wanted to be activated over and over and over. So I just took to taking the "Skip Activation" Button.


I haven't been using the device much, want to use up my $150 pre-paid. Also, after years of asking Telstra to provide me with ADSL as I reside 3.6 km from the Junction in Town, iinet paired me and I now have ADSL. On one of my many calls about the BigPond device, I was even told that it would be a good idea to switch to BigPond ADSL now that I had a connection.


About 2 weeks ago, I tried to connect using my iPod touch and the Sierra App. But it was asking me to activate. Never did that before. So I stopped trying.


When I received the mystery email, I also asked the chat people why my device was not letting me connect to the Internet and they told me to ring Tech Support. The first call stopped abruptly just as we had got the device connected with a 4bar signal. The second called involved removing the sim card, attempting to go through the activation process, a Tech Support reset of my password and the message unable to connect [29]. Both of these calls were conducted in a friendly and competent manner.


This apparently was very bad, but I was assured it was nothing I had done, and I was nobody's fault. It was about temporary servers set up for the activation process and the sim card IIME not being correctly married up to my account (forgive me if I use the incorrect jargon).


Outcome: escalation to level 3 whatever that means, and a call from tech support within 24 hours to resolve nobody's problem.


What I did then: I cracked, I rang BigPond on 18/10/12 and asked Debbie what it would cost me to end the torment. Answer: Contract over 9/1/14 pay them $270.71. I explained that I dearly wanted the service to work but anyone could look at the history and seen that it had repeatedly failed. The mystery email and the unmarried Sim where the straw that broke the camel's back and that I wanted someone to look at this as an individual case and consider reducing or waiving the payout figure. Debbie assured me that it had now been put up for "Case management" and that someone would contact me within 24-48 hours to discuss possible solutions. She told me to have a nice rest.


This was actually 24 hours before everything became unavailable for the upgrade. No one has contacted me.

I have had a chance to think about what I really want from Telstra, and it is not to end my contract.


I live in a remote region that is only served by Telstra for mobile services and until this came up, I had been looking forward to obtaining my first mobile phone sometime in the next year, (Was a Telstra Landline customer for >20 years). I have seen the gradual improvements in the customer interface and compared to 18 months ago they are light years better.I think the iPhone/iPod app is great. They have been making inroads against easy to use portals such as Skymesh and iinet.


Do I believe them when they tell me that my service will work properly after they have corrected the Sim issue? I want to. Why didn't they tell me about this upgrade? I have been trying to get the service correct here for nine months, another couple of days would be ok. Why make promises that cannot be kept?


I chanced upon this forum when my mobile app redirected me here.


It is a year since I first asked Telstra/BigPond to provide me with a service. I have researched and sourced expensive antenna equipment in order to access the service. The Pre-paid I am using to make this post is proof that ii can work here.


Thank you for this forum.


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Level 6: Bloodhound

Re: Mystery email signals further disaster

Although not to the extent of issues you've endured over almost a year, I had twice been stung by BigPond. I would never try BigPond again. On 3G I got very poor reception (here in Geelong) and I kept on being disconnected. Those Sierra Wireless USB modems are crap. They get hot and they have no where near the reception capabilities of a Huawei USB modem used by most ofther carriers. In addition, BigPond accounts are based upon your BigPond email address.


As far as wireless services go, voice takes priority over data, meaning you're the 'poor relation' with BigPond, whereas if you have an ABN, you can sign up with Telstra Mobile Broadband, get more data than with BigPond and because the service is based upon the MSISDN (a ten digit phone number), technically it's closer to a voice service, so therefore is higher up the chain than BigPond even though you use the same physical Next G network.


I have a 4G Wi-Fi device and while the reception is not as good as it could be considering I am blanketed by 4G coverage area, it's a vast improvement on my days with BigPond.


Good luck and I hope it gets sorted very soon!


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