npsmith
Level 1: Cadet

Telstra, you confirmed that your cell has congestion issues, now what are you going to do about it?

Telstra - I'm desperate.

Upfront, I'm on a business account. My whole company is on this account. We have chosen Telstra because they have the best network, and the best coverage. Also, we are consultants who tend to use a lot of data, and we work a lot at client sites.

Now, I'm about to tell you a bit of a story, and really hope that you can stay with me.

 

My problem at the moment is that I have a _massive_ issue that relates to data. Its a massive issue because the 3G data is what I _really_ need to do my job. I use an iPhone 4s, both standalone, and tethered to my mac. What I am about to cover here should be covered in your case # 1166534755, and also incident INC509912611. The problem is that I get really poor data rates between about 9am and 4pm. Before 9am is fine, and after 4 is also fine, but between those hours is woeful. Look at the case notes for more details, and for the location that I'm working from.

On the 10/9 was when I made my first call to you about this issue. The assumption that your staff were operating under initially was that we had to rule out the handset - fair enough. So, we troubleshooted the device, and reset its network settings. I raised the fact that the data was fine outside of core biz hours, and that there were four other people within 10metres of my desk that also had exactly the same troubles (1 x wifi-3g gateway, 1 x android phone, 2 x iPhones). I ran out of time to continue to fiddle with my phone, so I called back a week later on the 17/9 - after having used 3g data for the rest of the week and over the weekend at other locations without issue. We troubleshooted the phone a little more, and I tried to convince the support person to escalate this issue, as it appeared to not be an issue with my handset. I was informed that I needed at least three other people with the issue for it to be escalated to level 2 support. I found these people, and called back on the 18th with details, and finally managed to have it escalated.

7 days later, I received confirmation (via voicemail left on my desk phone) that the issue is in fact to do with your network. The cell that my phone associates with at my work location gets really congested during core business hours. So today, I called Telstra again to see what you were going to do about it. I spoke with someone who said that in the long term, Telstra were going to install a second cell somewhere close by to spread the load, however in the short term the workaround was to go onto the 4G network. They recognised that my iPhone 4s is not 4g capable, and so said that they'd see what they'd do to help me out to get a 4G capable device, given that this issue is not mine, its Telstra's. I was filled with hope - my data nightmare might be coming to an end.

Before I continue here, I'd like to make a couple of things clear. 1) I'm pretty happy with my iPhone 4s, and pretty happy with 3g data speeds (when I'm not connected to congested cells) 2) I need data on both my iPhone and my mac at work - just one isn't enough and 3) I'm setup to use iPhones - another brand of handset isn't an option at the moment.

To continue - I was then transferred to someone else who started to help me out with options, and then said she needed to put me on hold. At around the 40 min mark (for this call) I was taken off hold by someone from billing who had no idea what the call was about, and when I expressed my frustration, seemed to not be able to empathise with the fact that being on the line for now close to 40 mins, patiently explaining the problems to two different people, gently holding their hand yet again through the fact that no, this was not a problem with my handset and yes, level 3 support had found it was a problem with the cell, and then to be transferred to someone who yet again had no idea what the issue was about is, to put it lightly, excruciatingly frustrating, and a colossal waste of my time. And then guess what happened - he did exactly the same thing again - blindly transferred me. And then it happened again.

The second to last guy I spoke to today was again from billing. I explained the whole situation to him, yet again. I explained to him that the workaround suggested to me was that Telstra would hep me to get onto the 4G network. He started to explain to me that my iPhone 4S was 4G capable, and that all i needed to do was go into an apple store and have them enable it. I explained that this was not true, and he retorted with the fact that his info was straight off the apple site. I opened the apple site and read it to him, off the side by side feature comparison sheet of the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S, pointing out the distinct lack of LTE capability on the iPhone 4S. He didn't back down, and so I asked to speak to his manager.

To cut this already long story short, the manager continued the same line. He did ask me what I wanted, and so I stated what is patently clear: I need data on an iPhone , your workaround to your data issues is to get me on the 4G network; solution: iPhone 5. I don't see any other way around it. Do you? If you do, I'm all ears. The sticking point is that this issue lies with you, and you (or those billing guys at least) seemed very uncomfortable with the idea of doing some kind of deal to help me out, because it involves additional cost to you.

We left the conversation with the fact that I wanted, in writing, his statement that their recommended way forward was to have 4G capabilities enabled on my iPhone 4S. They left me with no commitment to solve my issues (which I specifically asked for). I'm not sure if anyone has this case in hand at the moment, and I feel that if I never call back, it would slip into the ether.

I don't know if this has come through, but I'm pretty pissed off at the moment. I cannot begin to describe how grand a colossal failure of customer service this is. From what I can tell, its not to do with the people, but with their leadership. The individuals in the organisation that I have dealt with so far have a very strict mandate to work with, and that mandate applies to their specific area of concern. If something falls outside that area of concern, sorry but you need to be transferred, and there's no handover, so all the context is lost, and its the customer who has to bring them up to speed.

 

I have spent close to four hours elapsed time on the phone to you guys. My time is very precious and I have given you way, way more than I should have.

I'm telling you, in no uncertain terms, that if this issue is not resolved with priority, I'm going to escalate this issue, and you will lose our company's account. You have one more chance.

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5 REPLIES 5
Drat
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Telstra, you confirmed that your cell has congestion issues, now what are you going to do about


I'm telling you, in no uncertain terms, that if this issue is not resolved with priority, I'm going to escalate this issue, and you will lose our company's account. You have one more chance.


So the most likely outcome is that you are about to substantiate the claim that your mobile service is not fit for purpose, on account of the network congestion you reported having experienced during core business hours, and you are allowed to terminate your service contract with no further costs or charges, and any applicable early termination charge waived.

 

Telstra will be denied the revenue arising from the terminated services, and you will be left without a mobile service, so you are still not going to be able to get your operational requirements met.


To cut this already long story short, the manager continued the same line. He did ask me what I wanted, and so I stated what is patently clear: I need data on an iPhone , your workaround to your data issues is to get me on the 4G network; solution: iPhone 5. I don't see any other way around it. Do you? If you do, I'm all ears.


Being fixated on a single solution (your preferred one) will not help you. You can try to talk Telstra into offering you a Mobile Wi-Fi 4G device, on account of your problem and how much your company spends on Telstra services, which can provide data network connectivity to your iPhone handset over Wi-Fi, although I'd expect you're more likely to be using tablets and/or laptops to access the network. 

I don't know how much the normal outright retail price of the device is, but I'd say it is much cheaper than the iPhone 5, for which Apple controls Telstra's profit margin as well as stock availability. It will be much easier for Telstra to accommodate you with one of its own-branded devices.

 

Now, just to be painfully clear: CrowdSupport is not meant to be a customer service channel, and you are not my customer. I'm telling you what I think is the best advice for a fellow Telstra customer. I do work at Telstra and I'm obliged by company policy to state that, but I participate here only in a personal capacity and do not speak for the company, or represent its position or views on this forum.

——
Departed from CrowdSupport as of 12 June 2013, when the fun factor for me had finally completely evaporated with all the recent site layout and functionality changes, and the apparent efforts to turn a community goodwill-powered vehicle into something closer to a customer service channel.

The opinions and sentiments expressed above are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect Telstra's views or position. I work at Telstra, but my participation here is strictly in a personal capacity as a fellow Australian telecommunications services consumer, and you can safely assume you are not my customer, client, patron, benefactor or friend when I post in this forum.
npsmith
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Telstra, you confirmed that your cell has congestion issues, now what are you going to do about

Hi Drat

Thanks for your reflections.


So the most likely outcome is that you are about to substantiate the claim that your mobile service is not fit for purpose, on account of the network congestion you reported having experienced during core business hours, and you are allowed to terminate your service contract with no further costs or charges, and any applicable early termination charge waived.

The most likely outcome is entirely dependent on what Telstra does from here. I came into this relationship with Telstra feeling ambivalent towards them; neither positive nor negative. I just want a decent mobile data service. If they can meet my needs, then I'm happy to work with them. If not, I can't stay, and I shouldn't be forced to, or suffer penalty if I leave - it wouldn't be fair.


Telstra will be denied the revenue arising from the terminated services, and you will be left without a mobile service, so you are still not going to be able to get your operational requirements met

Thats not entirely true - I could go to another operator. I think I understand your point though - Telstra need to have an incentive for wanting to help me out. If I am threatening to leave, or do leave, there is no incentive. The point is, what I am expecting is not at all unreasonable, and neither is the action I may have to take (leaving) if I can't get fair resolution.


Being fixated on a single solution (your preferred one) will not help you. You can try to talk Telstra into offering you a Mobile Wi-Fi 4G device, on account of your problem and how much your company spends on Telstra services, which can provide data network connectivity to your iPhone handset over Wi-Fi, although I'd expect you're more likely to be using tablets and/or laptops to access the network.

I take your point that there may be a compromise solution that is less costly to Telstra. I also understand the fact that giving away iphone 5's every time someone has a valid complaint about 3G data speeds could end up being very costly to Telstra, and so sets a dangerous precedent. However, I don't think its unreasonable to expect that I should be able to work in the way I need to work. Is it reasonable to expect that I should change my way of working (which would mean make my iphone use data from the mobile wifi 4G device, and carry it around with me, and also make my mac use that device) all because of a problem with Telstra's network? I don't see why I have to change anything at all, to be perfectly honest. As I have said, I'd be happy to stay with my iphone 4S, but it doesn't do 4G.


Now, just to be painfully clear: CrowdSupport is not meant to be a customer service channel, and you are not my customer. I'm telling you what I think is the best advice for a fellow Telstra customer. I do work at Telstra and I'm obliged by company policy to state that, but I participate here only in a personal capacity and do not speak for the company, or represent its position or views on this forum.


Drat, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

The issue I'm having right now is finding the right channel to raise this. Where can I go? The 132200 / 132000 / 132999 channel is not working. I end up spending literally hours on the phone, and getting passed between people, which wastes a lot of my time, and I can't say I'm any better for it at the moment. The problem, AFAIC, is still the same and I have no clear path to resolution.

As I said, I'm desperate. I need to get some resolution on this. I really need someone within Telstra to own this and help me resolve it.

Ben_F
Community Alumni (Retired)

Re: Telstra, you confirmed that your cell has congestion issues, now what are you going to do about

Can I ask, do you have an Account Exec at all? If so, I would get in touch with them, or the Sales Manager, or your Service Exec and put a bomb under them to fix it. My AE seems to be able to fix almost anything (for a nominal fee).

 

If you were sold the product on the basis that you would have a service between the hours of 9-4, I would wonder if you can claim that the product is Fit for Purpose. If the Telstra Mobile Section of Our Customer Terms (Business) applies, the availability indicated in 12.3 is being met.

 

Furthermore, if you refer to 2.8 of Part G - Data Services which forms part of the same Customer Terms it indicates:

 

2.8  Your ability to use and download information and use interactive applications depends on:

(a)  the features and functionality of your handset or device; and
(b)  the nature and quality of the information being accessed; and
(c)  the nature of packet based transmission systems. Packet based transmission systems are used on our mobile networks. These systems are at times subject to congestion, delays and loss.

2.9  Due to the factors set out above, although we will use reasonable care and skill in providing these services, we do not promise that your particular handset will always be able to access information on the Internet or elsewhere. 
 

From a contractual perspective, they have indicated that, due to congestion, it may not work and they don't promise service (which would be stupid to unilatterally promise that a service would work all the time).
 
I think that, were Telstra to offer a 4G Mobile WiFi device, that it would be considered a reasonable workaround. There is nothing wrong with your handset, and you are therefore not able to claim that the Handset is not Fit For Purpose (as it wasn't sold to you on the basis that 4G was available). I think that the Independent Dispute Resolution Body (TIO) would also agree that a 4G Mobile WiFi solution would be acceptable.
 
If you are looking for someone from Telstra to case manage the issue, I would encourage you to submit a complaint (provided you are the Company Authorised Representative).
 
The above advice is provided as a fellow Telstra Customer, and I'm not under the employ of Telstra Corporation Ltd or any of its associated companies. The advice provided above is general and is non-binding, and I cannot be responsible for your use of the information.

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npsmith
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Telstra, you confirmed that your cell has congestion issues, now what are you going to do about

For anyone who is interested, I did eventually find resolution to this issue.

 

After working with Telstra complaints for a number of weeks (and Telstra support for months before that) there was a solution found. Very early on there was recognition that the issue was to do with congestion in the cell I connect to. It doesn't affect voice calls or SMS's. It only affects data (3G), and makes it either really really slow or completely ineffective. This was thoroughly investigated by Telstra support and confirmed.

 

Several solutions were offered, namely that I could pay MORE to get on the 4G network, all of which I rejected.

 

In the end Telstra and I agreed that we could cancel my current contract with ~18 months left (iPhone 4S) and commence a new contract on an iPhone 5, at no extra cost to me.

 

Moving to an iPhone 5 has fixed my issue. I find that only part of the time I have LTE reception (usually 3G) but data is no longer an issue at all.

TomG
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Telstra, you confirmed that your cell has congestion issues, now what are you going to do about

I've taken the same issue all the way to the top - the ombudsman, then the telecommunications ombudsman. Their answer was that they'll let me out of my contract.! [Bleep]!

 

So I'm to go to Vodaphone or Optus - as poor as their service is, anything would be better than the fraud that Telstra has been committing. Any other organisation would be in front of the ICCC for selling a service for which it has no intention of supplying. Telstra is taking our money - and simply not providing the service that they advertise to sell.

 

TELSTRA YOU NEED TO START LISTENING TO THE SHEAR NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT ARE CRYING OUT FOR A RESOLUTION OF THE POOR STATE OF AFFAIRS THAT THE MOBILE DATA NETWORK HAS FALLEN INTO. WE ARE LOSING OUR JOBS - BECAUSE WE CAN'T DO THEM. WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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