Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

I have been helping a retired couple this week to (attempt to) resolve an issue they are having with their main Bigpond email address.  As you will see below, this problem, introduced by a Telstra error, remains unresolved after 10 days.

 

I was called in after the couple had spent multiple hours on the phone trying to sort out their problems with Telstra – all to no avail.   The last straw was when the problem could not seem to be resolved during a call my client had to make from his hospital bed when he was unable to receive any emails.

 

He and his wife called me in after a week with no emails.  The husband was just home from several days in hospital. He is going to be laid up for weeks after surgery, but he still is unable to access his email account and is consequently very stressed.  His wife is concerned that this is adversely affecting his health.

 

They decided it would be best to pay me (a 'domestic technology support consultant') to resolve this problem, rather than undergo further stress themselves by risking being given the run-around by Telstra.

 

The problem arose after Telstra incorrectly de-activated the Bigpond email addresses belonging to this husband and wife.   The account was being changed from a Business to Personal account, but the two email addresses were supposed to be unaffected.  Unfortunately, they disappeared, and the couple had to contact Telstra to get them re-instated.

 

One email account was re-instated by Telstra as an Outlook style account (even though it was previously the old style Bigpond account), and the other (we found out during investigations) was re-instated as the old style of Telstra account.

 

But neither was then working on any of the devices on which the accounts had been previously working.

 

On the Wednesday (29/10), we managed to work out (without calling Telstra) that the problem with the now-Outlook account was that the account settings on the devices were for the old style account (which it had previously been) – so needed to be changed to use the Live incoming and outgoing servers.

 

This was not something that was communicated by Telstra at any point. After correcting the settings, this mail account is now successfully working on each device.

 

We then focused on the second account, which was the main email address for the Telstra account.

 

We could not get the other account installed correctly on the mobile devices and computer.

 

So we contacted Telstra that day (29/10) by Live Chat to check the password (which had been reset) and the type of account.

 

This was when we discovered that the second (main) email account was still the old style Bigpond account.   

 

Despite multiple attempts then that day to connect each device to the account, we were unsuccessful.  The consultant assured us that there were no problems with the account and that it must be our account settings that were the problem (which, we were very confident, was not true).  So another appointment needed to be scheduled for me to come back and help this couple the next day.

 

On Thursday 30/10/14, we ascertained that the account COULD be accessed via Webmail with the password provided by Telstra.  However, Webmail showed that no mail had been reaching the account since it was re-instated.  

 

Having confirmed that the account existed and the password was correct, we then re-attempted connecting other devices to the Mail account.  

 

Despite every attempt we made, no other device could connect using Pop - we kept getting an 'incorrect password' message.

 

We then attempted to send an email to the account from various other devices and people.

 

This revealed that every email that is sent to the address is bouncing, with a nasty 'Mailbox Unavailable' message.  

 

We even tried sending an email to the same account while logged in the account's webmail.  Sending worked (a different recipient could receive mail from the account), but any mail sent from the account to the same account did not arrive.

 

This is the point at which we started our marathon Live Chats – over 5 hours - with Telstra on 30/10.  

 

To the first consultant (and each consultant after that!), we provided the text of the 'bounce' message. We explained that NO mails were getting through to the account, no matter who they were sent from or on what device.  

 

To start with, this consultant (and several others) were focused on trying to get us to fix the settings on couple's devices - not on the fact that there was an underlying issue with the account! We explained over and over that it is not a problem with our own devices that we were looking to resolve – it was a problem with the mail account itself.  On this basis, we refused to give this (and other) consultants remote access to any device.

 

The first consultant even ended that chat (after an hour of us repeating our problem over and over) saying that he could not help us, but could transfer the issue to the Telstra Platinum department.

 

His words ... "Please be advised that they do charge a fee but will only do so if they fix your problem - if they are unable to then you won't be charged anything."  

 

We communicated our disgust at this, given that it was when Telstra that generated the problem and signed off immediately.

 

We figured we would try someone else later in the day - since the quality of the consultants you get on Live Chats varies dramatically.  My experience helping seniors with their Telstra issues has shown this over and over - it is a massive concern, especially given the stress and health impacts that dealings with Telstra can have on the seniors that I work with (and on me sometimes!).

 

During some of our Live Chats on 30/10, those chatting with us were certainly not focused on solving our problem, often asking the same questions over and over and certainly not reading the things we were typing - asking us for information that had already been clearly provided.

 

In one case, the consultant even confirmed that she was managing 4 concurrent 'chats'. This confirmation came when she inadvertently sent us a reply that was not intended for us and gave away someone else's email address - who, co-incidentally, seemed to be having a similar problem to us.  Not only does this raise the concern that consultants are not focusing adequately on the problems they are dealing with – it is also a serious privacy concern.

 

After multiple hours pounding on the keyboard (!), we finally got a consultant to log in and check the account and - lo and behold - confirm that there was a problem with the account, one that could not be solved without escalation.

 

However, such escalation would mean we had to wait up to 4 BUSINESS DAYS before someone else would call to further investigate the problem (ie not necessarily solve it).  This means the email account will have been out of action – I re-iterate, because of Telstra's mistake - for about 2-3 weeks, with emails being 'bounced' all this time.  Totally unacceptable!

 

Two options were provided - escalate and wait this additional time for resolution, or upgrade the account to the new Outlook style account and hope the problem would be solved by this migration.

 

So, we decided to go with the Outlook option, since it would solve the problem (we hoped) more quickly than escalation would.

 

At the point we communicated that decision, the chat terminated yet again and we had to start again (I think it was the 4th or 5th time by this point) with another consultant.

 

We then were assisted by the next consultant to access the web page and link that would allow us to upgrade the account ourselves.  

 

Once again, problems were encountered, with the link on the Telstra web page not taking us to the correct place - instead, we were taken to a generic Telstra Media page, with no options relevant to what we were doing.

 

After several attempts (by now it was around 8pm, having started these 'chats' at 4:30pm), the consultant suggested it must be a problem with our web browser.

 

He said we needed to clear all website data and cache, which he assured would not terminate the Live Chat session - which, of course, it did, so another Live Chat session had to be started.

 

We got the next consultant to log in with the account’s password and try out the Telstra link.

 

Once again, there was a fault on the Telstra end. We were told the link was not working properly because of a problem with previous account migrations to Outlook, and that Microsoft had disabled migration while they investigate the problem!

 

No estimated time was available from Microsoft for resolution of this particular problem.

 

How could the Telstra page still include this link when it is not working!! Why was there not a page that came up telling us about the issue, instead of taking us to a generic page that left us totally lost? And why wasn’t the consultant aware that the upgrade to Outlook service was currently unavailable?

 

So, we went back to the option of escalating the issue to the next level. I asked that it be marked urgent, asked for the Reference Number for the current Chat (which I was given).

 

Given what had happened to date, we also asked that a complaint be registered on behalf of the account holder and that we be given the complaint reference number.

 

The consultant said that a complaint reference number could not be generated because the account was an old style Bigpond account. It had to be manually escalated to Level 2 support, and that Level 2 support would log the complaint.

 

I expressed my surprise at this – suggesting that surely the complaint reference number would need to be generated immediately for tracking purposes. I was assured this was just not possible.  By this time I was worn out and needed to eat some dinner, so did not have the energy to push this further.

 

I asked the consultant to provide assurance that a complaint reference number would be emailed to the account owner as soon as it was raised, to a GMAIL address that he has had to set up since these problems started.

 

The consultant seemed reluctant to give this assurance – so I am not confident that this will happen, so will be working with my clients to separately log a complaint via the relevant Telstra web page.

 

I have saved all the LiveChat transcripts that I could – as mentioned earlier, several terminated unexpectedly, with either 'LiveChat unavailable' or 'Session Expired' messages. Which forced us to go through the whole sad story again each time.  

 

I would like to submit these to someone in Telstra who can review them and perhaps look at where their support team is lacking in training, or whether there is some other underlying problem causing such poor service to clients.

 

I would also like someone to contact me about this issue as soon as possible, and provide assurance that the account holder will be provided with urgent attention and resolution of the problem. The account holder’s details can be provided privately by contacting me.

 

I would also like to stress once again that poor service provided to clients like those that I deal with (ie seniors and those who have no understanding of technology) can be a major cause of stress and, potentially, health issues.  Not to mention, the expense of bringing in an advocate like me (at their own cost) to provide the 'language' that is often needed with Telstra to sort through the mis-information that is often provided.

 

Was this helpful?

  • Yes it was, thank you
  • No, I still need help
14 REPLIES 14
Highlighted
Support Team
Support Team

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Hi ellesee27,

Sorry to hear the people you know are having trouble with their email

To confirm, are you listed as an authorised representative on their account to discuss matters on their behalf?

If not, I'd recommend getting the account holder to add you on. You can do this via http://tel.st/hsc3 or by calling 132200

I'll get one of our social media techs to have a look at this one during business hours

Apologies for any inconvenience in the meantime

____________________

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today
Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Kudo to the member(s) who helped you out

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Highlighted
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Hi ellesee27,

 

I will send you a private message shortly with a link where you can provide some more detail regarding the email address experiencing difficulties.

 

- Shelly

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.

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Despite the fact that we have logged a formal complaint with Telstra (on 2/11) and a complaint with the Telecommunications Ombudsman (on 6/11 when there had been no response from the Telstra Complaints area and no 'complaint reference number' provided yet), nobody from the Complaints area of Telstra has contacted my clients yet - either by email or phone.  It is now a week since the complaint was lodged.

 

The only contact we have had (apart from those in this forum) is from the Social Media Assurance Team as a result of this Crowd support post.  This is despite several requests for someone from the Complaints team to contact us.  Several days after the complaint was logged, the Social Media rep advised us that the Complaint had not even been allocated to anyone.

 

As of 7/11, the account has finally be re-activated - but as a brand new Outlook account.  

 

Once again, the communication that we received from Telstra did not advise that the email account had been changed to this new type of account. 

 

BUT NOW WE HAVE A FURTHER PROBLEM THAT IS AWAITING RESOLUTION ...

 

Despite the fact that the account's email still existed in the old style account up until the move to Outlook on 7/11, these emails  have now been wiped.  

 

It had been expected that these emails still existed (as we had already ascertained earlier this week) in the inbox, so re-installation of the account as an Outlook account has now wiped my client's emails on the mobile device.

 

We advised the Social Media Assurance Team representative that this had occured and we needed it resolved.  The advice we received was that this deletion of the emails must have occurred originally when the account was deleted, which is absolutely not true (since they were still there in the week of 7/11 - it was just that no emails had been able to come in since 22nd Oct).

 

So, we once again await further contact from Telstra about this new Telstra-generated problem.

 

Once again, we insist that someone from the Complaints team contacts my clients about this matter.  

Highlighted
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Hi ellesee27,

 

Did you provide info to Shelly via the link she sent you on Monday, per her post above?

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.

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Yes we did.  

Highlighted
Support Team
Support Team

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Thanks Ellesee27,

I apologise for the delay in response, I will email Shelly today on your behalf and ask that she update you as soon as she can. 

Regards -
 

____________________

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today
Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Kudo to the member(s) who helped you out

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Is Shelly from the Complaints area?  If not, please ask that our formal Complaint be allocated to someone and please get that someone to call us.

Highlighted
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Hey Ellesee27,

 

Shelly is in Technical support, not complaints. I can see the complaint has been assigned and has been actioned of this morning Smiley Happy

 

Brodie

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.

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Actioned is certainly not the term I would use.

 

Right now I am trying to get the Complaints case manager to just call me back - after unsuccessful calls to him Friday and today where I could only leave a voicemail.

 

It looks like we are back to square one.  Actually, worse than back to square one, given that Telstra has now deleted emails that it shouldn't have deleted and is still charging for the account that should have been de-activated..

 

The original email addresses that were supposed to have been moved across to the new 'personal account' for my clients (and were instead deleted) were re-instated to the old, supposed-to-be-closed-down business account - not to the new!

 

And my client received a bill on Friday for the old account, which is no longer supposed to be active.

 

This is unbelievable!  After all this time and effort trying to get Telstra to understand and fix the problem., I am convinced that no-one there looks at any history and even attempts to understand what has gone wrong.

 

I asked the Tech support rep who called me Friday 14/11 to double-check to make sure that the old accounts are now linked to the new account, as I could not see any details of these old email addresses when I logged in to the new account.  Why could no-one at Telstra have checked this previously?   Does anyone there know what they are doing?

 

Could you please ask the case manager to call me.  My client is not sure what to do with incorrect charge for the old account, because it is due today.  We need that charge put on hold until this debarcle is resolved.

 

 

Highlighted
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Hey Ellesee27,

 

I've asked the complaint manager to contact as soon as possible.

 

Brodie

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.

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Thanks Brodie.

 

It seems that your involvement is the only way I can get any attention for this issue, so thank-you for what you have done. 

 

The case manager did call me on Tuesday with no further update and seemed oblivious to the fact that I had called and left two voicemails.  He did not seem to have a good handle on the problems at all.   We have heard nothing further from him since Tuesday, despite a request for an update on what is going on.

 

 

My past experience of dealing with Telstra Complants is that there are different levels - can you please ask that this complaint be escalated to someone who is at a sufficient level to get this matter addressed?  

 

The longer I am involved in this issue for my clients, the more it is costing them - and hence the more compensation they will be seeking from Telstra for all the errors and problems.

 

If we do not hear that there has been some positive progress in resolving the issue by tomorrow (21/11), we will be raising the matter again with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (who previously advised us to get back in touch if the complaint  we lodged with the TIO on November 7th is not resolved by November 21st).

 

Once again Brodie, thanks for the effort you have put in so far to getting some attention for this problem.  We hope that you can assist further now.

 

 

 

Highlighted
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Hey Ellesee27,

 

I don't have any authority over the assignment of complaint managers, sorry Smiley Sad

 

I have advised your complaint manager that you require another callback, and your intent on contacting the TIO tomorrow if no progress is made. Hopefully we get some movement for you and your customer.

 

Brodie

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.

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Thanks so much Brodie.

 

Here's hoping ...

Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Live Chat consultants unable to understand and effectively help with Bigpond email problems.

Ah well, so its back to the TIO we go with the case not yet resolved.

 

Emails were received back in the email account on Thursday - a flood of emails that had lost all their 'date received' information, so were next to useless.  They had obviously been 'forwarded' to the Outlook account, which did not properly resinstate them.

 

And the key issue still remains - the two accounts that should have been moved from the old Business account to the new Personal accounts are still linked to the old account.  And that old account is STILL generating charges, with another account received by my clients yesterday.

 

An update on this matter has just been lodged with the Ombudsman.

 

 

Set it & forget it

With direct debit there’s no need to give paying your bill another thought.

Avoid queuing up and never worry about late fees again.

Setup direct debit