DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Incorrect billing

I have been to the Telecommunications Ombudsman at least 7 times in the last 12 months due to Telstras incorrect billing, inability to acknowledge I have been incorreectly billed, and inablity to refund me when my complaints have been proven to be correct. My complaints have resulted in me being reimbursed approximately $5000.

 

I would like to know of any similar complaints regarding billing, such as being overcharged for services, being charged for services that have been disconnected or were never supplied etc. as I would like to approach the Telecommunications ombudsman and request they investigate Telstras billing practices as a systemic issue.

 

<Email removed to protect your privacy> if you wish to contact me.

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Lynjoywal47
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Incorrect billing

I am on the rampage at the moment too - I went into my online account to check my internet usage but noticed that my next landline bill will have an extra $2,80 added for 13 and 1300 numbers.  I couldn't understand this as I only call these numbers on my mobile so that I don't have to pay extra,  On checking I found that 5 of the 7 numbers were all called on the same day!  When I checked the numbers, one of them was for an insurance company that I have never had any dealings with and the others were Energex (which I had no reason to call anyway).  Strangely these calls were made on 5th April and I had been notified recently that NBN maintenance would be happening on the 6th - so I knew someone would be fiddling with the wires!  I rang Telstra's online number first thing this morning and told by an overseas operator that they couldn't pull up these numbers and that I would have to wait until the bill had been sent before they could help me.  I explained that if I could access this information online surely they could do the same - No!!!  The operator then asked if she could help me with anything else ???????????? really if she can't help with this complaint what would make me think she could help with anything else?

I have sent in an online complaint form and received a response that they would get back to me within 5 days!!!!  The bill will have been processed by then and so they will be happy that I have been charged for the calls - I can't pay less than the billed amount as it is done by Direct Debit.  I know it is only $2.80 but it is the principle of the matter.  Am I happy?  No and I can understand why people are not happy with Telstra at present.  My next step is to contact the Ombudsman.

DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

Now that you have raised the issue with Telstra twice you can go straight to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. DO NOT waste any more breath on Telstra call the ombudsman directly on 1800 062 058 and they will talk to Telstra on your behalf and resolve the issue a lot more quickly than you trying to deal with Telstra directly.

 

I would love to know how this goes for you.

DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

Subject: Level 2 Conciliation - TIO Complaint

Good morning ,

As discussed, the resolution I am seeking to my complaint is as follows:
1. An explanation of regarding charges for home phone silent line and NBN on my account;
2. A check to be completed by Telstra to determine how much I have been overcharged;
3. A refund of the amount overpaid;
4. Connection to a $5 data sim so that I can share my existing data on my existing plan between my iPhone and iPad; and
5. An apology for the inconvenience they have caused me.

D, of the Complex Complaints Reconciliation Team contacted me on 10 April 2017 and left a voice mail requesting a call back. I returned D's call three times on the 10 April 2017 and was advised on the last call by R that he would ensure that D called me back by close of business that day.

At this point I would like to point out how difficult it was to return D's call. The voicemail left for me advised me to call the 1800 029 141. When I called this number I was put through to the general Telstra enquiry line where I had to select from numerous options in order to speak to an operator. This was an ordeal in itself and to add insult to injury each time I called this number a recorded voice informed me that my bill was due ad I needed to arrange immediate payment!

Might I suggest that the complaints team provide direct contact details to complainants in order to avoid being greeted by an even more frustrated and annoyed customer when they finally do manage to make contact with the correct person at Telstra!

As I did not receive a return call from D as promised and I again returned his call on 11 April 2017. In this phone call D advised the following:
1. The root cause of my issue was that when a landline phone number is disconnected it does not automatically disconnect the silent phone number service as this needs to be done through the billing system.

I asked D to explain to me how Telstra have addressed the issue of the two systems not "talking" to each other and how this would be addressed in the future to avoid any further issues to other customers. D informed me that there was no issue with the systems "talking" to each other and that there were no other complaints WHAT SO EVER of this kind and it was not a systemic issue. He stated that Telstra identifying my issue and offering to reimburse me the overpayment was rectification of issue.

In light of the above, this aspect of my complaint is not resolved. There is an identified issue with the Telstra billing system, I highly doubt that no other customer has ever experienced the same or similar issue and I want Telstra to put a process in place to ensure this does not occur again in the future. This could be as simple as educating staff on the necessity to check if a landline has a silent number function prior to disconnection, and if it does, arranging with the billing department to ensure the silent number function is also disconnected. If Telstras systems won't talk to each other surely their staff can!

D informed me that the TIO do not have the power to investigate Telstras billing systems to identify if this is a systemic issue and to force Telstra to rectify this issue. If this is the case, please refer me to the correct Government Department, Agency, Minister, Ombudsman or Commissioner who can deal with this aspect of my complaint.

NO explanation was ever provided as to what the NBN charges were for or why my account had been overcharged for such charges. I still require an explanation as to the root cause of this issue and this aspect of my complaint has not been resolved.

2 & 3. Telstra have completed checks to determine how much I have been overpaid and have made an undertaking to credit my next two bills with the required amount.

I asked D to advise if Telstra would be issuing me with a fresh and accurate bill as my current balance was due on 10 April 2017 and showed an incorrect amount due for payment. He advised (rather arrogantly) that despite my TIO complaint all monies owed to Telstra must be paid. I advised D that as my bill was due on the previous day and I had returned his call three times and had been assured by his colleague that he would return my call by end of business day I had held off paying the bill as I was hoping the matter would be resolved on the date the bill was due and I could pay the revised amount. As he did not return my call, I did not pay the bill. I then queried how I would be guaranteed a reimbursement for the over charges on the current bill if I did pay the full amount. He advised that the amount calculated as an overcharge for previous bills would be credited to my next bill and the incorrect charges on my current bill would be credited to the bill for the month after that.

This does not resolve my issue. This seems to be a completely convoluted way of refunding my money. Telstra were quick to take my money but now refuse to reimburse me and adjust my bill immediately. This leaves me open to the possibility that the my account will be overlooked and the amount not credited as it is to occur over several months and multiple bills. I require an immediate refund from Telstra of ALL money owed to me. Until I have received such refund and my future bills reflect accurate charges for services actually requested and provided I do not consider this aspect of my complaint to be resolved.

4. D has advised that my account is not suspended and was unable to provide any explanation as to why I was unable to connect a $5 data sim to my existing account as advised by staff at two separate Telstra stores.

The above explanation is unacceptable as no investigation of the issue has taken place and I have not been advised of the root cause of this issue.

I have paid the bill due on 10 April 2017 in full (including the over charges). I will be attending a Telstra store next week in order to have a $5 data sim added to my existing account and until I have that sim card in my iPad and working in an acceptable manner, I do not consider this matter resolved.

5. I never once received an apology for the inconvenience caused and the stress and anxiety I have been subjected to. In fact D was fairly hostile and antagonistic in regards to most matters discussed and again, I do not consider this aspect of my complaint to be resolved as I have not received any apology what so ever and am left with the impression that Telstra do not value their customers, do not thoroughly investigate complaint matters and do not believe the TIO have any real power to investigate or enforce decisions against them.

I would like to take the time to thank you for following up this matter on my behalf and I look forward to speaking to you in due course to further discuss how Telstra can resolve my complaint.

Kind regards,

JessicaCL
Support Team
Support Team

Re: Incorrect billing

Hi DanielleK1,

 

If you have an existing complaint with us at present, please refer this to your case manager so that they can look into this further. If you do not have a complaint lodged as yet, I would recommend lodging this as a formal complaint via this link https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/General-Services-KB/Lodging-a-complaint-with-Telstra/ta-p/681... where a case manager will be assigned and will be in contact with you directly to discuss a solution further.

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DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

I have been in contact with my case manager who has not resolved my complaint and only managed to antagonise me further. As far as I can tell there is no reason why I cannot complain further in this forum.
My complaint is not resolved, Telstra still owe me money and I am yet to receive any firm of an apology. Until I do I intend to continue to complain long and loudly to any one who will listen.
Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Incorrect billing

As you have already made a formal complaint and have had a Case Manager assigned, the only people worth complaining to are your TIO and Telstra Case Managers. No-one here can do anything about it. As you have been to the TIO, it now has to follow their procedures.

 

Feel free to keep ranting on here though, it just won't accomplish anything.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

I am attempting to collect other Telstra customers with similar billing issues so that I can approach the TIO to undertake an investigation into the systemic failures with telstra's billing practices and systems. The TIO cannot effect any real change without evidence of a systemic failure
DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

Good morning,

 

Please find attached, my most recent bill from Telstra.

 

 As you are aware I have been in dispute with Telstra who have agreed to reimburse me, therefore I thoroughly examined the attached Bill to ensure it's accuracy.

Telstra are incorrectly billing me $10 per month for "ARO" fees. I googled what exactly an ARO fee is and it relates to an Accessory Repayment Option. I NEVER signed up for or agreed to be billed for any accessories.

I have done some investigation and it would appear that this is a deceptive and misleading sales practice of Telstra's whereby customers are told in store that they are entitled to $240 worth of FREE accessories when they sign up to a new Telstra plan when in reality the accessories are not free and are incorporated into your plan and charged back at $10 a month as an "ARO".

I never agreed to an ARO being charged to my account. I request Telstra investigate how long I have been incorrectly billed for an ARO and reimburse me the over charged amount immediately.

I request the Ombudsman investigate this issue on my behalf and separately as a systemic issue which has left multiple customers with a financial detriment.

I have attached links to other disgruntled Telstra customers who have posted on Telstra's own crowd support site detailing this systemic issue and the financial detriment suffered by each customer as a direct result of Telstra's deceptive sales and billing practices.

https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/Websites-Telstra-24x7-My-Account/Accessory-repayment-Option-w...

https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/Mobile-Plans-Rates/Accessory-Repayment-Option/td-p/570947

https://www.facebook.com/Telstra/posts/10153504233949315

https://www.wordofmouth.com.au/reviews/telstra-northcote

I look forward to hearing from you in due course to further discuss my complaint and request for an investigation of this systemic issue.

Kind regards,

 

Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Incorrect billing

Danielle, Just a reminder that this is not an official communication channel with Telstra. It is a community forum. You will need to address this complaint through official channels.

Telstra Complaints
Locked Bag 20026
Melbourne VIC 3001
FAX: 1800 753 949
Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

I have raised my complaint with Telstra and received no response to date. From what I can see there is no reason why I cannot raise my concerns in this forum also.
Angela_H
Support Team
Support Team

Re: Incorrect billing

Hi DanielleK1,

I'm sorry to read you haven't had a response to your complaint as yet.


If you have an SR case number you can share with me, I can contact your case Manager, send them a copy of this correspondence & ask that they contact you. 
 

Angela
 

 

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Zzoe
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Incorrect billing

Hi Danielle K1

 

I have read your story with interest and concur with your suspiscions. I have recently experience a strikingly similar situation. I would be very happy to talk with you. 

 

Zoe

Saleh
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Incorrect billing

I have simialr case, in my first mobile bill I have been charged twice for international calls. after a long communication with call center they credited me. The same thing happend with the second bill, with other local call that should be free! This become very annoying to track the bill and to waste more time with Telstra staff.

 

I'll rise my issue with TIO. and thanks for sharing your case.

DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

<email removed for privacy reasons>

happy to chat any time

DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

Dear ombudsmans office,
 
Please see below. I dispute the charges and maintain that the accessories were offered to me as FREE I was never informed there was a$10 monthly repayment fee. 
 
I want to be reimbursed as I never agreed to pay an ARO fee in the first place. 
 
This is deceptive and misleading as evidenced by the level of complaints from other customers on telstra's own crowd support sight who have also been misled with the promise of free accessories only to find they have been charged anATO that was never agreed to. 
 
I would also like the question regarding the start and end date of my contract to be answered as I believe I am incorrectly still paying the phone handset repayment fee. 
 
Please investigate. 
 
 
AND SO IT CONTINUES TEALSTRA ..............
Greg_Buch
Support Team
Support Team

Re: Incorrect billing

For privacy reasons I've removed the email address from your public post - if you've received any reference numbers from Telstra in your recent contacts about this issue we can help follow up with the case manager assigned to the issue. These references should begin with 'SR-1' or 'INT-1'

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DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

Please explain why I am no longer being notified by email about responses to my posts - cheeky telstra trying to put a stop to my rampage I suspect lol

DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

<Email removed to protect your privacy>

DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing - Accessory Repayment Option (ARO fee)

So after numerous complaints and back and forth with the Ombudsman, Telstra were forced to admit they were charging me a deceptive and misleading Accessory Repayment Option fee (ARO fee) for supposedly "free" accessories which were in fact charged to my account at $10 per month without my knowledge or consent.

 

Telstra have subsequently reimbursed me $200 and disconnected the ARO.

 

To my total amazment my next bill showed a disconnection fee of $25 for the removal and reimbursement of the ARO fee. I have since referred this back to the ombudsman (who were just as amazed) who are now following up a reimbursement of the disconnection fee for me.

 

On a side note, Telstra banned me from crowd support and I had to lodge a complaint with Telstra in order to have my account reinstated!?!?!

 

The incompetence never ceases to amaze me.............

Georgie
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Incorrect billing - Accessory Repayment Option (ARO fee)

Hi DanielleK1,

 

I've removed your email address in your previous post to protect your privacy. 

 

In regards to your account on CrowdSupport, please refrain from spamming in relation to this issue across multiple threads.

 

-Georgie

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DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing - Accessory Repayment Option (ARO fee)

Georgie,

 

Once again a prompt response when I popst to crowdsupport. Far more effective than the constant circles of death I am forced to engage in with your telemarketers based in the Phillipines.

 

I will again state that I waive all rights to privacy in regards to my email address. I also state that Telstra will not be held liable for any email I may receive and I provide my email address at my own risk.

 

I have refrained from "spamming the community" as you put it. I woud call it informing the community of Telstras deceptive an misleading practices that I have personally experienced, but each to their own.

DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing - Accessory Repayment Option (ARO fee)

If anyone would like to contact me for more infor or assistance in lodging a complaint with Telstra and/or the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman please send me a private message with your details and I will be in touch. Due to the terms and conditions of this website, I am unable to post any links or personal contact details.

DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing - Accessory Repayment Option (ARO fee)

Have now been refunded the $25 ARO disconnection fee after a complaint to the ombudsman. 

Georgie
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Incorrect billing - Accessory Repayment Option (ARO fee)

Glad to hear this was resolved for you, Danielle and I apologise for the poor experience you had along the way. 

 

Let us know if we can do anything else to assist in future. 

 

-Georgie

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disappointed17
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Incorrect billing - Accessory Repayment Option (MRO fee)

Hi

 

I have a similar problem but worse still. I have been charged for a phone I have already paid off. On the 5/7/2017 they charged  48 payments of $35 totaling $1680.0. My normal bill is 150 to 160 per month.

 

I bought it in 2011 and paid it off in full on 4/10/2013. I have the original contract (2011), all the bills for that period (2011 to 2017) that prove payment in full and  the bank statements show them as cleared. The orininal phone is still in use with current commications. How dose such a thing happen. It's faulse invoiving and an illegal practece.

 

I have lodged a complaint and am getting the Telstra call centre run around. Their story changes every day and truth is rare a comodity and they seem to think we are unable to distingush the differance between truth and lies. What ever happend to service and accuracy in this country.

 

Well Telstra pays peanuts and we get monkies.

 

 

 

 

K8T
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Incorrect billing

Thanks for spending the time to share your concerns and how you addressed them. Having had astounding incorrect charges repeatedly on my last 2 plans (doubled calls, discount omitted, additional charge for call waiting already on the plan, additional charge for dialer number visible) and now a failure to reimburse me for two bills I find it difficult to believe that there are not very serious billing issues at Telstra which require outside investigation. The TIO is probably only seeing the tip of the iceberg. I have spent hours on the phone to Telstra over the last 3 weeks and when I called today to check on progress in responding to my issues I was told the case had been closed. All these recent problems would have been avoided if disconnections had given me correct information about charges and I had not gone on a basic plan while overseas for some months. Unfortunately a lack of clear confirmation in writing of any individual resolution agreements only complicates things. While set up to communicate by phone my experience is that this is not efficient or effective I’m the case of Telstra.

To top it off after repeatedly complaining about poor mobile reception over more than 20 years Telstra’s system repeatedly sends password and verification numbers to my mobile on which I cannot immediately see them.





DanielleK1
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Incorrect billing

Go straight to the telecommunications ombudsman with every complaint. That is the only way you will ever get Telstra to refund / fix any problem you are having. 

 

If it is a repeat problem then also complain to the Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA) they can receive some complaints regarding Telcos performance and some contract disputes if a contract is a clear rip off.

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