Thank you for calling Telstra. How may we stuff you around today?
[I'm adding notes to the bottom of this post as we go along so we can all enjoy the on-going saga. Because it's getting WORSE]
As I write this I’m having a glass of wine, so keep reading. By the end I’ll be quite chilled out I imagine. Or not.
It’s a lot to read. Don’t read it if you don’t want to. I just need to vent about the complete mess that Telstra have created for me. It’s good to let issues go, I do it by writing, and this one is a pure typing rant.
So. I decided that I was done with TPG and it was time to move my home phone and internet over to Telstra! YAY! No more TPG! *does an excited dance about the joy of having internet that works at a decent speed*
I logged onto the Telstra website, looked at the bundles and found one I liked. $99/month. I get ADSL2+ with 200 of the gee bees to use, a home phone and a TBox thing for recording TV, watching movies and even adding Foxtel! Yippee!
Now to order it. I hate calling and buying things, but that’s ok. Telstra have this nifty online chat thing. It’s sort of like MSN. You click a button and they connect you to a sales person (His name was Oliver Daniel). He knew his stuff, was polite and even e-laughed at my jokes. Brilliant! So far so good. Rather impressed that Telstra have realised how to treat a customer.
It took about 40 minutes to go through everything, but he explained everything that I needed to know, all the plans, the charges, the details and even knew what the sound from ICQ chat sounds like. This man knew his stuff!
Then it all starts to go pear shaped. I’m going to put this in bullet points so we can all get through it quickly. Sarcastic side notes in italics. It’s best if you pop this song on while you’re reading. It’s the only way I got through this experience without crying.
- Someone from Telstra department A calls me and tells me I need to call Telstra Department B. No, she can’t transfer me, I need to call them. Silly me, thinking a Telco could do a simple transfer.
- I call Telstra Department B. They have no idea why I’m calling (and neither do I. First lady just told me I need to call). Never mind, person in Department B knows how to transfer a call, and puts me through to Department C. Oh good. I’ve got someone who can use a phone. I’m onto something here!
- Well. Alan (I think his name was) was quite helpful. On the 6th my TPG would turn off and on the 7th my Telstra phone would be hooked up by a tech they were sending, and I’d be online by the time he left. (No sarcastic comment. I was happy to have found someone who knew what they were doing!)
- Called Telstra a few days later and checked where my modem was because I didn’t get an email. Oh. It hasn’t been ordered yet and won’t be ordered until my phone is connected.
“But how will my internet work on the 7th if I have no modem?” I ask. “Oh. It takes two weeks from the day your phone is connected for your internet to work” he says, and then I tell him what I’ve been promised. Turns out Alan was telling me what I wanted to hear. Fail. I don’t want to be out of internet for two weeks. Fix it.
- Turns out no amount of yelling and pleading will fix this problem. But they CAN give me Cable broadband. Turns out I’m one of the lucky few who can get this super fast internet and they can do it before the 7th. Right, well I’m over my rage and getting something better! Done! Hook me up baby! Tech is coming between 1300 and 1800 on Saturday. Cancel all plans and stay home, I can do that. Can they send the TBox etc with the tech. Of course not. He’ll bring the modem and they’ll post the rest.
- An email arrives with my account number, telling me to click a link and log in so they can email me my bills. Follow the instructions. That number is invalid
Turns out (after a few phone calls) that the number won’t work for a couple of days. WELL WHY SEND ME A FRAKKING EMAIL BEFORE IT WILL WORK!?
- Give them my work address because getting things delivered at home is a pain. Australia Post don’t like ringing the door buzzer so it means a trip to the post office and that’s open when I’m at work.
- Tech calls me on Friday night. Wants to come at 0600 instead. I guess that’s ok, it’s either that or he won’t come. I’m not a morning person, but if it’s going to get this sorted then do it!
- Tech comes at 0615. Bleared eyed Neil jumps out of bed and lets him in. Today is the day!
- He plugs in modem. It doesn’t work with our laptops using WiFi. I tell him I’m getting rid of my Macbook, he tells me I can’t do that Great. I’ve got a MacFanboy in my house at 0615, I haven’t had a coffee and he can’t make the WiFi work. This is hell. He tries another modem. Nope that doesn’t work either. Oh well, he has another job to do next door so he’s out the door. So that’s why they call it a “Professional Install”
- I spend the next 10 HOURS trying various things to get this modem working. I google, I call people, I call Apple, I call BigPond tech support. Nope. It seems this model router is just crap when it comes to WiFi. Never mind, I’ll call Telstra tech support again. After 57 minutes on the phone the girl tells me that she’s sending another one to my work address. She swears it’s a different modem. Squee!
- Note arrives in letter box. They tried to deliver my TBox. To my home. The address I told them not to send it to. Cue shocked look from flatmate at the language I used.
- By this stage I’ve got a complaint lodged with the Twitter team, and my very own Complaints Manager who promises he will solve all problems before they happen. That will be the day, but hey. At least they’re trying. Turns out the Complaints Manager had no idea about the letter I sent the Twitter team, and he can’t access that system. WTF. Have I called a different company?!
- Call Telstra. They’re going to send another one, this time to the right address.
- Nope. An email the next day informs me that order has been cancelled. Picks up the phone again, calls my personal complaint manage to ask why. Oh. He’s not there someone tells me, and there is no where anywhere in Telstra that can help me. They’re swamped right now. Finally. Something I can believe.
- Call guy again the next day. He was off for the day, and was *just* about to call me. What a coincidence. New TBox will be sent out but I needed it today. Can I pick it up from the Telstra store. Yes I can, if I want to pay $299 for it and they’ll credit my account. Ah. No. Another 3 phone calls and someone tells me it’s there for me to pick up from the store. HOORAY!
- Store manager was nice. He must have read the notes on my file. Handle with care, may be armed, could be seething with rage. I’ve got my Tbox now. It’s a shame my WiFI doesn’t work, but ah well
- Log onto my account. There’s a charge for $9.95. That would be the delivery charge for the TBox I JUST PICKED UP. Another call to Telstra. Excellent. Woman who wouldn’t give her name promises me it’s been waived and gives me a reference number Yeah right.
- Next day wake up to an email from Telstra. Oh, there’s that charge again! F*Ck it. I’m on holidays in NZ. Time to let this one go for a while
- Telstra call me and send a text. I need to call a number and quote a reference number because they need to speak to me URGENTLY.
- Call it, give the reference. They have no idea what it’s about, transfer me to a tech support tem. They have no idea and bounce me to a credit team. He has no idea. I hang up. No one has any freaking idea there.
Turns out the muppet from Tech Support had tried to send my new modem to an address that doesn’t exist and it had been returned to their warehouse. Great. Give address again (it still hasn’t arrived at my place or work and this was a week ago) I’m still waiting for it and as I type this the Telstra Twitter team are telling me to try it out and let them know how it goes but I’m sick of telling Telstra how it goes. They don’t give a toss
- Teach your staff how to do a warm transfer. When you’ve got a p*ssed off customer on the phone, dumping them to someone else without explaining my problem just makes me more p*ssed off.
- Empower your people to solve problems. The twitter team are GREAT. They seem to be able to try and fix things. They’re fun, they’re polite. They’re everything I want when I CALL you. Other than the fact that they couldn’t give me what I wanted (A modem that works)
- Stop telling me things I want to hear. People deal much better when you meet expectations than than when you promise the world and don’t deliver
- Make notes when I call, and read them. Don’t tell me “Oh. When people give bad service they don’t make notes. They don’t want to get caught”. Seriously. That’s not what I want to hear.
That’s better than 91% of Australia. All that they need to sort out is this modem and hopefully I’ll never need to call them again. I dare not think about it.
There is something horribly wrong at Telstra. It’s customer service. They have none. They fail so completely at it.
If you like being able to call someone you pay for something and have them sort an issue, don’t go with them. It will bring nothing but rage and frustration.
Have you ever dealt with Telstra? They promise me this doesn’t happen, but I’d love to hear stories from you.
The different modem they said they were going to send me last week hasn’t arrived. Checked on Monday and there was a note to send it, but it was never sent because no one read it. They said this Monday they’re sending it (for real this time). We’ll see how we go.
Someone from Telstra called me at work last night. Left a voicemail with the quickest talking I’ve ever heard. Turns out they haven’t sent the modem on Monday like they said they would, and that the modem I have is the only one in all of Telstra that I can have, or I can go and spend more of my own money and buy a different one. Because they one they provide is sh*t. GREAT!
It seems I’m not the only one with this problem. Apparently the Netgear is just crap when it comes to doing it’s job as a modem with WiFi. Turn off NAT and buy something else to deal with the WiFi? Why not just sell something that does the job properly?
Someone called Frank from Service Delivery is on the case. If he can’t solve it, no one can (and I’ll just go to Optus who will solve it). Fingers crossed everyone!
Spoke to a level 2 tech (Who Frank tells me normally works on networks and he’s him authorised to come out to fix my problem…) and he is coming out on Saturday morning to fix it once and for all. Or we give up. I’m hoping he gets it working so I can put all this behind me and never have to call Telstra again!
Testra sent out a tech to look at it. It turns out the problem was partly a borked modem and partly wifi interference from neighbours.
Adrian (the tech) was brilliant. He tried every trick he could think of, no luck. Tried a new modem (the one I had appeared to be a bit borked when it came to wifi) and got online by changing the wifi ch on the new modem. I’m now blazing away with a 27mbit connection over wifi.
With a bit of luck it will stay stable and I’ll never have to call Telstra again. Thank you Adrian, the Level Two Tech sent to solve my problems!
Now that my internet works, we’ve moved on to billing issues! Hit the trifecta.
They had ignored my requests for Online Billing (I’ve replied to SMSs confirming my email address for them, signed up to the online billing system and spoken to people about it
The amount of the bill is totally wrong and finally..
They sent me a paper bill. To an address I don’t even f*cking live at and never gave to them.
Just when I thought it was all over, they move onto this kind of arsefuckery. Rage.
[edit 7 - the final one]
Well no one at Telstra knows why they sent paper bills to an address that is not mine, just that ‘maybe because I wrote this blog, so many people at Telstra got in trying to fix it that someone made a mistake’. Well, I’d rather not have written this but it wa the only way to get my problem sorted.
Frank has given me a credit of $136 and someone else has given me a credit of $11/month which doesn’t come close to making up for the hours and hours I’ve been stuffed around but hey, I’d rather they just sort out their customer service than keep throwing credits at me.
One more stuff up from them and I will cancel the contract and move over to Optus who seem to actually want my business.
Don’t go with Telstra. Do not do it. It is not worth the stuffing around when there are businesses out there who actually want to help you. I regret ever signing up with them. I’m furious at the whole saga, but letting it go because they will never change.