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Monday, April 12, 2010

The Telstra saga over... sort of

I have now settled for a refund from Telstra that has been paid direct to a bank account, having confirmed that has been received.

Several days ago, I found a contact for Telstra's CEO and sent a very strongly worded complaint. I have received a reply this morning.

On behalf of our CEO, David Thodey, thank you for contacting us about your prepaid service. I apologise for the service issues you have experienced. Your loyalty to Telstra is valued. We are committed to a prompt resolution of this matter and a member of our team will be in contact with you.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to address your concerns.


Executive Customer Contact Team

Yet another assurance of 'prompt resolution'. However I have received my refund. No doubt this will be written up as a successful resolution of complaint action. As far as I am concerned, it was anything but a successful resolution. It is staggering to realise that Telstra's complaints and higher levels of tech support are so overwhelmed that they cannot cope. Surely that should be a sign of things being anything but right?

At the end of the day, despite more than two weeks of trying I was singularly unsuccessful in having any contact with the mysterious Level Three technicians, despite it being determined on Day One that this was required. There were repeated attempts to offload the blame onto my equipment despite products from Telstra's competitors working on the laptop in question. And after Telstra staff refused to accept the product for forwarding to technicians unless I coughed up a bond, their only suggested solution was to have me wear the cost of mailing it in myself. Like hell I was. If the purchase contract had specified me wearing costs of 'return to base' servicing, then perhaps that would have been fair enough. But that was not mentioned anywhere.

For some reason, Telstra seem to feel entirely justified in charging a premium for certain products while providing an utterly sub-standard level of service and support. Not to mention my previous rant about how well they manage to hide the presence of their Complaint Resolution Centre from its customers.

I have been a customer of Telstra's for more than twenty years. During my long-distance courtship of the great love of my life, Telstra could have probably paid an extra dividend to shareholders just from my international phone calls to her. I really think I deserved far better treatment than I received. Needless to say they are losing all of my business from now on.

If David Theody and his staff are genuine in their remorse, then there would be an immediate major overhaul of the way that they do business. But that would cost money so it is a pretty safe bet that this won't be happening. Instead it is just we poor slobs, the users, who have to wear the consequences.

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