When I planned this post, the war was still raging. Since then, I must declare my victory! I am triumphant. But if you’re in Australia, here’s an incredibly long list of reasons not to use Telstra. I will, as soon as possible, be switching back to iinet. Disclaimer: iinet isn’t paying me to write this blog but they probably should be…
  1. December 2011 – Online application for phone and internet is rejected without explanation – to start, when rejecting applications, it’s always handy to advise the applicant why;
  2. On enquiry, Telstra staff could not advise definitively why it had been rejected. We were offered half a dozen reasons, finally settling on broadband not being available in our area. Since I live in Sydney, this seemed preposterous. Supposedly this was because our developer hadn’t completed some paperwork;
  3. Furious, I called the developer for our estate who said they had completed all the necessary paperwork as it was a council requirement. They promised to chase up Telstra;
  4. Mid-December – The developer’s Telstra contact said she would fix the problem. Hallelujah! All was right in the world. Or at least my small corner of it;
  5. The problem was fixed as promised. Apparently they couldn’t find our address (it being a new house) and therefore concluded no internet was available there. Hello, if we can’t find someone in the system shouldn’t the next question be ‘Is this a new residence?’;
  6. 3 days before Christmas – The ‘Bundles’ department called me. Apparently no department at Telstra communicates with any other and Bundles told me I couldn’t have internet – again. My anger levels spiked, as did my need for alcoholic sedation;
  7. Sales advised Bundles had attempted to schedule the internet connection before the phone. Way to go, genius, I’m a lawyer and even I know enough about telecommunications to know the phone line must go in before the internet. Sales scheduled the phone connection;
  8. Between Christmas and New Year – The technician arrives to connect the phone and tells me there are no cables in the street. He says he needs to call someone else. OK, not happy, but a minor hiccough. We’ll get the cables down and it’ll all be good;
  9. Early January – Telstra advises it will be 3-4 business days before they can advise me of a timeframe for the cabling. OK, I can live with that;
  10. Telstra advises they won’t be running any cables at all as we fall in the National Broadband Network (NBN) area and they are responsible for laying the cables.
  11. Annoyed at getting the run-around, I call NBN to find out when the cable will go in. NBN advise me our developer does not have an application pending and therefore it will take TWOto TEN YEARS to lay cable at our address. Blood pressure goes through the roof. I should have self-medicated with vodka but I didn’t. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
  12. I call the developer but the person I need to speak to is not in. I leave a message. In lieu of shouting at the developer, I send an angry email to my local Member of Parliament (like a Senator, or something…) on the basis this is all his fault and that of his government for introducing NBN in the first place.
  13. A lovely guy from the MP’s office calls me almost immediately to tell me they will look into it and that can’t be right. They are taking it up with the office of the Senator for Telecommunications. All right! Feel a little bad for my email but the guy seemed to understand.
  14. Mid January 2012 – The MP’s office calls to confirm it appears to be Telstra’s area and not NBN. The MP will take it up with the Telstra Regional Manager;
  15. MP’s office calls to check it’s OK they give my personal information to Telstra. Yes, they know I’m a lawyer… So does Telstra, now, apparently, courtesy of the MP’s office.
  16. Telstra’s Bundle department calls me to find out why the internet hasn’t been arranged. He speaks incredibly poor English to the extent that when I tell him there are no cables in the street he offers me ADSL (apparently thinking I meant cable internet) on our phone line. There is no phone line, dumb-ass! Don’t you people talk to each other or keep notes on a centralised file?? Apparently not;
  17. Late January I am advised the cables will be in by mid-March;
  18. January to February – 2 incorrect bills, and a jousting match over a parcel Telstra sent that I didn’t receive or request and which Telstra refused to refund me for until I returned it – you can read about it here;
  19. Mid March – cables go in and phone is connected. No internet. Why not? Telstra advise my request for internet has been cancelled. Annoyed, I reinstate the order;
  20. Late March – still no internet. The order has been cancelled again! Told the internet will be up and running in a week.
  21. Early April – Internet connected but no modem. Telstra advise me I ‘rejected’ delivery of the modem. I most certainly did not – see herefor an explanation of this. Reorganised delivery of the modem.
  22. Mid-April. Still no modem. Modem delivery cancelled again. Give up and buy modem, for which Telstra refunds us. 

Finally, more than 4 months after the fact, our phone, internet and pay TV is connected and running as intended. Of course, Telstra still managed to have the last word. For reasons unexplained, my email bills were cancelled (and I note Telstra charges you a fee if you receive paper bills) and still didn’t manage to bundle all our services correctly. 

But I’ve fixed those problems. So I won the war. Take that, Telstra!

Now all I need to do is hope the next 2 years are reasonably hassle free so I can switch back to iinet when my contract expires without suffering too badly in the interim. 

Telstra, really, how can you stuff up everything so badly? You need help!

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