Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Amazing Telstra again

At last it happened! I got to talk to someone at Telstra about my complaint! I have been trying to get my complaint attended to since 24 November, 2007! And I have written many letters about the matter since then.

It was pressure from the TIO that got them to respond. I received a call from a Matthew at Telstra Customer Relations. After a very brief conversation he agreed to my request that Telstra refund the money that they had originally confiscated from my Telstra prepaid mobile phone account. Why could that conversation not have happened months ago? Search me! Anyway, it will be interesting to see whether or not the refunded money DOES turn up in my account.

There is an annoying coda to the matter, however. Just after I had finished speaking to Matthew, it occurred to me that I would like written confirmation of what he had done in response to my complaint. So I tried to ring him back. "Oh Oh!" you will no doubt be saying if you know anything about Telstra. And you would be right.

Matthew had given me a number to call him back: 1800 814 242 plus a reference number for my matter: 1-131690332. So I was not being a total optimist in trying to call him back. But the number turned out to be a general Telstra enquiry number. "OK", you might say. "How does it matter what number you use as long as you get in touch?"

But you don't know Telstra enquiry numbers if you ask that. The message I got when I called was (approximately): "We are at present experiencing a higher volume of calls than usual so you may have to wait some time. If you wait you will be answered in turn. Otherwise please hang up and call back later". I have heard that message so often that I should be able to say it off by heart.

If they are CONSTANTLY experiencing a "too high" volume of calls, don't you think that they could put on more staff so that the delays don't happen? Not Telstra! Anyway, I wasn't prepared to waste part of my day waiting online for these arrogant ignoramuses so I did not manage to place my return call. I will just await developments.


md3474 said...

OMG I've just had almost the exact same situation! And I think I possibly even spoke to the exact same person - he called himself "Matt" when he called me last Thursday, maybe he was feeling a little less formal that day? As with your experience, I'd also referred my complaint to the TIO after spending more than 4½ hours on eight separate phone calls to Telstra about the same matter — all I wanted to do was change the name on my phone account! I then re-escalated to the TIO after the 10 business days that Telstra had to get back to me expired with nary a word from them. About a week later, I got this call from "Matt". I was standing in a queue at my local Council chambers at the time, so to say I was unprepared for the call is an understatement! Like you, my call was also very short and within moments I had him agreeing to every dollar of compensation I'd asked for — and like you I wondered why this couldn't have been addressed weeks beforehand. Again like yourself, I wasn't filled with misplaced optimism, though my cause for concern was more around the fact that he didn't even have the details of my complaint right! When I corrected him he said "oh yeah, OK, someone must've written it down wrong"... oh dear. So he gave me the same 1800 number and told me he'd investigate and be back in touch. So God knows when my Telstra saga will end, but a week later I've certainly heard nothing back from "Matt". I guess his investigation is proving trickier than he thought...or maybe that higher than expected call volume has kept him on the phone to misinterpret other people's complaints :)

Anonymous said...

1800 814 242 is not a general enquiry number, it is the number to reach the team of complaint case managers that deal with TIO complaints. (This team also sometimes deals with complaints that have been escalated to them internally).