Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another Telstra bungle upon bungle

Toowoomba mother hit twice with $91k phone bill

A $91,372 phone bill has Highfields mother of two Kym Ford at breaking point. Kym Ford is tired of getting the run-around by Telstra over a ridiculously large, $91,372 bill.

The Telstra bill, comprising mainly unknown SMS charges, is a mystery to Ms Ford. She contacted Telstra's complaints department to have the charges cleared and was told the “simple computer glitch” would immediately be corrected. But a month later she received another bill which this time had an outstanding balance of $91,412.98.

Ms Ford again contacted Telstra. “I was told that the first bill would be credited straight away and the complaint was closed,” she said. “But then they told me the second time that nothing had actually been done.”

Ms Ford said it just took some simple maths to shed light on just how ridiculous the charges were. At 25 cents a text message, she would have had to have sent 365,488 messages a month or eight messages every minute.

The ludicrous phone bills were not the last of Ms Ford's worries. After returning from holidays in January, she found an iPhone waiting for her complete with a bill of $1100. Ms Ford said she had never ordered or signed-up for the iPhone. “I sent it back to them straight away as I had only just signed up for this phone that I have now,” she said. “Now I'm receiving late charges for overdue amounts for this mystery iPhone.''

The overdue charges for the iPhone have added up to $340 which Ms Ford said was adding to the financial pressure she was already feeling. “As a single mother of two with a house to pay off, I'm afraid the overdue fees will affect my credit rating,” she said. “I don't understand why it's such a problem; all of the calls were recorded.”

A Telstra representative said the charges applied to Ms Ford were still being investigated and she would be contacted shortly. “It appears that the charges may be a result of fraudulent activity,” the representative said. “The customer may have replied to an email or phone call requesting her details.”

The representative said all of the charges relating to the iPhone would be waived.


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