Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Another Telstra horror

I have had difficulties with both Telstra and Optus, though Optus has undoubtedly been the worse.  I became an Optus customer in the year 2000 and have only very recently given up totally on them,  which could make me qualified as a hero of patience, I think.

What the guy below obviously didn't know is that talking to phone hotlines for either Optus or Telstra puts you in contact with some juvenile who knows nothing and cares less  -- that's if you can get to talk to a person at all. 

For real difficulties you have to write to the CEO of the company.  He doesn't care either but he does employ people to act as if they do.  I have had some success with that approach.

But that process is slow and the guy below obviously was moved by the amount involved to regard the matter as urgent.  I feel sorry for him.  It is obnoxious that he had to go to the media to get help but is very much what I would have expected.  Basically they just ignore you in the hope that you will go away.

The episode below also shows why I never now give anyone permission to debit my credit card. I always use prepaid services.  I am guessing that the guy below will be doing that henceforth as well

A man who lost his mobile phone, and told Telstra to cancel his account, still had $28,000 deducted from his credit card for calls he didn't make, after the telco delayed blocking his phone.

After months of trying to get a refund, Rayden Crawley finally got his money back from Telstra on Wednesday. But only after he recounted his experience to radio station 3AW earlier that day.

Mr Crawley was in Barcelona, Spain, in late September when he lost his mobile phone. He reported the loss to Spanish police and phoned and emailed Telstra later that day to request the lost phone be blocked.

But when he returned to Melbourne on October 15, bad news was waiting.

"I rang Telstra because I hadn't received the bill, and I nearly fell over when they told me it was a $28,000 bill," he said. The money was automatically debited from his American Express card, $27,385.16 of which was for calls made after he lost his phone.

"It wasn't chopped off for some reason until 36 hours later, despite it being confirmed by the Telstra centre in Melbourne East that they would have it barred," Mr Crawley told 3AW.

For the past two months, Mr Crawley engaged in "telephone tag" with Telstra trying to get a refund.

The Telstra complaints officer he was dealing with said "she was still looking into it" on the occasions he called. After a while, his calls just went to voicemail.

"I tried 20 times to get back to her to find out what was going on and there was no reply, just a recorded message," he said. "There was no correspondence back from Telstra whatsoever."

After going on talkback radio on Wednesday morning, however, the refund came through.

Telstra spokesman Jonathan Rose told Fairfax Media that all of the bill would be refunded.

"We have contacted Mr Crawley to apologise and advise that we will waive all charges on the account," Mr Rose said.

"We are most concerned about his experience and will review the case, including to determine why the payment was debited while the matter was still under investigation and a credit was in the process of being approved."