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Topic # 12881 11-Apr-2007 13:03
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We recently disconnected our Telstra service as we were about to move out of their service delivery area. As arranged, the technician arrived on the day of our move (mid Dec), disconnected the service and took away the modem. At the time he gave us a receipt which he casually suggested should be kept in case 'they' tried to bill us for the modem. Not thinking too much of it at the time, the receipt was thrown in a box with other papers and consigned to a flat full of belongings heading for a lengthy storage period while we build our new home.

6 weeks or so later we receive a bill from Telstra charging us not only for the returned modem, but also full line rental on the phone number even though we did not have any phone service at all. We had asked to have the number held pending the new porting options, but a one off fee of $16 was quoted for that.
Subsequent correspondence has included the following
- follow up accounts for the amounts owing, including late payment fees, plus more months line rental,
- our letters explaining that we had the modem uplifted, have the receipt but will have to unpack an entire homes worth of goods to get our hands on it, and that we do not have an active phone line with them
- firstly an apology for the charge, with a request for the receipt number so they can follow up, followed by silence bar the acctounts.
In the interim we have spoken with a few people about the chain of events and have had some concerning feedback, indicating that we may be amongst an increasing number of people who have been in the same situation.
Is this a procedure familiar to the GZ community? Any comments would be welcome.

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Reply # 66787 11-Apr-2007 13:19
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I had a very similar experience when I disconnected by TelstraClear service about 2.5 years ago. A technician collected the modem and TV decoder on the day I moved out of the property, and I later received a bill from TelstraClear for the modem which they claimed had not been returned. I called them and they agreed to withdraw the charge, but a couple of weeks later I received a bill for the TV decoder. Another call resulted in them withdrawing that charge, and I didn't have any further problems after that.

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Reply # 69125 1-May-2007 19:48
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Here we are weeks later and we are still getting accounts and reminders that we owe Telstra for a returned modem. Having FINALLY managed to get our Telstra number ported, after playing Telcom ping pong between Telstra and Telecom (who was going to do which bit and who was going to pay), our first phone call on our ported number was an automated message reminding us again, to cough up for the modem.

We had already written back to them explaining that the receipt from the techie guy who picked up the modem is packed in our house lot of belongings, and not easily reachable, and have had no reply to that letter.

What is the best way to manage things from here? Should we unpack all the goods that were packed with it in mind that we would not be unpacking for a couple of years, to retrieve the receipt. (We are currently living in interim accomodation in a shed in a pine forest, and we are talking the equivalent of a shipping container full of stuff to haul out and hunt throughUndecided) Why would Telstra not be able to access and verify the receipt themselves? Do they not have a sound accounting or stock management system, or do they just like to charge everybody in the hope of striking a few who pay up without question?

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  Reply # 69455 3-May-2007 21:27
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There is a reason you have been given a reciept  in the first place.

In the case that it's not on there records, that you can verify that you returned it.

It would be frustrating though.

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  Reply # 69505 4-May-2007 10:45
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DK, there has to be something seriously wrong with a large companies paper trails if they can loose one receipt out of a book of triplicates.

The receipt should link back to a job number for the disconnection, the job number should link back to our account and verification of our request for disconnection, and our account number should have given them all the info they needed to make sure the technician turned up at the right place. Clearly they got THAT part of the process all sorted, because he did turn up, albiet a couple fo hours earlier than arranged. The very process should be simple to follow through, right down to the record of individual identification details of our particular modem.

They have the date, they have our address, they have a finite number of technicians to carry out the disconnections and they have sequencial receipt books . Unless they have lost a whole book then there should be no reason why they cannot find our receipt. Even then, they should be able to check any paperwork showing serial numbers of modems checked back into their system and verify that the modem we were issued with years earlier is now back in their possession.

What is of interest is that the technician made a comment that we took little notice of at the time (in the bustle of loading a truck with our belongings you understand). He said  something along the lines of 'Hang on to the receipt in case they decide to chase you for it [the modem]'. However. we were speaking with a friend a few days later and happened to mention this comment and our friend told us he had been chased by Telstra a year or two earlier when he moved away from them. They chased him for ages for the modem value as he thought he had thrown the receipt out. Some time later he found it and as soon as he produced the number, he had no more contact. He is aware of another couple who had the same happen, but they had thrown their receipt out in their house moving muddle and had a huge problem over many months to get Telstra to back off.

All three cases were following a Telstra technician physically packing up and removing the modems from the account holders homes. Having been put in the same situation we are doing some asking around and are hearing many stories where Telstra continue to charge people for phone rentals, modem, and other services long after the service has been disconnected. What is going on with that?

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  Reply # 69541 4-May-2007 20:16
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Threaten them back, I hate it when faceless corporates do this kind of thing. Tell them that you have had enough and have passed it to your lawyer, he will advise with a court reference shortly. In the past I have found they come to their senses soon enough. I have had two runins with TCL with rental properites that I own in a similar situation. Be assured they back down as soon as lawyers are brought into the realm. A company that relies on this level of operation needs serious overhaul.

And dont talk to me about the linemen that pull the cables back from Telecom cable entry points on a home to make it inconveintent to reconnect to Telecom in future. I caught one out in the act, he felt rather stupid there when asked exactly what he was up to, tiied to blame it on the next tier up.


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  Reply # 69837 7-May-2007 18:53
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About three years ago when we were offered a better deal with Telecom/Sky, we received a bill for two decoders and a cable modem some four weeks after they'd been picked up; after about 6 months they finally let up. The TCL technician had also sliced the Telecom cables under the house, something I made  sure that they didn't do again when we were reconnected last year.

While I realise that the installers are contractors, a company that resorts to such dirty tactics normally doesn't get my sympathy, and TCL certainly don't have mine here, but they do offer the better products.

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  Reply # 69840 7-May-2007 19:16
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I had a telecom guy cut my tcl line into the house once.

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