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16 posts


# 14294 26-Jun-2007 12:21
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Back again with the saga continuing. (Posted story in thread title 'Being charged for a returned modem')

Despite writing to Telstra to try to clear this up, twice on paper and once through the online query form, we have had only one reply, but repeated monthly accounts. Our latest correspondence has been a Final Demand, threatening to send our case to a debt collection agency and to damage our credit rating. Threatening to do this for THEIR MISTAKE.

Clearly our contacts have been ignored or dumped, and we spent an entire afternoon unpacking an entire houselot of belongings (packed away for an expected 2 year period while we live in temporary accommodation awaiting our new homes completion), to find the receipt that Telstra cannot track for themselves.

Having unpacked the receipt, we phoned the Telstra number on the Final Demand as directed and had a 20 wait in a queue for an answer. We gave up at that point and decided to phone back and ask for a Manager, as we might get more action. Second call saw us in another queue waiting for 20+ minutes, only to be told there were NO MANAGERS available.

We proceeded with the Customer Services person, into a conversation that was not exactly encouraging. There were a number of things that surprised us - small points that seemed very important to him that he laboured, explanations of the events that he told us WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED, issues important to us that he seemed quite dismissive of, and a distinct appearance of lack of understanding of our situation and the Telstra procedure's (if there are any).

1. Upon explaining that the modem had been returned, - in fact collected by the Telstra technician, he wanted to know very clearly 'had we [physically] handed the technician the modem?'. We had to get him to understand, no we did not hand the modem to the technician, rather he disconnected it himself, because he arrived much earlier than arranged and we had still been online and trying to do last minute online banking etc when he arrived. The techie disconnected, removed and receipted us for the modem. We did not handle it at all that day.

2.He wanted to know if we had the receipt. Yes we replied, after spending considerable time hunting it out as explained in our letters - he was not interested in that inconvenience. He asked for the receipt number, which was supplied. 'Is that it?' he asked, as if he was expecting something more. He also asked for a date, and then said he would have to track the receipt to see if it tied up with our modem serial number! Apart from being a rude response, it gave us no confidence that the saga was going to end with the supply of a Telstra receipt number, or that Telstra have any sort of system of managing their own equipment.

3. On the matter of why our letters had not been answered, he asked which address we had written to, and suggested we had probably written to the wrong address. We suggested that surely, when we used the address given on the accounts, the letters would be forwarded to appropriate departments. NO answer - silence. We also pointed out that we had used the online query form to ask for a response to our letters, and asked why that would not have been responded to. he had no explanation.

4. As part of this saga, we had asked for our number to be reactivated 'at the switch' pending number porting to our new service when it was installed. We had been quoted $19 as a one off fee, but had never been charged that fee, but have been getting monthly phone rental accounts along with the modem replacement charges. Customer Services Man said that this was unlikely to be happening and that he could not see it - presumably on his screen under our customer number? We reminded him that we have the accounts right here with those charges on, and he seemed extremely confused and said he would also have to follow that up.

5. We questioned this whole practice of charging ex customers for returned modems as we have now heard of it having happened to a disconcerting number of people. we quoted the case of a close friend who had the same happen recently, and the CSM said no, that it could not have happened. Of course it can happen - we are living examples. He was adamant though, that it cannot happen.

6. We advised that in the interim, and as we received more accounts and no replies to correspondence, we have taken our case to the Commerce Commission out of sheer frustration, and that the CC have taken considerable interest. The CC have requested copies of all of our accounts and correspondence and have mounted their own investigation. CSM was not the slightest bit interested, nor did he seem to have any sense of urgency about trying to solve the problem, find us a manager to speak with, or let us know what would happen from here. Other than to say someone would get back to us over the next 48 hours.

We have dates, times, names of people spoken to in almost every step along the way, but it seems that even with all that, we are still not able to help Telstra find their way around their own system to prove that we owe them nothing, except maybe the $19 fee quoted. We will be more than happy to pay that when we are billed for it, but we do not owe Telstra anything more. They have their modem back, we do not and cannot have any services from them as we are now outside their operating area. we have an account that Telstra KNOW is under dispute, but they have still continued adding to it, and are threatening debt collection.

We want Telstra to get cracking, search their OWN system and confirm that they have their modem back in their possession, and that they are not about to damage our credit rating through their incompetence. How can this possibly happen in a company as large as this without it being an intentional strategy to glean for funds as customers make an exit?

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588 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 75964 26-Jun-2007 12:44
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I hope you get this sorted!  I don't think it's easy to get your credit rating sorted once it's gone to debt collection.

You'd think one of the Telstra contributors on this board would have had a comment by now.  You've obviously got an issue that isn't being resolved through regular channels.  Of course, a formal complaint to the TCL high heidyins may get some movement (for some funny reason, that seems to work with large businesses).

Post-geek, opinionated mediaphile, and natural born cynic. Jack of all genres, master of none.


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  # 75973 26-Jun-2007 15:08
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Too right it's a bad experience, and it is incredibly stressful. Not only the threat of debt collectors( absolutely new territory for us), but the frustration of having a simple transaction go so out of shape and then being ignored so that we cannot fix it.

Needless to say, we have not heard back from Customer Services yet and really don't have much faith that we will. How much time does a company need to check the customer number that we gave them, align the modem receipt with the disconnection job number for the disconnection date and make a quick call back to say all is well. All that information should be available on screen in front of the CS operator and should take seconds. These are telecommunications specialists for crying out loud and should be masters at such a simple process.

The stupid thing is that we would have stayed with Telstra had their coverage area allowed it, as we found the service to be fine over the period we had it. Apart from twice when they cut us off instead of neighbours when they shifted and it took 2 days to get reconnected.

Telstra, we simply want this sorted - Nows Good!

566 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 75979 26-Jun-2007 15:46
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My sincere apology for what is obviously a very frustrating situation for you.

I will take it upon myself to thoroughly investigate why this has occured and has dragged on for so long.

Can you please provide me your account number and daytime contact number?


Jeff Doyle
Market Manager Consumer On-net

16 posts


  # 76004 26-Jun-2007 18:46
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Can we? - Hell yes!

Will arrive via email tonight.
Cheers - honestly.

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