I asked to switch to TelstraClear over the phone from Orcon, my previous ISP sometimes during February this year. I was then told it would take 5~8 working days to have me switch over and get connected with them. I was also told by the person that I will be getting one month free broadband & local call and a free Wi-Fi Modem since they are running a special (old tricks I know), I happily agreed, this is when the nightmare started to happen.
2 weeks later I received a phone call from their representative telling me they require my authorization over the phone to allow Orcon switch my info to them, I listened to the lady to go through the authorization process over the phone and then being told it will now take another 5~7 working days to get me connected, I asked her why was that the case since I've already waited over 2 weeks but she explained to me they had something messed up during the process, I will just have to wait for them to schedule a technician for me, I unhappily accepted.
2 weeks later I'm still getting no signs of connecting notification from TelstraClear, I called them early that week fighting for my right to get an immediate connection because Orcon is about to charge me for another month of broadband & toll call fee. The first person I spoke to told me they had done something wrong "insert technical jargon" and they are now arranging a technician to do my connection, until they have a confirm date, I will just have to wait for that. I wasn't happy (shall I be?) and asked to speak to a superior person in-charge, I was refused. That's when I really start to get pissed off by them. I called back again, this time the person I spoke to put my request through to their team manager. I received a call from this guy Straton later that day, he apologized nicely and admitted that previous person should have put my request right through since it was nothing tricky to quickly rearrange a technician for a schedule date. He told me he will get into the issue and workout a schedule for me, while I very much appreciated his manner, I told him I want my connection activate by the end of that week during 22th~28th of March because I'm about to get charged by Orcon for another month. Then I received an email on the 24th saying:
"We are pleased to confirm your request for new service is now underway..." Ok I get that, standard template, but now this is what flipped me out "You have requested the service be installed on Tuesday, 30 March 2010" I mean what the heck? I never did request to be installed on next Tueday after 1 month of waiting. They did further waive my connection fee of $99 to compensate the delay however.
I called TelstraClear immediately, waited over the phone for 30mins+ (because their Automated Phone Answering System never gets you to the right department) to ask to speak to someone directly in-charge of the situation since Straton was unreachable. I was told I would be connected before 7pm that day, it never happened. I called the next day, same luck, every time I put my requests through ask to speak to somebody about having a sooner schedule date, their standard procedure is to for you to wait for within 24 hours to be contacted and so this dragged into Friday. I was finally contacted and be told that there's nothing they can do to speed up the process, this is just the way it is, what else can I say except to accept that? On the following Tuesday on 30th of March, I got the technician to come to my apartment and have it connected, I thought this will be the end of story. I was terribly wrong.
Not a bit of surprise, I was charged by Orcon for another month of broadband and phone-line fee of $138.73 from 23rd of March, I wasn't happy but I doubt TelstraClear will compensate me for that and I was seriously tired of the waiting I have to put through with their awesome Automated Phone Answering System which never seems to put you directly to the right department you want it to go through (try speaking New Homeplan or New Homeplan Customer Service if you don't believe me). So I'm prepared to pay for this myself.
On a side note, I never received my free Wi-Fi modem after a week of connection so I called up and asked, their staff told me it was never mentioned in their order system, ok what now, this guy then put the order through which I finally received it 2 weeks after 30th of March.
Then here comes Orcon yesterday emailing me a new bill $155.01 from 23rd of April for their broadband and land-line fee. What...the...heck? I ranged TelstraClear and after - 30mins of waiting and transferring to the RIGHT department - person from New Homeplan Customer Service told me they had notified Orcon sometimes before the connection got switched over to TelstraClear, I need to sort it out with Orcon. I then called Orcon, their staff told me there was NEVER any notification came from TelstraClear telling about my switch of service and close of account, hence the bills was charged. I need to pay the bills and ask TelstraClear to have the amount credit to me since it's not their fault they weren't notified. I'm about to cry now, I called TelstraClear and after - 30mins of waiting and transferring to the RIGHT department - I got to speak to someone only to be told they would have notified Orcon on the 25th of March before my connection scheduled to be activated, I need to sort my bills with Orcon myself and that is it. I called again and this time spoke to someone with nice manner from their team, whom explained patiently to me how she will forward my concern to their leader if I fax my Orcon bill statement to them and try her best to sort the problem out while I was semi-flipping out, I calmed down a bit and agreed.
The next day, which was today, I received a call from their duty manager Sharlene, she initially told me they will pay for my $50 something bill and that's it. I wasn't happy and asked what about the April bill which was $155.01? She rechecked the bill and said they will only pay for the April broadband fee which I have been charged by Orcon but not the land-line fee during 23rd of March~22th of April, I said to her by looking at the bill, there's no way for me to spent 130mins of talking on land-line if it was charged only from 23rd of March to 30th of March, which was when I got officially connected to TelstraClear. Hence this bill is also consisting period of land-line fee from 30th of March onwards, which I shouldn't be held eligible for paying that as well. She refused and say that's not something they can negotiate with Orcon into, I have to sort it out myself and find out whether those bills were before or after 30th of March. I understand that but I thought they should at least do the talking directly to Orcon instead of me calling back and forth between 2 companies each blaming each other. While I explained to her how I wait over 1 month to be finally connected to TelstraClear on the 30th of March because of they screwed me up with my schedule and because of this I want them to sort it out with Orcon, she told me it was never mentioned about this wrong doing of theirs in their system, she told me it showed in the system that "I requested to be connected on the 30th of March" and they received the request on the 25th of March, but they are willing to pay for my April broadband cost from Orcon only. I asked her how can they miss something that clearly happened to me from their record, she told me there's nothing she can do because there's nothing in their system record and it will still be this way if I speak to other people because their NOTHING showing in their system, she's just looking at what's in their record. I totally flipped out, how can they say that after I have been putting through all this time of waiting and still being treated like this? Something like "I'm sorry but it's nothing showing in our system so this is all I can do" doesn't automatically erased all the things that went terribly wrong for their customer. Ask a while of flipping out, I asked her to write me an official email stating what was being discussed today over the phone because I no longer hold any trust in their record system, she initially refused, but finally agreed after I insisted, this is what she sent me:
As requested here is confirmation of what we have discussed
- you joined up with us as per our notes on the 5th March
- you were eventually connected with us as of the 30th March
- I will give you a $106.62 credit for the period where ORCON charged you for services in April, but not for the Toll calls you made with them
I apologise for the delay in getting services over to us - but as I explained you will need to contact ORCON for any further billing issued with them as we cannot do this for you.
I guess this is it, I'm looking into other ISP options as of speaking, as I recalled my memory, I also remember that I once asked Straton, another manager of theirs, was it my fault that I had to go through all these extended waiting? He replied, "No, absolutely not and I apologize for all the waiting you have to put throgh...". This might not be the exact words about what he said to me, but "No, absolutely" was definitely what he told me.
Shall I be treated this way, I don't know, maybe IT IS my fault after all and I'm just being psycho, but I seriously hope this personal experience of mine will prevent it from happening to anybody in the future. So at the end of day, I will be paying my ~$200 bills from Orcon stating from 23rd of March onwards after I initially asked to sign up with TelstraClear during mid/late February, let that be a reminder.