DonGould:TelstraClear: If you email your account number and contcat details I'll ask one of the technical team to look into this for you:
Not really sure what could have been more helpful than that than perhaps the call center staff answering BiDi's questions to his satisfaction before he had to post here.
DonGould:BiDi: We have asked Telstra for help (We have tried telephoning their service line and also sent in several emails requesting support):
Telstra have not (yet?) been helpful, but this might just be because we have yet to find the right person to answer these questions. Our problem does seem odd.
- can they give us the mac addresses of the downloading machine - apparently not (privacy!),
- can they explain how it is possible to download half a gigabyte when the cable moden is switched off - apparently not (they avoided the question by telling us they did not support our wireless router - which was also off!)
I would agree that it seems fair that Gary might not know the answers to those questions himself and might need to consult with some people to find the right person (something that even BiDi points out).
Which one of those questions did Gary's answer not actually address?
I hate the whole "we don't support your hardware, therefore its all your fault" line. It is such a pile of crap. I've even taken to explicitly pointing out that I am not actually asking for support of my hardware, and that I am perfectly capable of providing that for myself. What I want when I call up is for them to support their service, without resorting to avoidance tactics like this.
Yes, it may well be policy that these tactics are not employed, but it's a call centre, for Pete's sake! (begin-generalisation) If the CSR can spin the line, you go away, they don't raise a ticket, they complete the call quickly, etc (end-generalisation)
Does anyone know if
Another possibility seems to me that the Telstra billing software could be buggy.
- it is possible to manipulate another subscriber's download statistics?
- the time-stamp used for the on-line Telstra download reports is accurate (ie could it be one or more hours wrong)?
- it is true that privacy law prevents Telstra from telling us (the bill payer) who is using our service by releasing MAC addresses?
- there is someone in Telstra who is willing to answer such questions?
Any thoughts, advice?
Here's my observations:
- If you send them traffic, they pay for it. If you are on net, you pay too.
- Gary has addressed this. Not really all that well, but he's had a crack at it. In a nutshell, he explains there are two systems, one critical, which keeps running, and one non-critical which generates the graph. The suggestion from others here has been that the critical system is keeping a counter, and the non-critical system is generating a graph based on polling that counter, hence "missed" usage clumps. Gary's response seems to support that to one degree or another.
- Gary has (obliquely) addressed this too. When he said TC have no idea what is going on behind the cable modem, he's right. And why would they care? They give you one IP address, so necessarily, you supply one MAC address to go with it. That is the only MAC address they get to see, and what that box chooses to do with the traffic is not their concern. In reality, that box is NATting the internal network, and while TC are unofficially aware, publicly endorse this kind of behaviour, and even go so far as to support certain hardware (likely only that which they supply), your internal network is your concern. Got a leech on the wifi? Not their problem, or responsibility.
- I've discovered if you make enough noise, you might get traction. For you, they might credit the rogue usage. Don't expect them to fix the usage meter. There is little to no commercial benefit in doing that. Call me a cynic if you like, its business.
edit: formatted list