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BigMal

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#113289 12-Jan-2013 09:38
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This starts back in 2011.  My father-in-law (who is 82) was cold called by Sky.  They convinced him to switch to Sky (he was on Telstraclear digital) so he could watch the rugby world cup.  He agreed thinking this would be the only way he could watch the AB's win the world cup (he didn't understand it was free to air AND that he already had sports on Telstraclear).  Anyway, this infuriated me but what can you do?!?!?

This week I'm at his house and looking in one of the cupboards I see the Telstraclear TV box and modem.  I'm like WTF!?!?!? What are these doing here?  I asked him what was happening with these, he said when he rung Telstra to cancel the TV a long time ago (he still uses their phone and internet) he assumed they would come and collect the box (which they don't).  So I check his bill and it turns out for the last 18months he's been paying Telstraclear $60 for a TV service he hasn't been using (likely because he never returned the box).

At the end of the day he did sign up for Sky and he didn't return the Telstra box but being 82 he really doesn't understand this stuff or realise the consequences.  Do these companies have any sort of social responsibility when dealing with the elderly?  Is it moral and ethical of Sky to cold call someone and tell them Sky is the best choice to watch the RWC when that person already has digital TV and sports?  is it moral and ethical of Telstraclear to happily come to an elderly person house and install digital TV but then expect them to return the equipment if they decide to cancel?

Sorry for the rant, just so frustrated that he's spent over $1k on a TV service he hasn't used or new he had and frustrated that Sky get away with their BS too.

I've grabbed the Telstrabox and intend to return it myself this week.

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sbiddle
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  #743663 12-Jan-2013 09:42
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If he had cancelled with TCL he shouldn't have been paying a montly fee. If the gear wasn't returned within a certain period of time after the service had been cancelled you would have been billed several hundred $ for the cost of the equipment.

From your post it would seem to me as though the service with TCL has never infact been cancelled.

 
 
 
 

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freitasm
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  #743664 12-Jan-2013 09:42
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If you don't trust your father talk to him and arrange with him something like "do not sign up for anything that costs money without talking to me first to see if someone is not trying to con you".

Did he actually try cancelling this with TelstraClear? If he didn't then the company has no way to "come and collect" - signing up for Sky TV doesn't automatically cancel a competitor's TV service, unlike number portability does in a phone world.





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freitasm
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  #743666 12-Jan-2013 09:44
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As for the subject "companies preying on the elderly" I don't think it's targeted like this. I think it's generic.

Contact centre folks simply call and lie - to anyone, regardless of age. They call and offer "lower call costs" or "lower energy bills" without really knowing anything about the customer's situation.




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BigMal

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  #743668 12-Jan-2013 09:48
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sbiddle: If he had cancelled with TCL he shouldn't have been paying a montly fee. If the gear wasn't returned within a certain period of time after the service had been cancelled you would have been billed several hundred $ for the cost of the equipment.

From your post it would seem to me as though the service with TCL has never infact been cancelled.


He told me he cancelled and was expecting them to collect the gear but maybe he didn't because they don't and he really has no clue.

BigMal

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  #743669 12-Jan-2013 09:50
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freitasm: If you don't trust your father talk to him and arrange with him something like "do not sign up for anything that costs money without talking to me first to see if someone is not trying to con you".


Tried this but he's a priest and trusts EVERYONE.  He thinks if people are offering him a deal it's out of the kindness of their heart.  One time he got a letter telling him he won $64m in the Spanish lottery, it took me an age to explain to him that it was fake and people why trying to fleece him.

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  #743671 12-Jan-2013 09:52
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Maybe Telstraclear could ping the TV modems of everyone over 65 and if any are unreachable for an extended period of time?!??!?! :-)

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  #743680 12-Jan-2013 10:12
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My father-in-law (who is 82) was cold called by Sky. They convinced him to switch to Sky (he was on Telstraclear digital) so he could watch the rugby world cup. He agreed thinking this would be the only way he could watch the AB's win the world cup (he didn't understand it was free to air AND that he already had sports on Telstraclear). Anyway, this infuriated me but what can you do?!?!?


You could have called Sky and asked them to review the recording of the call to see if the agent misrepresented the facts. Telemarketers often do but the companies being represented in this way do not like it and will usually want to investigate allegations fully. If the agent also represented the existing subscription would be cancelled that may explain a few things. No idea in this case but I agree misrepresentation is very common with telemarketers.

Second you need to call Telstra Clear and discuss the situation to find out if they have any record of contact from your father around that time and what was discussed at that time.



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  #743725 12-Jan-2013 11:25
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BigMal:
sbiddle: If he had cancelled with TCL he shouldn't have been paying a montly fee. If the gear wasn't returned within a certain period of time after the service had been cancelled you would have been billed several hundred $ for the cost of the equipment.

From your post it would seem to me as though the service with TCL has never infact been cancelled.


He told me he cancelled and was expecting them to collect the gear but maybe he didn't because they don't and he really has no clue.


I still don't believe he has cancelled the service. If he had done they wouldn't have continued to charge for the service.

As I mentioned above what they would have done however is charge you for the decoder and modem after several months after that. There are plenty of threads on here from people complaining about this charge as TCL seemed to routinely lose track of returned gear.

While you see Sky here as the issue, I see the communication between him and TCL as the main issue (ignoring the fact Sky sold him something he didn't necessarily need).



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  #743770 12-Jan-2013 14:36
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freitasm: As for the subject "companies preying on the elderly" I don't think it's targeted like this. I think it's generic.


Easier said than done.  I have this with a few family members, and after I question why they've done X they reply, "I didn't want to bother you with something so trivial and it seemed pretty straight forward"

I've also had the bastards from a particular home ventilation place constantly cold call my 85 year old grandmother (even turning up at her door for "appointments" that she's "forgotten" about).  Thankfully she's clued up enough to tell them where to get off every time.

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  #743774 12-Jan-2013 14:42
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Post this story on both companies facebook pages, you may get a partial refund or something.




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  #743787 12-Jan-2013 15:54
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There is probably a simple solution to this. Telcos now record all phone calls, as when ever I call a telco, it always says that the message is being recorded. Therefore if the father cancelled the service, just ask for those transcscripts, which should be linked to the account.  If they don't have transcripts, they should have call logs showing the incoming call.

I don't think that telcos prey on the elderly. But the elderly are definitely an easy target to many companies, and I believe there are companies that do target them. My grandma who lives by themselves and has some dementia, had a home security company cold call visit her, with a packet of biscuits to eat over a cup of tea. She luckily refers everything to her son who has power of attorney. Companies say they have their own inhouse code of conduct, but really it needs to be a national one, especially with an aging population.

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