TelstraClear's Atrocious Support

, posted: 27-Aug-2008 21:07

Today I've had a problem with access NZ sites through my TelstraClear cable connection, including (I'm on 3G at the moment to post this) and even itself. So I decided I'd better ring the "help" desk and see what the story is. To cut a long story short, I present here a letter I will be sending to TelstraClear.

Update: TelstraClear just called me to inform the issue is fixed and the support person I spoke with last night will be receiving some remedial training.

To whom it may concern, I am writing to make a formal complaint in regards service received during a call to your help desk on the 27th of August 2008 at approximately 7:38pm, lasting 51 minutes.

I telephoned regarding an obvious routing issue on the TelstraClear network which made accessing many New Zealand websites inaccessible from my cable mode, including even itself, I have included traceroutes showing this.

I was on hold for approximately 40 minutes before I finally got to speak to a “technician”. I explained clearly what the problem was giving the ip addresses which were causing the routing issue multiple times.

The “technician” then proceeded to instruct me to “use these DNS servers”. Somewhat surprised at this suggestion, as I thought I had quite clearly described the nature of the problem, I explained to the technician that the problem was nothing to do with DNS and that I was able to resolve the domains in question perfectly, that the issue is a routing issue.

The technician again instructed me to “use these DNS servers”.

I asked the technician if I could email a traceroute to him to check, he replied I could and an email address was given to me.

I duly emailed the traceroute and the “technician” placed me on hold “while he checked something”. When the technician returned he, unfathomably, instructed me to “use these DNS servers”!

I proceeded to tell the technician AGAIN that the problem was nothing to do with DNS and asked him to please look at the traceroute I just sent to the address he specified.

He then told me that he could not look at this only a senior technician could. I asked to be put through to a senior technician, he told me there were no more senior technicians working.

I asked how this could be resolved, he again told me “try these DNS servers”! I told him that this was not the problem. He told me to email my details to that email address to have a senior technician look at the issue.

I asked how long this would take to be looked at, as the issue had now been going on for many hours and I had been on the phone for nearly an hour, most of that time on hold, and the technician had not be any assistance at all. He told me that “probably tomorrow”!

Eventually I became so fed up with the seemingly not-very-technical technician that I hung up in frustration as he was telling me yet again to try changing DNS servers.

As I write this the issue is ongoing, I still can not access let alone other NZ based websites.

This letter is to be copied to as I believe it is in the public interest to see what a complete shambles support at TelstraClear has become.

Yours Sincerely, James Sleeman

traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets 
1 ( 0.838 ms 0.981 ms 1.131 ms
2 ( 33.704 ms 33.791 ms 34.744 ms
3 ( 22.572 ms 25.879 ms 25.992 ms
4 ( 36.203 ms 36.419 ms 36.308 ms
5 * * *
6 * * *
... 30 * * *

traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 ( 0.849 ms 0.972 ms 1.123 ms
2 ( 15.570 ms 17.094 ms 17.472 ms
3 ( 22.618 ms 25.412 ms 25.503 ms
4 * * *
5 * * *
30 * * *

Other related posts:
Live by the sword
Diabetics - Deadline For Strips On Repeat - 1 March
3 News: What is your personal imcome...

Comment by timestyles, on 27-Aug-2008 22:35

Just a suggestion, phone using your cellphone, you might find that you're on hold less.

Comment by ZollyMonsta, on 27-Aug-2008 22:40

No problems here with or
I'm on Cable..

Author's note by sleemanj, on 27-Aug-2008 23:36

@Zolly, I'd be interested to see what a traceroute from you to looks like.

@time, I did call from my cell.

Comment by rscole86, on 28-Aug-2008 07:56

The other day when people were complaining about not resolving correctly, I did a trace from my TCL connection, and it would stop at  
7    19 ms    18 ms    18 ms [].

Comment by ZollyMonsta, on 28-Aug-2008 10:19

I'll post a traceroute when I'm home tonight.
Oddly, I got timeouts when I did a traceroute to last night (page loaded fine in my browser however).

Comment by jonnyb, on 28-Aug-2008 10:24

interesting thought here.....

Your tracert to stuff failed at which I am pretty sure is not a NZ based address, so in fact the fault may have been outside your ISP's control. They should really have checked this themselves as far as I am aware.

with the one there are a couple of things I note. will resolve to This site does not appear to have ICMP open to it, so a response will not come through.

I am assuming the fault has now resolved itself. I'd be interested in seening the same tests done now to see the results.

Telstraclear have several DNS servers, so changing to a different set may have increased your chances of the problem being 'fixed' quicker (ie one server gets an update faster). If it was related to an authoritative DNS server giving wrong data then you should see a different path now.

Author's note by sleemanj, on 28-Aug-2008 11:53


interesting thought here, none of the traces I posted show that IP address anywhere, but it is in  current trace I just did.  I also note that you have entered a bogus email address.

I must therefore assume you are an employee of some description at TelstraClear.

It appears that you are also afflicted with the "I don't know anything so I'm going to tell you some completely rubbish which I am reading off a script to change DNS servers" disease obviously rampant at TelstraClear.
DNS has NOTHING to do with routing.  Good grief.

Author's note by sleemanj, on 28-Aug-2008 12:24

To thier credit, TelstraClear just called me to say that the issue had been resolved and the support person I spoke with last night will be receiving some remedial training.

Comment by Hmmm, on 28-Aug-2008 12:46

Hey General Rant

You're lucky. I can't even use my TelstraClear internet connection. I've been without it for 16 days now and counting.  

While, the guys at technical support are nice enough, I don't think they really know how to deal with difficult issues or what to do if their system is at fault, which is obviously the issue I'm facing. (They keep telling me the problem is my cable isn't plugged into my modem - Are you kidding me?)

Then I get - 'TelstraClear do not guarantee a fault free service'. If you don't have any service at all, I guess it is fault free!
I think I've been extremely patient but this is getting to be a bit of a joke. 


Comment by SanMan, on 1-Sep-2008 12:33

16 days? that sounds a bit crazy :S have they mentioned whats wrong? even if your cable modem EXPLODED id expect it to be sorted by now :S try asking to speak to a supervisor or whatever, like mr ranter here, there may be some stupid agents that telstra neem to weed out.

sleemanj's profile

James Sleeman
New Zealand

PHP Programmer Extraordinaire

All views expressed are held by the poster, not necessarily any person or organisation associated therewith.