Telstra bragging about Next G Wireless?

Drove the Kids to the Bustop (at the end of the driveway) today. It was raining pretty heavy. On the way back up the driveway. On the radio is an Ad for Telstra Countrywide. Seems Telstra Countrywide is bragging about having some broadband (wireless) access available out here. I’ve just signed up for ISDN. Due to be installed on October the 4th. So I try to call Countrywide.

Tried to find out more

Try being the operative word. It’s 9.35am and there is a recorded message saying to leave your name and number and someone will get back to you. Well it’s useless for me to leave my phone number. Because (as the reader will know) I’m on the net all the time. My phone is always engaged. I would never hear them ring back anyway.

So I try to circumvent the bottleneck. The recorded message from Countrywide instructs residential customers (which I am) to cal 132200. So I do. I explain my circumstances to the 132200 staff. So they attempt to contact Countrywide in Mt Gambier for me. After many minutes on hold. I get told that they are experiencing the same problem. All they can get is an answering machine.

Helpful Telstra Staff? (Yes Veronica.. They do exist..)

But all is not lost. If I dont mind holding. They can transfer me to a staffmember in Melbourne who has phone numbers to Telstra departments that no one else is allowed to know. So I wait on hold. Finally the lady in Melbourne contacts the Mt Gambier Countrywide office.

I get told that I can speak with them directly if I would like. But I have to call back on a special number for the Mt Gambier Countrywide office. I thank the lady in Melbourne as she gives me the number.

But it's another Telstra Red Herring

So I ring it. What do I get?? An answering machine with the same recorded message that started this whole thing.

So I got steamed. I thought. “What a bunch of loosers. I just waisted over an hour on hold listening to that foul Telstra hold musik. For nothing.” So I decided to call the Telstra Corporate Switchboard to make a formal complaint about them advertising such a desired service and then failing to provide staff to service the response.

Making a Formal Complaint to Telstra

Well.. Just say “Formal Complaint” to Telstra and see where it gets you. Big fat no-where is where. the switchboard operator wanted to know what the complaint was about. She wanted to know what department. So I told her. The area I was complaining about is Countrywide. But the issue really lies with Telstra staff higher up who organise advertising and staffing to accomodate the publics responses.

So the switchboard operator passed me through to customer service. Where I encountered “Julie”. Julie is one of those professional customer service people who has little regard for Telstra’s customers wishes. Julie has a protocol that must be followed. If Julie receives a call that doesnt have the correct criteria. Julie feels the need to insrtuct people on how to prepare themselves in future for another encounter with her.

Good ol Julie at Telstra Customer Service

I asked her to take a formal complaint. She told me that she is unable to do this. This is not her role to initiate complaints against Telstra. Her role is to accept a reference number from the Ombudsman. I asked her again to take my complaint. She again refused. I asked her to transfer me back to the switchboard. She declined. I asked her to tranfer me to her supervisor. She again declined.

How to drive a Customer insane

So we went through it again. I asked for the switchboard. No. I asked for the supervisor. (Real angry by now) Again NO. I asked her to identify herself again. She said her name was ‘Julie’. I said Julie. If you dont either tranfer me back to the switchboard or to your supervisor immediately. I will hang up. Call back the Switchboard and really get your ass kicked. Julie started her lesson again on the proceedure required for her to resolve complaints. I hung up and called the Switchboard back again.

Lets try to complain.. Again!

More on hold. More crappy Telstra muzak. It just makes you angrier.

I finally get the switch operator. I tell her I was to make 2 formal complaints now. The original. Also a complaint about “Julie” in customer service. I suggest that they put me in contact with the customer service supervisor.

What the &^%$k?...

I dunno who they reeled out. But next thing I’m speaking with this girl who had little interest in my story. Thanked me and told me they would investigate. Asked me if there was anything else? (Go away now..)

Lets see if this is real

So i said yes. I would like a receipt number for the formal complaints I had just made. She sounded confused.. I explained that I know how customer service and complaints are handled and that I require the receipt number for the complaints. So she asks me if I can hold. grrrrr

Coverup the Complaint

10 - 15 mins later.. (They really are assholes) She comes back on the phone and informs me that she is unable to give me a receipt number. Bacuse they are rejecting my complaints. Due to the Countrywide office just being too busy on the day. The complaint again ‘Julie’ cannot proceed because I do not have the Telstra Employee Number.

So.. Now they basically ignore the whole thing.. Cover it up. No complaint lodged. I hang up. Completely at a loss. Feeling like I just did 10 rounds with a heavyweight.

Corruption all the way to the Top of the System

So I get real angry now. I ring up Telstra Bigpond and CANCELL the ISDN i was just about to turn on.

Then I call the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. I tell them the story. They agree it’s really not good enough. They inform me that Telstra do not require an employee number to enable you to make a complaint about a staff member.

Telstra employees lied to me to protect each other.

I rang the direct number for Telstra Customer Service as supplied by the Ombudsman. Who answers the phone.. Yep Julie. She quickly recognises my voice asks for my number from the Ombudsman and transfers me to her supervisor.

Funny that…

All a total waste of time

Anyway.. I try to inform someone high up. That they have HUGE staff problems. But no one was interested. They wouldn’t allow me to complain at a level where someone who would have been interested whould notice.

Nothing was resolved. I didn’t even get a ‘Sorry’ for my trouble. They just listened and said.. Is that it?.. I gave a deep sigh.. Gave up and hung up.

Totally Unqualified Stockmarket Advise

If you have Telstra shares.. Sell em quick… They will never be so high in value again. As more and more people realize that Telstra cares naught for their customer.

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