Telstra: Short Term Profit driven Monopoly

I think Telstra are totally insane in this country. This corporation, being a monopoly, has no regard to the fairness of their fee’s, charges, and overall pricing structure to the consumer.

Vote Link: Telstra Are they insane?

Appauling Customer Service

All this, with appauling Customer Service, yet still posting ever increasing profits, at their dwindling customer bases dismay. (But to the obvious short term glee, of their predatory stockholders)

Customer loss formula

I guess the financial analyists at Telstra have a formula that predicts profit, based on their current pricing structure. That formula would take into consideration how many existing customers, per month, that will become dissilusioned with Telstra.

  • Model 1: Increased Customer Base = Good Pricing Structure/Good Service/Good Support.
  • Model 2: Decreased Customer Base = Bad Pricing/Bad Service/Bad Support.

Vote Link: What Model do you think Telstra is following?

Devious Telstra games

I think Telstra play devious games with their customers. Reading of the ‘fine print’ is mandatory when dealing with Telstra.

But even then. Telstra have proven that their ‘conditions’ are always changable. (to Telstra’s benefit) So reading the ‘fine print’ will not help you in a self policing industry like communications.

Game 1

Telstra will still ‘stich you up’ with 200MB (cough) Broadband contracts that last for 2 years. (If you don’t know any better…)

Game 2

Telstra SIM card ‘Bonus Credit’ cannot be ‘allocated’ to your selected ‘plan’ and must be used at Telstras ‘standard rate’.

Game 3

Federal Government telephone rental ‘discounts’ can only be applied to certain plans. (Not the cheapest plan.. They don’t help the un-employed really..)

Game 4

Telstra advertise that If you are an existing ‘Pre Paid Customer’ they will transfer unused credit to your new mobile phone sim. What they fail to tell you is that you must have a ‘blank’ sim. You only find this out when you try to get the credit transfered.

I think Telstra have many ‘devious games’ they play on the public. I will document more as I find them.

Profit driven: At expense of existing customer base

The total disregard for their Customer cannot continue forever. As more and more people opt for other communication suppliers in this Country. Telstra must eventually ‘feel the pinch’ and begin to provide real competition in their pricing structure and their customer services.

A nice future

Or they could continue down the same path and eventually end up with only a few customers left who have to pay $3billion a month for line rental. $0.5billion for each local call and still somehow end up in a que listening to Telstra Muzak. Before having their call dropped.

Same old service

I bet those few Telstra customers of the future, still wont be able to speak to a Telstra employee who actually knows what they are doing and can rectify problems efficiently.

Same old frustrations

I bet they will still have to provide their personal information, prove their identity, verify their phone number, to each person in the chain until they eventually reach their true desired destination.

Your call is important to us! (*cough)

They will still be subjected to waiting on hold for 20 mins. Then having their call dropped after being handled unsucessfully by Telstra employees.

Telstra really should wake up before they loose their complete customer base.

How do you work out Telstra's Fees?

I was reading the news tonight and this caught my eye..

“I am trying to look up what it costs. So far this is all that I can find on the Telstra website with regards to video calling overseas:

Simple.. You don't.. Just pay what we say

There is no pricing nor can I find any links to pricing.

Why does Telstra make it so f###ing hard for people to look up the most basic of information - what it costs to make phone calls?”

Will Kemp <> thinks “Cos they don’t want you to know how much you’re being ripped off. If you could check their call costs before you signed up with them, you’d go somewhere else.”

Vote Link: Should Telstra disclose accurately all of their prices, In a more user friendly way, on their website?

Lets play Monopoly for real..

Telstra are a Monopoly that know that they dont have to try to please their customers. So they dont. To do so would waste profit.

Profit better spent feathering the nests of those who make these kind of short sighted corporate decisions.

(Enjoy the millions Sol…)

Telstra Advanced Voice Technology

Whenever you ring Telstra. All you get is a Computer. I personally hate how Telstra have attemped to replace their Staff with a “Voice Activated/Computerised Redirection Service”.

Lets waste YOUR time..

It wastes the Customers time forcing them to listen to endless options. Rarely responds correctly, or has the appropriate options, due mostly to it being poorly programmed. Drops calls. Makes you listen to every option before passing you to a department that is closed.

Complaints? What complaints...

But against public outrage and outright frustration Telstra refuses to mothball it.

Vote Link: Do you like the Telstra Voice Activated/Computerised Redirection Service?

Lets create profit from nothing..

Telstra duplicated the coverage of their Mobile Phone CDMA System with Next G. Telstra then turned off the CDMA system. Which forced their existing customers to throw away the CDMA mobile phones they had purchased from Telstra.

Operate 3G on new frequencies

If those customers needed the coverage of CDMA (which was superior in many ways to GSM in rural areas) They needed to purchase the latest Telstra Next G mobile phone.

Force customers to buy new handsets

To activate the new Next G phone. The customer needed to also purchase a Next G mobile phone plan that contains a sim card. CDMA mobile phones had no sim card.

Vote Link: Should Telstra have forced everyone from CDMA?

Changing your Pre Paid Mobile Phone plan

Believe it or not.. I use Telstra Pre Paid for my mobile calls. Well when I bought the phone. It was the cheapest available. $59 with $10 of call credits and telstra sim card. Phone is lousy.. Barely works out here. Data is impossible. I get the charges but not the data.

1c Text

So. I decided to change my plan. From a long life plan that cost me minimal to maintain. To a 0.1c per sms to other Telstra mobile phones.

Its easy to change plans! (Not)

Telstra claims that they give you three ways of changing your plan. Two free ways and an operator assisted way. The operator assisted way costs $5.


One free way is to do it directly through the network. When you purchase a recharge the prompts tell you that you can change your plan. Through the network menus. But when you get there. It tells you to call 1258880 for a $5 fee or to Login to the website. Where I can change it. (I assume for free)

I give Telstra too much money already.. Lets try the free way..

Well.. After registering with the Telstra site and confirming my identity. Finally I can select the option to change my plan.

Nope. A message comes up telling you to call 1258880.

They really dont give a shit.. Do they..

So I call 1258880.. It’s 10pm. Guess what? No operator available. Call back in working hours. (I bet the real working hours actually end at 5.30pm too)

Lets call the competition

So .. Im calling the competition.. Lets see who is providing service to the public and who is not.


First call to Optus Mobile - 1300555002 - Quickly circumvented the robot and spoke to a nice lady who informed me that Optus charge $0 to Change a plan. She could also change that plan for me right now if I wanted. Obtained Total Support in under 5 mins.

Second call this time to Optus Customer Service 133937 11.14 Told the robot that I wanted mobile services. click..dropped call..

3rd call. Trying Customer Service number again. 133937. This time, after some delays caused by the robot. Everything worked and I obtained a different operator in minutes again.


Called Customer Services on 1300650410 - Robot is highly frustrating. Very very annoying - Robot wasted lots of time - bla bla bla - Finally it sticks me in a que and tells me there is a 40 minute wait on call…

I hung up.. I have a very low tollerance for high delay especially mixed with a computerised interuption service.

After finding out Optus was so good. I thought I better give Vodafone another go. I tried over and over to get past the robot. I called vodafone 4 times.. But gave up trying to get a human.

I followed the prompts to the end. All the time asking for an operator at the prompts. Trying the various paths offered. But in the end vodaphone just didnt provide a customer service contact point in the middle of the night. It was all just dead ends..

I dont even know how I got intot the 40 minute que the first time..I certainly couldn’t duplicate the feat.

11.46pm I called the vodaphone sales number.. Just to see if they are happier to sign up new users… 132616 They were… I battled the robot and got an operator.

So much easier on the sales side..(hmm) By 12.04 I was finished. I spoke to a sales operator.. Aparently Vodafone dont charge to change a plan. It is an option that you select each time you recharge your credit.

But good luck to you if you try to get past their highly annoying robot. If your really lucky you may find a way to get a Human from Customer Support to speak to. (Try the sales number..)


Customer Service is just unavailable. Neither sales nor support. Each departments robot will gather all your information and make you wait as it pushes you through que afer que.

But in the end. There is NO ONE at Telstra you can talk too.

Optus Wins!

Optus is the clear winner in providing afterhours customer service for mobile phones.


Local: [[2007-09-05?]], [[2007-09-26?]], Australian ISP, Telstra BigPond

External: Its easy to hate Telstra Telstra's $150 iphone unlock fee

Whats wrong inside Telstra

“This is one of the biggest problems with Telstra in my opinion – this “Us vs Them” mentality. It is the same company and customers expect a level of service, whether it is from customer service people on the phone or staff in a Telstra Shop. There needs to be more cohesion and co-operation between the different departments in Telstra.”

Never admit when they are wrong

“My experience with Telstra management (not just at a store level) is that they will never ever admit when they are wrong or don’t know something. If they have an idea in their collective heads, they will stick to it, and no amount of arguing will get them to consider anything else. If they later find out they were wrong, they will never admit it, change their position, and act as though that was the position all along.

Politics is King

In Telstra, politics is king.”

Whirlpool.Net.Au Telstra Staff Forum

2010-04-10 Telstra BigPond

Telstra have finally “shaped” some of their Wireless Internet Plans. At last people stuck on 31.2kbps RIM Dialup have a reasonably inexpensive alternative.

I decided to give Telstra Bigpond Wireless a try. Initially I determined to go with the cheapest 400MB plan. I installed the system and began to use it. The allocated 400MB was used up within the first 2 days. Then the account was automatically shaped back to 64kbps. But still the improvement over the RIM dialup at 31.2kbps was obvious.

Problem with this is. I then decided that I would try out the 6GB plan. So I called up Telstra Bigpond and requested that my selected plan be changed over. As luck would have it.. (or good planning) The next day (1st of the Month) My new plan took effect.

Well it took 9 days to burn through the 6GB that cost $79.95.

(I didn’t even visit you tube.. sigh I mainly just got a lot of (overdue) Microsoft updates.. Ahh the joys of loosing 31.2kbps dialup)

So.. It becomes obvious that If I actually wanted to cover my usage properly.. (at the connection speed that Telstra forces on me) I’d probably need at least 18GB (3 times 6GB) by the look of it.

Which brings me to the main point in writing this:

Why can’t I select the SPEED of connection that I PREFER?

Which I would think is technically possible due to the way that the providers are able to “shape” you when your allocated bandwidth has been consumed.

At 1500/256 I burn through 6GB in 9 days..

Grrr: TELSTRA how about offering the public some plans that allow us to maintain a decent internet connection without costing us an arm and a leg?

If I was given the option of plans that allowed me to select the SPEED of connection as well as the allocated bandwidth before shaping.

Well.. Lets just say that IF Telstra had plans like this:

Plan NameBandwidthSpeedPrice
BigPig Liberty® 0/640GB64/64$29.95
BigPig Liberty® 1/1281GB128/128$39.95
BigPig Liberty® 3/2563GB256/64$49.95
BigPig Liberty® 6/5126GB512/128$79.95
BigPig Liberty® 10/150010GB1500/256$119.95

That 6GB would have lasted me 3 times as long at 1/3 the speed for the same price.. Hmmmm

See what I mean? I’d at least be able to maintain a much better than RIM dialup connection speed without breaking the budget or (you would think) without upsetting Telstra’s shareholders.

I think Telstra would like us all to have multiple 10GB accounts. Because Telstra DONT currently offer the public these sort of wireless plans.

I guess I will have to change back to the 400MB plan.. :( But at least when the Wireless Plan has been “shaped” at 64kbps. We can still get twice the bandwidth of a RIM afflicted dialup.

This is a huge improvement for people who live rurally in Australia.

See: Telstra: Next G Coverage Maps

I think that as long as you can get Telstra Next G coverage.. (Check using the Telstra Next G Map in the iframe above) Anyone who is still connected through a RIM dialup should sign up for a Liberty 400MB plan. (Just don’t say I dont warn you about the temptation to spend more and go faster)

It might now be time to look a little more closely at exactly what Telstra’s current Next G Wireless Internet plans are:

Plan nameDataPrice
BigPond Liberty® 400MB.4GB $29.95
BigPond Liberty® 1GB1GB $39.95
BigPond Liberty® 3GB3GB $49.95
BigPond Liberty® 6GB6GB $79.95
BigPond Liberty® 10GB10GB$119.95

Remember: When you exceed your data allocation you will be shaped to 64/64kbps.

See: Bigpond Plans and Offers

Question: What kind of internet do you get if you sign up for a Bigpond Liberty® plan?

Answer: HSDPA: has a web browsing feel and download speed comparable to a 1500/256k ADSL connection with slightly higher latency.

NetworkDownload SpeedUpload SpeedLatency
HSDPA (3.5G)500 – 1500 Kbit/s300 Kbit/s80 – 120ms
UMTS (3G)150 – 384 Kbit/s64 Kbit/s120 – 1500ms
EDGE (2.5G)100 – 150 Kbit/s80 Kbit/s200 – 1500ms
GPRS (2G)20 – 50 Kbit/s20 Kbit/s800 – 2500ms

Latency: High numbers indicate slow response. Lower latency numbers are better.

Don’t forget the competition to Telstra.. (If your lucky enough not to live rurally.) Because they can all offer HSPDA connections as well.. (In their 3G blanket areas)

From what I can see. If your located within range of a 3G Vodafone or Optus tower. A UMTS connection might work well for someone like me. The allocated data would last much longer at UMTS speeds compared to HSPDA and you would still get a decent improvement over a RIM connected dialup.

Telstra Next GYesNoYesYes
Vodafone 3G YesYesNoYes
Three 3GYesNoYesYes
Optus 3GYesYesNoYes

  • Telstra: Next G is capable of 14.4Mbit/b; 7.2Mbit/s on clients by firmware upgrade planned.
  • Vodafone: HSDPA in limited areas only.
  • Three: Beware Roaming to Telstra Network or 0.50c per MB charges will apply.
  • Optus: HSDPA in limited areas only.

Quote: “Three’s Roaming agreement with Telstra only enables Data in places that are covered by Three’s data or some select other places. You’ll find certain places work fine roaming for voice but no data it’s purely part of their agreement.”

See: Whirlpool: Avoid 3's roaming charges by changing APN

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2009-11-30 Telstra

A controversial CEDA paper published in December 2006 argued that Australia does not need a single national high-speed broadband network.

Original Image:

The paper, authored by the University of Melbourne’s Professor Joshua Gans, claimed that Australia would do better to create a regulatory system that enabled appropriate local-scale solutions.

This argument has been rejected by Telstra, Australia’s largest broadband provider.

Comment: Yes.. Telstra wouldn’t have liked the idea of legislation designed to remove Non Interlaced RIM exchange (31.2kbps Max) data restrictions from the NBN calculation.

It would cost Telstra a lot to convert existing rural exchanges to ADSL.

Once RIM exchanges have been made ADSL and many people take up their new ADSL option, Telstra’s Next G Wireless internet solution would probably become a mostly unused somewhat expensive white elephant.

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2009-10-27 Telstra

Telstra Issues

Faulty Phone line

About 2 months ago the phone line quality at Clovelly deteriorated noticably. The interference from the electric fence, that runs alongside the driveway for 500 metres, began to interfere more heavily with the telephone line. As a result, every second or so, a (now) loud clicking noise can be detected in the telephone line audio.

Electric Fence Interference

This “Tic tic tic” interference is causing havoc with my Telstra BigPond dialup internet connection quality.

Dialup performance now continiously deterorates to unacceptable levels within minutes of each reconnection.

This unacceptable service has resulted in my inability to perform updates, or create content for any of my various internet activities, over the last couple of months. :(

Service Call 1

When this problem initially started I contacted Telstra to report the fault. Telstra sent out a Service Rep. Unfortunately, my son Daniel was the only one home when the Service Rep turned up. Because he is only 14 years of age (not legally responsible), the Service Rep decided to cancel the rectification of the fault. Suggested we re-schedule to when an adult was present.

  • Service call 1 - Cancelled

Service Call 2

I put up with it for nearly 2 months. But enough is enough. I have been sitting here night after night. Unable to do what I need to do. Hoping the “moisture” that I believe has penetrated the system to “dry out”. But it isn’t going to “dry out” anytime soon. So…

Last week I again contacted Telstra Service Difficulties and Faults to book a Service Rep to rectify the interference.

After another round of line testing a fault was detected and a Service Rep was dispatched to turn up with in a few days to rectify the fault.

When the Service Rep turned up. I was informed that corrosion has penetrated the Telstra equipment that I am connected to and would be almost impossible to repair. He said that he could use a “coil” to filter the interference. But after applying the coil the noise was still aparent in the telephone line. The Service Rep then swapped to a spare “pair” that was available in the line running to the house. The Service Rep then left without further testing or conversation. The Service Rep sent a sms to my mobile phone with a cryptic message about the Job being completed.

Service Call 2 - Completed - No change Detected

Service Call 3

Not good enough. Nothing has changed for me. There is no improvement at all. So I call the Telstra Service Difficulties and Faults number again. I tell the Telstra staff member what has happened. I ask if they can hear the ticking on the line (everyone else can..) But this Telstra staff memeber is unable to hear the interference? So.. They want me to run the tests again.. From the start.. (Wasting my time? Seriously Grrr) So they waste my time with the tests and then tell me that “NO FAULT was FOUND!” and ask me if there is ANYTHING ELSE THEY CAN HELP ME WITH??? FFS!!!

So I inform the Telstra Staff member in Service Difficulties and Faults that under Australian law I am guaranteed a minimal quality of service. That I didn’t believe I was getting that quality of service. That I would like a line quality test to determine the result.

The Telstra staff member didn’t understand what I was saying. So I asked to speak to their supervisor. After a short time on hold the supervisor took over the conversation. The supervisor wanted to run the tests again. (OMFG.. ok.. sigh) This time a fault was found. I asked the supervisor if he could hear the ticking on the line. Funnily enough.. HE COULD! So another Service Rep visit was booked. After the tests were completed. I got another cryptic Telstra SMS informed me a Service Rep would “Replace the Fault by 7pm Monday, October 26th.”

By this stage. I’ve had it with Telstra. So I decide to call the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (1800 062 058) to decypher the SMS for me. I explained that I didn’t understand Telstraspeak.

So I asked exactly what “Replace the fault” meant? The TIO suggested that the SMS meant to say “repair the fault..” I suggested that for them to say that would be admitting a deadline for fault rectification and that the wording of the cryptic sms was deliberately misleading.

But of course the TIO know whats going on already. I don’t expect any changes there anytime soon.

I ask about the minimum service line test and the TIO tells me that the “MOLDS” test is available from the menu at the Telstra Service Difficulties and Faults number.

The TIO suggests I give Telstra Customer Service a call to make sure that the fault is corrected this time. So the TIO allocates me with a reference number and tells me to call 1800 001 398. (Telstra/Ombudsman complaint line)

So I call the Telstra/Ombudsman complaint line. Tell the Telstra staff memeber what the issue is. Give them the background. Quote the Ombudsman reference number. They look up my record and note that a Service rep is already booked for 26th. I ask to do the “MOLDS” test but the Telstra staff memeber says I should wait for the results of the booked Service Rep visit first.

26th around 4.30pm the Service rep installed “coils” and left. Saying he had done everything he could possibly do but he could not get rid of the elecric fence noise.

Service Call 3 - Completed - No Change Detected

Service Call 4

After battling the same modem lagg and unacceptable delays last night. This morning (27th) I (again) decided that this really wasn’t good enough.

So I called Telstra Service Difficulties and Faults again. I was looking for the “MOLDS” test. (as advised by the TIO) Unfortunately, I was unable to locate the “MOLDS” test option. Finally (Frustrated) I was able to get the robotic stupidity machine to connect me with an operator. (The menus have no “back” button)

After explaining my situation. I asked the Telstra staff member to direct me to the “MOLDS” test. The staff member said they didn’t know what a “MOLDS” test was. I explained that in my opinion Telstra were in breach of legislation relating to minimal service guarantee. I explained that Telstra need to find this test for me. I suggested that the supervisor may be able to help me. I was then instructed that the supervisor was busy with another call. I said that I didn’t mind waiting. So I was placed on hold. After a few minutes the same Telstra staff member informed me that the supervisor didn’t know what a “MOLDS” test was either.

So. I thought I’d better ring the Ombudsman and find out what the “MOLDS” test fiasco was all about. Quoted minimum service legislation blah blah..

The TIO gave me the Telstra/Ombudsman hotline and my complaint reference numbers again. Told me I should contact Telstra to get the “MOLDS” test done.

Telstra/Ombudsman complaint line (FINALLY!!!) books me in for a “MOLDS” test. Tells me that it could take up to 5 days for someone to contact me. I become sarcastic and ask them to imagine me waiting by the phone for 5 days without eating/sleeping/shi….. So I tell them that 5 days on standby is just stupid. They tell me that is the system as required under present legislation.(lets change that legislation…)


Within 30 minutes I get a “call” on the mobile from the “MOLDS” tester.

He wants me to connect (dialin) to a “MOLDS” server with “Hyperterm”. But initial efforts are problematic. So I retain his number (1800 077 074) and call back after completing the test myself.

 Modem Online Diagnostic System                              
 Telstra Corporation                   
 Press <Enter> to begin Session                              
         M O D E M  O N - L I N E                                 
     D I A G N O S T I C   S Y S T E M                                      
 Version: 5.0.6              
 Phone number 088735XXXX is currently under test
 Telstra does not guarantee Modem and Facsimile Customer
 Equipment not conforming to ITU-T recommendations V.18,
 V.21, V.27ter or V.34 and data rates greater than 2400 bit/s
 Transmitting test data for 5 minutes.
 Characters sent:                368880
 Please wait, extracting test results...
 Modulation                      V34                                   
 Symbol rate (Rx/Tx)             3200/3200
 Carriers (Rx/Tx, Hz)            1829/1829
 Trellis rate (Rx/Tx)            64S-4D/16S-4D
 Non-linear encoding (Rx                      
 Pre-coding (Rx/Tx)              ON/ON                                     
 Shaping (Rx/Tx)                 ON/ON                                     
 Pre-emphasis/Index (Rx/Tx, dB)  6/2                                   
 Level (Rx/Tx, -dB)              31/17                                     
 Near echo loss (dB)             55                                  
 Far echo loss (dB)              13                                  
 Signal to Noise Ratio (dB)      38                                  
 Round trip delay (msec)         37                                  
 Initialisation time (msec)      N/A                                   
 Retrains requested              0                                 
 Retrains granted                0                                 
 Fallback                        OFF                                   
 Line reversals                  0                                 
 Connect speed (Rx/Tx, bits/sec) 19200/12000
 Line speed (Rx/Tx, bits/sec)    24000/12808
 Highest speed (Rx/Tx, bits/sec) 24000/16800
 Lowest speed (Rx/Tx, bits/sec)  19200/12000
 Error correction                V42                                   
 Receive block errors            359                                   
 Blocks sent                     2320                                    
 Link NAKs                       49                                  
 Blocks resent                   284                                   
 Characters sent                 371647                                      
 Octets sent                     18190                                     
 Characters lost                 0                                 
 Characters received             1                                 
 Octets received                 1                                 
 Data compression                                    
 Channel Probe:              
   -30 |   # # - - -                                       | 0
   -32 |   # # # # # # # # -                               | 2
   -34 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # -                       | 4
   -36 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # - - -               | 6
   -38 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # -             | 8
   -40 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # -           | 10
   -42 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # -         | 12
   -44 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #         | 14
   -46 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #         | 16
   -48 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #       | 18
   -50 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #       | 20
   -52 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #       | 22
   -54 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # -     | 24
   -56 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #     | 26
   -58 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #     | 28
   -60 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #     | 30
   -62 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #     | 32
   -64 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #     | 34
   -66 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #   | 36
   -68 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #   | 38
   -70 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #   | 40
   -72 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #   | 42
   -74 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # - | 44
   -76 | # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # | 46
 Level +---------------------------------------------------+ Attn
        0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3
        1 3 4 6 7 9 0 2 3 5 6 8 9 1 2 4 5 7 8 0 1 3 4 6 7
        5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5
        0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 The test is now complete.  For further details call
 your Telstra Service Centre.
 Press any key to disconnect this call.

Conclusion? Outcome?

Too many errors were detected. Another Service rep has been booked to “fix” the data errors. By this time I am feeling like I am trapped in a revolving door.

Anyway… The Service Rep is due sometime… Before Friday 30th October. Lets see what happens this time… Until then.. More lagg.. More delays.. More time lost.. :(

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2009-09-23 Telstra

Now we aint talking? (NWAT)

“Telstra has confirmed it closed the shutters on its website, which at times has been used as a mouthpiece to promote its telecommunications sector regulatory ambitions.

The site, which hosted a network of blogs written by various Telstra staff, has been produced since 2005 while Telstra was still under former chief Sol Trujillo. At the launch of the site, then group managing director of Telstra public policy and communications Phil Burgess said a shareholder came up with the idea as a way for investors to see where Telstra stood on certain issues.

A spokesperson for Telstra this morning confirmed the site will shut down. Telstra has since unveiled plans to launch a new yet-to-be-named site which will sit under the domain.

“The end of NWAT will not mean the end of Telstra’s online outreach — far from it,” the telo told its subscribers via an email today.

A spokesperson for Telstra today confirmed the site will shut down, but was unable to provide further details at the time of writing.

The site was managed by a handful of Telstra’s public relations managers, but was initially headed up by Rod Bruem, author of a blog who last year suggested Optus chief executive Paul O’Sullivan see a counsellor and accused parent company Singtel of being an arm of the Singaporean Government, and proceeded to call it “one of the most hideous totalitarian regimes in Asia”.

Tim Burrows, editor of media and marketing online publisher, Mumbrella, said he was disappointed by Telstra’s decision to shut the site.

“Bloody hell! I saw [the site] as hugely positive. I know it was seen by some as a propaganda arm, but to me it was becoming a genuine conversation. I thought it was a good place for Telstra to tell their story when the whole Fake Stephen Conroy [Twitter issue] was going on,” Burrows told

Telstra recently launched its own Twitter identity, after reclaiming it from a cybersquatter. Burrows said the nowwearetalking site would make a perfect companion to its Twitter account for more complex arguments.

As for why Telstra has decided to take it down, Burrows speculated: “It might have been so associated with Phil Burgess and the Sol era that it couldn’t get rid of that stench of propaganda.”

See: ZDnet Article

My Comments

After reading 85% of the comments..(ed: in the article) I thought the booger comment was the best.. (so far..)

Ahem.. Now that I have bothered converting from a “reader” to a “writer” what can I say that hasn’t been said already..

(edit: removed duplicate wikiblog content from this post..)

Was NWAT a one sided corporate spin site?

The question isn’t worth answering..

Anyone who saw NWAT as anything else must have somehow “lost” their ability to process data and draw obvious conclusions.

Some people may lament the loss of “data” they contributed to the NWAT website.

Well.. Perhaps those people would have been better off communicating within a well known community that allows greater freedom of speech?

Whirlpool.. (Or maybe my “lazerwikiblog”? wink)

I think that they must have been living under a rock, or maybe just not smart enough to realize that Telstra only ever cared for profit.

The NWAT website provided a token “counterweight” to the (ever increasing) anti-telstra blogs..

But thats what it’s like living under a (near) monopoly.. It’s still “cheaper” to make a spin site and then “remove” it than actually provide decent customer service.

You now have my 2c…

See: My ZDnet Comment

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2009-09-02 Telstra BigPond

BigPond Hosting Services

Telstra BigPond offer their hosting services for Home and Business users in various configurations.

Personal Hosting

PurchaseSupplierPlanStorageBandwidthDomainsSub DomainsMailboxesSetup FeePer MonthPer YearAdd StorageExcess DataDomain NameWebsite Builder
Buy NowTelstraBronze1GB3GBUnknownUnknown1$0.00$9.95$119.40$22GB$154.00GB$24.00Included
Buy NowTelstraSilver2GB10GBUnknownUnknown5$0.00$14.95$179.40$22GB$154.00GBIncludedIncluded
Buy NowTelstraGold4GB30GBUnknownUnknown10$0.00$19.95$239.40$22GBCappedIncludedIncluded
Buy NowPCHostFree300MB10GB661$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00Included
Buy NowramHOSTStandard2GB40GBUnlimited5050$0.00$1.33$16.00$0.99GB$0.99GB$0.00Included
Buy NowCountrySA.ComIntermediate600MB300GB55300$0.00$5.95$71.40$0.00$0.00$0.00Included
Buy NowFiveBeanTurbo60GB600GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$0.00$4.41$53.00$0.00$0.00$15.00Included

Business Hosting

PurchaseSupplierPlanStorageBandwidthDomainsSub DomainsMailboxesSetup FeePer MonthPer YearAdd StorageExcess DataDomain NameWebsite Builder
Buy NowTelstraPremium200200MB10GBUnknownUnknown9999$64.00$39.95$479.40$44.00GB$80.00GB$49.00Included
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Buy NowFiveBeanTurbo60GB600GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$0.00$4.41$53.00$0.00$0.00$15.00Included

BigPond Vs Competition = BigPond Fail

Look at the EXTREME difference in the BigPond price structure compared to other more competitive internet hosting companies. When will the Telstra stockholders realise their investments are being squandered by the decision to hold hosting prices so high?

Premium "Add-On" Hosting Charges

BigPond have determined to “charge” a “Premium” for what many people would consider standard webhosting features. Modern hosting providers utilise industry standard “Control Panels” (Fantastico, etc) to impliment these ‘default’ features. BigPond has again shown it’s appetite for profit.

BigPond Website Builder

StandardPer Month
Premium 200$39.95
Premium 500$65.95
Premium 800$89.95
Premium 3000$329.95

AdvancedPer Month
Premium 200N/A
Premium 500$70.95
Premium 800$94.95
Premium 3000$334.95
BigPond Business Mail

MailboxesPer Month

Note: *Premium* Hosting services Only.
Cached Servers:

LevelCache LocationPer Month
Level 1USA$25
Level 2USA$59
Level 3USA$155
Level 1JAPAN$100
Level 2JAPAN$236
Level 3JAPAN$620
LevelVisitors per Month
Level 1Less than 1,000
Level 2Less than 10,000
Level 3Less than 100,000
BigPond Streaming Media

StreamsDataPer Month

Additional data is charged at
$132 per GB.

BigPond Additional Data Sources

Hosting PlanSetup Fee per DSN
Premium 200N/A
Premium 500$66
Premium 800$66
Premium 3000$66
BigPond ColdFusion MX

Hosting PlanPer Month
Premium 200N/A
Premium 500N/A
Premium 800$15
Premium 3000$50
BigPond SQL

Hosting PlanSQL DatabasesSetup FeePer Month
Premium 200LiteN/AN/A
Premium 500Lite$65$11
Premium 800Standard/Premier$121$15
Premium 3000Standard/Premier$121$30
BigPond SSL

SSL KeysLevelPer Year
Comodo128 bit$250
Thawte40 bit$495
Thawte128 bit$935
Verisign40 bit$825
Verisign128 bit$1,980


See: BigPond WebForum

  • $11 per month.

Additional Mailing Lists

See: BigPond Additional Mailing Lists

  • Monthly: $11 per 1,000 mailing list subscribers per month.

Note: Cannot contain more than 10,000 subscribers.

Additional Security Tokens

See: BigPond Additional Security Tokens

  • $5 per month per additional token.

Note : 26 tokens max.

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2009-04-27 Telstra

Telstra Pre Paid SIM with "Bonus" Credit

I hate how Telstra is operated. I have blogged many previous examples of the frustrations of dealing with Telstra. Unfortunately, we are still forced to use Telstra due to their communications monopoloy in this country. Latest example.. Daughter (16) gets Dad (me) to activate her new Telstra Pre-Paid Starter Kit. (Sim with $30 credit)

SMS's not charged correctly?

She wants the new ‘too good to be true’ plus plan.. So the new sim gets activated on the new + (plus) plan.. But wait.. Somehow the SMS’s are costing .25c each? So a call to Telstra’s Pre-paid robotic user assisted answering error reveals that you must ‘charge’ the sim to actually get the plan you selected..

Bonus Credit cannot be used on selected plan

The $30 credit supplied with the sim is classed by telstra as ‘bonus credit’ that somehow cannot be converted into the ‘plan’ that you have selected. Basically a blatent ripoff. I wonder how many other ‘dumb ozzies’ like myself telstra have ripped with this great money making idea?

Telstra's day is coming

My Daughter, who has read and listened to my previous rants against telstra quietly turned to me and said. They got me? Dad?.. I shook my head and said.. Yeah Sarah.. They got you..

Good luck staying in Business

At 16 she learns earlier than I did to dislike corporate greed. She logged into my phpbb3 forum and proceeded to tell this very story to google. Perhaps her generation will have more luck in extracting value for money than mine did.

Corporate Greed

Unfortunately, I think telstra accurately displays everything that is wrong with corporate greed. I see the same ‘attitude’ almost everywhere I turn in ‘business’ nowadays. Profit has become more important than a good reputation.

Goodwill? We run out of that years ago!

Goodwill is simply a trademark that can be swapped at will and re-marketted.

How to make more profit

It’s still cheaper to cut staff while spending Millions of dollars on TV and Radio advertising. That still somehow manages to outweigh the badwill of thousands of outraged customers blogging on the net.

Rats desert sinking ships.. Some are thrown out..

But not forever. Short term ‘get rich quick’ policies by management may ultimately spell the demise of the top heavy telco. (If the rumours of a breakup are true) I think that these ‘rogue’ corporations can and should be controlled by public boycott.

Public Boycott to Control Greed?

Perhaps through the internet people will demand respect once again from these corporations. Maybe the global ‘lack of confidence’ in corporations could be restored if the stock buying public saw them behaving responsibly within the community rather than as ‘fly by night’ profit mongers.


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2008-08-12 Telstra

Lets contact Telstra again!

Another INFP day. Another Telstra cue. Another bloody Telstra session!

Telstra False Advertising

This time I’m trying to get someone to take notice that Telstra are doing some false advertising.

Hours of Operation

Mainly their hours of operation for Home and Business customers. Telstra claim to have services available for Home and Business customers on the Weekend.

What they should claim is that they only provide automated service. They should inform their customers that the Home and Business areas of Telstra are unmanned on weekends.

Instead they make no mention of this and in fact mislead everyone by claiming to be open for business till 7pm on weekends, (8pm for businesses) on their recorded messages.

Consultant on the Weekend?

If you ring 132200 on the weekend. And wade through the endless automated options. Eventually you will find an option to speak to a consultant/operator.

First, Give us information..

The automated system will then get you to enter your Telephone number. Verify the number to you. If your lucky (like me) you may get an extra message telling you how you have been upgraded to a new system and that your record cannot be accessed. Then you will be passed to the next automated system.

Hello... Anyone home?

A few cues, recorded musaks, and rings later. You will eventually end up at a system that informs you that you have called outside of the hours of operation. Suggests that you call back when Telstra are open for business.

Instructs you of what the office hours are. But surprise surprise. Your actually within the hours that they are specifying.

This is false advertising. In my opinion this is normal operation for Telstra. To mislead the public and their stockholders.

Complaining to Telstra

Trying to get common sense from Telstra is like trying to extract a tooth from a deaf and blind elephant that has lost it’s grip on social interaction.

Wait in line..

So here I am. In a cue on Tuesday trying to tell Telstra that is is wrong for them to operate this way.

After informing the initial contact about exactly what was wrong. I was put in another cue. Ive already told a Telstra employee what is wrong. Why arent they just handling it?

Why do I have to be transfered to the department that I am complaining about?

To bring to that departments attention that something is wrong? so they rectify it? On past performance I really doubt it.

Doing the "Corporate Butt Cover" dance

It’s just corporate butt covering because no-one higher up the ladder wants to know or is ever briefed about the complaints.

Do you enjoy your position with Telstra?

Aparently it is your job, as their customers, to wait in endless cues. All this? Just to inform this dracconian company that their services are broken?

I guess so.. (We humans are such sheep)

Problem? What problem?

So eventually I speak to someone in the correct department. I am told that they do offer specific services to the public within the timeframe specified.

So what am I complaining about? Not being able to speak to someone on the weekend? “Well Sir, Not all services are operational on the weekends. Is that all I can help you with today Sir?”

I really hate the way Telstra is run.

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2007-09-26 Telstra

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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