Telstra – Like my package, hate the service

I have never understood how a company the size of Telstra with a massive income can be so poor on service. Even their automated answering system, which keeps asking me irrelevant questions when I phone, seems broken. I have reported at least twice that the questions were rapid, irrelevant and don’t even stop for a reply. I’m always told they “will pass it on” yet it remains the same.
I was with another provider and was attracted to Telstra’s package with the Telstra TV included. At the time the Telstra TV was the only unit streaming all services including free to air. As on previous occasions the changeover was a nightmare and I even lost my phone for a period of time. A ridiculous amount of time was spent on the phone with a lot of arguing before finally escalating it to get it fixed.
The package offers a thousand gig of downloads, Telstra Air, Telstra TV and phone rental with free calls anywhere in Australia including mobiles for $100 per month. Being in the country with limited offers on NBN fixed wireless I find it good value. I like the Telstra TV so much I have two in different rooms.
I would like to state that the problems start with the NBN. Ever since getting the NBN I get micro dropouts quite regularly that last for seconds but can be very frustrating. Tried fixing it with my last provider but might as well bang your head against a wall than get help from the NBN.
The problem since being with Telstra is they don’t seem to have any idea what is going on with the NBN. For the third time my internet has gone down and when I ring I am told there are no known outages and that I am the only one affected. False every time. On one outage the whole town was out for over 6 hours when I was told this. The last time I pushed for the real reason I had no internet. The operator came back and said it was a Scheduled Plan Update (or something similar). I asked what that meant and he didn’t know. I asked if he could find out why was I wasn’t given any notice and why it wasn’t put on their outage page. He didn’t know. He could tell me I wouldn’t have internet for around four days. It was actually 6 hours.
The worse part is the Plan Update never gives better service, so what is it for?
I put in a complaint with Telstra (my last provider notified regularly to expect these outages so you could prepare) and starting getting frequent calls. I received an email stating they were happy to communicate by email but in reality they would not and just kept ringing. Now it is with the TIO just so they don’t think they can get away with it.
I read recently how much Telstra’s TIO complaints have risen and I am not surprised. Using an overseas help desk is not the problem as they are only doing what they are told. Telstra no longer has a monopoly and won’t even own the lines and equipment so they need to provide a much better and caring service. Country people have their phones running through the NBN. If the NBN cuts out so does your phone and if you have little or no mobile reception everything grinds to a halt. You cannot rely on a company that does not even know about planned outages.
Great package with terrible back up service. If you experience the same take it as far as you need to.

So I have escalated this to the TIO and was contacted by TOps Resolution Centre of Excellence
Customer Service Delivery, Telstra Operations who once again will not email.  Personally I don’t trust companies who refuse to put answers in writing.  Telstra is a large professional company so why not email?

The questions I asked are:

What is a NBN Plan update (your staff have no idea)?
How can Telstra not know it is happening in advance?
If your staff can find it when pressured why is it not showing on your outages page.  The previous time the town had been out for 8 hours when your staff told me I was the only one effected?
Why have I spent so much time on the phone for such an incompetent service?  This time I was told it would be out for 4 days when it was actually about 6 hours?
Still waiting for an answer.


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