Telstra … just add Foxtel and call the men in White Coats! Aargh!!

Dear Telstra

I find myself in some Alice in Wonderland mad dream, all because I made a decision last week, to accept your offer of including Foxtel  with my Telstra Bundle account.  “Do tell!” I hear you say. Herewith!

Having spent the prerequisite 40 minutes or so negotiating the deal with your chap Dhali – it could have been Charlie, I really have no idea and that in itself can be part of the problem in dealing with Telstra – misunderstandings due to speaking with somebody who sincerely wants to help, but whose accent is difficult to follow. But that is perhaps a debate for another time.

Dhali organised for a technician to come to my house sometime between 10.00am and 4.00pm today (Monday 2 July). Last night (Sunday night), around 8.40pm, my mobile rang – I missed it the first time, as I as glued to the TV watching the final episode of MYSTERY ROAD. However  the phone rang again within a couple of minutes and I managed to get to it.

It was a Telstra technician, apparently the bloke coming to fit the dish etc today, he told me there was a problem, in that it was going to be raining on Monday and that I needed to change the date. I agreed with him that it was going to be raining, heavily and that I had wondered what would happen. He repeated that I needed to change the date. I replied that surely he and his boss should work out what could or couldn’t be done and available dates, then ring me to ask what suited, he responded, saying ,”They already know, you have to ring them!” I replied that I didn’t want to do that, as I felt it was their responsibility to organise things, saying, “If I ring Telstra, I have to listen to the bloody computer woman, none of her options will fit the purpose and I’ll have to give my name rank and serial number to five different people before I get anywhere and the whole process will take another 40 bloody minutes!”

“You’ve got to do it!” he said once more.

I told him that it looked like it was going to rain for the whole week and I could imagine going through the process night after bloody night! He said I was right, it was going to rain all week and that probably nothing would be done until the following week, but it was my responsibility to ring them and change it.

I then explained to him that I was going overseas for four weeks in mid July and that in all probability the damn thing wouldn’t be installed before I left and that I might be better off cancelling it all and having another look when I got back in late August. He liked that idea and said, “Yes, why don’t you cancel it and look at when you get back, good idea, you just need to ring them.”

I was astounded, this bloke was definitely not headed for a role with the sales team any day soon.  I confess I did say, “Mate, I’m fucking well over this, I need to think about the whole bloody thing!” He replied that he was in agreement, I needed to think about it and then ring them! My head was spinning, I went back to my programme.

When it finished, (fabulous series, by the way – congratulations ABC), I decided to try the Telstra written Chat Line, to see what could be sorted. Here, I must say, I work in the mining industry, where safety is paramount,  I do understand that nobody should be up on a roof in wet weather.

I started ‘Chatting’ with Patrick.

Patrick was overjoyed to hear from me and told me not to worry, “I can be helping you with that.” We spent 23 minutes swapping lines and scenarios, eventually concluding that everything was booked for Friday 6th July,  between 10.00am and 4.00pm. For my assurance, he gave me a reference number: INT 1-1583366987866  and then wrote, “To show my confidence, you can also get a copy of this chat for your superb peace of mind.”  He went on to say, (bless him), “… you really deserve this great customer service … you’re now my 23rd RESOLVED concern for tonight and I’ll take your word on it.” I must admit, that baffled me, but hey, I’ll go with the flow. Warily happy, I turned my attention to the FI Austrian GP, only to find, that like me, my fellow Perthite, Danny Ricciardo was not having a great time.

This morning (Monday), I awoke to find a message sent late last night, by my good friend Patrick. Unfortunately he had  been unable to get through to anybody and guess what?

YES! You’re right! He suggested I ring Telstra in the morning to organise everything!

It’s not often I need a malt whiskey at 7.00am.

I’d  tweeted  a summary to Telstra and Foxtel. Never heard from Telstra, but Charlie from Foxtel came back to me, shocked, sorry and determined  (just like my other good friend Patrick), to help and rectify the situation. So he could fully understand what had preceded,  I sent him the transcript of my conversation with Patrick.

We had reached the stage of discussing the time frame, when my mobile rang. It was the technician from last night! It was 11.07am and it became immediately obvious nothing was happening in the Telstra workshop, or forward planning worksheets – although I seriously doubt you have that sort of thing! He asked me, “Have you decided to cancel yet?”  I started to laugh at the sales orientated commitment of this bloke. “No mate,” I replied, “I’m trying to work out what is the best thing to do for me, although I’m basically over this shit let me tell you!”

“It’s raining!” he said.

“Mate, I bloody well know that, I wouldn’t expect anybody to  get on my roof today and they’re still saying it’s going to rain all week.”

“Exactly!” he proudly and positively replied, “You won’t get anything done this week. So what do you want to do?”

I replied, “Mate, I have no bloody idea!”

“Well you need to ring them!”

“No mate, I’m not putting myself through all that push button 3, 4, 5 nonsense, I’ll send them an email.”

“Yes,” he replied, “Send then an email and tell them you’re changing it to another day, or later in the year, that’s what you’ve got to do” and he hung up.

I went back to chatting with my new friend Charlie at Foxtel, to find he’d sent me a message telling me  he completely understood my frustration, but I needed to call Telstra and explain the position to them, signing off wishing me a great day.

It’s now 2.00pm Monday afternoon and all my instinct says to just walk away and call nobody and just see what happens. I don’t think I care anymore, in fact, I think I might bring my overseas flight forward!

Greg Ross

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