The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

08 February, 2005

Why I HATE Telstra!

Well, it's now after 5 PM Perth time. I finally got on the Internet today, after my connection being DOWN (Thanks Telstra!!!!! Grrrrrrr!) A lot of the day was spent trying to get through to their Support (Faults) line. When I did finally get through, I was first of all told that no one answered the call, and was hung up on. (One of those lovely recorded messages). After trying to get through a number of times again, I finally made it ... again! This time I was placed in a queue. I sat in that queue for seventeen minutes and fifty seconds. No one answered. I hung up on them, because my connection suddenly came back up. Amazing. After wasted hours of trying to phone them and complain, I didn't even get that satisfaction. I assume that a lot of people had a problem today. I had spent the day dialing their fault line, only to have it ring and hang up on me most of the time (which is why I couldn't get through to them). Isn't it IRONIC that the number one telecom company in Australia never seems to be reachable! They never have enough staff on when I want to complain. They're a TELECOM, but I can't reach them on the phone or from my Internet connection, both of which they provide. Maybe it's because they are a telecom that they know I am phoning to complain. You can imagine them spotting me phoning up and deliberately diverting my call to annoy me further. This was the first time this year my Internet connection has had a major issue. (I've had a minor one where some days it takes two clicks to go to any web site. Most days it's fine.) Last year though, I had major issues. From August to December, I kept getting DNS issues. My computer had difficulty connecting to their DNS server. I used to be a Network Engineer, so I knew what the problem was. Whenever I phoned, I had to go through half an hour of following instructions from some stupid idiot on the help desk who probably didn't know what DNS was. By the time I'd phone them, I'd already work out that I can go to places on the Internet via the IP address, but not their name. I'd tried to traceroute to their DNS servers, and found they time out. I even told them the right hop order when it works, and the hop order when it didn't. This would never impress the Telstra Help Desk. They'd always have to go through the same routine. Is the routers light on? How many? Can you turn the computer off and restart ... etc etc et hoc genus omne ad infinitum enconentia buttocus time wasting. After half an hour of wasting my time, they'd finally go, "Well, there doesn't seem to be a problem there, we better escalate it to the Network Department." (Well, DUH!) Not that the Network Department were any better. Most of the time I'd never hear back from them. The issue would suddenly right itself, and that was it. Then, a week or two later, it would occur again. One of the problems I had, was they never seemed to take notes either. On more than one occasion, I'd phone for an issue, it wouldn't get resolved, so I'd phone back ... but there was nothing recorded from the previous day. So no one knew I'd had an issue. I wonder how many other peoples problems disappeared off the system (or where never put on there in the first place). Other times, I'd phone back, and ask how the issue was going. "That ones been signed off because it's been fixed", would be the reply. "Um, no! I think I would know if it had been fixed. I still have that issue." "Oh, I'd better re-open it then." Damn tootin' you better re-open it. Eventually, I told them, if the issue didn't get fixed, I'd go to Optus. I'd also told my old boss about it (who has some clout with Telstra. He used to work for them). Suddenly the issue was fixed! WOW! After four and a half months of crap, they finally came through! I'm not sure if it was something my old boss said to them (if he spoke to them at all. I never asked him to), or the threat to go to Optus, but something made them finally pull their fingers out. Maybe they do this to all their customers and after a while they get tired of tormenting the same one and switch to a new person. You can imagine them around the water cooler having a good laugh about it. Well, the major issues are gone, but there is still a part of me which says, "As soon as the contract runs out, I'm leaving!" Todays lack of service and lack of connectivity has made me pretty p***d off at them yet again. I feel doubly p***ed off, because I happen to be a shareholder in the company. If they treat the owners of the company this way, I'd hate to be one of their other customers. Quality of service is something that as a shareholder I am concerned about. If I am p***ed off and want to leave, how many other people are in the same boat? Are my shares going to slump because other people feel the same as me. It wouldn't surprise me. When they were a monopoly their service was pretty bad too. When they privatised and brought in competition, you think they might have improved it a little. Apparently not. The corporate culture of being slack seems to have continued. Another pet peeve of mine regarding Telstra, was back when I was a Network Engineer. Something would go wrong, we'd phone them, ask them to fix the issue. We'd sit there waiting for them to phone back and tell us it was Okay. We'd get a call eventually. Normally, the issue would resolve itself just before they'd phone back. The conversation would go something like this: Telstra: Hi, we checked your line, and couldn't find a problem. It must be an issue at your end. Us: Um, no, the line just came up. Telstra: What did you do? Us: We didn't do anything, I've been sitting here reading till you phoned. What did you do? Telstra: You must have done something. We only looked at the line. You've changed something at your end. Us: No, I told you. I've been sitting here reading. My issue last year had a similar call on two occasions. First when I first got it installed. They asked me to leave it on over night so their technicians could look at it. When I got up in the morning, it was working. They told me it was something I did. (Cool, next issue I have, I'll go to bed and it will magically fix itself. The fact that their technicians are looking at it has nothing to do with the issue. It all has to do with me going to bed!) The second time was when their network department actually phoned me back. Somehow magically, it fixed itself again. How dumb do they think we are? They might be able to fool the occasional granny or computer illiterate, but to try this crap on a Network Engineer is pure foolishness. Is it so bad for them to admit there was a problem, they found the cause and fixed it? Or do most of their problems come from the idiots they hire? I say that last one, because of the time our house phone stopped working. We placed the call to their faults department. They eventually came out, told us it was the wiring in our house, and demanded to look around, claiming we had illegal wiring. So we let them in, they had a look. Nope, everything in here was installed by them. Okay, so off they went. They came back, and told us it was WET CONTACTS on the wires. Told me to try the phone in ten minutes. Ten minutes later, I picked up the phone to see if it was fixed. Nope! But I did hear an incriminating conversation. Ours was not the only house effected. They had to fix a whole stack up, because someone (one of their bright technicians) had wired it wrong. Apparently, what had happened, was some new phone service was supposed to get installed. Not sure what happened exactly, but one thing led to another, and the technicians had managed to re-wire the entire neighbourhood so no ones phone worked. Um, yeah, I guess that's called "wet contacts", were the technician stuffs up, and wets himself. They phone him to find out what he did, and make contact with the wet technician! Yep, he's a wet contact! Oh well, Telstra still have my Internet connection under contract for the next year and six months (maybe a little less). So they have that amount of time to either get their act together, or to stuff up completely. If they stuff up badly again, I'll just move to another provider because of their constant breaches on contract (ie, not providing the service they are supposed to). Otherwise, we'll see if they can make thing work right. In which case, I probably will still have a mind to move elsewhere. It depends on what I end up having, and what's around. Still, I think nothing could have been worse than the service between August and December last year. (Except totally unplugging the thing!) In the meantime, I'll consider selling my shares if I change services providers too. Why keep shares in a company that disrespects it's customers?