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Publicity Junkies Choice Slammed By Telstra For Spreading Wrong Information

Publicity seeking consumer advocacy group Choice has again been slammed with Telstra now claiming that the information they are peddling to media organisations about Telstra plans is plain wrong.

The group who waits for a publicity event to occur and then jumps on the after wash, in an effort to get a publicity ride, at the weekend took on Telstra who have been attracting their own fair share of criticism due to their recent network failings.

A so called analysis of 280 plans, conducted by Choice, claims that some Telstra customers were paying a hefty premium for their broadband and mobile service, ranging from six per cent to 92 per cent.

“The Choice analysis is flawed and takes into consideration just a handful of plans we provide and ignores the rest,” A Telstra spokesman said.

This is the same organisation that became obsessed in taking on Samsung after the Company faced a publicity backlash over a problem with their washing machines.

Shortly after the Samsung issue was revealed by the media, Choice jumped on the publicity bandwagon with Chief Choice drum banger Tom Godfrey organising the crushing of a Samsung washing machine in an effort to drum up subscription publicity for Choice who rely on subscriptions to fund their organisation.

The only problem back then was that so called Choice ‘Investigative Journalist’ Jemma Castle appears to have failed to check with the NSW Fire and Rescue Service prior to claiming that a Samsung washing machine had burnt down a NSW home.

When ChannelNews revealed that Castle was wrong Choice failed to admit their mistake to either 4Square Media or Samsung.

In March Choice, claimed that “more than two-thirds of the new cars sold in Australia cause problems for their owners inside five years” because of issue such as car electronic problems.

Choice claims that the three biggest problem brands are Holden, Ford in the mass market and Audi in the luxury car market.

In an effort to qualify this sister publication SmartHouse conducted a survey of two BMW dealers 2 Holden dealers a Ford dealer and a Mazda dealer. What we discovered was that in a lot of cases the Bluetooth complaint was primarily from people who have purchased a new smartphone and don’t know how to pair their new device with their motor vehicle.

A BMW Sydney executive said “It happens all the time especially with older customers. They buy a new car it’s paired with an existing smartphone and then a year or so later they go out and buy a new mobile only to find that they don’t know how to pair it with their motor vehicle”.

Now Choice, is claiming that Telstra customers should be allowed to break their fixed contracts if they have been affected by the outages, given that the telco has failed to justify the high prices it charges for its services.

A lawyer that ChannelNews has spoken to said that the wording of a Telstra contract would make “this hard to do”.

“The largest Telstra price premium CHOICE found was on the ADSL ‘Large Broadband’ plan. At a cost of $2963 over a 24-month contract (including set-up fees), it includes 1000GB of data (plus three annual ‘double data’ months of the customer’s choosing), phone line rental, and pay-as-you-go calls in addition to the price. In comparison, TPG offers a ‘Basic Bundle’, which would cost you $1539.71 over two years (also including set-up fees), with no data limit,” Choice said.

“That’s a mark-up of 92 per cent for the Telstra service.”

“In its analysis Choice misses many of our most comparable plans and fails to consider things customers tell us are most important, such as the breadth, speeds and availability of our network and the extras we include like free and unlimited access to Australia’s largest Wi-Fi network, free AFL and NRL season passes, free home broadband and mobile security, Telstra TV and free Apple Music on many plans.”

The telco said that the selective nature of the Choice’s analysis diminished the validity of its claim.

“To arrive at its headline-friendly claim of a 90 per cent price premium on broadband, Choice ignores both our $75 per month 1,000GB Belong broadband plan and our 1,000GB $99 a month Best Bundle Ever plan in the comparison,” the telco’s spokesman said.

Choice have not said whether former telco journalist Tony Ibrahim who joined the consumer advocacy group from Good Gear Guide was involved in collecting the data that the Choice claims were based on.

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