Telstra Slammed, CEO’s Blubbering Exposed
Telstra is again in the cross airs of customers, this time it’s not because of their poor 5G coverage but their old Achilles heel service which many of their premium customers claims is “shocking, one customer writing in the Australian Financial Review described her experience as being like a “Fawlty Towers level of hell”.
Her experience with Telstra details what we have telling readers about for years to the extent that Telstra now refuses to respond to our emails.
The carrier who is struggling to grow their market share saw their CEO Andy Penn singled out by AFR writer Ros Holcombe, Penn who recently claimed that his key takeaway from 2020 was that he was determined to ask people how they are – and ‘‘really listen to the answer’’.
A city resident who moved out of the big metropolis for a break, she outlined her experience in one of Australia’s leading financial publications. Ironically, the story appeared alongside another story headlined.
‘How Telstra’s iPhone 11 launch went wrong’.
Holcombe claimed ‘I thought joining Telstra for the superior mobile network coverage would be a wise move’
On signing up at the local Telstra store she got a real taste of what millions of consumers have to face when they try dealing with the big carrier.
Telstra store experience.
Staffer 1: ‘‘It doesn’t take long. About half an hour today.’’
Staffer 2 (after the number didn’t move over that night): ‘‘It can take up to 24 hours.’’
Staffer 3 (three days later): ‘‘There’s been a technical glitch. I’ve been on the phone to back end for 45 minutes to escalate the matter’’ . . . ‘‘it might take up to Christmas Day’’ . . . ‘‘no, we don’t tell customers it can take weeks because that might scare them off’’ . . . ‘‘you should be grateful I’m trying to help you’’ . . . ‘‘I wouldn’t work for Telstra if it wasn’t the leading telco in Australia.’’
Staffer 4 (three days later): ‘‘It’s out of our hands now. Once it’s gone to back end, we can’t do anything. But here’s the phone number for the complaints department.’’
The complaints hotline gave me the standard: ‘‘We are experiencing an unusually high volume of calls. Please hold the line. Alternatively, you can consult the website or the text line’’.
Fresh level of hell
As if talking to human beings hadn’t been sufficiently unfruitful, the text helpline is an all-new Fawlty Towers level of hell that I tackle only because it’s now a rainy public holiday and I can’t annoy staffers in a shop – even if they could help me. There, customers are asked to outline their problem, and provide full name, date of birth, contact numbers, etc, which I do.
I receive an answer, presumably from a bot: ‘‘Your enquiry has been sent to our team and they’ll message you back shortly. So, they’ve got your details, let us know your full name, date of birth, and phone number.’’
Pointing out you’ve already provided these details is futile – the bot will tell you ‘‘your information has been masked by the system for security purposes. This happens when a conversation is inactive for quite a while’’.
Why has the conversation become inactive? Apparently, only two customers are catered [sic] at a time and it’s not a live chat line anyway so messages become inactive and the few operators can’t see the previous conversation, so you are expected to detail the matter over and over again.
Out of frustration, I decide to tell the bot to ‘‘f— off’’ just to see what response that elicits. ‘‘Allow me to just read the whole conversation to better understand the situation. Thank you.’’ Then hours later: ‘‘Hello, I can certainly help you, let me look into this and revert back with proper update.’’ Still waiting for the revert back a week later.
When different Telstra store to attempt a resolution by talking to a human being.
Staffer 5: ‘‘It says here the case has been closed.’’
Me: ‘‘How can it be closed when it hasn’t been resolved and the number still hasn’t moved over?’’
Staffer 5: ‘‘Good question. Would you like me to reopen it?’’
Me: ‘‘Hmm, yes, that would be good.’’
One week later I’m still waiting for my number to move over.
om my old provider.
Luckily, I’m not one of the small business owners who’ve lost custom because of telecom faults.
Mr Penn, it can’t be nice for your staff to be confronted with irate, frustrated customers.
I also read in the Financial Review you said: ‘‘Concern for wellbeing in the workplace was important before the pandemic but it became really crucial as people across the business grappled with anxiety, grief, disruption and burnout.’