Telstra far from thriving with outdated policies

For a company whose core business these days is about Internet services, Telstra remains frustratingly locked in the past.

The background to this rant is that our household has been without Internet for much of the last week and will remain so until at least Thursday which is the earliest a technician can be made available.

Anyway, I’ve had multiple incredibly frustrating calls with Telstra who has a customer relationship management system seemingly designed to be annoying. Their system can, for example, catch the fact that I’ve called before, but when you talk to someone they have no idea of what has been said. And every single person is locked in by a set of restrictive and out-dated operating rules.

Which takes us to the core of this rant. Telstra has a policy that if you lose Internet for more than a coupe of days they will give you an additional data package on a phone. In principle that sounds OK until you realise that (a) it can only be one one phone and (b) it can be no more than 10Gb.

Now I have a household which chews through about 750Gb of data a month. We have over 20 devices regularly connected to the Internet – from our phones to television to security cameras. That’s why I pay Telstra a premium amount for a high-speed service with a huge monthly download.

10Gb is less than 1 day’s use. But more importantly by applying it to only one phone it means the minute I leave the house nothing and no one else has Internet.

Now the quantum may make us a bit exceptional, but the fact that households have multiple people and devices connected is in no way unusual in 2017. And Telstra should be recognising that.

However Telstra does not recognise that. They cannot understand why someone would need access on more than one phone – or the individuals who do understand cannot do anything about it.

Telstra’s response is that they do not guarantee uninterrupted service and so it is not reasonable to equate the normal service with the gift of a data-pack on the phone.

My response is that it’s entirely reasonable to expect that when service goes down and Telstra hasn’t the resources to get round to even beginning to look at it for a week, they should provide an alternative that comes close to providing a similar level of service when one is easily available. That might smack of reasonable customer service.

All Telstra would have to do is provide me with a SIM I could stick in my existing wireless router and allow me to share my existing household monthly download with it. I wouldn’t have the same speed I normally get but I’d still have an Internet-functioning household and it would cost Telstra very little.

Until Telstra realises that the Internet it is selling is no longer an optional, nice-to-have extra to selling phones its share price is going to continue to tumble, especially now it can’t even begin to fix problems on the wires it once owned.

The services that recognise that the Internet is, or will be, core to every household are the ones that are going to thrive in the future. Far from thriving, Telstra with its combination of out-dated policies and poor service is withering on the vine as it drives customers away.

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