This Is An Internode-Only Home. Bye Bye Telstra.

Posted on September 7, 2009

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Hello everybody. I hope you have all been well.

At precisely 1PM today I received a text message from Internode. The message indicated my Internode Nodeline phone service is ready for use, and to call them should I require any support.

The text message plastered a massive smile on my face. A face that was already struggling with the strain of smiling too much since I got my Ps earlier in the morning. Two wonderful news in one day, surely it cannot get any better!

Kicking Telstra's ass, one satisfied customer at a time.

Kicking Telstra's ass, one satisfied customer at a time.

I smiled because my broadband and telephone services are finally with a company that genuinely cares about her customers. Besides having a healthy and active relationship with people like me, Internode is also constantly evolving and progressing, aggressively introducing new plans to suit Australia’s ever-growing broadband and telephone needs to the mainly 18-40 technologically-minded clientele. Openly distasteful for all things Telstra, Internode is the de rigeur broadband choice for geeks and computer purists alike. Unless you’re with iiNet. But that’s another story altogether.

I also smiled because this meant the end of a disastrous relationship with Telstra going back since 2004, when our account was set up. As I was new to Australia back then, I didn’t know of the competitive ISP landscape. Coming from a country where only three ISPs dominate the landscape, imagine my astonishment when I realized there are over 200 ISPs registered in Australia.

Mind boggling, really.

Now apart from the final landline bill that I’m expecting from Telstra, I know I will never have to deal with the most incompetent company ever to grace Australia homes. I can live with them continuing to swindle customers out of overpriced plans or making a profit out of unknowing Mums and Dads who stick with Telstra because they know of nothing else, but Telstra cannot expect me to stay with them when they take months to perform simple duties.

Why I left Telstra – The Name Saga
Our landline and broadband account of five years was previously registered under my sister-in-law, who lived with us while studying here as a student. In September last year, I ‘attempted’ to change ownership of the landline into my name. By the time it got to January this year, I was still receiving Telstra bills addressed to her.

When we finally sorted the name bit, the Telstra landline bill came addressed to my Asian name and the broadband bill to my English Christian name. Apparently, two accounts were set up just to change the name!

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I’m not a heavy broadband user and to be honest, can’t fault Telstra Bigpond’s broadband service. It’s fast and fairly reliable, but it’s far too expensive for what it’s worth. And uploads are counted, which frankly is another money-making scam. However I never bothered to leave Telstra Bigpond as I was satisfied with what I got as a customer. The Name Saga put me off greatly, so I churned to Internode. It had been on my mind to join Internode for awhile, and it wasn’t a difficult decision. I never wanted to deal with Telstra Bigpond again.

Why I left Telstra – The Name Saga Part Two
Part Two of The Name Saga was more of an accident that happened unwittingly. I was still with Telstra because the Homeline Budget plan is the cheapest landline rate in the country. No other company even comes close to offering a similar deal.

Our lovely friend Kayleen, who was house-watching for us when we went on our honeymoon, paid for a Telstra Bigpond and landline bill. The Bigpond bill was $102.69, so essentially it’s money that Kayleen ‘gave’ to Telstra because I was no longer with them.

When we returned, I quickly informed Telstra that I had left Bigpond in January so I would like the money paid to be given back as credit for future bills.

For some strange reason, I began receiving bills in my letterbox indicating a credit of X dollars each month. It didn’t mean jack because further Telstra landline bills were invoiced in full, not deducted from the credit. I called Telstra to ask about the credit. To my amazement Telstra said there was no indication on their system that there was a credit to my name. I got really mad and gave them the account number that the credit of X dollars appears under.

Telstra then tells me that account was under another name – my English Christian name! Unbelievable! They were billing me under my Asian name, but giving out credits to my English Christian name. The English Christian name account isn’t even suppose to exist!

My patience with Telstra had wore thin, and I told the customer service rep I wanted the money – my money – back. I asked if they would send out a cheque in my name, and the rep complied.

By this time, it was June and I was thinking about leaving Telstra eternally just to save my the hassle and emotional damage. I waited two weeks and the cheque finally arrived. I opened the letter only to find the cheque had been written out to the right address, but my name was spelt wrongly! And it didn’t even have my last name either!

Now I understand Asian names can be confusing to most Australians of non-Asian background. A typo here or there, or misplacing of the last name does happen. The name on the cheque had three errors on it.

This time, I got Michele to call Telstra up. I was at my wit’s end and couldn’t deal with them again for fear of my sanity. She got off the phone and was told another cheque would be sent out, this time in the right name.

Not once, but twice!
Another two weeks went by and the cheque finally arrived. I opened the letter eagerly, only to find my name spelt wrongly again!!!! How incompetent can one massive organization be? Would they do this to important people that matters to them? Absolutely no. But with customers – apparently less important as they don’t pay millions of dollars each – they can be strung out and hung for all and sundry.

Again, I got Michele to call them. This time she was on to what I’ve been going through and gave the unfortunate rep an earful. I told myself never having to deal with Telstra again for the rest of my life. And this meant churning my Telstra landline to another. As much as they are the cheapest in the country, the money saved simply isn’t worth it.

Telstra – never again
We waited another two weeks and I came home one day to find a Telstra letter in the letter box. This time, I opened the letter together with Michele and to our relief, the cheque was written out to my name. Spelt. In. Order. And. With. No. Mistakes.

First thing I did was swing by the nearest bank and deposited cheque. The money went in after three working days last Wednesday. On the same day too, I made an online application to churn to brand new Internode’s Nodeline service. Nodeline is about $8 dearer each month, but it’s worth it.

Now, as I sit in the comfort of my home knowing Telstra will never dick me over royally again, I wait in anticipation of Internode’s bundled Broadband and Landline plan. Not a matter of if, but when.

Until then, I wish you Telstra users all the best.

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Posted in: Life At Home