Thursday, 31 December 2009


It started early in December 2009 after I left Cairns for New Zealand to buy a yacht to sail back to Australia.I had been gone from my locked apartment only a few days when Telstra, unprompted by me or anyone else of my aquaintance, cancelled computer access on my home phone line to my internet provider, TPG. Australia and churned me onto their BigPond system from which I had escaped in April 2009 after an acrimonius dispute over inflated charges in their byzantine accounting system.

I was blissfully unaware that this had happened while I accessed the internet from my laptop in hotels and motels all over New Zealand, sending and receiving email, using online banking, posting on Facebook, making international phone calls on Skype etc.The truth only emerged when I returned to Australia on Christmas Eve, December 24th and tried to boot up the computer in my home office. A call to the TPG help desk eventually established that access to TPG had been cancelled on this telephone line on December 6 after a request for a churn to Bigpond, allegedly from my phone in the locked and empty apartment.

It was now Christmas Day, not a good time to try to talk to Telstra or anyone else, but I tried...and tried... until I finally got a response from a call centre in The Phillipines where all calls to Telstra were being directed. Miguel in Manila was difficult to convince that my problem existed, claiming that I had requested a transfer to BigPond, this had been done, and what was the problem?. I finally persuaded Miguel that my plight was genuine, but he could only advise me to call Telstra Australia after it re-opened for business in three days' time after the Xmas holiday break.

By then, I had established a routine at an internet cafe close to home and used my laptop there to access email, but this was an unsecured public site and other activities including internet banking are unwise and cannot be used.
It is now New Year's Eve, December 31. nothing has changed. I have just spent the by now standard 90 minutes pressing buttons, listening to assurances about the importance of my call, etc, to be told that Telstra's last promise of action by 5 PM delivered yesterday should have read byJanuary 5. 2010 . SIX DAYS FROM NOW I am about to try to reach someone a little higher on the totem pole. Watch this space as my sojourn in the Telstra Hall of Doom continues