Thursday, 14 January 2010


I received a call from the elusive Telstra Customer Referral Centre, the one that sits up and pays attention once an angry customer gets past their working call centre. This included a promise to refund the ransom money paid to Telstra before it would permit my return to the Internet Service Provider from which it had illegally churned me. Let's see how long it takes for the money to appear. The current number of the TCRC, which changes once it becomes known to too many trouble-makers like me is, 132200.

A useful ploy, guaranteed to get instant attention from any call centre, is to utter the same phrase used by their own operators as an intimidatory opening remark. "This call is being recorded for operational purposes." Many phones now have a recording function and you will be believed whether you actually record the conversation or not.

When the call centre first answers, say nothing and do not press buttons or respond in any way. This will cut many minutes off the time you are about to spend replying to the same questions you answered in previous calls, and you will soon be flick-passed to a live human voice. You can save still more time by asking the voice to read the notes on your file which will have been posted by those you spoke to last time and the time before that. This doesn't always work and the voice will just go on asking the same questions and ticking boxes on the prompt screen, but it's worth trying.

Do not threaten legal action or mention your intimate friendship with a famous TV news personality. They have bigger and uglier lawyers than anyone you can afford : and bad publicity rarely damages the bottom line. The message you should try to get across is that you are potential Trouble with a capital T and you won't go away until they listen to you and fix your problem.

Good Luck. You can beat the system if you just keep coming back until the call centre gives up and actually does something.

Friday, 8 January 2010


Freedom at last. Internet access has been restored and I am again able to use my preferred Internet Service Provider, TPG Australia.

The battle was finally won after putting the frighteners on Telstra with the Telecommunications Ombudsman. Daily confrontations since December 24th with a series of disembodied voices in Telstra call centres and repeated assurances that the illegal churn, initiated by BigPond while I was in New Zealand and a long way from my locked and unoccupied office would be reversed are now at an end.....until next time ?

If it happens to you, don't waste time calling Telstra or BigPond. The Ombudsman can be reached on 1800 665376.


Saturday, 2 January 2010


The stand-off with Telstra continues into the New Year. Access to TPG, my preferred Internet Service Provider, is still impossible despite daily assurances from BigPond; (surely a misnomer, they must mean BigBrother), that the illegal churn would be reversed.

For this to happen, Telstra wants a ransom payment of $99. Otherwise no deal.

The phone line has finally been released and TPG is in the process of re-connecting me online. Best estimate is some time next week, probably about 5 days from now. If it happens, the hijack will have lasted over a month and my lawyers will no doubt take this into consideration when we go after the people responsible for this near-criminal activity in what was once a respected Australian Icon.

I am typing this at home before going to my online contact with the outside world at the Internet Cafe.

Happy New Year everyone. Make sure it stays that way by hanging up immediately if Telstra calls you.