Tuesday, 9 March 2010


It is now almost three months since I thought I had won my freedom from The Hall of Doom, to which I had been consigned while out of the country. (See previous posts for the gruesome details.)

The last contact with Betty from Bangalore was in early January when, with the timely intervention of the Telecommunications Ombudsman, Telstra finally released me from captivity and allowed me to return to TPG as my preferred ISP from whom "they" had illegally churned me during my absence from Australia. I reluctantly agreed to hand over a ransom of AUD$99 to Telstra Australia for a return to TPG and was back with them after a further tedious delay.

I breathed sigh of relief; the TPG connection, ( faster and half the price ), worked well, and I had no further problems. I still have a phone connection to the Telstra Monster and was expecting the usual six page incomprehensible account, but nothing arrived. I assumed that the order from the Ombudsman for Telstra to refund the ransom of $99 plus another $100 for my time and trouble had left me in credit, and that this was being offset against my telephone bill, hence no charge...silly me !

Today, a threatening call from Betty in Bangalore arrived through my cell phone.
"This is a first and final call to give you an opportunity to pay the overdue $500+ on your Telstra Account before you are posted as a defaulting debtor with the adverse credit rating which will follow "

After a pause to collect my thoughts, and with memories of previous encounters with Telstra call centres, I called the the secret Australian number, ( 1800 814212 ), which deals with angry Telstra customers and was immediately connected to a concerned and quietly sympathetic young lady who was not at all surprised at what had happened.

I quoted the file number which we Telstra victims are given, she examined it, heard my complaint, put me on hold for a few minutes, then assured me...again... that it was all a dreadful mistake. 'Someone" had not only not refunded the disputed amount, but had compounded the problem by imposing an ' Early Cancellation Fee' of almost $400 for my temerity in closing the unwanted and illegal Big Pond ISP connection...Very sorry...dont worry...it's cancelled...you don't owe us anything...sorry...sorry...sorry.

What can one do?. Ignoring these shenanigans will result in a destroyed credit rating.

Carrier pigeons, perhaps ? ... A bit slow, but a lot less stressful.

Why me, Lord ?..What have I done to deserve this ?