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 ?



  1. Brian, I shouldn't read your posts before practising my anger management techniques! If Telstra were to wrongly ruin your credit rating, could you sue them for libel? Warwick

  2. You could, but see my remarks re. seeing behemoths like Telstra in court.
    Their lawyer is bigger, uglier and more expensive than anyone you could possibly afford; so is their bank balance.Bettr to get as far away as possible from them and use one of the minnows swimming in the same pond. I use TPG for net access and Vodaphone for mobile and wireless access for the laptop. Just as fast and about half the price.


  3. I'm having similar problems now....
    The short version.... Been a Telstra customer for 17 years, had a mobile transferred over to my daughters name, and apparently the "system" unlinked the mobile off my single bill and reverted to an address that I hadn't lived at for 11 years... Obviously I received a bill as usual, only to find out that 2 1/2 years later I have an unpaid bill for the mobile and now have a default against me.... The only reason we found this was because I applied for a loan....
    Trying to deal with Telstra has been a nightmare... Each time I called, I was told not to worry because I did not have any outstanding bill, on and on it went, then I got put on to someone who wouldn't help me because the mobile was no longer in my name!!! Ahhhh round and round in circles!!! The people from Baycorp are no help, they just say to pay the bill, and they will take me off the bad debtors list, only to then find out that they don't do that at all... They just inform that the debt has been paid.... All this for $90!!

    No one can tell me why "the system" reverted to an old address from 11 years ago and of course Telstra say they are "very sorry" for this happening to me.... After all this I think Optus is looking very attractive!

    I've been assured, that it's finally all sorted out, and a request has been sent to have it taken off my credit rating, but as usual it's not going to happen over night, it'll take about 14 days, and of course Telstra couldn't send me anything so I can let the bank know that it's all just a misunderstanding.... Oh the joys of dealing with idiots!!

  4. My only connection to Telstra now is pre-paid for the cell phone and laptop modem. They can't bill me for what I havent got...I hope !