Bruce Kerr wonders why so many of us have internet issues with Australia's largest telco.
Bruce Kerr wonders why so many of us have internet issues with Australia's largest telco. DEAN LEWINS

Keeping internet connection in check

CONTINUING on from last week, when we saw a major Rockhampton supermarket having Telstra ADSL problems that stopped its EFTPOS machines working and lost it thousands of dollars of trade.

We had gone on site and also called Telstra numerous times on their behalf. We even had a Telstra case number, which proved useless for many of the calls.

Constant ADSL outages had already been occurring for four days when last Tuesday it stopped working completely. We went on site again to find that there were no longer any ADSL codes on the line but instead we could detect the new NBN codes. It turns out that the supermarket had applied for NBN through Telstra and that the changeover had been scheduled for late July/early August.

What had now happened was that somehow a Telstra work order had been generated from the Telstra back of house scheduling system that had sent a linesman out on site to do the changeover to NBN two months early. The rest of the NBN link had not yet been done - so this new connection didn't stand a snowflake's chance of working any time soon.

Back on the phone to Telstra support, after making a large coffee and spending more of my life that I will never get back, I was finally able to convince a level 2 person that things had gone askew. So the best they could do was to set a date for a Telstra tech to return things back to ADSL in about five days. However they told me this was a normal process and to call back in a few hours once the work order was generated to try to get it escalated.

This is not the first time I have heard that you need one phone call to log a fault and then a follow-up one to escalate it - logic? The second call saw the appointment rescheduled for the same day. By this stage, however, management of the supermarket had lost all faith in Telstra.

When the supermarket gave us the OK to supply a 4G industrial wireless broadband router, we had them securely connected around an hour later. We are going to leave our wireless broadband router in place until sometime in August when we can verify that the changeover to NBN is complete and stable.

So why do so many of us have internet/telephone/ billing issues with Australia's largest telco?

Am I wrong in saying that the number and severity of these problems has literally become infamous? Telstra does receive taxpayer funding for some of its services and it is bound by a Customer Guarantee of Service (CSG) for landline phones - but I could not find a similar guarantee for internet service.

What I am furious about is Telstra's axing of thousands of Australian jobs over the past few years in favour of offshore call centres. There are now about 10,000 offshore workers employed by Telstra principally in call centres and principally in the Philippines.

Did they need to do this to save money? Telstra made a $4.4 billion PROFIT in the 2016 financial year so you work that one out.

So now we get Telstra invoices for our services that you need to study often or for hours to work out. If you do think you have been overcharged then most likely you won't go through the grief offered by their offshore call centres to recoup your money.

If you do have a phone or internet fault then you shudder at the task ahead of contacting them.

It gets to the point that if you successfully get a fault fixed or a service changed then you need to buy a lotto ticket to celebrate.

And for the kicker. If you get a call from an offshore individual claiming to work for Telstra then you are automatically half inclined to believe it! More on this topic next week. Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to bytemearticles@gmail.com.

BRUCE KERR

Drop in to see Bruce at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave St, or phone 4922 2400.