Monday, June 23, 2008

The Telstra Story: Part 9

OK, so I receive a letter from Telstra (dated 7/4/08) from Jai. You remember Jai? She was the lovely lady at Telstra who helped me out last time and made the "goodwill gesture" on Telstra's behalf.

Now, by this stage I have already gone to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) and detailed my complaint. They not only wanted details about the current problem (the $1,800 charge) but also the historical problems. So I gave them copies of all the correspondence.

The lovely Jai in the meantime has sent me a letter informing me that they've received the letter I sent them dated 25/2, but that as per their correspondence dated 4/9/07, the matter is closed.

For those not keeping up:

Unable to distinguish between a historical problem and a new one, the newly minted High Priestess of Muppeteering has decided simply that as they've "dealt' with one matter, they've dealt with them all (that'd be nice!). Now had she bothered to actually, I don't know, umm, frikkin' read the new documentation I'd sent her, she would have instantly realized that this is a completely new issue. No such luck.

So as action had already been taken with the TIO, I didn't respond to this letter. It did say however, that if I was unhappy I could got to the TIO or the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner and (although it didn't specifically state as much, I'm sure it was meant) I could go and penetrate my ass with a rather large, blunt object.

As appealing as that last option is, I've already taken the TIO option, but thanks.


Tracking back a little now, I've sent all the info to the TIO, they've logged the complaint, written up a letter detailing my complaint (which is approved by me for accuracy) to be sent to Telstra and we await their response. They've got four weeks to respond or the TIO escalates the issue. The letter is very impartial and states that a claim has been made to the TIO and they've heard one side of the story. They want to hear Telstra's side before forming a view.

As it does, time passes and Telstra sleeps. The TIO contacts me again several weeks later to ask if I've heard from Telstra. "Not a thing," I respond. So, the TIO escalate the issue.

This time the same letter goes out with some additions. Not only does the TIO now want answers to Telstra's conduct regarding the historical issues I had (which were "resolved") they also now ask for answers to very specific questions about the case, as opposed to a general response. Telstra have to (among other things):

1) Detail why they recommended a change of plan (twice) that resulted in bills going up. Provide full system notes and voice recordings.
2) Provide all records of customer complaints and responses regarding billing disputes since late 2006.
3) Provide copies of all responses to written complaints from the customer.
4) Provide an explanation as to why late fees were applied to bills that were in dispute.

They also ask Telstra to confirm that they have complied with the ACIF Code and to supply the information confirming same. They also note that as part of the investigation now, regardless of the outcome with the customer, the TIO requires confirmation that the Code has been complied with.

They give Telstra another four week to reply. Stick around, we'll see what happens...

No comments: