Just Don’t Move: Pt 3
I often talk about empowered customers and how we all have so much choice, flexibility and options these days. It isn’t until you move and you deal with utility companies however that you realise how screwed in certain departments you are.
Here is my third and final part of the series entitled “Just Don’t Move”
We’re rolling out a National Broadband Network…Unless you live in Waverley-
iiNet is my provider and have been so since 2009. I love the Naked ADSL, have had minimal downtime and I really do like the policies they have like calling you back instead of making you wait on hold, the price point and the young hip vibe. I am a sucker for a good marketing campaign, what can I say?
I knew that connecting the Naked DSL would take time, so I started the process from lease signing day. It isn’t the length of time it took as much as the monumental billing screw ups that have occurred along the way that have really been a pain.
That and Telstra sticking their bib in like a needy Darth Vader.
“I used to be supreme telecommunications Overlord- you must dance for me else risk time on the internet Death Star! Mooooohahahaha.”
Anyway, I couldn’t be too mad at Telstra. My portable Wi-Fi modem is with Telstra. I use them in regional Australia when on holidays mainly as a pre-paid service. It works. I still get my social media crack and emails.
Having them as a back-up whilst moving seemed a logical choice… or so I thought.
The modem (except for the first night of needing internet where it died from overheating) has been serviceable- slow at times, prone to disconnecting and dropping one computer in favour of another on a daily basis, but it does the job- but what has really killed us is the cost.
We have spent over $350 on recharges since mid March. And that’s with a complete ban on downloading music, films, using any kind of streaming device, telling clients not to send large files and the whole nine yards. Crazy, huh?
I keep checking my laptop history in case the Labrador has found some weird dog porn site or has been watching cat themed youTubes. He denies it, but I am a little sceptical considering that’s the most I have ever paid for internet ever! It would have been cheaper to go to internet cafes!
Anyway back to iiNet… I notified them of the move, changed the billing details, and disconnected old service.
They insisted on a new contract for my service. So I went through the 20 minutes on the phone to sort that out.
End of story? Nope. Not by a long shot.
First of all, iiNet invoice me based on my previous billing cycle as opposed to closing off my service and charging me usage on the old contract like they said they would. I notified them of the mistake and they cancel the invoice. No charges are made.
Secondly, iiNet couldn’t see a phone line connected to our new place. We couldn’t confirm a number through our real estate. Telstra are not sharing any info. The two play the blame game as I navigate both customer service operations.
Just connect the blinking line! I end up saying.
Telstra has to create a line, send a technician and bill us $299 for the privilege. They will send the next available person, and someone will need to be at home from 8am through to 1pm.
It will take until the 28th of March for Telstra to send a technician to check the line.
Apparently that’s a lot quicker than usual. Most other appointments were in April I was told.
I confirm all is booked with iiNet for the technician and going ahead.
Then I get a call from the Telstra IVR to confirm the appointment and it hangs up on me.
I furiously scramble to find the appropriate number and spend 30 minutes on hold and pleading with Telstra that I am not a crazy person, that their IVR did indeed call me and whilst they have no record of me, it was them that called. They for their part, think I am stark raving bonkers and send me to iiNet.
I call iiNet. They take ten minutes to confirm it is booked and Telstra shouldn’t be calling me. I think they think I have been hitting the wow-eee sauce too. I also let them know they have sent me yet another invoice for a service that isn’t connected. They cancel it. Oopsie!
Am I losing my marbles? Nope- the IVR calls again less than an hour after I speak to iiNet and this time it doesn’t hang up and I can confirm the booking! Phew- lucky I did because it states during the process if I hadn’t, they may not have honoured the booking due to a lack of information. Ten minutes answering IVR questions.
Bit of feedback though Telstra:
You are dealing with home consumers. I struggled trying to work out what the answers were to the questions regarding service needed, issue I was facing, reason for the booking. Dumb it down- we don’t know about provision of things from networks or what is actually causing the problem beyond “You said I need this for my interwebs to work, so that’s what I is asking for”.
Technician arrives on 28th. He is here 5 minutes and locates it, calls up his guys and gets the cost reduced to $125.
iiNet are not alerted until I call them, and then they start their process- send the modem, cut it over. They tell us it will be 10th April before they are complete with their work, and potentially a few days more after that.
On the 5th of April, iiNet email arrives- this time notifying me of successful deduction of last month’s charges. I email them asking why they are charging me for a service they have not even connected yet. They call me- I get a refund.
The 10th of April rolls around and we get internet- hurrah for iiNet we cry! The girl on the phone who talks us through setting up the modem and the phone is lovely. All things are working as they should.
On the 11th of April, I receive a bill for the full $299 line connection fee plus monthly charge.
At the present time, I have emailed them back querying why they are not passing on the charge of $125 instead of $299 as told by the Telstra guy and have not received an answer.
Advice to Businesses:
• Make sure your departments speak to each other- having to correct a business time and time again because their accounts team seems to be removed from their service team makes for a poor user experience. You simply come off looking like amateurs. Make departmental communication a strength, not a weakness.
• Charge reasonably- if your price point is a little higher than the competition, as long as your service matches it, you’ll be OK. But if your service doesn’t match the premium price point (i.e. Telstra prepaid Wi-Fi), you miss out on a chance to convert a competitor’s customer or maintain your own.
• Don’t blame your competitors- it looks more desperate and sour grapes than anything else and won’t win you fans in the long run.
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