Look, I like Telstra. With the exception of their 3G network in the Melbourne CBD, their network is overall, unparalleled in Australia for me, and their general service reliability is excellent.
But this is what’s wrong with Telstra, based on my simple requirement this morning of:
- Activating a new mobile phone for a new employee;
- Turning on international roaming for new mobile phone.
Activating the mobile phone was straight forward. International roaming? Here’s how the process went, over the course of an hour:
Me: So what number do I call to activate international roaming?
Them: 125 109
Me: <calls 125 109>
Them: <auto system menu, taking me through options leads eventually to> To activate international roaming, say “yes”
Auto-system: <pause, pause, pause> I’m transferring you now
Them: Welcome to Telstra how can I help?
Me: I want to activate international roaming for a new mobile phone
Them: So international roaming? On a mobile?
Me: Yes <while wondering what else I might have meant by “I want to activate international roaming for a new mobile phone”…>
Them: OK, we have to transfer you to a specialised department for that.
<bad hold muzak>
Them: Are you sure it’s for <phone number>?
Them: Is it for a pre-paid account?
Them: Are you sure?
Them: Can we get the account number?
Me: <account number>
Them: Oh, I can see you are correct, that phone number is new and this is a business account, but we can’t activate international roaming on business phones. I will have to transfer you.
<bad hold muzak>
Them: Welcome to Telstra, how can I help you?
Me: I want to activate international roaming for a mobile phone.
Them: Your name?
Me: Preston de Guise
Them: Phone number?
Me: <phone number>
Me: <provides password>
Them: That’s incorrect
Me: I used it this morning to activate the account
Them: No, it’s incorrect
Me: No, your system is not accurate
Them: Provide bill amount, number, issue date
Them: Oh, the password here has been set to <x>
Me: I didn’t do that
Them: It was set on order creation
Them: OK, so when are you going overseas?
Me: This is for a new employee, I’m just activating services
Them: But when is he going overseas?
Me: Whenever he needs to
Them: But he’s not got an actual date yet to go overseas?
Them: O….K….Now, we can’t activate international roaming because there’s an outstanding bill
Me: The bill is due May 3, and it’s April 23. I don’t see how this is an issue
Them: Let me speak to my supervisor, I don’t think we can do that with an outstanding bill, there are rules you know.
<more bad jazz hold music>
Them: OK, that’s now activated, I just need your email address to send you the charge rates
Me: <gives email address>
Them: <3 minutes composing email>
Them: OK, we’re done. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: No thanks.
Them: OK, can you just stay on the line to answer a few simple questions?
Them: <hangs up call instead of transferring to survey bot>