Change The Music Telstra

Telstra or someone in that company should read Congreve and take note with some expedition.

“Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak”

My breast is tougher than either rock or oak when it comes to Telstra but the music Telstra has been playing to me for the best part of an hour toughened it even further. Telstra must learn that their music should be either grand opera, to demonstrate the enormity both of the customer problem and the efforts of the service people, or soothing quiet music to send the bored listener into a sombulent state. A bobby cacophony that sounded just like telephone static simply does not cut the mustard.

I will add here that the lovely young lady who was politely trying to rescue her company from yet another disaster was a breath of fresh air, but she was abruptly cut off by an automated survey wanting me to rate my experiences!

I had thought I was done with Telstra after an adult lifetime of problems with them. These ranged from a cut electricity connection in the 1970s, then later “inside” and “outside” servicemen being involved over a long period in the 1980s each trying to shelve all blame for a non service to the other until my husband took a day off work and insisted they attend the premises together. Internet connections later proved a new difficulty. Telsta’s partnership with Foxtel does not seem to have improved Foxtel’s service either. The final straw for me was a deliberate deception by a telephone salesman regarding a mobile plan. I decided to obtain all my services from another provider and have been quite contented in the years since that decision.

But now, as I help out a very elderly sister-in-law who has reached the stage where she is very isolated in her home and depends on her telephone I find myself dealing with them again. A fault on her land line had been reported over a week ago.

This morning I have been on the telephone to Telstra for the best part of an hour, sometime talking to the very pleasant service operator but mostly listening to the unpleasantly evocative music as one handset of mine began to run out of battery power and I had to swop to another. I explained that her land line has been unavailable to my sister-in-law for more than a week, intermittently was crackly and hard to hear prior to that, that the diversion they had put in to her mobile was impossible for her to use to phone out because of her advancing years and lack of familiarily with mobile use (and anyway it had now inexplicably been cut off for those of us who were trying to ring in).

I will say that obviously, since last time I have spoken to them the standard of the complaints staff has risen, if the young woman is an example, but all else remains as bad as ever.

Please CHANGE THE MUSIC TELSTRA!

ADDENDUM 20th March 2013

Alvin and the Chipmunks playing Round and Round the Mulberry Bush was chosen as the theme for a while, as per the comment on the earlier post, but I preferred the Ring Cycle as events unfolded further.

And two weeks into Telsra’s Ring Cycle and we are not even yet at Bayreuth.

After the most recent round of polite but slightly warm calls to Telstra from both myself and my niece today, I was asked to express my satisfaction with their service as a number between 0 and 10. I gave a zero. When asked my reasons I only had time to say that the technicians were excellent before the survey was abruptly over. I would, in fact, have given the technicians a 10. And I might also have given a 10 for the politeness of the telephone operators. This means I gave -20 to everything else and this, I consider, is generous.

The main problem as I see it is a thorough lack of internal communication, or should I rephrase it to the more accurate “excess miscommunication”, AND THEY ARE A COMMUNICATION COMPANY for goodness sake.

Every estimate of times or explanations as to what to do, what will happen and why, given politely, directly and explicitly by any one of the three technicians I have spoken to has been accurate and understanding. All others have been what is known in high level communication parlance as “a dog’s breakfast”.

Every one of the multiple messages I have got has been inaccurate, even the one when they rang to change a time by half an hour! For goodness sake (and I have made it clear) I am not that fussy about how early I have to go up to my sister in law’s house to help or how long I have to wait. I understand that jobs cannot be predicted with complete accuracy prior to someone being in situ.

This morning the interim modem line that had been put in place urgently (from Sydney) late one evening and which had given a couple of days of faultless communication was removed without any warning to me and (I think) her. I had previously been told the fault in her line would not be fixed until Friday 22nd as the required abbey would not be available until then. I was also told we we should, after that date, return the phone, modem and its aerial by Australia Post and we were given all the material to do that. Telstra this morning were obviously still operating on the penultimate date I had been given for repair of the line.  My sister in law did not demur and did not remember I had told her Friday was the date set for the major line repair. She believes everything told to her officially, such as that the line had been repaired, and she is entitled to be able to do this. We younger people might have been more suspicious at the lack of prior road closure and the much vaunted abbey’s absence but nobody should have to second guess Telstra!

Now the phone has been diverted to her mobile, a ruse that did not work when tried two weeks ago. It is working right now. Perhaps it will be assisted by the fact that, after hearing about them from one of the very helpful technicians, we went to a Telstra shop and she bought, for $100, a mobile phone for use by the elderly. As long as it remains charged and located this might work.

I am agog in anticipation of the final chorus which I am told will be early Friday morning. I will be in the audience, as I await with bated breath the vision of this operatic spectacular, starring the top billing abbey. But I do hope the technician in it remains only a metaphorical conductor. 

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About Anne Powles

I am retired from paid employment. During my working life I have been variously and sometimes contemporaneously, wife, mother of four, lawyer, teacher and psychologist. I have also been a serial education junkie. As are we all, I have been an observer of the world around me. Here I have recorded some of my memories, observations and theorisings.
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2 Responses to Change The Music Telstra

  1. Maybe it should play continuously ‘Round and Round the Mulberry Bush’ sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks in between the times the young lady is trying to be helpful!

    • Anne Powles says:

      Good idea! I must now report the positives and these, perhaps, could have been set in train by the helpful, though interrupted, young woman. But about 2 hours after my post things started to happen, really fast. Telstra set up a modem and a temporary wireless connection for her. I had 4 separate phone calls from them including one to change the time of delivery by HALF AN HOUR! Praise when praise is due but the same thing happened when I mentioned the SMH in a post (this time positively). They sent me a new app and a message about their interactive crossword app! Perhaps the power of social media? Perhaps a happy co-incidence.

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