Hard sell by DoDo phone/internet providers

This is a cautionary tale so that others might not make the mistakes I made. A month ago I was contacted by Dodo and offered a substantially lower rate for the phone/NBN bundle I had with Telstra. The salesperson went in hard; said I didn’t have to worry, they would take care of all the necessary procedures to start me with Dodo, I would have all the same services, only cheaper. I said I wanted to ask someone more computer literate than I and was told the offer was for that day only. I know, warning bells should have gone off and I should have hung up, but I didn’t. I told her I wasn’t sure what the deal with Telstra was and if I was still under obligation to them. This was kind of brushed aside, as was my query later about a cooling-off period. I was really given the hard sell and hadn’t realised that somewhere during the conversation I had committed to going with Dodo. When I wanted to call a halt to proceedings I was told that the modem had already been dispatched. I just received a $450 bill from Telstra as an early exit fee. All my own stupidity, caveat emptor and all that, but I believe these sales people are instructed not to let the person get off the line, they are constantly reassuring, “nothing to worry about, we will take care of all of that” they don’t give you a chance to think. I also believe that we (or I at any rate) don’t want to be rude to them. They bombard you with such a volume of information and don’t allow you to collect your thoughts.


It’s interesting to note that Dodo are still up to their old tricks.
They did this to my wife years ago. I know that company has been taken over and I thought they may have become more ethical.
When this happened to us we made enquiries through the Ombudsman but could do nothing.
It seems Telco’s don’t have the same rules as normal businesses.
You can commit during a phone conversation without knowing you have, and no cooling off period it seems.
This is wrong.
I sympathise with you.


@ilona.roberts I’ve been there before . You must phone Telstra asap and explain exactly what happened with DoDo . In my case they waved the exit fee etc and I just payed the normal monthly bill . I was hit with $750 , it was reduced to $180 , my normal monthly bill by Telstra . I hope all goes well for you . In future with DoDo just hang up .


Thank you to the people who responded to my communication. I will be getting in touch with Telstra re the exit fee and the Ombudsman about the tactics used by Dodo. I forgot to mention also that for two days following my conversation with the Dodo hard-sell person, I tried to contact their office to cancel, only to get a message that I should call within business hours, when in fact that was what I was doing. I tried a couple of their “press 1 for… 2 for…” options with the same result until it occurred to me that their billing section wouldn’t be closed; it wasn’t. What I found shocking was the speed with which the first month’s subscription was taken from my bank account, the insinuation that I was now committed, the avoiding to tell me what the cooling off period is, the high speed rattling off of the conditions of the policy, which arrived in my inbox 2 days later. The whole thing was overwhelming and has caused me considerable distress. I don’t usually get caught out by these things, but I surely was that time.


Ilona are you now a DoDo customer or still with Telstra ? You have a very strong case here re cooling off period . The problem is if you are with DoDo now you may be hit with another exit fee from them . You really need to talk to Telstra and emphasise that you were VERY happy with their service and wish to stay with them . DoDo are a non event as far as I’m concerned due to their on phone sales tactics . I will post some of my experiences with them shortly .

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Hi Ilona,

What an awful experience!

There may be a community legal centre willing to help you - it depends on your location.

If you’re in Victoria, we at Consumer Action ( http://consumeraction.org.au/help-for-consumers/ask-a-legal-expert/ ) are able to help you assert your rights in situations like this, but if you’re outside of Victoria, there are some other legal services that may be able to help: http://consumeraction.org.au/help-for-consumers/who-else-can-help/

If the sales tactics are as you described, they could get in big trouble!



Again, thank you to even more kind people who responded. Thank you Jonathan; I’ll contact the consumer action site you indicated. I took the advice of vax2000 and contacted Telstra today and got a sympathetic person in Billing to whom I related the whole thing. Long story short he reduced the bill by $254.33 so am relieved that it isn’t the whole whack. I will contact the Ombudsman about Dodo’s sales tactics; I wasn’t given the opportunity to find out if I was still under contract to Telstra; I did mention it to the sales person at the time, but it was kind of swept away by the sales pitch, which was all about “you don’t need to worry, we’ll take care of everything, leave it to us.” Anyway. Been bitten now, will be very shy next time!

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@ilona.roberts I’m glad they reduced the bill for you Ilona. Certainly contact the Ombudsman re DoDo’s sale tactics . The more consumers that complain about DoDo the better . Never been that impressed by their marketing .

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Whilst an above poster was correct regarding telco’s having different rules to other businesses regarding normal cooling off periods it doesn’t actually apply here according to my personal experience. Due to the sale NOT being in a bricks & mortar store it comes under a different cooling off period, the same as other companies that sell over the phone or door to door. With a sale over the phone you have a cooling off period that starts from the time you received a copy of the contract either by email or normal mail, as you cannot be reasonably expected to be aware of all relevant terms and conditions without sighting documentation (regardless of whether they put on a verbal recording of the terms and conditions for you to listen to). I would not be surprised if after a conversation with the ombudsman’s office you find you are entitled to any monies paid to Dodo, as I have found that to be the case before. They are as shonky as shonky comes and yes I’ve been caught by them in the past. I now tell anyone who mentions Dodo to stay as far away from them as possible. I should state that the above statements regarding cooling off periods and such were correct when they applied to my own situation a few years back and were advised by a corporate lawyer friend, but might have changed now after a couple of terms of Liberal governance both state and federal lol. I will say though when the Ombudsman’s office asks what you feel is a fair resolution to the issue, you mention a refund of all monies you paid them as being non-negotiable.


as a slight aside, i’ve received similar calls - we’re rural with telstra and have a fairly bad connection. my first question has always been - can you guarantee faster speeds that i have at present, there’s usually some technical waffle and then a ‘yes’. i ask for that guarantee in writing and i never hear another word from them…

fact is they’re ALL a bunch of liars, especially when it comes to speed. what they promise and what you get usually gets lost in the ‘technical’ aspects of your connection.

my major objection is being charged the same price as my kids who live in sydney and get 8mbs whilst i get 2.5mbs (if i’m lucky).


I now realise that I have just had a narrow escape with dodo.
Yes they are very pushy and when I asked about contracts and connection fees
I received the big speel about " I am authorised to give you a $100 credit.
I managed to get off the phone but have since had a call from them.
I told them that I would not be making any decisions at this stage as the connect
kit to nbn stated the change over must take place before Mar 2018 and could they not call
me again. Think I missed a bullet ???

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I would suggest to others who are hit by this hard sell and then “the modem’s in the mail”, that you should not accept that mail. Return to sender. Dodo is relying upon people either not being aware that they can reject items that come in the mail, or feeling that it is impolite - as well as the hard sell.

The other thing I would mention is that whenever I have ‘entered into a contract’ over the phone the salesperson has said “I’m going to record this part of the conversation” and made very clear that I am about to hear a bunch of contract terms to which I must respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If you entered into a contract with Dodo over the phone, then they are required to have the record of that. They are also required to have the record of you agreeing to their recording of the phone conversation, otherwise they are acting unlawfully by recording it. Why is all of this important? Because they must be able to produce that record as evidence of the contractual relationship. If the record makes clear that you were under duress, or you did not clearly agree to enter into a contract, or the terms were not clearly stated, or any of a dozen other problems, then Dodo has some major legal problems. I suggest that before you even talk to the Ombudsman (which will be a long, painful experience), you send back that modem with a note stating that you did not enter into any contract and can they please provide you with their record of your agreement otherwise you will be taking the necessary action (i.e. a hint of Telecoms Ombudsman and/or legal).

Dodo may be extremely dodgy, but they have lawyers advising them how far they can or cannot go.

The only issue with this suggestion is time. As you say, this happened a month ago; Dodo is likely to say “well, the customer said nothing to us about being unhappy at the time. Now they are dragging our name through the mud, after having used our service for a month with not a word!” Which may well be true, but as all Ombudspersons know the truth is only half the story. Your truth is that:

  1. I didn’t know my rights.
  2. They pushed the sale on me, put something in the post - I had no idea what to do.
  3. Where is my contract? I have not seen/signed anything!
  4. Dodo needs to produce the recording they claim is my agreement to a contract, and demonstrate how it provides me with all of the information I need to make an informed decision.
  5. Where is my cooling down period mentioned?
  6. How can Dodo possibly be viewed as having met the minimum standard for establishing a contract?

I may be wrong, but I suggest that simply presenting Dodo with these questions (and making sure you document every time you attempted to contact them during this month) may well result in the company deciding that you are ‘too difficult’. They want easy money, not fights with consumers that are going to cost them and their [ahem] reputation.

Finally, having said all of this, I should make very clear that IANAL - I am not a lawyer. It is possible that some or all of what I have suggested is not going to help; but at least writing to the company with those listed questions can get the ball rolling. And make sure you keep records! Oh yes, and if possible send your letter to them by registered post to confirm delivery.

Any consumer law experts around here? I would ask if Choice perhaps has some experience in consumer law, but that may be a stretch :wink: .


Thanks once again for the valuable advice. I did contact the Ombudsman’s Office to find out how to proceed and was advised that before they will intervene I will need to contact Dodo and try to resolve it with them.
When I discussed getting a reduction of the exit fee with Telstra, the consultant suggested I might like to go back to them, but I couldn’t face the thought of yet another modem, of changing the thing over again (with an NBN box that’s so low to the ground you can’t see where to put the cable without standing on your head and using a mirror and magnifying glass to read the numbers) with the possibility of Dodo then charging me an early exit fee as well, given the length of time I have now been their reluctant client.
However, I will get some kind of submission together and see how Dodo deals with it. Thanks again.

Can I add as ex DoDo client and had problems with them and now with Telstra who are magnificent when compared with Dodo name should tell us not to have a bar if it dead bird! And they are not angels but …gave me 100Gigs when pay for 50 but use less than 5 most months. Pay $73 including home phone rental.
Actually think latest contract up but who can beat them - no one I know about! Or care to risk, had a complete problem free few years, they even re-wired from outside to my wall connections indoors for free. Never get worse than 10Mb usually 12Mb and live in rural Tassie.
Get yourselves a silent number and avoid these tele marketing calls. Cant avoid the make a donation or politicians but better also add a “do not call” registration. NBN isn’t coming to my area for years anyway if ever. We have a very big business locally which is of course, why our local area gets good service.
Hope you get back to Telstra with wallet less depleted. Always say thanks but no thanks and hang up on these sort of calls. Polite but works or used to before I went silent now dont get them at all.

A post was split to a new topic: Good experience: Exetel

My brother just told me he’s bought a mobile phone via Aldi, who, he says, are winning awards. Does anyone have any info on their service as I will soon be approaching the end of my Dodo mobile phone sentence and Telstra doesn’t appeal to me as an alternative.

I use the 365 day recharges from them. I can’t speak to the other prepaid options they have. I get cheap calls and cheap SMS so a $30 recharge lasts me about 3 months but and I must admit it is a big but I don’t use my mobile everyday or even very much when I do. I download only when on Wifi so reduce my exposure to data charges. The signal reception is pretty good and I don’t notice many bad spots and it does use part of the Telstra service. I know it does not cover all places Telstra does but so far so good. Whenever I have had to deal with their help service it has been an easy and successful outcome each time, I have used them about 3 times in 4 years each time because I needed to change my SIM due to new phones needing either Micro or standard SIM sizes. I am sure everyone has a different experience but most of the people I know who do use them think it is a great service.

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I second grahroll’s comments. I’m a heavy user and I use Boost 40/month prepaid, but my wife is a very light user and she’s on an Aldi 365 day 30 plan. It’s excellent IF you will hardly ever use your phone (from memory 30 dollars gets you a few hundred MB of data and very limited calls/texts)

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I have an ALDIMobile card in the spare phone I keep in the car for when I forget to take my iPhone. I put $15 on it in October last year, and so far have used about $8. All very satisfactory, and the coverage (I think Aldi uses Telstra), is just fine. Calls on the package I have are 12c per minute to either landline or mobile.

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