Have working NBN service (Internet, email, VoIP), but problems with retailer

iinet made a mistake and now they want to either (a) keep charging me for the Naked DSL service that was disconnected on 3 January 2019 until ad finitum; or (b) disconnect me from the NBN in order to sort out their computer error (disconnect me and then in ten days I’d be reconnected (time subject to any more problems).

iinet’s mistake was made in the process of changing me from an iinet Naked DSL service (with email and VoIP) to an iinet NBN service (with email and VoIP).
I ordered changeover with them on 21 December 2018 (and was very specific that “yes, I wanted my VoIP to continue over on the new NBN service). When I got an automated email from their computer system on 22 December which gave me my NBN order number it seemed strange that it said N/A next to NBN phone number so I immediately that day (22 Dec) responded to them to clarify that they had already committed to ‘porting over’ my VoIP service from DSL to FTTN.
From the many (MANY) conversations with iinet since then I gather that this involves creating the necessary data entries in the NOVUS computer system which iinet uses for NBN services (as compared to the RUMBA computer system which iinet uses for non-NBN services). Note that NOVUS is owned by TPG and iinet use NOVUS, as a subsidiary of TPG.
Later on 22 December I received a second email from iinet telling me that switchover day was 3 January.
I was in touch with iinet several times beween 22 Dec and 3 January (including as late as on 2 January) and the two main things discussed were: (i) assure me that ALL of my services including VoIP will be switched over; and (ii) tell me the settings that I will need to change in my iinet modem to switch over from DSL to FTTN.
To the second question iinet kept telling me “Don’t worry, that make & model of modem is plug and play; you’ll just have to recycle it after we let you know by mobile call or SMS that you have been switched” - which was a lie (but that is another story).
To the first question about the VoIP they reassured me that it would indeed be ‘ported over’ (including with the same phone number), but there might be a small delay.
3 January arrived and NBN Co does do the jumpering in the FTTN cabinet on the day, but I cannot connect for several days due to iinet (in which I am “on hold” a lot on my mobile phone to iinet support much of the time).
The day I do get the connection to work (by logging in to the iinet modem to change settings, surprise surprise) I find that by the end of that day my VoIP is also working. Smiley Face.
==> But iinet is still billing me for the old Naked DSL service that was disconnected on 3 January - and they say that they have to keep billing me for that old service in order to keep my VoIP service working.
They say that the only way for them to only bill me for my NBN plan (which by the way does include VoIP with pay as you go call rates) is for them to disconnect me from the NBN
… and that it would take time - the order cancellation (1 day), cancel (1 day), invoice (2 days), send invoice, pay for connection (? days), and ‘porting’ (3 to 5 days). Total of ten or so days (working days? calendar days?).
And I say that there is no way that I am going to authorise for them to disconnect a working FTTN service which has working Internet, working email addresses, and a working VoIP, in order for them to sort out their billing and/or database record problem.
Somewhat of an impasse at the moment. Tomorrow I ring TIO (and whoever else can assist me; maybe CHOICE can help me write letter to general manager of iinet???)
In the meantime I have spoken to a sales person at TPG - and for them to switch someone over from “another company’s FTTN” to a TPG’s FTTN” would involve an estimated down-time from my point of view of 3 to 4 hours. Which is a lot shorter downtime than iinet’s ten days to “move” from iinet FTTN to iinet FTTN).


As a retired IT person I understand that somehow iinet’s data records in the NOVUS system are incorrect (either through user error by one or more iinet people, or through system fault); AND that the sysadmin and/or DBA for that system would have the knowledge, skills, and authority to fix that data
… but I am not having any luck convincing iinet customer support people, floor supervisors, customer service managers, billing clerks et al of this.
They keep telling me on the phone “this matter can be escalated” but they never actually escalate it to the right person (and never to anyone in their IT department).


You seem to be atop of the problem, but have you formally contacted iinet complaints (not support lines) yet?

You seem to have been down and back and down and back on the first ‘box of contacts’, but have you gone to the second? As always, keep written records and notes of all exchanges with them.


It would seem that the principle of escalation to get a resolution is a wider problem with ISP/RSP’s.

We’ve had on going services with Telstra, Optus and Westnet/iinet for nearly a decade, and an average share of problems proportionate to use of their services. In the previous two-three years they all give the appearance of not being able to resolve problems simply, expediently or effectively. That’s despite some very polite, tolerant and understanding (emotionally, not necessarily technically) call centre or support staff.

I’ve often been left with the feeling that none of these staff want to refer the immediate issue directly up the line by transferring you and your problem to their supervisor or manager. Perhaps they have been given clear instructions on this matter. Some of these contacted staff have shared that they do have internal procedures to refer or share unresolved problems. However that is also another way to say, please I can’t help you any more right now and you will need to give us some more time to try and fix this.

My most recent issues with Telstra needed the gentle support of a State level area manager to get the right persons focused on the task. My previous requests and complaints were in the system, going nowhere for months until then. And it in a similar way was about billing and a service change, and it was totally within Telstra. The alternative - to cancel and shutdown one service, wait and open a new one! Sounds familiar.

Goodluck with iinet. I’ve moved them from (A+ as Westnet) to a B- under the new owner. I doubt they will keep our goodwill post NBN.