CHOICE membership

Is anyone else still being charged by Bigpond for a service they cancelled in July?

Hi there,

In early June Bigpond advised that the web-hosting package I was on would no longer be offered. The options were to switch to another of their packages (at twice the price!) or move to another provider. The last line of the email states:

If we don’t hear from you by then, your web hosting service and any emails services associated will be closed on 28 July 2020. Please disregard this email if you have already completed this request.

Anyway, I moved to another provider in late June but guess what? Bigpond is still charging me. I finally got an email from them this morning, which states:

We understand that you have moved your hosting service with a different company but, have you requested to cancel your services with us? If yes, please provide the reference number so that we can reimburse the charges.

So,
a) Have I misinterpreted their email from June?
a) Bigpond clearly intended to keep charging for nothing.

So now I have to waste hours of my time to resolve this issue.

Here’s an idea for Choice - can we start a campaign to make companies liable to pay the costs of the affected parties associated with resolving issues due to their incompetence and/or arrogance and/or deception?

I didn’t think Telstra could get any more disorganised and unhelpful after last years debacle in trying to close down my broadband service with them. Same story - in this case I terminated the service then kept on getting charged. I went through three sessions with them and in each case they told me the case was resolved and even sent me a case number to prove that … After the third instance I told them I’m taking it to the Ombudsman and the charges stopped. No apologies, no follow up.

I’ve been fortunate to live all over the world, including the “third” world, but Telstra is by far the most disjointed and unhelpful I’ve ever dealt with.

Telstra, it’s Australian for pathetic.

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With your experience complaining to Telstra, I assume you know about the Telstra Complaints contacts.

If not, that area is staffed by higher powered people than you encounter via the routine calls/emails, and can get things fixed up much faster.

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Thanks @meltam, yes I used them last year re Broadband - all very polite but Telstra just kept on charging me. I wasted almost a day of my time. Three times I went through that, and three times they claimed it was resolved and sent me the case numbers, and three times it wasn’t. The final person also promised to resolve it but then sent an email “I’m on pandemic leave, please contact my assistant”, but forgot to leave any contact details for his assistant. Where is the accountability?

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Leave them a message on Facebook or any other Social Media site you use. Public shaming often goes a long way to getting issues resolved. By message I mean a public post on their timeline.

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Thanks @grahroll, I will resort to that within a few days if necessary. But why should it even be necessary?

I have IT qualifications and cannot understand what is so hard about account management.

And it’s not just me or Telstra - everyone has their horror stories about the Telcos - but what has the government done about it?

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Telstra haven’t changed their corporate culture since they had the monopoly.

As you know about the TIO, and I assume you have everything documented, go straight to the TIO and make a complaint. A call from the TIO to Telstra tends to work wonders.

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Thanks @meltam

I’ll try that - previously I was willing to go through the complaints process with Telstra but it was very time consuming and ineffective. Not this time!

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You are welcome. Let us know how you get on.

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It shouldn’t be necessary, mistakes of course do happen but they should be resolved on first contact or the process should be followed through by them after first contact so that it is fixed properly without additionally repeating the complaint.

There is no real incentive for them to resolve a problem, CSG went a little way to make things happen, TELSTRA still do have that so you might be able to make a claim, depending of course on the issue. With the nbn™ most “Telcos” have no responsibility nowadays to their consumers. This perhaps is the biggest change needed so if any fault with a service develops then compensation responsibility beyond just the refund/inconvenience, is placed on the Telcos (RSPs) to make them keen to resolve ASAP.

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I cannot leave that comment. Since enough of us learnt how to deal with the Telcos for PSTN lines and ADSL services (more or less successfully), government decided we needed new challenges that were more onerous to understand and work through, with no definable accountability. The gauntlet has been thrown and the challenge set. Are we up to it yet? If so, stand by for the next level! Lets call it NBN2 :laughing:

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After all else has failed?
My most recent dealings with Telstra were finally resolved after I was able to contact and speak with the Telstra Area Manager. How? Credit to the local Federal MP. It’s worth calling their local office to follow up after sending in your email and concerns. Your mileage may vary depending on flavour locally.

While the Telstra Area Mgr may not fix it personally, the problem changes from one coming from the bottom up to one from the top down. It’s likely the same team of Telstra complaints staff working on your solution. Just with a different level of interest and abilities. Anything to do with accounts and billing, Telstra has multiple systems of various vintage. It was explained there are few who can access or even understand the full system, hence many unresolved issues fail to escalate to someone who can resolve it.

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Quote them some of the information from the ACCC website about non-delivery of services when you are next in contact with them…

In particular…

Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses must not accept payment for products or services if:

  • they do not intend to supply them
  • they intend to supply materially different products or services
  • they know, or should have known, they would not be able to supply the products or services within the timeframe indicated or if no timeframe was provided, within a reasonable time.

This could action them into issuing a refund for direct debits they have taken when they knew that the service could no longer be provided.

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Thanks a lot @phb - that adds a lot of strength to my case.

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I’m just an ordinary user of telephone/internet connections, with no IT experience, and always try to resolve any issues I have with my ISP. (So far there has been absolutely nothing huge with a main problem being my cat who sits on the router to keep warm if given the chance, and it’s my first go to if/when I have a problem). I haven’t been a Telstra Customer for at least 5 years - possibly longer. Each time I see a member of the public tearing their hair out over problems of Telstra’s making I again cross my fingers and ask the universe to ensure that I NEVER need be a customer of theirs again. I feel for those who actually ‘need’ to be (a Telstra Customer) for reasons other than I’m aware. I wish you luck in not only solving the problem but receiving a refund.

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