Telstra Pre-paid limitations border on scamming

I have an online account with Telstra that has a number of pre-paid services attached to it, mine, kids, etc.

With my credit card due to expire soon I contacted Telstra to try updating the details of the saved card used to autmatically charge my pre-paid services. Expiry date and verification code are the only changes.

Can’t be done.

The process to update the credit card is to register a new saved card and remove the old one. Seems inconvenient, but so be it.

The sting comes when you discover the ONLY way to save a new credit card is to recharge your pre-paid service!

So to avoid buying unneccessary credit, I calendared the next date of expiry for one of my services and when it arrived I went through the manuial recharge process, saved the card details used, and set up autmatic scheduled recharge for that same day each month.

Job done, or so I thought …

It seems the saved card is service specific - ie each instance of the saved card maps only to one service - so you need to go through this process for each service you have.

The second catch came when I noticed that Telstra actioned the automatic recharge the day after my initial recharge! eg if I did the initial recharge with the new card on 1 Jan (as I did), saved the card, and saved a scheduled recharge to happen on the first of each month, Telstra recharged again on the second. I checked two previous services I had done this for, and found the same had happened with them! Though it’s no programmatic challenge to put safeguards in the code to prevent this, there seems no reasonable answer to why it would recharge “the day after” it was set to …

Telstra were helpful in refunding (yet to appear in my account) the unauthorised recharge amounts, but this process is clearly awkward, places onus on the customer to either pay more or coordinate the changeover, and has bugs in recharge scheduling.

I had upwards of two dozen other updates of expiry date to do with other companies and all were trivial and seamless - and all of them combined took less time then Telstra alone.

Telstra - why am I not surprised?

Mind you, I’ve lived my life by this precept: when forced to choose between malice and incompetence, choose incompetence.

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