I handle a relative’s day-to-day activities whenever some degree of difficulty is involved. She recently signed herself up to a Telstra contract for a facility she can never use. I rang Telstra on her behalf to rectify the matter, and they added my name to her authorised agents who could act on her behalf. A while later I rang them again to cancel her contract, but by then they had lost my identity details and would not speak to me about the account. As I was only dealing with the first level of telephone staff, I asked to speak to her supervisor. She refused on the basis that my identity was not confirmed. I suggested that she divorce her thinking from the specific case and treat the call as a generic query instead, and asked her to put me through to her supervisor. She refused.
After some time arguing the point I was transferred elsewhere, ending up with an automated recording asking whether my query had been satisfactorily processed. Not unsurprisingly I pressed the “No” button, and was transferred yet again.
The next contact was more helpful, and she passed me on down the chain to another Department, where a polite young man told me that there was nothing he could do as Telstra had no record of me. He told me to go to a Telstra Shop instead. I reminded him that my previous authorisation had been arranged via telephone, but he told me that this was not possible. I advised him that it was not convenient to go to a Telstra shop and I wished to speak to a supervisor. He advised that this would not be possible. I asked him if he would contact my relative via telephone to confirm my identity. He told me that was not possible. I asked for an email address or mailing address so that I could write to Telstra. He told me that this was not possible, and I should go to a Telstra shop instead.
Eventually, after some pressure, he gave me an email address but no physical mailing address, but when I wrote to it, it bounced on security grounds. I have now written to a PO Box I found instead.
My point is simply this: Shouldn’t a huge Corporation like Telstra have a better means of communicating with the general public? Their website gives no means of accessing their management except via telephone, but if you can’t get past the first line of telephone responders there are no email or mailing options at all. That’s just unbelievable. I have written via snail mail, but who knows if this will actually arrive. I know of no other business who have set up such a firewall between their customers and themselves. Essentially they are, for all practical purposes, uncontactable.