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Telstra to axe 8000 to improve customer service?



This is a ‘Never mind the quality, look at the thickness’ approach. In my opinion, Telstra has the same problem as many large corporations. Their primarily focus is on returns to their shareholders, placing their clients on a lower priority.

This is sustainable for a monopoly. But when there is competition the clients will (sometimes reluctantly) abandon these profit first businesses to get better service, a better deal, or better support, etc… On the news they were saying that Telstra’s customer base has been steadily dropping, so this could be why.

I think it’s time to remove the bean counters from the controls of businesses. Their role should be as advisers, rather than running the business.

To survive, corporations like Telstra need to focus on customer satisfaction, and this has never been Telstra’s strong suite.


It’s what happens when vital national infrastructure is left to the private sector.


That is a noble statement but contrary to the precepts of capitalism and maximum return on investment.

One perspective is the underlying problem has been a shift from long term success to quarterly and then annual profit fuelled by overweighted short term KPIs in executive compensation (that is often far north of just obscene, but that is another topic).


…and tell me how axing 8000 employees will improve customer service?


Why is it that they say by cutting peoples jobs out all the time it means they have lower overheads. i think it just mean it is harder for all of us to get things done as they dont care less what they do anymore. All other businesses do the same. On the news the other night it said telstra has to much competition due to so many other businesses that are out there. They said also it was to get rid of middle management.i wonder how many more people they can sack at telstra.? there share price fell also the finance guy on the news showed and compared the shares compared to like 20 years back and since the sackings yet to be made it fell back to what it was in the 1990s.


An article that explores why these sackings and restructure may indeed benefit us all is found at the following link:


Classic Australian business “strategy”: don’t even think about how to increase sales - reduce costs.


Last time I tried to talk to Telstra I was put through to the Philippines, I could not understand the operator and would not put me through to a supervisor. How can they call themselves an Australian company, SERVICE WHAT SEVICE


Privatise and perish.


When will we stop selling off the farm.,and we all know what happens when it all goes.


Are you familiar with the 80:20 theory whereby 80% of profits are from 20% of the customers, so 80% of of expenditure is directed toward those 20% of customers? Many long term successful companies make decisions on that basis and their reality is that while they do not chase business away, there is good business and bad (or at least less good) business that does not contribute to corporate success.

Love or hate Telstra, it looks like a long term shakeup was due, reflecting a company that has been operating in its own universe, or put another way, Telstra have been living in a brick house but are now forced to live in the garden with the rest of the Telcos.

The unfortunate variable in the equation is government has managed the privatisation of Telstra and then the NBN so badly there is an inevitable loss of expertise at the individual as well as structural level as well as a morass that all but encourages finger pointing for every failure.

Will the loss of 8,000 middle managers help? Time will tell, but when the marketplace has been jerked around as the government has done in this instance when the dust settles it will most likely not be noticeable either way.


Known as “The Pareto Principle”.


It’s known as the Pareto Principle. It’s one of the reasons why private enterprise should not be allowed any influence over national infrastructure. The private sector needs to cherry-pick the most lucrative markets. The nation needs the infrastructure to serve the whole. The two are incompatible.

Privatising Telstra wasn’t the problem. Selling off the infrastructure was a betrayal. As the article linked by @grahroll pointed out, everyone with any expertise advised against it. Howard went ahead anyway.

Now, we have an opportunity to acquire the assets that Telstra plans to split off into “InfraCo” and combine them with whatever becomes of the NBN, under public ownership. Then, we’ll be pretty much back where we were with the Telecommunications Commission (though three decades later). Our next challenge will be to prevent some treacherous maniac betraying us again.


One must admit that conclusion would not be obvious watching either of our major parties :frowning: [quote=“david4, post:20, topic:15628”]
everyone with any expertise advised against it. Howard went ahead anyway.

What is expertise when a party leader can get the answer they want from somewhere, anywhere, to justify what they do? It has been demonstrated that when the Liberals create an emergency they are able to pincer the ALP into joining the hand wringing rather than exposing the facts of the matters. Both sides primarily serve ‘the money’ when in government, and in our case ‘the money’ is quite concentrated so they would serve us at their peril unless they had far better PR nous than they have demonstrated in recent times.[quote=“david4, post:20, topic:15628”]
Now, we have an opportunity to acquire the assets that Telstra plans to split off into “InfraCo” and combine them with whatever becomes of the NBN

Such a ‘negotiation’ could be exciting.

‘We have met the enemy and he is us.’ - Pogo

We keep electing them despite their track record(s).


BLANSTON Brlng back the P.M.G.


What do we wish for here?

A 100% Australian solution to our needs would suggest our internet should only ever connect to other places in Australia, that our cars and TV’s are 100% Aussie made from Aussie raw materials, and Aussie Google only answers questions about Australia.

We could look to Cuba for Guidance on how this works?

It’s also true ‘Telstra International Phillipines Inc’ is part of Telstra’s strategy. I see this as cost reducing, and it’s investing over seas ( wow! ).

Yes, I do need to accept that my improper pronunciation of English must be difficult for the service support staff. I promise to try better every time.

In return I get to use Amazon, own a cheapish Korean flatscreen, and have a PC that uses a computer chip that post dates Australian semiconductor manufacturing shutting down 3 decades ago.

There is a much broader discussion needed as @TheBBG has pointed out in his responses. There also is more we can do.

I’ve recently written to my local Federal MP and the opposition shadow Minister for Communications with concerns I have over relating to the NBN and my circumstances.

For all that might be wrong with Telstra in my humble and poorly informed view - it’s the way nationally we provide these services that needs to be fixed.

Fortunately our National Highway network has not been privatised in a similar way, yet!


The tactics are eerily reminiscent of Buchanan. I’ve yet to decide whether the way we’re heading is best characterised as Totalitarian Capitalism or Inverted Totalitarianism. Either way, the most substantial risks to Australia’s society and democracy at present are posed by excesses of Capitalism.

Or at least Telecom (before it was corporatised).

It depends on which “we” you mean:

  • If it’s “we”, the corporate suit, then what “we” wish for is maximum quarterly profit. That generally means cutting corners and providing the poorest service that “we” can get away with.
  • If it’s “we” the consumer , then what “we” wish for is maximum service at minimum price (which tends to play into the hands of the suit).

My own wish is documented here. Basically, the return to public ownership of our telecommunications infrastructure. That’s where the private sector has proven a dismal failure. Not that it’s done so well at the retail end of the market.


I moved to Southport QLD in 1971 and applied for a phone. My house was just a few km from the ocean in an established area. 2 years was the estimate. Estimates are sometimes worst case formalities but I left Southport a year later still without a phone. It was so good. (/slight sarcasm)


The products we all consume are a compromise between price, quality, function/service. Competition is good for the consumer. It enables a wider selection and variety of price points. Telstra is just another service provider.

A monopoly is likely to put the consumer second in value or in service or both? It is also likely to offer limited choices and does not need to respond to consumer demands.

Yes, as you have so well put elsewhere there is much wrong with today’s outcomes. There are other ways we might have progressed. Perhaps your observations are more about the future of the NBN and less about the Telstra of today?

There may be a significant argument to revisit the soon to be (next term of Federal Parliament) privitisation of the NBN. It could be split to bring the national interconnected network to every exchange and tower to one national entity. A similar strategy to the national highway network. Direct costs to the nation. The alternative - Imagine the reaction if the national highway network was to be sold to a single private owner. Imagine every highway a toll road returning 8% on the purchase price after interest on the new owners purchase cost and daily maintenance. I would hope not? We appear to be on this path for the NBN!

Currently the privitisation of the NBN is not on the public radar of our politicians. It may be the poisoned chalice to be avoided by both sides leading into any election. I have omitted further comment on the future of the NBN and its services. The whole of any discussion on the future of the NBN and NBN Co is a topic deserving of separation from how well Telstra can deliver the consumer experience with 8,000 fewer employees.

It is far from desirable to see 8,000 jobs go from any industry. However the car industry, the mining down turn, The restructuring of the steel production industry (eg BHP) and who knows how many other businesses have seen far worse.

The die for Telstra has already been cast. As a share holder:
Telstra as I read it is doing no more than any other private enterprise needing to repositioning itself for the future. Telstra could not reasonably resume any role in managing a national network while simultaneously competing in the retail sphere. For it’s share holders including all those funds now in super it may be a very bleak outlook if Telstra sits on it’s hands and fades into receivership.

Look to the fate of TAA and Ansett and just how much better our current airline industry is. This has not been without pain. I have no desire to paying two weeks pay to fly Brisbane - Sydney return. And despite what rural centres say - the cost of flying to these now compared to 50 years ago is less costly in real terms. I have no desire to spend all day on a milk run to Mt Isa in a rattling DC3 or screaming F27.

I could feel responsible in that some how just like the butterfly flapping it’s wings on the other side of the globe, my decision to move from Telstra dial up to a Telstra CDMA data card started something bigger! If only I had kept that telex machine all would still be well.

I share no guilt here as I too remember the past.
Was that the Telstra that brought us analogue mobile phones? And then shut it down.
Was that the Telstra that brought us CDMA? And then shut it down.
Was that the Telstra that pretended there was no 3G and brought us NextG? And then told us to buy a Telstra branded NextG phone.
What next for 3G now that 4G is here and 5G around the corner?

True, it is hard to blame the PMG for such confusion. They seemed to transition well from bicycles and telegrams to the Honda Postie bike and Bedford van. Perhaps a stretch too far back. Bureaucratic inertia was not such an issue when stamps were 2d.

The transition to Telstra simply gave the same system an unlimited license to spend. Hence:
Telstra committed to CDMA then left us all hanging. So out went my CDMA PCMIA card and in went the NextG/3G PCMIA card and oh no, now I needed a USB dongle for Next G. Yes I had great service. Unlimited data for 20hrs a month at up to 21 Mb/s. Except it only ever worked at the old CDMA speeds or even less downloading email. All because if you were not in Sydney the local tower had to connect over copper or limited microwave links all with dial up speeds back to the email server at the other side of Australia.

The past appears no more sensible than the present.

I still rejoice as I can now get 4G and speed test at 20-40Mb/s in less than an ideal location. I can even get Telstra to download my email at 100 times the speed of dial up nearly any where I go for a fraction of what I paid 10 years prior.

The Telstra of old gave neither service nor low cost. That is unless you could see the harbour bridge from your office window? Perhaps even as far as Point Piper and Manly, but never as far as where I lived until Optus and Vodafone took up the cause.

As some one with a financial interest through Super in Telstra should I ask for it to be given back a monopoly? To charge as it needs to pay a high dividend while delivering an incomplete and expensive solution? Or should Telstra take a different path, sell off it’s retail network and buy the NBN? To charge as it needs to pay back it’s borrowings plus 8% after interest and taxes and operating costs?


Is it? Always?

OK, so:

  • how many roads connect with your driveway, that you can choose from?
  • how many electricity supply lines connect to your house, that you can choose from?
  • how many water supply lines connect to your house, that you can choose from?
  • how many sewer lines connect to your house, that you can choose from?

Is it possible that some things are natural monopolies? Is it possible that telecommunications infrastructure is among them?

If we’re stuck with a monopoly anyway (as in natural monopoly), are we better off with a private sector monopoly or one that we, the consumer/taxpayer, control? Bearing in mind that the ultimate source of every dollar spent on the infrastructure is we, the consumer/taxpayer, do we get optimum value our investment if each extra dollar is spent on expanding the network? Is it more valuable to cover the same bits of country over and over?

A cogent example at present is TPG. They intend building a mobile network that will cover 80% of the population. Will that coverage be in markets that are not currently served? Will it be in markets that are already served to excess? Which markets are most profitable? Will TPG build their network, without expecting payment? Who will ultimately pay?

As I’ve said:[quote=“david4, post:20, topic:15628”]
The private sector needs to cherry-pick the most lucrative markets. The nation needs the infrastructure to serve the whole. The two are incompatible.
The private sector and infrastructure are a recipe for disaster - which is why Australia’s telecommunications infrastructure is such a mess. Which is why we needed the NBN, which is little more than a project to repair some of the harm done by privatisation.

Yet again: the private sector and any form of monopoly is a recipe for disaster. I too have a financial interest in Telstra. I bought T1 shares (and pity anyone who bought T2).

So no, Telstra should not be granted any monopoly. Nor should any other private sector entity.

It can be argued that the cost of the network is far less than its value. Providing services on the network at no charge might well optimise its value. Of course, for the private sector, that’s out of the question.

A single network should optimise coverage. At present, we have multiple overlapping networks in the most lucrative markets, while other markets are served inadequately, if at all. A single network, to which all retailers have equal access, would maximise competition.

To quote from the link above:

When John Howard completed the privatisation of Telstra, while leaving the network under Telstra’s ownership, he created a monster. The optimum for effective retail-sector competition is not to have the majority of the infrastructure owned by the dominant retailer. That beast must be neutered.

The broader issue is conflict of interest arising from association of a retailer of services with a wholesaler of such services and/or an owner of relevant infrastructure. One obvious remedy is legislation against such associations.

The effect of separating wholesalers and infrastructure owners from their retail arms would be to open up the retail sector. Deprived of in-house retailers, wholesalers and infrastructure providers would have little option but to provide product to any retailer. Sadly, history has shown that it would probably be necessary to legislate that this be done on fair & equitable terms. It would also open avenues for resuming public ownership of infrastructure assets.

That would be a good start.