CHOICE membership

Telstra TV Box Office movie won't download

Last night was the 4th occasion when I was unable to download, or stream a movie, from Telstra TV Box Office, formerly known as Big Pond Movies.
I was able to watch the trailer twice with no problems on each occasion, however, when I chose the ‘Rent HD’ option, the progressive loading bar would stop half way and freeze. I tried this several times last night and again this morning with the same result.
My problem is that when I phone Telstra to advise of the issues, each time they say it is my TV set, which is a UHD LG, just over 12 months old, or the modem, or the plan I’m on, is the problem. After eventually convincing them that it is not the problem, as we can watch catch up TV & HD movies on other channels and have no problems.
They eventually agree to give me a voucher that is only good for 30 days to rent another Box Office movie.
It is my understanding under Australian Consumer Law, that I am entitled to a full refund off my telephone account, where the invoice for the movie rental is added, instead of a short term voucher, as I had paid for a service that was not provided.
When I requested politely, that the service person just credit my phone account with the rental amount he said it was not possible to do that, and that the voucher was the only option. Interesting how they can send me an email invoice 3 minutes after I tried to view the movie and yet they can’t credit me with the rental.

7 Likes

It reads like you might best send them a formal letter of complaint per the ACL demanding the refund and pointing out how they are infringing and might best up their game.

But after all, it is Tel$tra, renowned for its customer service :rofl:

3 Likes

I am sure your way around ACL etc., but I think that in cases like this if you don’t get the answer you want from the call centre, ask to escalate the matter to the supervisor level. Often they have the ‘authority’ to make minor decisions, like give a refund.

Otherwise, I agree with @thebbg, issue them with a formal complaint, and tell them that Choice is interested in the matter!

4 Likes

Thanks for your suggestion. Phil
Do you have any idea of who to address the letter to, and Telstra’s address?
Not surprisingly, the only contact number Telstra have, 13 22 00, is for all inquiries, and no mail, or email address listed, as far as I can determine.

3 Likes

Thanks for your suggestion Tamas, I will write to Telstra, pointing out both your and Phil’s suggestion below, if and when I can get their address.

3 Likes

The office of the CEO is via the address below but you could just direct it to “The Management” or “Telstra Management” instead of using “Office of the CEO”:

Office of the CEO
Locked Bag 5639
Melbourne VIC 3001

2 Likes

May I make an alternative suggestion…

Write to:
Telstra Complaints
Locked Bag 20026
MELBOURNE VIC 3001

For more information: Telstra Complaints Area

They have authority to sort issues out, and having sent other frustrated people there, I know they do actually cut through and get things sorted.

5 Likes

There is also an online form…it is on the page @Meltam posted.

2 Likes

Many thanks to @grahroll, @meltam, and @TheBBG, for you prompt reply to my request.
Very much appreciated.
In the meantime I have received a stereo-typed response from Telstra, from an un-named person as a result of me asking the help-line operator to escalate my request for assistance in resolving the issues.
I should point out that the main reason I posted my concerns re difficulty with downloading, or streaming a Telstra Box Office Movie, wasn’t because of the very small amount of money involved, but rather, to make other Choice members aware of the issues in downloading movies.
Their response below admits there are issues in streaming movies with the 3 major TV manufacturers, LG, Samsung & Panasonic, which could affect a large amount of people.
At no stage have Telstra advised their customers that there are issues, that they clearly know exist since they have upgraded their online security.
I understand and appreciate they are having issues, and the main point I tried to get across to the help-line person was, that I preferred the so-called “gratuity voucher” to be applied to my telephone account as a credit. No point in trying to streaming an alternative movie, when the same problem is more than likely to occur, and I have to go through the whole process once again.
Telstra reply below:

"Hi, (no name inserted)
We will provide a goodwill voucher amounting to $6.99 but keep in mind about an update with our supported devices. Please see the details below.

Discontinued Support - Certain LG, Panasonic & Samsung TVs and Panasonic Bluray Recorders

Due to Google’s discontinued support for Widevine Classic Digital Rights Management (DRM), Telstra TV Box Office is no longer supported on certain TVs and Bluray Recorders. Also in keeping with best digital security practice, Telstra has updated the Telstra TV Box Office service to use Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2. Unfortunately, due to this upgrade, Telstra TV Box Office is no longer supported on some older televisions as they do not support TLS 1.2.
DRM error message - “Unable to play the content due to DRM Error”
TLS error message - “Due to security upgrades, from 23 August 2018, the BigPond Movies app will no longer be available to view on your older TV. You will still be able to access BigPond Movies on other supported devices including newer brand TVs. for more information.”

Please check their TV model against the list below and explain to the customer that due to discontinued support by the licensing provider, Telstra TV Box Office will not work on certain Panasonic/Samsung/LG TV’s or Bluray Recorders.

Telstra TV Box Office accounts will not be impacted in any way. Customers can continue to use their account on other supported devices, such as Telstra TV, PC/MAC, Android/iOS, and later Panasonic and Samsung TV models with the same username and password.

Devices that are no longer supported by Telstra TV Box Office due to DRM Error includes:
Panasonic – 2011-2013 TVs & 2011-2016 Bluray Recorders
Samsung – 2010-2011 TVs
Televisions that are no longer supported by Telstra TV Box Office due to TLS 1.2 upgrade includes:
Panasonic - Some 2015 models, 2014 models and below
Samsung - Some 2015 models, 2014 models and below. All models using “Orsay” operating system.
LG - Some 2015 models, 2014 models and below

Recently we have had a number of LG TV playback issues. It is unclear whether some models newer than the ones specified above may be impacted. For any cases of LG playback issues reported by customers, please advise the customer that they may watch their content on other devices. If this is not suitable for the customer provide a refund of purchased content. Then follow BAU process to have refunded content removed from OVS platform
The goodwill voucher will be credited back to your Telstra TV Box Office account."

5 Likes

The last paragraph there is advising the customer reps to process refunds for affected customers with newer LG TV’s.

I suggest you reply pointing out that they have sent that to you (obviously copied from their internal knowledge base) and that you would like to claim the refund instead of the voucher.

3 Likes

Get rid of Telstra. The Telstra TV is a crippled Roku box that locks you in to the Telstra ecosystem. Try an Apple TV. They cannot be locked and are usually rock solid for streaming and downloading. We freed ourselves from Telstra in any form a decade ago and have never looked back

1 Like

Do you use the Telstra TV box or an app on your smart TV?

Thanks MJSM. I have since sent Telstra another 2 emails and am still waiting for a response.
Because of the small amount of money involved, I have decided not to write to Telstra head office as I don’t think it will achieve anything. I am starting to get angry and frustrated at the lack of action from Telstra to resolve this problem.
My Telstra account will be emailed to me on or about January 14th, and I will be able to see if the debit for the movie has been credited to my account. I logged into “My Telstra Account” to see if there was a credit, but was unable to determine anything, now that the online account for all Telstra customers has been modified, and there is very little detail about anything useful, as there used to be.
If the credit is not on my account I had thought of deducting it when paying. However, I think that this could cause further problems, and that I would make matters worse.
I will pay the invoice on receival, and never again rent any movies from Telstra Box Office, as it is too stressful.

3 Likes

Thanks, yes I have pointed this out to Telstra in subsequent emails but have not received any response

1 Like

We don’t have a Telstra T-Box and just use the Telstra App on the LG TV

1 Like

We don’t use a Telstra T-Box, and just use the Telstra App on the LG smart-TV. After the current problems of dealing with Telstra and getting no help from them, any thoughts of getting a T-Box have long gone out of the window.
I am now considering a subscription to Netflix.

1 Like

I had a similar problem with the Netflix app on a Samsung smart TV. In some circumstances streaming of material from Netflix would bog down so that you were watching it buffer more than the content. The short version is that after many complaints and long diagnostic sessions it was established that the problem was the app.

The TV is on the approved list and my connection is plenty fast enough and highly reliable. I could stream the same material happily to other devices on my home network, so neither the server nor the connection were the problem. I was told that I needed to have the latest version of the app - I did. I was told to have auto-update enabled for the apps on the TV - I did. The fix was to cold boot the TV (off at the wall) from time to time which cleared up the problem.

I am not saying your problem must be the same - although it might be. My point is the hoops I had to jump through to eventually get a solution. The attitude was that all other possible reasons were to be investigated at length (several times) and hopefully found responsible before acknowledging the app could be at fault. I subsequently searched and found that this was a known issue within the wider community but not apparently to Netflix support.

3 Likes

Seems to me that as Telstra have admitted in writing that they no longer support certain televisions from certain manufacturers (and 'hopefully this covers the TV in question), they cannot withold a refund in favour of a voucher which obviously would never be able to be used. Clearly a voucher for another download from the same provider to the same television system will only result in further frustration as Telstra no longer support that system! Their advice to continue to use their service but on a different device is ridiculous. Why would anyone accept that which would mean potentially going from watching films on a 100cm screen to watching the same film on say a 11cm screen or smaller. Hardly a similar experience!

Only with Teltra would this be OK!

3 Likes

Good to know there is an actual address and not just the phone number that puts you onto people whose first language is not English and who, though they are polite and courteous, often misunderstand what it is one is trying to get across.

1 Like

Thanks @karen_seager for your perfect analysis of Telstra’s reply. I agree with your comments 100%. There is no logic in what Telstra’s " so-called helpline & customer service" person is saying.
I cant for the life of me understand why they didn’t just put the credit on my phone account and advise me that the case was closed. There seems to be a culture at Telstra to make issues as difficult as possible to resolve as they can be, in the hope that the customer will eventually give up - like I have, and go away.

4 Likes