CHOICE membership

Telstra's new unlimited upgrade for existing customers is a bit of a rip off


#1

As most of you are probably aware by now, Telstra has upgraded the plans for their existing NBN customers, by either doubling their monthly data allowance for the cheaper plans or by giving unlimited data to the not so cheaper plans. What they’re not doing is also adjusting the price of these plans for existing users to reflect the new plans that are now available.

We had our new bill yesterday for the updated service, which now gives us unlimited data and as always gives us access to Telstra TV, which we rarely use. We are still being charged $149 per month for this service, even though new customers who sign on to the new plan that gives the exact same service only have to pay $99 per month. That’s a $50 per month difference, although the new service doesn’t include free phone calls any more. Still, we don’t use the home phone for phone calls anyway because we all have pre-paid mobile phones that we use instead. Even if we did make an occasional call, it wouldn’t come anywhere near the $50 price difference.

So I contacted Telstra today and they said they could change our plan to the new cheaper one and that the only difference would be the pay-as-you-go phone calls. Again, we’d never make $50 worth of calls on the thing in a month anyway, so it’s a huge saving for us. The only other change was that we had to start a new 24 month contract.

If anyone else has had the upgrade and is wondering if they can get a cheaper service from Telstra that gives them the same services they’re already getting minus the free phonecalls, their new plans are available to view here https://www.telstra.com.au/broadband/nbn/plans-bundles#24-months

Yes, we could probably find even better deals with other service providers, but where we live Telstra’s the best option for us in that it’s reliable, surprisingly they managed to get over themselves in our area and the service works perfectly now, and if we do have problems they have local technicians, whereas other providers seem to have their technicians only on the mainland which isn’t much use to us here in South East Tassie if there is a problem that requires them to send someone out to have a look at everything.

So for those of you who do use Telstra as their NBN service provider, if you’ve had the upgrade, check your current plan against Telstra’s new plans and see if you’re getting ripped off or not. You just need to figure out if the price of your monthly phone calls will make it worth the change or not for you.

Also, if you have a pension card you can also get a $15 per month call allowance from them, which they failed to tell us about when we first signed up on the old plan, even though we told them we had a pension card number at the time. So we’re actually now saving $65 per month after fixing that oversight as well. That’s quite a big difference.

Edit: I’ve just had a look into the hidden fine print and apparently our monthly speed boost is now costing $30 per month instead of the $20 per month we were paying on the old plan. This information was not provided to me by the Telstra person who was handling our case at any time when she was changing our plan over for us. The new plan still works out cheaper for us per month though.


#2

Having worked in telecommunications for years, years ago, I can tell you that Telstra works on a pseudo ‘security conscious’ ‘need to know’ basis.

The starting point is that customers don’t need to know more than is good for Telstra. (Even when you are spending millions of dollars with them.)

Only if you (politely or otherwise) arc up, are you grudgingly cleared to the next level of information.

It’s a long slow process to be given the necessary clearances to find out what is actually going on.


#3

“I” was once one of Telstra’s VIP customers. One year our rep asked “me” for a list of my locations they were servicing. The secrecy abounds internally as well as externally although all “good things” are kept in the billing department.


#4

Ditto Phil. I was serious when I was talking about spending $millions with them (in the early '80s).

I had the same problem with Telstra staff’s abysmal lack of information on what they were responsible for. Mushrooms they were!


#5

So after contacting Telstra last month to downgrade our Internet/phone bundle AND getting a letter last week, which was dated 19th December, to welcome us to our new plan, our phone bill came through a few days ago and it was still for the full dollar amount of our old plan.

After calling Telstra multiple times today (due to their automated operator system repeatedly having no idea how to understand basic and clear English and then playing random information recordings that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic I’d suggested to the recorded voice, and then wanting to only let me listen to the message again as the next option), I finally managed to get put through to a human. Someone in the wrong department for my query, but at least I’d gotten to speak to a real person after 15 minutes of failed attempts that all ended up in various dead end info recordings with no way out other than to hang up and try again. She even offered to step out of her comfort script and see if she could help me with the problem I had. I politely declined and asked to be put in contact with someone who’s job it was to actually look after the problem I was having.

After a further 15 minutes on hold I eventually spoke to someone who looked at our request to downgrade our plan from last month and discovered that the reason our bill wasn’t also downgraded was because someone at Telstra had decided that we didn’t actually want to downgrade at all, so they did us a huge favour by cancelling our order without contacting us first, just to confirm their suspicions.

So we’re stuck with yet another bill that is charging us the higher cost for services we don’t use. But fear not!!! The person speakīng to me can put in a new order for me and next month’s bill will begin to reflect the changes that we’d actually requested to be in time for the previous bill. This is when I got put on hold for a good 20 minutes, He eventually came back to me to say he’s still doing the order for us and I was back on hold again before I could say “Thanks”. I ended up on hold for a further 25 minutes this time, but he did eventually come back to say the job was done.

Will we get our cheaper service in time for the next bill, or will someone decide we don’t really want to downgrade again?.. Stay tuned for the next unexciting episode. :confused:


#6

Telstra also offer the option with these new data plans to add unlimited local, national and calls to mobiles for $10 per month. You need to click through to the call rates information screen to see this option.


#7

Did Telstra offer to credit your account or otherwise make ammends? Considering it sounds like they made the error, it might be worth pushing for this (if you can handle the time on the hold).


#8

I received a letter from Telstra saying that due to being charged for slow broadband that our service would be upgraded to unlimited data.
We already have unlimited data on our contract. Thanks Telstra for the bonus we can’t use.


#9

Thanks for sharing this @michele1. If you have the time, you could give them a call and ask for a discount on your bill instead.

We’d be interested to hear form anyone else on the forum who has received this ‘offer’ bungle related specifically to slow broadband.


#10

I also received an “unlimited data” email. But no reason was given. It was previously 1000 gb and I only use 100. My Telstra service is usually around 35 so it doesn’t rate as “slow”


#11

@gsimos we’ve heard from another forum member @NubglummerySnr that there has been some price shifting from Telstra, so it’s possible it could be part of that. Either way, thanks for letting us know


#12

Other option is to ask to be moved to the next fastest speed tier for the same price as the existing contracted value…


#13

Only going to work if that tier is actually physically possible.


#14

Thank you will do.Much appreciated


#15

Since NBN connection (FTTN) Telstra has not been able to offer the speeds contracted. I received an email offering
. exit the contract with Telstra with no exit fees, or
. receive a credit for the length of time I’ve had the speeds slower than the contracted speeds (since I believed no other provider would be able to improve the speeds, I opted for the credit, but will be keeping my eyes open for other providers when the contract expires.

They also magnanimously offered to increase my data from 50gb to 75gb/month…certainly not Unlimited.


#16

You’re kidding right? The mere mention of being compensated for their error and they just begin to rant on about how we can’t be charged at the cheaper rate because we were still using the more expensive service, so basically we need to just suck it up and let them try again. Even though I put in an order for the cheaper service, it was cancelled, not by me though, so we didn’t actually use the cheaper service. . But cancelled it was and we are stuck with the higher priced bill we got because that was the service we used for the month.

Got an email today to say we’ve now been transferred over, so will have to wait and see what the next bill looks like. Apparently part of it will be for the higher rate charges because we didn’t get swapped over until after the Telstra billing cycle had reset itself for the month.


#17

Well, keep an eye on it. If you wanted to escalate the complaint or you continue having trouble being transferred over, I’d suggest making a complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsmen and letting Telstra know about it.


#18

I agree with @BrendanMays, but I wouldn’t wait. Get onto the TIO. (I hope you are OK with documenting all that has happened to send to the TIO.)

They should be charging you at the lower rate from the time that you FIRST contacted Telstra to downgrade.

It’s amazing how co-operative Telstra staff can become if the TIO becomes involved.


#19

I’ve only ever had to raise my voice… a little. Maybe I should hire it out?


#20

Hi All, I just got a call from Telstra that my Cable Broadband / Homephone bundle is soon expiring and I can renew… blablabla… but now it’s 24 months…

Ahm… is this legal? They don’t offer also 12 months anymore so I have a choice now and then? I don’t feel like going into a 24 months contract especially knowing now the changes comming (e.g.NBN etc)…