TPG- Service from hell

I know it is a crazy time right now, and I have tried to be patient, but it is actually impossible to get in contact with TPG. Since the COVID-19 restrictions I can understand that they have closed their offices and are only contactable via live chat, but it is a complete joke that there is no other way to get help when the online chat cues are 500+. What is going on?

I’m having 2 major dramas- 1) Our internet is inconsistent and keeps dropping out and 2) A billing enquiry where we have been charged random amounts from TPG that don’t make sense when we changed address 2 months ago.

I have tried everyday for 3 weeks and waited HOURS for a responder on the live chat. Twice I have gotten through. They’ve engaged, I’ve told them my issue, and then they say “Sure, let me look at your account and see how I can help you”…and then they ghost me or close the chat window. What am I suppose to do?

At this point I want to terminate my contract with them but I can’t even contact them to do that. When we moved I had to start my contract again, so I have another glorious 2 years with their terrible customer service.

Not sure what else I can do at this point. They direct debit my account every month so I will keep being charged if I can’t close the account or get them to sort the issues I’m having. HELP!!

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Welcome to the community @bp890.

We recently had issues with the transfer of our account to a ‘new’ house we moved into. The NBN home phone wasn’t working and we faced the same problems that you had trying to get support from TPG. We tried the online chat but after about 30 to 1.5hrs, the chat was closed (either automatically or by accident) meaning we lost our position in the queue (the closest we came was about position 80).

We also tried to post on the TPG community forum to no avail.

In the end, we sent a email to the helpdesk and after a few days support was provided. by email It is worth contacting TPG using one of the following emails as they are being checked and answered by TPG personnel:

Contacts
Billing & Support customer_service@tpg.com.au
Technical Support helpdesk@tpg.com.au

I understand that why they have closed their offices, but the backk up-support system they have adopted has considerable room for improvement.

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Awesome, thank you! I will try my luck by emailing them.

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If that doesn’t work try reporting the issue to your state or federal MP.

We had barely functional internet for 2 weeks while Telstra assured us it was an issue in the area and would be repaired. Eventually I emailed my Federal MP on a Friday morning asking for help. They reported it to Telstra that afternoon and Saturday morning a technician showed up and fixed it. Additionally Telstra provided us a new modem with a 4G backup at no cost/

Our internet is still pretty unreliable after all that but at least it’s a drop out a few times a day not a few times an hour

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In my experience they are generally disinterested beyond lip service and most often pass the complaint to the responsible Minister or agency for reply, and from their office? After some months a staffer responds with how much investment the government is making, blah blah blah (in the MP’s name).

While it never hurts for an MP to know the pulse of their constituency it is rarely a window to make much happen for one’s personal issue.

Another avenue to try is the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman service.

Note their web site states that a 15 days response from telcos for non-urgent queries is acceptable under current circumstances, and staying at 2 days for vulnerable people and small businesses at risk.

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That’s what they did in my case. They reported it to Telstra. But they have a direct line to a senior department in Australia rather than an overseas call centre trained to get you to give up. The place my MP’s office reported to took it far more seriously

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Yes, there appears to be a group of Telstra Staff with special skills and access to their systems. There may be more than one way to get to them?

I’ve twice had major issues with Telstra in the last two years. In the second instance I was put through to a regional complaints resolution team (Brisbane in our instance) and a member was assigned. It took a little time to get resolved, a week+, but eventually all was good.

Don’t forget to say complaint clearly when the computer answers your call. :wink:

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I have personally dealt with the Telstra complaints team myself too, and as far as I’m aware they all work from an overseas call centre. Depending on the staff who answer there’s no guarantee they contact a local team. I can imagine this is similar for TPG.

robot voice Did you say, ‘BILLING ENQUIRY’?

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I don’t know either. We have internet service with iiNet, (TPG are the owner) who typically use South Africa for service and basic tech support. For new accounts, service updates and billing it has usually been someone in OZ on the other end. I’d rate them 9 out of 10 for support. Perhaps TPG branded products offer less?

As for the response from Telstra,

Their voice system usually doesn’t understand me either.
I can only relate how an issue I previously had was managed and the contact procedure. The content in the link I provided was very recently updated by Telstra. It was offered as an alternative. Perhaps Telstra need to revise their updated advice?

Which ever option consumers try, it pays to persist. I can understand why many give up in frustration.

P.S.
I’m not a fan of Telstra. They are a *hangover from a recent previous life when I was self employed and travelled where they were the only provider.

  • “more ways than one”. :rage:
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I would rate Internode the same. They are a subsidiary of iiNet and have their call centre in Australia.

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When I have contacted them for support (possibly 6 times in the past 5 years), I always ask call centre personnel where they are. Each time they have said Sydney or Melbourne. I usually possibly would be a little sceptical as it could be part of their standard mahswer sheet, but more recently contacting them during COVID-19, they do appear to be in Australia as they are all working from home remotely. This has posed challenges as outlined in the original post.

I suspect that if they were an international call centre, they would still be going to the call centre to answer enquiries and provide support…and logistically it would be more difficult to manage…

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With regard to unreliability and dropouts… I’m assuming you have rebooted your modem? Not just restarting from inside the control panel, but actually switching it off, leaving it for 5 minutes or so, and then turning it back on? My Exetel service had slowed to such an extent I was getting really worried but then I remembered about the hard restart, and did that this morning. Download speed has increased from 20Mbps to 47Mbps which is where its supposed to be, and fingers crossed, no dropouts since then and hoping to continue.

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I wonder how @bp890 is getting on with TPG, or not?

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I’ve been dealing with TPG quite a bit recently regarding an issue that is not exactly run-of-the-mill (so that would be a red flag with any ISP but let’s ignore that).

My experience has been that it is extremely difficult to reach TPG via the normal support channels.

The inbound phones are closed.

The chat option has a) very long wait times b) won’t even let you join the queue most of the time c) sometimes just drops you off the queue after, say, 45 minutes to an hour - then you are back to square one trying to join the queue. The chat option does not seem readily to give information about queue lengths and expected wait times - although I understand that a company might be reluctant to be transparent about that.

In other words, @bp890 is broadly correct about the difficulties in reaching TPG customer service at the current time. (Normally, reaching TPG customer service is OK.)

Through perseverance and, yes, I am making some concessions because everybody is a bit stuffed at the moment, I have made some progress. A couple of times I have been able to leave my number with the chat person and have someone call me back - which is a sensible way of dealing with skyrocketing queue lengths for non-urgent issues (as mine is).

Going out on a limb, I am guessing that TPG’s call centre is overseas but that the call centre has been largely or wholly emptied, with the staff working from home, and the telecommunications infrastructure in the overseas country isn’t really up to the job. (As we know, the telecommunications infrastructure in Australia is barely up to the job, if indeed it is.)

For completeness, iiNet bought Internode, and then later on TPG bought iiNet. So TPG owns both iiNet and Internode. Between the three ISPs, there are differences in pricing for approximately the same service, so I suppose costs have to be saved somewhere. If you want the cheapest price, that is likely to come at a cost somewhere e.g. less good customer service - which can be OK when everything is working or e.g. greater congestion (higher contention ratios).

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