Thursday, 22 March 2012

I ♥ the telco ombudsman

Oh man. Have been doing MAJOR battle with a nameless telco provider here in Oz.  They are even more crap than I remember them being.  I only have myself to blame because I was very happy with my previous phone and internet provider. Only I got greedy.

A young man came to the door and offered me this fabulous deal. Much cheaper than what I was currently paying. It seemed too good to be true. Initially I was strong:

“I’ve been with them before. I wasn’t happy. I don’t want to be with them again.” I tendered.

But in the face of his persistence I wavered. I went and checked what my old provider was offering me; it was nowhere near as good as what the new telco could offer. So I signed up with them.

“You won’t regret it. I guarantee,” promised their agent. “They’ve changed.”

Changed my arse. (Sorry about the language.)
In the first bill they didn't even make an attempt to include all the promised discounts. You know, the ones that were so good I signed up with them.

Then they said they'd "churn" me over from my previous provider. I didn’t have to do a thing. When I queried this and told them it didn’t look like it had happened they reassured me that they had done it but  if my previous provider continued to bill me they’d offer me a credit on their bill.

Naturally my previous provider has billed me. So now I’m paying two providers. When I raised this with the new telco yesterday they insisted that they couldn’t “churn” me over, privacy laws wouldn’t let them.

“But, but that’s what you promised me,” I bleated.

“Well, we can’t do it. And if you want a credit for the bill you need to take it to your nearest store.”

This was not the answer I wanted or what they initially said I'd have to do.

“Oh, so if I want to get out of my contract with you what sort of penalty will I pay?”


Right. Don’t really want to pay that.

Now my latest bill is again missing discounts. There are some in there just not all of them. When I rang and spoke to them the girl argued with me over the wording in the contract. She tried to tell me that the discount was in total and the words ‘something extra’- being an extra discount, didn’t actually mean that.  Finally got to speak to someone else who agreed with me over the wording and what they actually offered me and has applied the discounts etc. So, in theory, everything in future should be hunky dory.

Except . . .after spending an hour on the phone to them each time I get a bill I’m slightly disenchanted with them. So I rang the telco ombudsman hoping he would tell me something other than: You signed the contract, sorry, there's nothing we can do.

That's not what he said.

For the record, I love the telco ombudsman. He tells me that they have done the wrong thing (I won't bore you with even more detail) he has initiated a complaint against them on my behalf, he reassures me that over 90% of complaints are resolved to the customer's satisfaction and now I am waiting for someone from the telco who will need to negotiate with me for the things that I want.

What do I want?

Encouraged by the ombudsman I want to go back to my previous provider, and I want the telco to pay the bills I've received from my previous provider coz that's what they said they'd do. The ombudsman kept on at me until I told him exactly what I wanted. So now they have to come to the party and try to meet my demands. If I am still not happy I ring the ombudsman back and they go into bat for me again.

Like I said, I love the ombudsman.


  1. This is a nightmare. We don't have ombudsmen for this where I live. I hope he gets you all you've been promised and MORE for you aggravations. Stupid telephone companies! :P

  2. NQ- you really need ombudsmen. They're fantastic. I'm back to my old provider now and it's all good. The irony is that years and years ago when the company was floated I actually bought shares- I think every 2nd Australian did. So at least I get dividends even if they do offer very crappy service.