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20 September 2011 @ 10:56 pm
Tell me again why I mistrust telephone/isp companies  
At the beginning of last month I changed my internet and telephone provider, moving to a company offering me a much better deal. I had to get a new telephone number as they were unable to port my previous number but the salesman assured me I wouldn't be charged a new number fee, as they had initiated contact with me and it wasn't my fault the number couldn't be ported. He also offered me $10pm off the contract price as I was reluctant to pay a cancellation fee that I was liable for from my previous provider.

I made him write all of this down and alter the contract accordingly. But hands up who was surprised when my first bill arrived today, sans discount and including a $50 new number fee? I rang to get it rectified and I've been promised that it will be credited back, but like the old adage says, seeing is believing.

Once before, with my previous provider, it took six months to reinstate a bundling discount that mysteriously dropped off, and after all that time (with phone calls made every month when the next bill arrived - and I was assured every time that it was a simple fix and they couldn't understand why it hadn't been amended)it wasn't fixed until I actually wrote them a letter setting out dates, times and names of people I had spoken to, and offered to share my information with everyone with whom I came into contact at work. I hope I don't have to go that far again.
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
entropy_houseentropy_house on September 20th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
Yep, they're beauties world-wide. I have the ISP and the telephone with the same company. I had the ancient phone lines to the house replaced, the workers would NOT do the job until I signed a paper which did NOT have a carbon copy, so I had nothing except the notes I took to show what day it was done, and what was done. It was great fun when the service charge on the phone bill turned up TWICE because the automated service call number had hung up on me when I was making the appointment. I had called back and made my way to a human who told me to make another appointment, that the first one wasn't listed & I wouldn't be charged.

I fought it out with them (are you SURE you didn't have us come out and replace the SAME lines two days in a row?) I paid what I should pay, with a note on the bill telling them what happened. Then the next month the ISP bill came with TWO charges for the Phone line service. I fought it out with them. They took off the ONE charge. Next month back again and hey, we took off the extra charge. BOTH charges were extra.

This went on, charges put on, complaints, charges taken off, etc. until I dug up the corporate HQ address on the internet and wrote a letter.
miwahni: pros phonemiwahni on September 20th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
So they're just as cocked-up in other parts of the world? Strangely I don't find that reassuring, but you have my commiserations. I don't care about the telephone at all; my previous one was unplugged for about six weeks because every time it rained the line dropped out, taking the internet with it. If I left the phone unplugged and just the broadband plugged in I didn't have a drama. Can't live without my net though. Now I have a shiny new (fast!) cable service which is worth the bit extra each month, but I'm not prepared to pay more than the contract amount.

Isn't it awful, though, that it takes the letter to the HQ to get anything done.
entropy_houseentropy_house on September 21st, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I think about unplugging the phone because of all the dratted 'timing' calls from companies that want to know what time of day I'm likely to answer, so they don't waste the time of their telemarketers calling. But sometimes I need to get a real call- so I compromise by looking at caller ID and listening to any messages left on the machine & only pick up if I recognize the number, or the voice.

Gotta have my net, though, I wouldn't dream of giving it up even though they charge me a premium because I'm not hooked up to cable TV (I don't HAVE a TV.)

Very few companies these days have a proper customer service dept. If you're lucky, you can talk to a person, but that doesn't mean they'll fix the problems.
miwahni: Random Doesn't play well with othersmiwahni on September 21st, 2011 09:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I usually let the phone go through to the answering machine as well. Sometimes if I'm expecting a call I'll pick up, but if you just get silence at the start it means it's a telemarketer so I hang up again straight away.
sunray45: Save Me from Foolssunray45 on September 21st, 2011 06:12 am (UTC)
They seem to make their contracts quite confusing, especially for me. Not sure of all the discounts I should be getting.

Anyway, had a letter from Telstra the other day, which I thought was probably listing price rises. But, surprise, surprise, it was to tell me they owed me! Reviewed my account, it seems, and found I didn't receive my BigPond preselection discount for a period of time. So...my account is being credited with $176.41!!!

I think I'll frame the letter as my son suggested. *bg*
miwahni: Pros ani sighmiwahni on September 21st, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
Well that's a win!

My saga just keeps getting better. As well as the two charges I queried, I noticed just last night that I was also charged an additional $20 for something called a Premium speed pack. This was not selected on my contract - now I have to ring Optus again to query that as well. Bad enough that they told me yesterday it will take three months to get the $10pm discount applied and previous charges reversed. If it takes three months to fix a billing problem, how long would it take to fix a service fault?