02 Jul 2010
By David Thodey

Calls to Telstra customer service and complaints lines now free


In another new customer service initiative, Telstra will make nearly 50 million service and support calls free of charge for Telstra customers.

Last month I posted a blog about new customer service initiatives including weekend tech service appointments. That blog generated many comments, complaints and feedback and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to write to me.

Today, I’m announcing another new initiative to improve the value we provide to customers and to help make it easier to connect with Telstra to resolve a customer service issue or complaint.

Millions of calls are made each year to our most frequently rung customer service numbers and, as of yesterday, calls to those numbers from Telstra services will be free of charge.

So, calls from a Telstra home phone or Telstra mobile, in Australia, to our general enquiry numbers for consumers and small businesses will be free as well as calls to our fault numbers, the BigPond helpdesk and our general service number for pre-paid mobile. Calls to activate and recharge pre-paid accounts can already be made without cost to customers.

132 200 Telstra residential general enquiries
125 111 Telstra residential mobile enquiries
132 203 Telstra residential faults
137 663 BigPond enquiries
133 933 BigPond Tech Support
125 8880 Prepaid enquiries
125 8888 Prepaid recharges
125 8887 Prepaid activations
132 000 Telstra Business enquiries
132 999 Telstra Business faults

Before we decided to launch this initiative, we researched a number of potential customer service improvements. This initiative came out as the most important when we asked people to tell us what they thought. I’m glad to make it a reality today but I’m also interested in your thoughts. We are very serious about wanting to hear from you.  Really listening and acting upon customers’ feedback is a key part of the change we want our customers to experience.

More than two hundred people provided feedback to my blog last month announcing new customer service initiatives. The feedback offered us some encouragement but also gave us clear indications on what we must continue to improve upon. You told me that we can still do better and I agree.

Your views on our services, including our prices and products, have been passed onto the appropriate members of our teams.

Please keep posting your views, ideas and suggestions to me here on Telstra Exchange.



Posts: 23


  1. Alisha says:

    Telstra is a disgrace. This is the 3rd time in a matter of months that I have lost my business line, fax line and internet. I get passed from one department to another with no help from anyone. Not only that they can’t even direct the phone line properly to my mobile number so that I can at least get my phone calls. WHAT A JOKE! I will be calling the ombudsman today. Getting sick of getting jerked.

  2. ROSS says:

    Same as above and now all the calls i had to make to telstra to fix my problem,they are saying because it was from optus mobile i cant get money back for those calls.And the work i lost as well having no phone line for 16 days,no fax,no email and i run my own business.l to will be calling the ombudsman as well.

  3. jenny says:

    I agree Telstra is a disgrace, Try to get someone in Australia for billing, Its all over seas and when you ask to speak to a supervisor you are told *NO*. How rude. The billing is a disgrace, never right and when they fix it if your lucky enought to get someone in Australia the over charge is taken off and then put back on by the phillipines where telstra accounts is run from. Its disgusting

    • Rod says:

      talk to an Australian telstra complaints or anything else
      132 200 Telstra residential general enquiries
      125 111 Telstra residential mobile enquiries
      132 203 Telstra residential faults
      137 663 BigPond enquiries
      133 933 BigPond Tech Support
      125 8880 Prepaid enquiries
      125 8888 Prepaid recharges
      125 8887 Prepaid activations
      132 000 Telstra Business enquiries
      132 999 Telstra Business faults

      all you had to do was search goggle for it

  4. Neil says:

    I have been struggling with my ADSL 2+ service ince early June. I have kept careful record of all the calls I made and the time I have wasted on the phone. A month ago I requested that I get cable installed out of desperation with the service not getting resolved. The comedy of errors continued, starting with a self-install package arriving at home and an operator trying to talk me through installing the cable modem, without a backplate in the house. How hard is it to understand that I need the cable to be terminated in my study to connect the hardware to? Yesterday a telephone cable arrived and I provided the feedback. This morning a service person arrived, not able to install the cable. Who is paying for all these errors and waste of valuable resources? After 10 years with Telstra and getting all my services provided by them I thought that I would get some level of support. Please advice me on the reasonable next steps.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Neil, that sounds incredibly frustrating! I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad experience. I can escalate your complaint for you, if you would like? I will need an account and/or phone number to do so. Please email me if you want me to do that for you. Thanks, Jamie.

    • Mick says:

      Hi Neil

      Sorry to read of your dramas, but it does reinforce my belief that Telstra is staffed by the lowest of the totem pole. My own issues have abated somewhat, but it took ME to do the legwork, because Customer Support is simply useless. I wish you well. By the way…..we’re paying for their mistakes.

      • Jamie (Editor) says:

        Hi Mick, I’m really sorry to hear that you feel like that. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

  5. Chris Stanton says:

    I agree Telstra is a disgrace. They suck up the money and do so little in return. There are too many things that go wrong with there so called service to list. I am disgusted with this company and our government for letting such a rip off exist in our country.

  6. Chris Stanton says:

    Once again telstra has taken a big chunk of my credit because I didnt use all of it in time. Now I can not recharge. I have tried both #100# and 1258885. I have already wasted 1 hour of my time trying to recharge, I am with out service. I am spending way more than I should. That will be $50 Telstra, I will be sending you an invoice in the mail. Thankyou.

  7. Jenny says:

    They rang my Brother in Law last week to tell him they could slash his phone bill by $40 and give him Foxtel free. Something didn’t sound right when the contract arrived in the mail, so he rang. Of course you never speak to the same person twice and after three calls, three different people, he decided to cancel. Turns out the first caller got it wrong?? Gosh all those poor people that actually fall for it Once again….bring Telstra customer service back to Australia, stop treating customers so badly.

  8. Mike Sim says:

    Telstra is a disgrace we have had the phone out for six days, where we live we get no mobile coverage,had no joy reporting fault through internet so I put in a complaint,some one in a far off country writes back and tells me to ring the faults number and I can always ring 000 in an emergency,hey!!!! Telstra I HAVE NO PHONE.

  9. Colleen Bohan says:

    I have spoken with overseas telstra staff on numerous occasions, but to no avail. following several unrequited requests to telstra to put me onto a more affordable package, I elected to pay $140 (aprox) contract breaker fee, in order to escape from telstra’s impossibly high plans. Each time I was put on a higher base plan, i still had excess to pay. I don’t mind paying for what I use, but being a disabled pensioner, am unable to afford bills between 3 and 4 hundred dollars each month. In August this year 2013, i made a commitment to pay at least $20.00 per fortnight, which I have kept. but still I am receiving SMS messages and bills demanding immediate payment of the full amount. Might I add, they are adding $15.00 each month as late payment charge. Yesterday – 25/11/2013, despite being assured that the operator would undoubtedly solve my complaint, and spending over 30 minutes listening to a blank line whilst on hold, Nothing has changed. He told me that I will be charged that monthly account as my debt to telstra is over $100.00. Obviously terrorising mature aged pensioners who are living on the pittance handed out by our government after 50 years in the australian workforce and paying taxes over this whole time is what australians can expect.
    Colleen A Bohan

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Colleen,

      I’m really sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad experience. Would you like me to escalate the issue for you? If so, please email me your details, including a phone or account number, and I will forward to the appropriate team.


    • Rod says:

      im on 200 gigs a month cost me 80 dollars and i use it every day and night and i very rarley run out.
      i have my mobile on amaysim and dont use my home phone so it dosent cost me anymore than $119.90 per month im also on a penshion also stop talking to over seas idiots ring an australian at telstra.
      talk to an Australian telstra complaints or anything else
      132 200 Telstra residential general enquiries
      125 111 Telstra residential mobile enquiries
      132 203 Telstra residential faults
      137 663 BigPond enquiries
      133 933 BigPond Tech Support
      125 8880 Prepaid enquiries
      125 8888 Prepaid recharges
      125 8887 Prepaid activations
      132 000 Telstra Business enquiries
      132 999 Telstra Business faults

      all you had to do was search goggle for it

  10. Colleen Bohan says:

    I forwarded an email this morning. did you receive it.

    C A Bohan

  11. Jenny says:

    First of all, as there are two people with my username, I hope we are not confused with similar comments. My phone line has been down all week, so no telephone and no Internet access. I saw the tech working out the front of my home on Monday morning while I was talking on the phone. Next minute line is dead and off he goes, never to be seen again. I am told it will be fixed in 24 hours, still waiting. Why does it take so long? My husband is going in for an operation tomorrow and I need my telephone. This service is a disgrace and people should be credited immediately for days without a service. They generally do, but god you have to fight for it. I’m fed up with Telstra.this time last year there was a few weeks before I was helped. There has to be an easier way. I lose my bulk billing discount if I switch to iinet! but seriously! I think it will be worth it to at least get some service. Where does the buck stop? The Internet is flooded with complaints about this company, and strangely enough no one from the company seems to care. My mission is to find out more info about other companies today, there has to be better out there. I have been able to use my 3G sim on ipad, but the signal is so weak….why?

  12. Jenny says:

    To be clear, for the most part we dont have many problems. My argument is and always has been, when there is a problem you cannot get quick sensible answers and service. Service that we deserve considering what we pay for these services in Perth.

  13. Jenny says:

    This seems to be as close as I can get to getting some help. A week now without telephone or internet. We have rung everyday, as it was terribly important we had service on Friday. No one seems to care. Yesterday, the so called help line told me all my cases had been closed because it was too hard????? I cant believe that is true. Now I am told it will be repaired in the next 24 hours. Ok, I can live with these problems that occur from time to time, but why can we not get someone sensible to help and someone we understand? We are seniors who have had a distressing week, the phone was important. Yes we do have a mobile, but with our service down it costs a fortune to use it. I’m starting to think this is a deliberate act on Telstra part because I have complained? but really… How a can you keep your cool under these circumstances? It is 2013 these stupid problems should be resolved quickly. I saw the tech outside my home on Monday morning while I was on the telephone, I w
    as cut off and thats that! I’m definitely getting a better provider in the new year. Just a pity this country is bound to Telstra owning the lines.

  14. Peter Nelson says:

    I rely on my phone overseas and spend a lot on global roaming. Last week I went to Vietnam and wasted the trip as I could not get a local service. Telstra’s advice was that it should have worked…..

    They should all be sacked….

  15. Lyn Craven says:

    i have had nothing but problems with Telstra both re computer and landline kept on hold for ages staff hanging up – have to keep calling back waste so much time. Now I’m told due to “outrage” (what ever that means!) my land line will not work! Its not others in my area they say, its just mine so why the hell call it outrage!
    I’ve adv them they can re credit my a/c for all days I go without no landline since not paying for a service that is not 100%. They can also reimburse me for all mobile calls I now have to make (rarely call on my cheap mobile plan), since I have urgen work calls to make and health appts. I’ve been with bigpond about 3 yrs now. I noticed huge difference with efficiency accessing emails via webmail when in Qld, useless, a joke so bloody slow. After over 2 doz calls over 18mths complaining re this useless facility I reported to Ombudsman, who kindly linked my gmail to bigpond so I can access former when travelling – for what we pay for Telstra sevs we should not have to do that! A technician at Telstra told me he does this since he agreed with me the platform for the webmail is not good and that Tech guys were “onto it”
    Its one thing after another. Get it RIGHT Telstra many of us are sick of paying high service fees for poor quality service. My colleague recently went months with someone hacking into his usage and nobody at Telstra could figure out what to do! A police officer friend told him how to go about it. Like all companies who “off shore” business many Aussies are fed up having to deal with staff in other countries, often they can’t u/stand and other times like with me today they hang up on you (its too hard for them!).

    I’m so over Telstra !

  16. Lyn Craven says:

    I note Ross you had to make calls from Optus mobile like me. I demanded they reimburse me in first instance before making calls to companies I had to contact today urgently. I am including calls I make to Telstra also. they have recorded this on my Case details via number. Never never never do anything unless you have it in writing I don’t trust anyone re these things, some people don’t know how to “follow through” with requests. Any issues and YES go straight to the Ombudsman. I learnt years ago, you want something done right you go to the top. You don’t take NO for an answer. YOu are paying for a service. they must honour that fee or reimburse time you are not receiving that service

  17. Jenny says:

    I have been with them over 40 years and had no trouble until they decided to go offshore. Well, no more for me. I wont be hung up on again by those rude inconsiderate people, and Telstra hopefully will notice more and more people leaving them.

    • Travis says:

      Until some other company digs up the street and shoves their cables in. Telstra will have the monopoly and you will never get away from them.

  18. Gerard p says:

    Dear Telstra,

    could someone in the senior management with some basic understanding of their own technology and who is located in Australia please take some responsibility for resolving faults.
    Like many, I don’t expect the corporate chiefs to give a fig. They’re busy relocating the service anywhere but in Australia. If my telephone doesn’t work, I then ring the fault line with my non Telstra mobile (mea culpa). This costs more as I wait and wait and wait for someone to pick up. It makes one feel like something scraped off the Telstra corporate shoe.And please, please drop the corporate managerial marketing, spin doctoring weasel words from all that useless customer service training or whatever it’s called now. Just plain clear
    language thanks, listen carefully and provide a service that you can feel good about. We’re just people!

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Gerard, I really hate to hear that you’ve had a bad experience and feel like something scraped off a Telstra corporate shoe. That’s not the customer experience we want to achieve here! I will pass this feedback on for you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Thanks, Jamie.

    • Gerard says:

      Hello Jamie,

      thanks for your response. The landline is out of action – just static on the handset. We finally got through to someone who was going to arrange for a technician to check the line outside today. haven’t had a chance to check yet. Even if it turns out to be our handset it would be good to have someone confirm as musch sooner rather than later.The comment about being scraped of a shoe is perhaps a bit strident but also a measure of the frustration one feels while waiting. We’ll see how we go.

      • Jamie (Editor) says:

        I’ve felt that frustration before, so I understand. I just hope that we can get you connected as soon as possible! If you find you still find you are having trouble next week, please let me know and I can escalate it for you. Goodluck! :)

    • Rod says:

      talk to an Australian telstra complaints or anything else
      132 200 Telstra residential general enquiries
      125 111 Telstra residential mobile enquiries
      132 203 Telstra residential faults
      137 663 BigPond enquiries
      133 933 BigPond Tech Support
      125 8880 Prepaid enquiries
      125 8888 Prepaid recharges
      125 8887 Prepaid activations
      132 000 Telstra Business enquiries
      132 999 Telstra Business faults

      all you had to do was search goggle for it

  19. Tony says:

    The above list of comments makes depressive reading. My experience of Telstra has generally been much more positive, with them helpful on technical matters and remedying faults.

    As to costs, they still have lots of room to improve and we can only hope that splitting off Telstra’s hardware/cabling side of the business leaves everyone competing for our business…

  20. Julio says:

    I have been reading everyones complaints about Telstra’s service or should I say lack of service. I too have issues with Telstra.
    I have been trying now for 3 months to get an unlocking code for an MF-626 mobile broadband modem which I have had for about 4 years but I wasn’t using it very often and would only put credit on it whenever I needed to use the internet away from home as I have internet at home (Not with Telstra). Consequently I did not recharge it for some time and when one day when I needed it I attempted to recharge the credit only to discover that Telstra in their wisdom had cancelled the service altogether.
    I was always under the impression that if something was prepaid you only topped it up when required. If I wanted something where I had to pay every month I would have gone on a plan because you can usually get a better deal.
    Anyway for 3 months now I have made phone call after phone call to Telstra’s foreign call centre in the Phillipines to get an unlocking code for said modem and keep getting told that the manufacturer has not yet sent it to them which I think is a load of bulldust really.
    Then to top it all off when I try to tell them how long I have been trying to get the unlocking code for they always pass the buck and blame the last operator for not putting in the request or their records don’t accurately indicate the dates which I have called them on which inccidently I have recorded everytime as proof because they can’t be trusted to do it properly.
    Whilst they are always very apologetic and polite I feel that they are not accountable to anyone being in a forign country and as such do whatever they please and thumb their noses at us, the customer who incidently pay their wages too.
    I also have a prepaid phone locked to Telstra which they tell me I can’t unlock until May 2014 and a home line through Telstra also which I am seriously thinking of canning as I can’t get any satisfaction from Telstra on so many levels.

    Conclusion – 3 months, still no unlocking code for the modem and no idea when I might get one.

    NOT good enough TELSTRA.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Julio, I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had an ongoing problem with us. Have you tried the Live Chat team? They will be able to talk to you while you’re already online. If you would like, I can escalate the issue for you, but I will need an account number to do that. If you want me to, please email your details to me and I will follow up. Thanks, Jamie.

  21. Jenny says:

    Yes Tony, it IS depressive reading, but facts are facts. Personally I don’t see a point to this actual site apart from poor customers being able to vent. No one from Telstra is taking any notice really. I have been with them for over 40 years. I doubt wether I will be in the new year. All Telstra need to do, is improve their customer service. Then Im sure most people would be a lot happier. My service has since been repaired. Took him all of 3 or 4 minutes. It was what I stated right at the start…NOT my equipment which is their catch cry most of the time.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Jenny,

      Again, I’m really sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience. I can assure you that we take notice of all these complaints and I have passed your feedback left on Telstra Exchange on for you. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.


  22. Lyn says:

    I rang a/cs to re affirm that Telstra is paying my optus mobile as per discussion on Monday first instance – when I had no land line working, all tech guys I spoke with (about 8-9) over last 2.5 days said its noted but I no longer trust anyone in Telstra!!!
    The girl in a/cs had no record of this, so I demanded to talk with supervisor – not available! Of course not. So now I wait for manager to call me. I won’t be paying my Optus calls since Mon period. Telstra’s problem not mine. AND I expect credit for all days/hours I do not have a land line working. I have reported them to my local MP who following up on it with their Telstra contact. The TIO also knows about it and waits to hear from me on Monday if Telstra has not full filled promise of resolving my inactive landline. If you need to call Telecommuncations Ombudsman its 1800 062 058 push all avenues people. This company needs to be put on notice to get it right without a days delay.

  23. sue says:

    So I have a new phone line and decided to go through Telstra. Already regretting it. I have the amazingly annoying messagebank installed on my phone without my permission. The last time Telstra put it on my phone without my permission, I lost half my friends – why? Because after I got Telstra to switch it off, my calls kept going through to a messagebank somewhere even though Telstra assured me that it was not installed on my phone. I received a delightful call from one friend telling me that this was the last time they were going to ring me because I never phoned them back. I had not received a single call or message from them and they told me that they had heard my ‘answering machine’ telling them that they were on message bank. Now Telstra has installed messagebank again, and despite my asking them to cancel it and confirmation they that have ‘cancelled’ it – I still have the burr before I dial that tells me that it’s still operating and collecting messages. Wonder how many friends I’ll lose this time because I’m not calling them back. I’m about to phone the Telephone Ombudsman, and seriously thinking about phoning my solicitor. The last time I got fed up, I started to collect names and phone numbers of people who were experiencing the same problems – anyone interested in a class action lawsuit?

  24. Mike says:

    We have a fault on our store landline – the line is dead, no sound whatsoever. Reported this on the 9 Dec and promised a 24 hr turnaround. Advised that it was a major outage affecting the local exchange. Now very store in the same building on Telstra does not have a problem. This includes the shop next to me that runs off the same wall switch panel as I do – go figure. The overseas person from India who so rudely hung up on me did not say when I could expect to hear further from Telstra. What gives the overseas call centres the right to just cut people off when a question is too hard to answer? My case number 150421424

  25. Geoff says:

    I return to this site after a period of absence to again vent my disgust at Telstra’s complaints handling.
    After a very poorly handled concern over the failed service to my father’s number I lodged a complaint and got the standard “within 5 business days” email.
    Seven ‘business days’ later I reminded you of that promise and received “I have followed this up with the case manager handling this incident and she will be contacting you within 1-2 business days. The reference number for the call back is ACT1-149969056565.”
    That was sent at 12:21 on the 18th and guess what? Correct, nothing.
    I have been a Telstra customer for over 20 years, with several accounts and this incident serves as a reminder of how little you seem to think of your customers.
    I do not seek another trite apology, but rather an explanation of: what went wrong, what you are going to do about improving your complaints handling and how you feel you should compensate me for the time I have wasted trying to sort out this issue.
    Merry Christmas

    • Geoff says:

      Jamie – an update, I eventually spoke to one of your people, related the whole sorry saga,specifically that NOT ONE of the ‘promises’ made by Telstra systems and staff were kept.
      She offered no solution, no compensation for my time, and could only recommend that I lodge a complaint about the handling of my case on your automated complaints handling line. I did, and got no response.
      For some years I have chosen not to ignore failure when it impacts on me, but to fight the good fight, in an effort to help change happen. Up to recently my batting average was pretty good; including matters with the ATO, Centrelink and Telstra. The camel’s back has been broken and I will now retire to join the people that are either too busy, too rich, too ignorant or too lazy to fight for what they believe is right.
      YOU WIN

  26. Steve says:

    Well, typing this as I sit on the phone to Telstra, mostly on hold, the timer on the phone is reading 47 minutes. ADSL meant to be connected on the 10th, it’s now the 21st, still no Internet after calling telstra every couple of days, just got off hold now and been put onto a third person from telstra who I’ve had to explain the problem to in this one phone call. Being escalated seems to mean nothing because ours has been escalated since last Friday and still no Internet or no once that can tell us what is wrong.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Steve, I’m really sorry to hear that you’re having a bad experience with us. Are you still experiencing a problem? I would love to help, but I will need your details to do that. Can you please email me an account or phone number so I can follow up? Thanks, Jamie.

    • Mick says:

      Hi Steve

      I found that “escalation” was Telstra-speak for giving the customer a warm, fuzzy feeling. Sadly, this is not the case. Try this…..tell your next person to spell their name – assuming they can spell in English, then record the conversation. The Ombudsman puts a lot of weight on being able to prove the incompetence of Telstra.

      Hi Jamie

      If Steve’s problem is eleven days overdue, what possible logic are you using that might suggest his issue has been resolved just one day later??????

      Steve’s issue and the apparent ineptitude of customer service angers me. Tell us, Jamie. Why is this continually happening?……on here, right now. Don’t pigeon hole my question by suggesting I email you.

      • Jamie (Editor) says:

        Hi Mick,

        As Steve was on the phone, I wanted to make sure I didn’t waste his time. I’m sorry if you feel I am pigeon holing the question, but I can promise the only reason I need an email is because we cannot follow-up the complaint without an account or phone number and I would discourage any customer from posting those details on the internet.

        I hope this clarifies a little bit.


  27. Sydney Lawrence says:

    Comments on ‘Exchange’ are always interesting and should be a guide to Telstra as to where improvements should be made.

    As a student of Business and a long time follower of Telstra I do have some thoughts on the subject of Telstra and their customer service. I do know that, at times, problems are encountered with continuation of a customer service complaint because of continual explanation of the problem with each call. This is no reflection on the Telstra Staff in the Philippines as they are always courteous and helpful to the extent of their ability.

    It it a fact (and this is not a cop-out excuse and is of no consequence to the customer) that because of Government Policy Telstra has been restricted, to a large extent, from carrying out some of their planned upgrades. For instance Telstra is unable to make changes to their copper network until the Government decides if the copper cable will be used into the future.

    Telstra Chief, David Thodey is determined to improve Telstra’s customer service but it is a complicated and expensive project and while not perfect, improvements are being made. It is a fact that Australia’s Telstra is embraced by Australians as our best and fastest improving telecom provider and together with Government Telstra will continue it’s superior role with the supply of Australia’s new National Broadband Network.

  28. Grahame says:

    Improve SERVICE

    Well it has a long way to go, to the service level the OLD TELSTRA had.

    Having call centre staff you can not understand makes it very hard to talk to.

    Staff who say they are in Wollongong sound if they are overseas. They are too quiet.

    They also can not help you in explaining changes that appear on your bill.

    I have a credit for a item which they say is not on my buddle. This was not explained to me at the time or even now could not be. He talked about the mobile and this has not been changed. The only change was the internet usage limit. 25Meg to 100Meg. No indication of change to mobile. This is a plan that goes still for a while.

    You change things but do NOT tell the customer.

    You just cannot run a business like this.

  29. Lin says:

    I am a very disgruntled ex-customer who is STILL chasing Telstra for a refund of unused credit. After several calls to 132200 (passed from rep to rep and cut off during the process) I was assured a cheque would arrive just after Christmas. It is now almost Valentine’s Day with no refund in sight and I have absolutely no loving feelings after calling 132200 AGAIN to have a rep inform me that the cheque was sent to an address that has been out of date for at least FOUR YEARS. This is despite multiple calls informing Telstra of the correct address AND a rep confirming my details had been updated. What is even more ridiculous: the phone service in question was not even connected at the old address to which the cheque was sent. Incompetence of the first order!!! I have been assured today that my refund will be sent to the correct address this time but I have no confidence whatsoever that this will happen, so I fully expect to go through this whole charade again in another 4-8wks. If the tables were turned and I were the one owing Telstra money, their debt collectors would be on my doorstep by now!

    Very glad I am now with a provider that addresses all enquiries PROMPTLY, keeps me INFORMED regularly and RESOLVES the issue without me having to chase them again and again. Their customer service excellence puts Telstra to utter shame EACH AND EVERY TIME.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hello Lin, I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had such a terrible time. I would really like to follow this up, but to do so I will need an account or a phone number. Are you please able to email me the details? Thanks, Jamie.

  30. Debbie says:

    I have been trying to call for support from the US and can not get thru. Are you able to give me an international number that will work from the US? I have a pre-paid phone and my number is soon to expire and I would like to know what I need to do to keep my number. I travel to Australia often and will be using it again in March. But the last time I was there was in August. Please help!

  31. Debra says:

    We have been receiving phone calls someone from someone who says they are from telstra over the last week and an a half. When you answer the phone is a few seconds pause before the caller says hello. The persons are not Australian nationality. They have persist a few times and I have tried to ask for the identification number to check the validity of the caller. Please help.

  32. Valerie says:

    I agree that telstra has the worst customer service. I swapped my telephone and internet bundle to Optus before Christmas and rang telstra to find out if there’s anything I need to do to complete the swap. I was assured that there was nothing for me to do and it will be automatically done. Guess what? I was billed for my internet services the following month. I did the 24 x 7 chat with telstra at least 2 weeks ago to have the internet services cancelled, charges reversed and the credit in my account refunded. I was assured by Mary Grace that the refund will be processed. I did the 24 x 7 chat with John Ray last night and was told that it has not been processed and I have to contact the refunds team today between 9 am – 5 pm! What a joke! I have just called them and was told that it will be processed and was asked for my bank acc details so that telstra can refund my credit by EFT. I provided my bank acc details and was promptly told that it is not a NAB acc! What has that go to do with my refund? I was then told that I have been paying my telstra bills thru a NAB acc. What a joke when I don’t even have a NAB acc! Get your act together telstra! I have terminated my acc and any credit should be automatically refunded PROMPTLY. Why do I have to run around to get back what is rightfully mine?

  33. Paula says:

    I have had the same problem over and over again no matter what you call Telstra about you get transferred to India or something and you speak to people who barely understand English! then you try to explain something and they have no idea! they pass you onto someone else, then another and another and half an hour later you have no solution!

    They even told me at one stage that I had no account with them? when I get their bills and I pay them etc.

    Then if you request to be put through to someone else at rare instances you get put through to Australian reps and it’s a totally different experience.

    What are you doing Telstra???? why do we have to put up with this, its frustrating, time consuming and extremely unprofessional!

    They don’t know how to cancel diverted calling from a number to another, they don’t know how to look up your account and they don’t know anything at all!!!

  34. dianne simms says:

    I am extremely upset with Telstra Broadand.. we have been with Telstra since dial up many years ago.. at present we have ADSL and for 1.5 weeks many sites will not connect and as a small business we are unable to access both the St George Bank and ANZ.. we get the error message will not connect to the server

    I have rung and waited on 4 times the longest being from 6.30 pm till I hung up at 9.15 pm

    I have been promised 2 calls from the accelerated team which have not evenuated.. I am reluctant to leave the premises as we need this full service restored in order to meet our clients expectations

    I am getting to the yelling stage which is not fair on the operators who are only doing their job.. I now have a reference number and after this email, I will be forwarding my complaint onto the Telecommunications Ombudsman.. I gave the survey a zero score as to whether I would recommend this service to other people and I also stated my complaint was not resolved

    some service

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Dianne, I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad experience with us. I would really like to help out here, but to do so requires a phone or account number. Are you please able to email me those details? Thanks, Jamie.

  35. Glen says:

    Mr Thodey,
    With all the recent complaints regarding the Telstra ADSL service and my own service being affected, is Telstra having a major problem with its’ ADSL service. If so, should customers get a discount on their bill to reflect this as they are not getting the service they are paying for?
    I have asked for a discount but no one from Telstra has addressed this issue. My case file is now closed but we are still getting intermittent dropouts which should not happen.
    Forwarded for your response.

  36. Geoff says:

    Hi all,
    It seems that there is no one driving the ship ‘Telstra Exchange’ at the moment. Maybe Jamie will let us know if/when someone will resume fending our concerns. Jamie has managed two responses in January, one in February and may well be a casualty of Telstra’s cut backs.
    Good luck

  37. Damien Jan says:

    Why do Telstra staff from overseas LIE as to their location?
    I asked to speak to Australian consultant and was put through to two different consultants who lied they were in Melbourne but had no idea of weather, suburb, well known Australian Business names etc.
    How can you talk to Australian operator

  38. John Mercado says:

    Hi Jamie, good to see this kind of initiative.

    My problem is a little complicated – aren’t they all…

    I was run over and broke my back in April last year while I was already experiencing financial duress and receiving benefits. I managed to keep paying my bills but was all the while spiralling into a depression because of the circumstances I found myself in. In this state of mind it’s difficult to see things clearly and make sound decisions.

    My father who lives overseas offered to pay my fare to visit him and stay for a while to help with my recovery. I called Telstra to explain the situation and asked if I could freeze my account for around 3months. Whoever I spoke to was not very supportive despite the delightful tone she spoke in.
    I didn’t have much time to sort things out and so I decided I would play it by ear while I was overseas. I have had trouble paying bills in the past and always managed to catch up somehow or another without too much trouble from Telstra. While overseas I kept checking my account and had two bills come in which I could not pay at the time but reasoned with myself that I would pay as soon as I got back to Australia when my centrelink benefits recommenced as they were withheld while I was overseas.

    When I get back on the 17th of February I try and find my phone number in my iphone app, in order to pay by bill, but the number and my details was no longer available.

    I call Telstra only to be shockingly informed that my number had been cancelled because of unpaid bills and been put in a number pool making it irretrievable. I was asked if I was the one who cancelled it to which I replied I most certainly did not. I told them I was never warned of a cancellation and that I was I would have made some sort of arrangement to avoid losing my number.

    I was so disappointed to have lost my phone number of 10 plus years, a number that was valuable for business purposes as is was very easy to remember. I was then informed that if I wanted to go back on a plan I had to pay a cancelation fee, the remainder of the contract and the remainder of the phone. All this came to more than $2000!!!

    I decided to personally visit the Telstra shop at Leichhardt and ended up sitting there for about 3 hours (on a bad back) Everyone was being ever so friendly as usual and we came to an agreement that If i paid the remainder of the contract plus the phone they would waive the cancelation fee. I reluctantly agreed in spite of not being able to have my old number back. I just needed to be contactable again. I couldn’t settle at the shop because I needed to come up with $816.82 so I had to resort to borrowing the money and paid over the phone the next day.

    I made sure I recorded all the interaction numbers. I was informed by sweet sounding voices that my ordeal was over and that all I had to do was take my receipt number and id to the Telstra shop and I would be placed on a plan again with no further troubles.

    I get to the Telstra shop ready to get on a new plan and was then informed I had to go through a credit check!! Previous to my visit to the shop the lady on the phone said that if I had any trouble that I should just present my receipt number and the Telstra shop owner could call Telstra to check that I had paid. I ended up being at the Telstra shop for another 4hrs because of the case being passed from department to department.

    By the end of it my back was in agony. Moreover, I was not approved because apparently I was owning $512 or so for an unpaid ADSL bill. I protested about it and informed the Telstra people that I had paid that bill about a year and half ago explaining that at the time, even though I paid it, the bill would not disappear from the Telstra app. So back then, the call centre people assured me that I was not to worry because even though the bill did not disappear from the app, the bill was actually paid. At that time I waited a couple of days and it still kept showing up on the app as an unpaid bill. I called again and finally after that call it was dealt with and the bill no longer appeared on the app.

    Now about 1 year and half later I’m told that the ‘unpaid’ bill which was actually paid had been passed on to debt collectors!!! Furthermore, I would not be able to get onto a contract until it was settled!! I was exhausted by then and left.

    I was advised by friends to try and talk to Telstra customer service and if that did not yield any results then I should take the matter to the Telecommunications Ombudsman.

    Can you help me in any way?

    PS. I’ve had to resort to using a Telstra pre paid telephone number in the meantime.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi John,

      First, I just want to say that I hope you’re feeling better now. Secondly, I’m so sorry for all the different information we’ve sent your way, especially during a time of need! If you ever do need information on our hardship policy, we have a page dedicated to it on our website. While I can’t look into your account directly, I can escalate it and get someone to call you back, if you would like. To do this I will need an account or phone number. Are you please able to email that to me? We also have a 24×7 Live Chat team who will be able to talk to you online, if you ever need it.

      I hope this helps.


  39. John Mercado says:

    Was on the line for 49min and 23 seconds most of which was on hold and still i was not provided with any solutions. Just another call back promise.

  40. Maria Zocco says:

    Your customer service is absolutely disgraceful. I was on the phone for 23 min. Then hung up because I will be charged by the minute!! Your saying ‘We’re available 24 hrs. A day’ is a load of hogwash.

  41. John says:

    Jamie, I have sent you a reply email on the 26th of February with my details as requested and I have not got a response from you or an escalation as you promised! I have found that this situation is escalating indeed without your help. I received a new bill today stating I have TWO days to pay $1637.00!!!! it doesn’t say what the bill is for and it does not allow me to inspect the bill. This is beyond ridiculous. This is my last comment here. It’s now a detailed letter to the communications ombudsman.

    • Hi John, Thanks for contacting me again! I received your email the other day, but as it had no other details other than a phone number I was unable to follow-up. Now I have this comment I can connect the two. I will forward to the team for you. Thanks, Jamie.

  42. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Do you ever begin a comment reply without first apologising for the poor service that the user has “implied” they have experienced. I am sure we ALL would love to hear from you the results of your dedicated research and educated guess into why all the problems and what’s on the planner to improve we users experience.

    I look forward to your non-apologitic reply.


    Troubled Telstra User X

    • Hi Steve,

      Honestly, I’m just trying to do what is best within my capabilities. :)

      Please let me know if there is something you’d like me to follow-up with.


  43. Merenne Jayaratna says:

    Today 23rd March at 4 pm Melbourne time submitted a problem to call centre .Within 15 mts it was resolved to my entire satisfaction.Telstra has really delighted the customer.

    Thank you

  44. john says:

    Very aggressive calls have been made to our Launceston phone number mostly Friday or Saturday nights from people claiming to be from the technical department of Telstra (as if), wanting access to our computers to fix them because they claim our Telstra internet service is about to crash.
    We are computer literate, but fear for others being taken in by this obvious scam!
    I said that there is no way you people are getting access to our computers, goodbye!
    They still persisted until I hung up!

  45. Pete says:

    Having to complain about the Telstra complaints department does seem absurd however a problem that has continued for several months and has required time wasting / time consuming phone calls that started with the service problems centre where I was unfortunate enough to speak with someone who’s English made communication difficult to say the least (yes, most ironic) was only the beginning.

    Though to her credit she said a technician would call back when the problem was resolved and it was within 90 minutes. However, this technicians accent and mumbling made it near impossible to understand what was being said. At least when I asked was the problem resolved, he said yes.

    Regrettably, this was not the case. I called the complaints number and spoke to a member of staff who spoke coherent English and she was most apologetic for what had happened and she too looked into what was going on. Having to explain the problem time and again is frustrating but I was told the initial fix did nothing and for some reason, the problem with service we pay for had to be cancelled, reprogrammed and reactivated. This would take at least three days which did not present a problem considering the service was already out of action. This too was a long phone call, it was followed up by another equally understandable and helpful member of the complaints team and finally, our problem was resolved.

    The service was working perfectly until two or three weeks ago so I called complaints again. Having explained the problem, again, being told I was speaking to someone in ‘advanced customer support’ and that it appeared there was no problem as detected from the Telstra end. As if I’m going to call if there is no problem – having wasted so much time to date, let alone this email but after five business days and the weekend, the promise of the phone call informing me of what was happening had not occurred so again, I phone complaints this morning.

    The frustration was compounded by the person telling me their name and employee number in heavily accented English. He to said there was no problem being seen at the Telstra end, and as there was no information recorded on his “screen”, Telstra presumes the problem is resolved.

    If this is the case, just to keep a long term customer informed, let alone happy, the promised phone call to tell me the situation would have be the decent thing to do. I do realise there would be shedloads of people complaining about the Telstra service and calls may not be returned quickly as the problem may not be resolved quickly however keeping the customer informed, not to mention it is a customer who has contacted complaints, from a business point of view, this is appalling.

    I have now been told that the service needs to be reprogrammed, again (perhaps third time lucky) and that the employee I spoke to this morning will follow up with an email and phone call. I have received the somewhat generic email but from recent experience, I won’t hold my breathe for the phone call and regrettably, I won’t expect the service I pay for to be 100% functional either.

    Truly, what does a customer need to do?

  46. Erica McNab says:

    Is there anything Telstra can do about the annoying spam calls we are getting? We are receiving up to 20 per day now, despite being on the do not call register. People on the other end either don’t speak at all, or tell us they are from Microsoft Support, obviously trying to get into our computer systems to do some mischief. I feel like cutting off our home service altogether.

  47. Mark Bradbury says:

    Telstra is not helping their costumers by saying they have a Costumer Service compliants number when it is the same number as the you would ring for just any service call that goes to the Phillippines. I have tried very hard to get my son who is a minor phone Data usage disconnected as it come off his prepaid calls. I have now call the number to the Phillippines now twice and contact the 24/7 twice the first gentle advice that all was disconnected we then found it wasn’t so I tried the 24/7 and spoke to Rizza who had have that it hadnt been done and assured my she would look into it. I then spoke to Ramces who again told me that it was done. I have now just got of the phone to think Liza or Melissa who was quite unhelp and I start get fustrated with her, I explained that I have had a major accident and suffered a serve brain injury and get fustrated very easily, explaining medical condition did not seem to make any difference and she keep saying she could not help or even offer a credit of $10 to his account as it was my issue not hers. Yet explaining that I request data not to be connected did not seem to mean anything.

    When are we going to be able to talk to someone in this country and get thing sorted. Why does come to the fact that you need to go to the Ombudsman to get thing done.

    I have been a loyal Telstra costumer for nearly 30 years and shareholder for 18 years. We are really getting sick of the way Telstra keeps making bigger and bigger problems for it costumers. Seriously get back on track and so off I go again to the Ombudsman for a 12 year old minor.

    Getting sick of this crap and being treated badly by Phillippines, but I suppose you want cheap and I suppose you are getting it with some of the staff!!!!

  48. Sandra Kastner says:

    Well haven’t your company ruined my day actually my month. We recieved a very large bill(not your fault) due on the 19th March 2014, Knowing that I was going to have a problem paying it I contacted Your company and asked if It were possible to work out a payment plan for the month so I could pay this account. Yes we can do that for you and it has been approved details reference no.D610719…..Staff employee number d610719. You were supposed to debit my account on the 26/3/2014 for the amount of $380 and then the Balance of $389.08 which was account paid. The amount was not debited from my account as agreed (and don’t tell me there wasn’t funds, because there was)and on the 9th of April you withdrew the complete payment and now have left us in quite a bit of trouble ie trying to prepare for a cyclone when most of our funds were taken out .I thought an agreement was an agreement. Pissed off comes to mind. Thanks Telstra.

  49. Lisa says:

    I need your help. We recently moved house, and the experience with Telstra was appalling. We finally have service after many weeks of delay and no service, partly caused by your system continually using the incorrect address. But we’ve now received a bill for nearly $1,000 with incorrect charges (sent to the wrong address, but passed on to us). I had help from an employee who emailed me with your standard ‘Get back in touch’ form and her specific details and I used it; however, she’s not got back to me. Another employee called me and said my details would be passed to her but she’s still not got back to me-I presume she didn’t get the message. I’ve tried to repeat the process and the system won’t allow it. I had such poor service from other employees that I don’t want to call and receive help from a random employee who doesn’t know our case. Meanwhile, we have this bill which includes an overdue fee for a bill I never received (sent to the wrong address, I imagine). I need to talk to someone who can review the situation, most desirably the original employee, before our service is cut off because of these unpaid bills.

    • Hi Lisa,

      That sounds like a big mess! I can definitely get someone to give you a call and investigate why you weren’t called back to begin with. I will just need an account or phone number to do that. Are you please able to email me? Don’t forget to include the description of the situation from your comment above.

      I’m sorry that you’ve had such a bad experience. I hope we can fix it for you ASAP!

  50. Elese says:

    LOL… We signed up for our home phone with Telstra in November. Its April and they still haven’t managed to work out how to connect the line.

    In December I spent 4 hours on the phone, I think I spoke to 6 different departments, each promising me the world and none of them making any notes of the conversation, so nothing happened.
    Me and my partner are waiting until our mobile contracts are expired with telstra and will be moving all our service else where.

Leave a Comment