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: 30


  1. Cathy Walsh says:

    I have called Telstra twice to let them know that my Wifi is not working. I received a phone call today from Mary who is in the Phillipines and she has advised me that the problem is not my modem its with the underground cables and that they will send a technician out when they are in the area to fix and repair the cables by the 7th of May. Now that is over 2 weeks which is unacceptable I need my WIFI to be fixed today as I need it for my work commitments so does that mean I get a refund for my 2 weeks without my WIFI what a joke Telstra I have been with your company for so many years I think its time to move to Optus. Can you please look into this for me and
    hopefully this can be sorted before the 7th of May.

    • Hi Cathy, The best place to check is with the Live Chat team, who will be able to look into it for you.

    • Tracey says:

      Hi Cathy….we just had the same thing 14 days for the tech to come out…..just to tell us our 10 yr modem worked but the cable connecting it (grey) was twisted and was stopping the internet……If it was a fault with the modem we were not eligible for a new one…..Telstra does not look after existing customers any more…..everything you have to pay for! Good luck!

  2. Kevin Miller says:

    Don’t expect too much response to your complaint to Telstra, they are not interested in customer service, they now only have “Jamie”putting you off telling you to fill out this or that form, they did have a few others a while back.also don’t think that going to Optus will make any difference as the cable is still Telstra’s responsibility, and they want you to go there then they do not have to answer to your complaints about their non service! They still get payed from Optus

  3. Shabana says:

    on the 17/4/14 at 9am a Tech. guy installed a new modem and also registered it and advised internet will be up after an hour until today nothing has been done, have been calling the activations team from the 17/04/14 and now its 23/4/14 still nothing has been done. Been on hold with the so called Telstra complaints and activation team for more than 1 hour, keep being put on hold nothing is getting done. Want to speak with some one in Australia but was advised if speaking with the Australia team or overseas(phillipines) you will get the same result. NOTHING!!!! I will be going to another supplier. Incompetent… is what I think, Telstra has name and that’s all no service no customer relation, they cant even speak good English.

  4. Shabana says:

    on the 17/4/14 at 9am a Tech. guy installed a new modem and also registered it and advised internet will be up after an hour until today nothing has been done, have been calling the activations team from the 17/04/14 and now its 23/4/14 still nothing has been done. Been on hold with the so called Telstra complaints and activation team for more than 1 hour, keep being put on hold nothing is getting done. I will be going to another supplier. Incompetent… is what I think, Telstra has name and that’s all no service no customer relation, they cant even speak good English.

  5. jones says:

    all Bob Hawke’s doing.

  6. Peter Sabolewsky says:

    In November, I bought a laptop and rang Bigpond to get help setting up my bigpond email account. The person (from the Philippines) told that Outlook Express has lots of troubles with Windows * and recommended Incredimail. Guess what? Incredimail wont open as it says invalid password or user id. I rang Bigpond yesterday, April 23 and got a recording saying that in light of heavy call traffic, someone would call me back. I got called back 4 times by a computer which then dropped out due to technical difficulties., I rang Bigpond again, got a real person, but not much better than the computer. He said that after all he had tried,he would escalate my problem and someone would call me back in an hour. It is now 27 hours and I am still waiting Telstra. Due you really think this is appropriate service? What a f**king joke. Browsing othe ISP providers

  7. Liam Mania says:

    I keep getting texts saying I have an “Order” from telstra and it will be “added to my next bill” and to call these numbers but I haven’t ordered anything and no one on any of these damn numbers can help me, I think I’m being screwed around by your staff AGAIN.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Liam, If you have not made this order, then it is possible it is either a mistake or a scam. Please call through to 13 22 00 to confirm and always use this number in future. Thanks, Jamie.

  8. Hannes Keyser says:

    Dear Telstra. 1 hour and 3 minutes phone call to 132203 to report a technical fault to my tbox. I had to enter my Telephone number TWICE, say my telephone number SIX times to all 6 people I talked to, spell my name and address SIX times(I.e. Had to spell “milsons” in Mary, indigo, Lima……) asked to be put through to a supervisor THREE TIMES: first time I was recycled back to the front of the line, second time it was said that they can’t and third time I supposedly talked to a supervisor (who was none the wiser and tried to tell me he doesn’t think there is something wrong with my tbox). I endured through it cause there actually is something wrong with the tbox and a satchel will be sent out for me to return it. You need to ask yourself if this simple task was worth Telstra paying 6 of your overseas call centre staff members collectively more than 1 hour to resolve vs. how long an Australian call centre operator would have taken to resolve it…..

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hello Hannes, I’m really sorry to hear about your experience on the phones. Is there anything I can do to help from my end? In future, you can always chat to us using Live Chat, which will allow you to keep the window open in another window. Thanks, Jamie.


    Telstra sold me the entertainer pinnacle bundle for $160.00 which includes the cost of Telstra Voice Freedom (my original landline). However every month Telstra charges me an extra $89.90 for my Landline. And I have to ring India to get the bill fixed over the phone. They aren’t capable of sending the corrected bill but but assure me it will be fixed. 6 months on they’re still making the same mistake. I will ring the complaints line at 9am. It will be interesting to see if they have anyone attending to the complaints line. Do not publish my email address or send me any junk mail.

  10. Dejan says:

    stop outsourcing to india they are useless, trying to set up my landline and no help 45 min on the line, totally useless.

  11. Margaret Barker says:

    paid my my out standing account around 9am this morning but still got an sms this afternoon telling me my phone would be disconnected within an half hour. Why is this I made arrangements earlier this week and I adhered to it. What Gives?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Margaret, It’s possible that the the back-end system didn’t update in time to stop the SMS, which means it’s just an automated action. However, please check with our Live Chat team just to be sure :)

  12. Maryanne says:

    I have just finished contacting Live Chat. Only waited 5 minutes and had two problems sorted in a very short time, plus some unexpected help. When they suggest Live Chat try it. Hoping you get a positive experience.

  13. Trish says:

    Telstra can only provide me with wirless as adsl not available to me but the new estate across the road CAN have adsl…when I asked why, i am told sorry we dont have a port available for you but i have lived here for over 8 years so why does a new resident take priority over me? To add insult to injury i was told i could upgrade from my terrible 7GB for $59.95 (yes that is not a typo) to a measly 15B for the ridiculous price of $110 per month but adsl get 200GB for less than $80 per month oh and i also have to commit to another 12mth contract..what a joke ….needless to say i have now moved on to TIO with my complaint

  14. Debg Heathfield says:

    I have had nothing but problems with my Samsung Galaxy S4 . Purchased on the 21/9/13. It won’t stay running it keeps switching off and then turning on off, on off,just showing Samsung on the screen then getting very hot . The problem is still happening after repairs on the 15/3/2014 and today after a long discussion on the phone with Telstra who said she could not help me as I don’t have the right IMEI # which belongs to someone elses phone! (after not getting anywhere on Sunday in the Cairns Central Store as it kept coming up as fault and was to be contact on Monday at 9am , but nothing) I am now told I have a REFURBISHED phone. PLEASE !! I am not paying a monthly plan for someone’s elses crap.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Deb, that sounds like a frustrating situation! I can escalate the issue for you, but will need an account number to do that. Are you please able to email me your comment above, along with an account or phone number? Thanks so much, Jamie.

  15. marina says:

    Contacting Telstra unwelcome calls department is a shocker. I have twice tried to contact them with both times nearly waiting on hold for an hour and half till I give up and hang up. Ridiculous you guys should be ashamed you could at least come on every now and then to tell us how long it will be before you answer the call, but na you have stupid music going I have better things to do with my life then sit for hours on hold.

  16. Dorothy says:

    An hour ago i called Telstra now I am sitting here totally bored awaiting a phone call from Telstra. I should have stayed on hold! I have applied for ADSL because my wireless that I have put up with for last 5 years is getting worse and worse. Constantly dropping out and strange usage. It appears they are now claiming I can’t get ADSL as we are too far from exchange but I have remembered we had Adsl about 6 years ago and I don’t remember the house moving! It has been 1/2 an hour and I have better things to do not waiting for phone calls from Telstra iinet is looking good!

  17. Dorothy says:

    Hi Jaime,
    I finally gave up waiting and recalled. That was a mistake had to go through the same procedure all over again. Finally Bundles dept say I can’t have ADSL as the line quality is not good enough (I would have thought that was Telstra’s problem not mine) even though my neighbour has ADSL and is very happy with it. I have had ongoing issues with my Wifi USB as the Telstra boffins tell me I live exactly equidistant from two towers (what are the chances?) and as the signals are weak it continually switches from tower to tower causing constant drop out and ridiculous usage as it is constantly reloading. All I want is reasonable internet at home at a reasonable price I don’t see how Telstra claims 98% coverage of Australia when they can’t even get it to a house 50k from the CBD.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hello again Dorothy, That’s no good at all! Are you please able to email me a contact number and I’ll follow-up for you on Monday? I hope you have a good weekend. Thanks, Jamie.

      • Dorothy says:

        What email address do I use, I don’t really want to post my contact details here?

      • Jamie (Editor) says:

        Hi Dorothy, Apologies, my email was in the other update. It is Thanks, Jamie.

      • Dorothy says:

        If you email me I will reply with details thanks for your help.

      • Dorothy says:

        Hi Jaime, Just to update you on what is happening. I sent Telstra an email through the complaints process (as that is the only way I have found to contact Telstra by email which I prefer because then you have written record of discussion) I expressed my frustration and difficulties etc. in response i received an email back “Thank you for your email. I understand that you would like to enquire about your BigPond service. I apologise for any inconveniences that you may have experienced regarding this matter.

        Our Activations team handles your concern and they can be contacted at 13POND (137663) and say Internet. They are open 24 hours a day to help you with your enquiry.
        Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information or assistance.

        If you have any other queries you can get support online 24x7 with our Help and Support service.

        Best Regards,

        Jouhann (D642089)
        The Telstra Team
        That is where I spent most of Friday getting passed from pillar to post to no avail and not receiving call backs!! I have no gripes with individual employees they have all tried to help and be polite, I feel sorry for them. (I wouldn’t want to work for Telstra for any salary)the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. There really needs to be a process where one person takes on the challenge and supports the customer through from start to finish.Connection with my 4g Telstra USB has been getting progressively worse it dropped out 12 times just checking my emails and sending this, and I am not exaggerating I actually counted. Compounded by the fact that despite saying it is compatible for some reason the USB requires a password on my macbook every time it connects. (I won’t go into the hours I spent talking to Telstra, Apple and Netgear trying to get that sorted out to no avail) All I want is a reliable internet service that works at a reasonable price from my home, in this day and age it doesn’t seem a lot to ask.

  18. marina says:

    Hi im absolutely annoyed with these telemarking calls I had to change my number because of this made it private and still getting these overseas calls. I have registered with the don’t not call list or whatever its called made my new number private and guess what still receive them whats the bloody point in making your number private and have to pay for it and still get these annoying calls. Rang Telstra about it and still nothing done about it.

    I’m starting to think well I might as well just disconnect and use just the mobile

    • Sue says:

      I got Caller ID on my phone and best thing I ever did -- you can see who is calling and the nuisance phonecalls stop when you don’t answer. I’ve even set my phone to special ringtones for family and friends so I can hear from anywhere in the house who is calling. Now I hear the phone ring and chuckle then let it go to answer machine when there isn’t a special ring tone. Telemarketers get really annoyed when they can’t reach you and apparently no-one can stop the charity phone calls which can be a lot more pushy than the normal telemarketers. They are excluded from the Do Not Call register. It also stopped the annoying monthly telstra “how is your service going” phonecall which they assured me they couldn’t stop -- they do when you never answer.

  19. Dorothy says:

    Hi Jamie,
    I just want to let you know my problems have finally been resolved. Not perfect as ADSL still doesn’t
    seem possible here but I have got a wireless modem that seems to be giving me a fairly stable 3g connection. Keeping fingers and everything else crossed. Thank you for your support and assistance.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      I’m really happy to hear that Dorothy! Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you :)

  20. Janine says:

    Just moved from Optus to Telstra to get a better internet service as Optus kept dropping out 3/4 times a day.
    Today I was suppose to have been transferred over between 5 & 7 for the home phone, still waiting…..after reading everyone’s comments should have stayed with Optus.

  21. Jeremy says:

    I have been an employee of a Telstra corporate customer for 6 months. As an employee I am entitled to have my phone paid my employer under their corporate plan. I have been an Optus customer and have remained an Optus customer for the entire 6 months of my employment, at my own expense ($100 a month), just in order to avoid having to deal with Telstra. I have worked with Telstra before and am all too familiar with the terrible service and sheer incompetence..

    in any case, I have had some leave this week and decided it would be an okay time to try to bring my service across. And the nightmare begins! 7.5 hours later and my service has not been ported. I cannot get anywhere with customer service. Wait times > 60miins. I call 125 111 and get routed through to residential fixed line faults, who advise me to dial 125 111. And I am back in the queue; listening to obnoxious hold music. I havent even made a call on your network and I’m already regretting signing over!

    Waiting now 1hr 20mins.. cant wait to get through and be told to ‘wait 24 hours’ and offered no resolution again -- that will make the wait all worth it.

    Absolute joke of a company really -- with all the competitive advantages you have, the product you provide is an absolute disgrace. Why not use some of that buyback money, create a few more offshore jobs and then maybe answer faults inquiries within the hour?

    Big mistake moving from Optus. 14 years and never had a problem

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Jeremy,

      I’m really sorry to hear about your terrible experience. I can personally say that as a Telstra employee, I’ve never had any issues like this. I would love to assist you in getting your service fixed, but I will need an account or phone number to do that. Are you please able to respond with those details. I won’t publish them, but I will pass them onto a team internally who will assist.

      I hope we can turn around your negative experience!


  22. Jeremy says:

    My update after two hours waiting on hold for faults:

    - tech support advise order is still provisioning. I respond that porting have already advised me its complete. Tech support wont hear this and put me in the queue to porting.

    - speak with porting. they advise the order is in provisioning. I push them as I know order has been completed. They check “another tool” -- oh, yes, on this tool it says completed. I’ll need to…… transfer you back to tech support!! You’ve just gotta laugh really.

    - tech support: got me to reset the phone, take sim out and put it back in. Genius. I havent thought to do that in the >2hrs I’ve been on hold. Phone still not working. Please call back if still not on in 24hrs.


    I am kicking myself for trusting Telstra!

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Jeremy, I’ve responded to your other comment, but I really wanted to make sure you saw my reply. I would really love to escalate this for you and get it fixed as soon as possible, but to do that I will need a phone or account number. Please respond with those details and I will get someone to call you back. Thanks, Jamie.

  23. Rado says:

    Hi Jeremy,
    a while back, I had also purchased new(as per new customer) cable modem Internet. But it wasn’t new customer taking on board as I was initially told in T shop <- while they were caching the bird, me, I HAD TO wait 6 weeks to see it running. I never found out what were their, frankly, sounding FRIENDLY excuses but the whole experience was killing me absolutely. Later on admin of this blog removed my posts, even though they were completely polite, the only thing about the posts was, they did spoke the truth. Wondering if this note will be made public.

  24. monika janda says:

    can roxy an australian from the connections team get in touch with me urgently, the technician promised for 8.30 has not arrived. ref 99878371

    • monika janda says:

      I have been on the phone for 3 hours now, and have not achieved anything, I have asked for callback from the people telstra staff i spoke to yesterday and today to no avail, it is incredible

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Monika, I’ve passed your details onto Roxy, but for any urgent requests please give us a call on 13 22 00. Thanks, Jamie.

      • Mick says:


        Perhaps if Roxy had done her job properly, and the tech had done their job, Monika wouldn’t be in such a state. However, all you can offer if that she makes another useless phone call, to another useless operator. Your response doesn’t surprise me.

        Monika, I wish you well.

  25. monika janda says:

    roxy’s staff id is d719061

  26. monika janda says:

    can roxy pls call me urgently, her staff id is d719061

  27. Brian Brennan says:

    I have just found out that Telstra help calls are free. This is wonderful. I was planning on moving to the NBN and thus cancelling my Telstra mobile broadband wireless 4G system. My concern in keeping the wireless was in loosing the home land line phone. The concern was the long calls on the mobile to Telstra technical services to rectify or fix technical problems from time to time with email and bigpond security and thus the long calls costs to me. This is now not an issue. I will not go to the NBN, I will now stay with Telstra 4G wireless and accept mobile only home phone, relaxed and happy. Thanks for this initiative Telstra Brian

  28. Carol says:

    I rang Telstra support re technical issue with voice mail. Turned out it was not the Telstra handset at fault but an issue with our service provider. I just want to comment on my experience of consumer support and communications. To say the least my female support from Telstra was to say the least rude cutting me off as I was trying to explain the issue & the tone of her voice obviously of extreme irritation & impatience. I rang optus as it seemed an issue wih service provider who could not have been more courteous (male) . Even rang our home line to check it out. We identified the problem. Turns out it was my diverted mobile (with Dodo). Rang Dodo -- (female) courteous/helpful-problem solved.
    Telstra could learn a lot as far as customer service from these two providers.

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