Byte Me Article 321 – Telstra 3

20th May 2017

This is the 3rd week of articles relating directly to the lack of service that a major local Super Market received from Telstra on properly maintaining their ADSL Internet connection.  This lack of service also saw the Super Markets’ EFTPOS machines not working and has resulted in them losing thousands of dollars of revenue and dozens of otherwise happy customers.

After near three weeks of Internet problems the last straw was the ADSL connection stopping altogether because a Telstra work order saw a linesman trying to switch the connection over to NBN a full 2 months before the rest of the system was ready.  At this point we supplied an industrial Wireless Broadband Router which will be used for the next few months until NBN is connected and stable.

Last week on page 9 of this paper a Telstra spokesperson responded suggesting that they had offered the customer a Wireless Broadband connection as an option however this is simply corporate damage control and an entirely false statement.  Telstra did not call back when promised and nearly all of the calls for help were routed to Telstra’s off shore call centres in the Philippines where the respondent would rattle through the standard fault finding list.

Having dealt directly with the connections issues at the Super Market myself I can unequivocally say that the biggest obstacle to getting the fault fixed was in fact the off shore call centres.  When dealing with someone whose primary language is obviously not English it would be difficult enough to communicate over simple things.

Face to face you could ask for directions to a tourist spot or for 2 sugars in your coffee – but Internet / router / computer issues are so incredibly complex that to throw a language barrier into this field is bordering on plain stupidity.  I felt this pain time and again trying to get to a 2nd level Telstra support person when the first support respondent would not go past the standard fault finding memo of around 10 different things starting with me turning the device off and back on again.

Last week I mentioned that Telstra have now out sourced a lot of their tech support to around 10,000 off shore employees.  I also mentioned that they made a $4.4 billion PROFIT in 2016.  This week I made the calculations that the same profit from one year would employ 10,000 Australian workers for the next 11 years.

So besides terrible tech support and the loss of Australian jobs the next social problem that Telstra is adding to is that of phone scammers.  We are seeing a huge increase in the number of people dubbed out of hard earnt savings or simply losing valuable data because of offshore phone scammers.  These are the scum that pretend to be from principally Telstra or Microsoft that prey on unsuspecting Australians.

Because we are now forced to deal with off shore call centres, when a foreigner calls to talk about our computer so many Australian’s believe it is a genuine call and comply with the caller.  I also have grave concerns about the ethics of some off shore call centres because I am hearing more often about people getting called by a phone scammer only minutes after they have been talking to a Telstra tech support person.

We now have a situation where there is a golden opportunity for an offshore Telstra call centre employee to sell our information to his brother, cousin or friend that works for a phone scam group so that they can call us back and get instant leverage due to the previous legit call.  

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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