Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Me 1 : Telstra 0

Bwah ha ha!!! I am on a victory high tonight!!

Yes, after 8 months, countless mind-warping phone calls, approximately 13 hours spent on hold, and a very lovely lass from the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman, I have wrestled this national phone carrier to the ground and twisted their proverbial arm til they cried, "Uncle, Uncle, for goodness sake you invincible woman... WE GIVE!!!".

I say again, BAH HA HA!!!!!!

This all started back in June last year, when I got a $778 bill from Telstra, seperate from our normal home phone/broadband account.

When I got up from the floor, I rang this esteemed establishment to question the manner in which they arrived at this figure. I spoke to a charming man whom had no idea what the hell I was saying. Sigh.

After doing the Hold Please Hokey Pokey, I was still none the wiser. No one I spoke to could even tell me what the charge related to. Oh, yeah sure, I'll pay your Mystery Bill, hold on while I get my credit card.

Much to their consternation, I told them I would not, under any circumstances be paying this bill.

They said they'd "look into it" and get back to me.

Much to my consternation, apparently they looked into it, decided I could be walked all over and sent it to a Debt Recovery firm.

Big mistake.

I informed said Debt Recovery firm I would not be paying bill. They countered by threatening me with all sorts of litigation and never-to-be-erased-for-all-eternity credit badness.

I countered by calling in the Industry Ombudsman. I have no idea what this person/organisation is, but I can't help thinking of some wise man in robes, perched atop an inaccessible mountain... only with a mobile phone and laptop.

Anyhoo, a lovely girl there (not the mountaintop, I assume) said essentially, "What!! Girl, I gotcha back, hold up."

Today, a very contrite girl from Telstra rang and informed me they were wiping the debt, cancelling any credit reporting activity and calling off their debt recovery dogs.

It is a massive testamant to my intrinsic class that I simply said, "Awesome, thank you", and not "HA HA BEEE-ATCH!!!! PWND!!!!(or however the coolkids say it), YOU WILL BOW DOWN AND GROVEL BEFORE ME!!! REAP THE WHIRLWIND SUUUUCCCKKKAAAAAASSSS!!!". Yep, massive class here.

It does make me wonder however, how many poor innocents have been scared into paying bills that were basically imaginary. Or what about people who have their bills direct-debited?? It's all very well simply being obstinate and refusing to pay, but once the money has been taken out of your account, imagine how fun it would be trying to get it back??



  1. GO YOU GO YOU!!!!!! What an ordeal!!

  2. YOu go Gurl!!! Trust me when I say they prey on the fear of people to get that money never realizing that if they were to go above their heads it would not be pretty. So glad you stood your ground and won..

  3. I loved this post. It had everything. Bills, Non-Payment, threats, phone calls, the word intrinsic, and the word suckass in all caps.

    I was riveted.

    Now, of course, in my house, this same thing is called, "Monday."

  4. Yay you! How do they get away with such crappy crappy service! I guess because we let them. Well done standing up to the bullies!

  5. But what were the mystery charges?

  6. Woo hoo - well done you! This is exactly why I don't pay any of my bills via direct debit. I don't trust the bastards!

  7. It happens to my boyfriend every month and he has to argue with them every month to get rid of it!!! Stupid telstra

  8. Yay foy you, sticking to your guns. They should be sending a letter of apology, but I am with you, merely being glad not to have to pay a massive phoney bill (pun INTENDED) is enough. That company sucks. Glad there has been a win for the small person!

  9. Yup! That is the one thing that scares the bejeebus out of me about having direct withdrawl done. There would be NO getting it back.

  10. Yes, Ma'am. You did it. Good for you. Take the rest of the day off.

    There was a charge on my wife's credit card for $16.95. I forget what it said for vendor, something generic. I asked her about it. She wasn't sure. It was on there every month. It wasn't much so we let it go.... ........................for almost 3 years, about $580 worth.
    Finally, I decide to research it. Basically it is a scam, but a legal one. They apparently provide some kind of buying service or travel service if you bother them enough. There are thousands of complaints against them when I googled it. that's also how I found out that it is legal. We don't remember giving them the okay to put the charge on our card, but they even do that in a very sneaky way. You have to opt out of it or something like that. The bank was at first no help. I was ready to kill. I did call the 'company' and they gave me a run around as expected.
    After I calmed down and slept on it, the nest day I called the bank again and got a nice helpful person and she canceled the charge and refunded a couple months worth, as much as she could do.
    I was so mad at myself for letting it go so long. They make it a small amount so no one worries too much. That's how they get away with it.
    Oh, wow. this is long.

  11. LOL

    I work in finance, and even knowing most the tricks etc, I have had to pay a telstra bill FOUR TIMES so far, despite still having the original bill from them showing it had been paid. (Suck that people who call me a hoarder - see how keeping 9 year old phone bills *can* be useful?)

    It was for a grand total of $125.38, and I have paid it to telstra twice and also to 2 seperate debt collection agencies. It ended up being the simplest way to clear my credit report.

    Stupid telstra. Awesome Quixotic!

  12. Telcos are my arch enemies! I had a running battle with them last year.
    I am about to have another tomorrow with Optus, wish me luck. They say I haven't paid a bill (which I have) and have charged me a dishonour fee and threatened to cut my phone.
    Good to hear a story where the good guy comes out on top.

  13. Telstra are pond scum. It seems like everybody has a horror story about them. They were stunningly useless when my father passed away and my mother tried to get the account transferred to her name. Not a nice time to mess her around.

    I'm so happy you had a win over them. Now let's get all their management out for a public flogging.

  14. I love that word - OMBUDSMAN. I love it even more when Telstra gets their arse kicked by aforementioned OMBUDSMAN.

    What pisses me off the most is that in regional centres we have no real option but to use Telstra if we want telecommunications. I would love to take my business elsewhere but there re no alternatives.

  15. Bullies in all forms suck. Ya know? Good for you sticking up for yourself. It's always little old ladies they scare into forking over their cash. Karma will catch up with them someday.

  16. Awesome!!! Stupid Telstra!! How I hate are an inspiration!! :D

  17. What a triumph! They seem to do these sorts of random stupid things a lot don't they! Congratulations on your win! xx


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