Telco Wars II: Attack of the Phones

The saga continues ...

OK, this is getting ridiculous now. After many months we've still had no resolution or explanation from iiNet or their wholesaler Telstra regarding the phantom calls we were being billed for on a phone line that was no longer physically connected.

Lately I seem to be on the phone to iiNet technical support every second day chasing up some issue or another. It's rather pot luck as to the quality of customer service person I get on the end of the line. A few are on the ball, can think for themselves and are really helpful but most seem to be just following support scripts and generic solutions, which can be incredibly frustrating as I need to explain a complex situation over and over again with each new person.

Despite repeated promises from various iiNet staff to lodge a billing dispute with Telstra, for some reason it was either never lodged or never chased up and the results reported back to me. What was done (without consulting me first) was a block placed on calls (fine I guess) and message bank was deactivated, which meant that we could no longer check incoming messages on that number and also lost those messages that had been saved. I can't see the logic in disabling message bank because our issue was all to do with being billed for phantom outgoing calls, not incoming.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I insisted on speaking to a manager and he apologised for the poor service we've received regarding this issue and promised to follow it up personally and get back to me. He also acknowledged faults in their BoB "broadband in a box" product (overheating when the handset is charged on the router, and poor batteries that don't hold charge). I have yet to hear back from this manager regarding the results of the billing dispute he said he'd lodge with Telstra.

The latest in the saga is that our ADSL account in the rental house is also playing up. A week or so back the speed dropped dramatically after heavy rain then a few days later the ADSL kept dropping out altogether. After going through all the mandatory, patronising isolation tests (I work in IT, I'm not a computer and communications imbecile), iiNet scheduled a Telstra technician to take a look at the line, so I had to request time off work to be here when he arrived. Of course the issue was down the street, not here in the house. I was assured it had been fixed and sure enough speed quadrupled and the connection was stable. However, just today the problem has returned and we have no internet. I rang iiNet yet again, and they've schedued another technician visit, but they insist on checking the line in the house again, meaning I need to take more time off work to be here, when it is almost certain to be a shoddy repair job on the line down the street.

We've been happy iiNet customers for over 6 years with few complaints until these phantom calls started.

Anyway, I've given up and today bought a pre-paid mobile broadband modem, because I work in IT and can't be without the internet for another 5 days.

Sigh ...

See also: Telco Wars I: The Phantom Call Menace