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Friday, 13 November 2020 11:49

Telstra does not seem to know who its customers are

Telstra does not seem to know who its customers are Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Telstra appears to have got its wires crossed by sending emails to non-subscribers asking them to try out its My Telstra app.

The last time I had anything to do with Telstra was a long, long time ago, but this morning I got an email from the telco, treating me like a long-lost friend.

And whoever sent the email confidently asserted at the bottom: "You've received this email because you are a Telstra customer and have products and/or services affected by this message."

I'm sorry to have to correct a corporation of this size, but this is not the case and will never be the case either.

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One bad experience with the telco was enough to put me off them, hopefully for life. In 1999, I was setting up a server to run my own website and mail from home, so I was forced to take an Internet connection from Telstra.

There was a dial-up option with a fixed IP which was what I needed; no other provider was offering this at that time. Data was charged at 50 cents a megabyte.

telstra app

Part of the Telstra email that landed in my inbox on Thursday afternoon.

Things went alright for a while until I changed houses. The change meant that my connection had to be reconfigured at a different place; the first time it had been in Cranbourne in Melbourne's east, but with the change it would have to be Lonsdale Street in the CBD.

I initiated proceedings to get the work done and, about two months before I moved out, I received the paperwork from Telstra - in triplicate, mind you - telling me that the work had been completed and I would merely have to reconnect once I settled in at my new house.

I attempted to do so on the second day I was at my new house, after returning from night duty at my job at The Age. Nothing happened. The line was dead.

The next morning, I was up by 8am and until 4pm that day I was either calling Telstra or else listening to somebody from the telco. It turned out that this kind of work could only be done by one bloke named Jim who worked at the Perth office. So, given the time difference with WA, I had to wait in patience.

And I had to be polite all the way, in order not to jeopardise the chances of getting the work done. By about 4.30pm that day, the connection was finally working. I still had the paperwork, all three copies of it. I threw it in the bin.

The very first chance I got — when a small ISP named iGreen started offering fixed IPs — I changed over from Telstra. For the first couple of years after that, I would often get marketing calls from the telco about switching back to them, and always gave them the same reply: "Over my dead body."

Whoever sent me this email, I have the same message for you, Hell will freeze over before I ever subscribe to any of Telstra's services again.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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