Companies using maligned marketing techniques to get business in Australia

It is quite common in Australia that you receive a telephone call from a Private Caller (showing no number) and the caller, after introducing their and the company’s name at a high speed, immediately starts briefing you with some great offer after which you think that by accepting the offer you would be enjoying a wonderful lifestyle.

Poor would-be client taking the call (pic courtesy: http://www.123rf.com/)

Poor would-be customer taking the call
(pic courtesy: http://www.123rf.com/)

Telstra is the largest telecom services provider in Australia. I was very happy with their home bundle comprising of 200 GB internet/month, a home phone and a T-box offering you digital TV channels without any extra cost. Monthly cost was $101. One day a gentleman called me from another company and told me that I could enjoy even better facilities, i.e. unlimited internet usage at a minimum speed of 8 MBPS with better modem delivered free. He told me that Telstra has authorised their company of providing discounts to the non-commercial customers. I was told that monthly bill would be reduced to $95 per month. I was happy to know this and agreed to sign the deal.

After 3-4 days I received the documents by mail, which had a cancellation agreement as well so that in case you do not want to accept the agreement you can sign and send the cancellation form within first ten days of the agreement. As I was OK with the facilities offered and the charges I didn’t sign and send the cancellation form. Modem arrived after the termination of cancellation period. Then I installed the same and we started using the phone and internet. After a few hours we noticed that internet was not working properly and the download speed was too much slow. I checked the speed from a website http://speedtest.net. Maximum speed was just 720 KBPS instead of 8-20 MBPS as per their promise. My kids who watch their cartoons on the internet (Youtube) complained their videos did not run smoothly. I also noticed the same. I complained to the company through their technical support division. The representative came up with a very strange argument. He told me that 720 KBPS was a good speed and they could not consider it as slow.

I was very much disappointed to see their response. Later when they sent me their first bill I was shocked to see a much higher amount there. They had charged me for ‘Caller number display’ and ‘Voice Message bank calls’ which were offered by Telstra for free as part of their service. When I told the representative lady that these services were free with Telstra and the marketing guy had told me that all Telstra services would remain the same, she said, “No. You were told that anything extra would be costed”. I then told her that I would raise my complaint with the Telecommunication Industries Ombudsman (TIO). On this she requested me to wait for a minute so that she could consult her senior on this. After a minute she told me that I would not be charged for these services in future.

Later I noticed that there was no improvement in the internet speed and also Telstra T-box was not functioning at all. I then contacted the TIO and lodged my complaint with them. They have contacted the company and have asked them to contact me for resolving my issues. As the matter is under investigation I am not mentioning company’s name here, but the thing is that this is the way private telecom companies make people fool in Australia. I would suggest all my Australian readers to kindly not believe in any such offers because end of the day we are the losers.

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