Don’t Screw With Your Customers

I’m sick of big organisations trampling on their customers, and basically telling their customers that it’s “my way or the highway”.

I don’t know how they are allowed to get away with it.

Allow me to introduce my Telco.

My local telco [telecommunications company], is Telstra Corporation.

I have a mobile phone plan. I’ve been a loyal customer with them for thirty five years.

[Yes. Landlines first, and then mobile phones added later]

Yesterday I call them because I’ve started to receive SMS notifications on my mobile phone that I have exceeded my data usage on my plan, and they are adding an extra 1GB at a $10.00 fee.

Now I’ve received a few of these notifications before from time to time.

And the additional usage of data is mainly because I use my mobile phone as an internet Hotspot for my Macbook at those times when I’m in locations where the local data service is weak.

Like in the country, in rural areas. Like too my farm.

Where the speed of wifi is very, very pedestrian.

But I also use the hotspot at one of the community radio stations I work at, where the internal wifi mechanism is weak.

Yesterday I received no less than NINETEEN of these notifications in about 160 minutes.

The SMS notifications say that the message could be for data use in the previos 48 hours.

Which is interesting, because these 19 SMSs came through to me while I was at home and not connected to their mobile network…

So I rang them. Telstra.

Seems the plan that I’ve been paying for is not so good any more.

I have been on my plan since April 2015.

Thirty four months.

My plan is monthly $80.00 for 2.5GB.

To be used across three phones.

Telstra now have a plan that gives customers 20GB for $80.00 per month.

But they never called me about it to let me know of its availability.

“That’s your responsibility as a consumer to do your research”

the lady on the phone said.

So I said:

“Here’s what I want you to do.

I want you to move me to this newer plan, and not charge me the extra fees for this month’s over-usage and for last month as well.”

She said:

“We can’t do that sir.”

I said:

“You’ve been ripping me off and not moved me to a better plan.

And I’ve been a loyal customer for thirty five years.

I said:

“I’m leaving and going elsewhere”

She said:

“I can escalate this complaint to my manager.”

The manager couldn’t help.

The manager was going to escalate it to another manager.

After forty-five minutes of wasted time on the phone I left the conversation.

It seems that their competitor, Optus, offers a plan of 80GB per month for $50.00.

Problem solved.

We’re moving.

After 35 years.

What’s it all mean?

I can’t believe that Telstra strung me along on an obviously inferior plan for nearly three years without telling me and letting me know, as a valued customer, that there was a better way?

And that better way was a plan with 800% more data for the same fee.

And when I found this, their only option was to offer me a payment plan to ease any “financial hardship” their plan was causing me.

I’m sick and tired of big business screwing the consumer, the little guy, into the ground.

I’ve written before about Qantas and their inflexible overcharging on ticketing changes.

And recently this week I’ve been reminded of the large scale bullying of the public that goes on with Sydney Trains and their vegetation management…..what a joke that is.

If you are in business, don’t ever lose sight of the fact that your customer is also a loyal customer and they are loyal for several reasons.

If you erode that trust of your customer, and they find out that you’ve been blatantly screwing with them, well you can simply kiss that customer goodbye.

You will have lost your customer forever.

They will never ever return.

Maybe some organisations are SO BIG that they do not care…

That’s certainly what I felt yesterday from Telstra.

If you want to be heartless and ruthless, and be known across the land for being so, then follow the example set by Telstra in this case I just experienced.


Could I be like Telstra?

No. I could not.

I have a heart….


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