priority shipment

Why I’ve got the *(&^s with Telstra

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Bad Telstra story. I know iPhone 4s are in short supply but how long do we have to wait? On or about 3 August this year my husband got a call from Telstra, our current service provider for home, mobile and internet. My husband was offered a fantastic deal - new iPhone 4 for no cost, bundled capped deal on our home phone, more download on our internet connection, all for far less than we're paying now. They'd send it to us as soon as they got one in stock. We're still waiting for the iPhone. As I write this, it's nearly October. Telstra's contracts department itself, whose representative contacted us, doesn't have any in stock. Priority shipments of this still apparently scarce bit of kit (which I see people using all the time lately) go to Telstra shops. They don't appear to put any aside to send out to existing long-term clients who have agreed to a new contract. We spoke to the Telstra contracts/sales people ten days ago. Their advice was to go to the nearest Telstra shop, explain the situation, produce a phone bill so they could verify our account details and we'd get the iPhone there and then. So we went to the overwhelming retail hell of Westfield Parramatta, only to be told - you know what's coming - they had no phones in stock. They get deliveries on Wednesday afternoons apparently and by the time we got there on Saturday they were sold out. We rang up on Wednesday this week but the shipment was running late. After explaining the situation once again to the nice people at the shop they agreed to put us on a list to receive the phone since we'd been waiting several weeks. They don't, they said, put people like us on shop waiting lists as we're already on a list with the Telstra sales office. However...they'd ring when it was in stock. That was two days ago. My husband rang them ten minutes ago figuring they must have received their shipment. The phones came in and went out. We were down the bottom of the list. No phone for us. Better luck next time. This is pathetic customer service. We have no choice with our internet connection as we're too far from the local exchange to get ADSL so we're stuck with cable - in this case, Telstra. We don't have a wide choice of reputable suppliers. It makes sense to bundle our bills with one supplier who can give us a discount. We do like the 3G coverage my husband gets with his current Telstra iPhone3 (which I'll be getting when he gets his iPhone 4, which may possibly be when iPhone5 is released). That's one good thing Telstra has got going for it which the other phone companies can't quite match yet. But I am so *&%^%^ annoyed with Telstra. They are messing us around. They promise but they can't deliver. Has anyone out there experienced the same waiting time, wasted journeys and sheer ineptitude?

Update, 3 October 2010

My husband finally got his iPhone on 30 September. Phew! It's a fab piece of kit. He loves it, and I'm over the moon with his old iPhone3. I had an interesting experience upgrading my Telstra mobile phone account to my chosen 3G bundled account for the iPhone3 when we were in the Telstra shop, however. Because my phone is under my business name the guys in the shop couldn't simply upgrade me and give me a new SIM card as they needed a signed letter on letterhead by me authorising me to make upgrades to the account. It's been a long time since I bought something in a Telstra shop. Probably ten years. I can't remember what hoops I had to jump through back then. Since then I've done upgrades with Telstra by telephone, usually when they've rung me offering a special deal. No letterhead required. After almost two hours in the Telstra shop getting the paperwork sorted for both phones and filling in a raft of forms, this was exasperating. I really didn't want to have to go back there the next day. (Did I ever mention how much I hate going to Westfield shopping centres? They are too big and too hard to find a parking space in.) I had a full day of work with clients needing things done urgently and the thought of another hour and a half away from it all was distinctly unpleasant. I had a current telephone account with me. I had taken the precaution of bringing a copy of my company registration with me, which stated my ABN. I had a driver's licence, Medicare card, and a photo of my cats. None of those combined or or singular made any difference (guess the guy didn't like cats). They weren't a letterhead. Having mentioned through gritted teeth my happy experiences with upgrading my account via telephone, Telstra said I could do that. I could ring up tomorrow and they'd send a SIM through the post. In the meantime I could use my existing SIM but wouldn't have the 3G capability. That sounded great... I didn't mind waiting, anything to avoid another blasted trip to Westfield Parramatta. The manager then suggested an even better workaround. If I was able to fax them a letterhead that night when I got home, they'd let me take the SIM and activate it on receipt of the fax. Being late night shopping night this was ideal. I agreed. We galloped out of the shop, and they had the fax by 8pm. I had an active phone ten minutes later. So all's well that ends well. Next time I go into a Telstra shop I'll have a letterhead to hand.