Telstra Struggling To Communicate With People

Why is Telstra struggling to communicate with people so badly? I’m sure I’m not the Lone Ranger to ask myself such a question.

Here I am, on my son’s 12th birthday, waiting for a Telstra Technician to turn up, on the time I was given, so they can fix their infrastructure – this is in turn so I can use my internet that fails once or twice an hour (a corroded connection in the exchange most likely).

So, I’m given a date and a time: “We will be there between 8am and noon on Sunday”. I live 60km away from the office (so this is a 80 minute round trip) and my son has opened his presents without me. I couldn’t care less about the disruptions to my business due to Telstra’s corroded lines. Nor do I give 2 hoots about the “day and a half” I attempted to upload a 22M file online but was interrupted each time with the internet cutting out. But I do care when these clowns mess you around, time and time again.

Telstra Does Not Communicate

Bottom line is this: “Telstra is a communications company that does not want to communicate“. They seem to care very little, for all I’m concerned. 1 way communication is a specialty of Telstra. “Hands up” who has spent at least 40 minutes on the phone with Telstra on more than 2 or 3 occasions, getting diverted through “voice recognition, multiple staff members, and their overseas call centers, just to realise that, hold it, drum roll…

Is Anyone Accountable At Telstra?

You cannot actually ever speak to someone in charge! So, it seems that when nobody actually is held accountable, nobody will really care when something goes wrong. Because nobody gets a firecracker where it hurts if they mess up…

Anyway, I started to write this blogpost after waiting 5 hours for a Telstra to turn up. I decided I would not post this live if the guy turns up. Now, I’ll bite the bullet, assume that Telstra has failed their mission to meet a “somewhere within 4 hours” appointment, and go home and see what presents my son has got for his birthday.

In my humble opinion, Telstra would have gone broke decades ago if they had reasonable competition. I won’t go there… Yes, Telstra provide a lovely service with a great infrastructure, but they suck at communication. You know; the kind that involves a 2 way process between 2 people.

Yes, I have used other providers. In the end I had to change back to Telstra due to Telstra’s unofficial punishment of their competition (compulsory waiting time unless you use Telstra, etc).

The Telstra Joke

I recall an age old joke about Telstra:

Q: What is the difference between McDonalds and Telstra?
A: McDonalds only have 1 clown working for them.

Surely, this joke was not referring to Telstra staff, but towards the way the company is run.

In Competition With Telstra?

Telstra may want to give me a call (not from your lawyers thanks!) to acquire my SEO Services to push this blog post down the rankings. I charge $1,000 per month to rank anyone #1 on Google, and let’s face it, that is less than my monthly Telstra bill anyway. Win-win, I reckon 😉

Or, if you are in competition with Telstra, call me for my SEO Services and I’ll get you some business through Google.

And if I have to take this blog post down due to it’s title: Telstra Struggling To Communicate With People – then you can just Google me – LOL

They didn’t turn up. After 6 hours in the office waiting for Telstra, I’m clicking “submit” and heading home.


Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
Aussie Internet Marketer © 2004 – 2012

BTW. Life’s good. But feel free to vent your decades of pent up frustration against Telstra in the below comments. Or look up the “Telecom Song” by Kevin Bloody Wilson. Not much has changed in 30 years.

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. Oh Sean where does one start, when you don’t live in a major city and Telstra is the only provider you can rely on?
    For the last 2 month I’ve suffered nothing but drop out after drop with their service, they did manage to get a technician out to check the lines, find a fault. But the troubles still persist.
    Thursday I rang again after another drop out, then you have the usual 1/2 hour wait to talk to someone, who need to talk to their supervisor offer discount again for the monthly billing, when all you want is a service that you pay a premium for, to do what you paid for. It getting to a point the moving back west to Perth is looking more attractive everyday.

    Feeling your pain, you now have the rest of the day, to enjoy James birthday.



  2. Yes I think we have all felt the same Telstra frustration, Sean.

    I decided to vote with my feet last month, when I switched all my communications, internet, mobile and land line, away from Telstra…and so far I’m really happy with the decision.

    I got to say, I did feel a great deal of satisfaction. Especially when I am saving 2/3rds of my previous costs 🙂

  3. Oh yes, we love the communication companies that don’t know what they are talking about.

    It would be good to have their CEOs and higher management experience the frustrations of their clients for a few days or weeks, maybe that would change their mind on how to deliver customer service?

    I once was driven so far that I involved consumer affairs, and – hopla – all of a sudden I had a response within 24hrs. But nothing after that. So after 3 interventions from consumer affairs the issue fianlly got settled …

    And I don’t see any reason for anyone to ask you to take down this post, as you are only describing reality as it happens …

  4. I’ve got several blog posts on my site about my trials with Telstra. The last interaction with them was in October 2011 and I sincerely hope that I never ever again have to deal with them.

    Apparently Telstra have no issues with asking you to be home for hours on a set day however when they don’t arrivie it’s no one’s fault. In my post I mentioned that I don’t believe Telstra has managers, because in a month of dealing with Telstra and repeated requests, demands and threats to speak to one, I never got higher then a supervisor.

    I feel your pain Sean, at least I have the option to keep choosing other providers and will never ever go anywhere near Telstra as an internet provider. I will be sticking with Westnet. They can teach Telstra about customer service.

    Telstra has no idea what customer service is and never has.

  5. Jamie Ackland says:

    I am going to speak from my experience as a Telstra Tech, much like the one you were waiting for. ok frist thing i should do is explain how we get our jobs
    1. jobs are assigned with set time limits the night b4 for each tech
    2. we log in , in the morning to pick up jobs. (i would only get 3 jobs at a time.)
    3. we look at apt times, and priority (medical for e.g) n try plan our time
    4. Jobs are dropped in and changed as the commitments demand

    Now this in theory is a good way of getting jobs out. the real problem is the time frames set for jobs can be unrealistic in with some Harder Jobs (every job is different). that being said the tech should call customers if they are going to be late/ wont make appointment/commitment time. also if you were given a “appointment” Telstra gets in trouble for missing these, these is also something called a commitment these can be put back and rescheduled, I am just wondering if this is what you where given, “work should be done by this time” or for appointment “tech will be onsite between x and x o’clock”

    Also medical priority can be given to tech and appointments rescheduled, but someone should ring customer to let them know.. be it the tech or the people that sit in office and hand out jobs.

    Just one thing, a Telstra Techs jobs is not like it use to be, please dont shoot the messenger techs are under extreme pressure to get more work done then every b4. I heard all the lazy Telstra Tech storys before i started working for them. its not like that anymore, if anything its the other way now, many workers have quit from the pressure and i quit because we were expected to forgot safety procedures to get unit of work up (not officially of course)
    Thanks for your time and hope you get your line sorted out soon

    • Jamie,

      Thanks for taking the time to provide this insight. I am ex-British Telecom myself and the process you describe seems identical to the one that existed there in my day. I seem to recall it was the push on the ‘productivity’ KPI, which brought about a subsequent slide in customer satisfaction. Sound familiar?

      One innovative improvement manager at BT tested a new approach where the focus was on a set of qualitative KPI’s not on ‘productivity’. The idea being to empower engineers and not beat them up! The trial allowed engineers to assess the work, allocate the time it required, manage appointment schedules and call customers themselves where appropriate. The net result was a reduction in repeat visits, improved csat, and improved employee satisfaction. Ofcourse the debate then started about the bottom line benefit of reduced repeat visits over reduced productivity…

      Food for thought at least!

  6. Welcome to the “Dissatified Customer Club”, Sean
    Last year I was persuaded to upgrade my “dinosaur” modem for a”modern, faster etc ”
    unit . It was going to take a week to 10 days to get the new one. Three weeks later when I rang to find out where my Modem was, I was told there was NO record of one having been ordered. They would order one there and then!!.
    One month later, I rang again. Once again NO record of one having been ordered!!!!!
    Another 3 weeks later (SERIOUSLY!!!), another phone call; “Where is my modem?!!???”
    They were all apologetic, the order had been mislaid
    It took 3 MONTHS to get the new modem and we have had nothing but trouble. Constantly dropping out or not working and having to be reset.
    I get a stronger signal from my neighbour than frommy own. Complaining has got me no where.
    The new plan I took out at the same time which they guaranteed would be at least $50 cheaper, was costing me $30-$50 dollars more.
    Where does one go when one can not be guaranteed certain services with an alternate supplier.
    If I gave the same lack of consideration and lack of courtesy to my patients, I would have been sued long ago.
    There seems to be NO accountability
    Can only hope the day ended better than it began

    Regards Doctor Bill

  7. Jenny Horn says:

    The 2 best things I ever did when I was a Telstra customer. 1. Report my problems to the telecommunications Ombudsman. Within 24 hours all my problems had been fixed up and I had a direct line to someone resposible. I even got some money back. You see if the ombudsman takes up your case, they give you a reference number plus a phone number to call and then Telstra have only a couple of days to rectify the problem or they are fined. The phone number for the Ombudsman is in the phone book.
    The 2nd best thing I did was leave them and go elsewhere. I even got to keep the same home number. There are so many better providers out there, just talk to them and tell them what you are looking for and you may be surprised. Where I live I cannot access ADSL broadband but I now have better, faster internet access that is a great deal cheaper and with a lot better service.

  8. I know the experience of having to navigate calling telstra in the past as the waiting is bad enough let alone having to listen to all the extentions they put me through so I can speak to someone. I switched some time ago and found a communications service that doesn’t require me waiting and I get to speak to a real person straight away and the service is a lot better also.

  9. Phil Browne says:

    You sure are right Sean I had the same trouble and your right your not Robinson cruso{is that how u spell it} anyway I contacted the ombudsman and yes you bet they rang and fixed the problem next day after waiting for over a week anyway I also changed and have not looked back PS the rot run’s all the way through other government bodie’s

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