Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Adios Telstra

After recently discussing my first impression of the Optus experience, it's only fair to also share the final moments of my relationship with Telstra.

As mentioned before, the Telstra account becomes inactive the moment you transfer your phone number to another carrier. Once this happens, your online Telstra profile will only say "No active account for this profile", with no option to access pending bills, usage data, or any other details.

Unlike the Optus Life Chat, which is prominently advertised and even (annoyingly) pops up whenever you linger on any given Optus web page for a while, the Telstra chat thingy is well hidden. It takes a fair bit of navigating thru the Support pages before you eventually arrive at a Contact Us page that actually lets you pick the Life Chat feature.

The one positive thing about the Optus chat was that in all instances, I was connected to a consultant almost instantly. Not so here; the Telstra chat window informs me that I'm currently number 24 in the queue. Definitely not a promising start.

It takes approximately 15 minutes to make it to the front of the queue; then, I'm greeted by Joan (and yes, I almost did reply "Watson, is that you?"). Joan quickly sends me a link to their Pay a bill page, where you apparently can make payments even after your Telstra account has been deactivated. After I inquire about access to the actual bill details, Joan offers to send a copy of the bill to my email address.

I submit the payment while I'm still online with Joan (just in case it doesn't work; this is Telstra, after all). But I need not worry, the payment actually goes thru quite smoothly; it seems they at least have the parts needed to take our money running well.

The actual support chat took about 5 minutes; plus the 15 minutes I waited in the queue.

So, this time, the support staff turned out to be the best performing part of the system.

Suggestion to Telstra: When an inactive account still has a balance that's not zero, include a link to that Pay a bill page on the online account landing page.

And now I'm done. Hasta la vista, Telstra.

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