Sometimes, finding things on the Telstra website is near on impossible. Just this last week, I wanted to look up the details of a mobile call that I made in in March. When I looked at the PDF of my Telstra bill, it only showed detailed data usage and not my list of mobile phone calls.
So I logged into my online Telstra account, thinking that I would be able to quickly download my call list for March. After much looking, clicking and Googling, I gave up and resorted to a LiveChat session with a Telstra representative.
Finally, she led me to the page where I could find the required option. Phew.
However, when I came to retrace those stops, I got lost again! Luckily, I kept the LiveChat transcript so that I could refer back to the instructions.
Here is my step-by-step list for anyone who struggles to find this option!
Easy, isn’t it! (Not!)
So many people are struggling to deal with the changes that Telstra is making to all of our Bigpond mail accounts over the next few month. I have experienced this bewilderment about what to do amongst members of my own family!
The article on this topic that iTandCoffee published a couple of months ago has had thousands of hits from Telstra customers seeking further information.
iTandCoffee has now recorded a couple of videos to provide further assistance to those who are trying to work out what needs to be done to update their iPad, iPhone and/or Mac.
If you would like to receive access to one or both of these videos, please just provide your details below.
If your Bigpond account is not working yet (which we know is the problem for many of you!), provide your mobile number as well below - and we will text you the link to the instructional video/s.
For those wanting to know how to set up Telstra Mail on other devices (eg Outlook on Windows), here is Telstra's web page that includes instructions.
Beware of an email advising your Bigpond 'Inbox is limited' - especially after migration to the new Telstra email service
One of my Bigpond email accounts, one that I originally used when I set up iTandCoffee, was migrated to the new Telstra mail service in mid-July 2016.
Because I don't really use it, I had not actually checked the mail coming in to it until today.
I was very concerned to see that I had an email that advised me that there were supposedly 13 email that were unable to be delivered, and that I needed to click a link to 'reconfigure port 465 automatically'. (See image here for the content of this email.)
Given that I my Bigpond account had only just been migrated, my initial reaction was to take it seriously, thinking that something might have gone wrong with the migration.
However, being suspicious of all such emails (as we all should be), I had a look at the web address behind the 'Click Here' link. Not surprisingly, it was a web address that has nothing to do with Telstra.
To find out how you can check a link to see the corresponding web address (so that you can work out if it is a legitimate link or not), check out this past tip from iTandCoffee: How to work out where an email link is really going to take you.
Be alert AND alarmed, and NEVER click on links in email like this.
Need help after your Telstra email account has been moved?
For anyone having problems accessing their Bigpond emails after the move to the new Telstra Mail service, iTandCoffee can assist - just make an appointment by calling 1300 885 420 or at itandcoffee.com.au/appointments.
Imagine how much money Telstra could save by addressing customer problems the FIRST TIME! And how much stress we all would be saved!
This got me thinking ...
Imagine if Telstra resolved our queries and problems on the first contact. I speak to so many people who suffer the same sort of problems that I have suffered nearly every time I have dealt with Telstra.
How much money would they save in staff costs! And how much stress would they save for all of us!
Here is the list of our own Telstra recent issues (ie other than the Usage Meter issue), for anyone brave enough to read on! For anyone on a Pinnacle Bundle, you may be interested in the first one. I would be interested to know if anyone else has had this extra charge appear on their bill.
An iTandCoffee client last weekend received an email from Telstra about forthcoming changes to its email service.
It is called Telstra Mail and will replace both the Bigpond and Telstra Mail (using Outlook) services.
This client was offered the opportunity to switch to this new service early, and participate in research about their experience with the new product. She asked me if I thought she should agree to participate.
The move to a new service is good news for those of us who have the old POP email addresses with Bigpond.
With this style of email account, users must deal with separate copies of emails on different devices, and are unable to see all Sent mail in one place. There are also those frequently-encountered issues with sending emails from overseas (or whenever the device is not on a Telstra connection).
(Newer Telstra email accounts, created since 2012, are already using the Microsoft Outlook mail service, so do not suffer these problems and limitations.)
For holders of the old Bigpond accounts, the move to the new Telstra Mail service will mean that emails will be properly synchronised across devices - in the same way as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud and other IMAP-enabled email addresses are currently able to synchronise. And there will be the capability to set up mail folders for storing mail, and seeing the content of these folders on all devices.
It is not clear at this stage just when this big change will occur. It looks that the move to the new service is only being offered to selected customers. I wonder how many customers have been asked to switch early.
In the case of the client mentioned above, I suggested that it might not be a great idea to take up the offer of early migration. We all know the stress that can come from things not going quite right with Telstra.
My thinking is that being a guinea pig for one of Telstra's new products would probably be best left to those who are a bit more confident with their technology.
Here is an article published about this Telstra change. It appeared on the Telstra CrowdSupport website in February 2016.
For those of you with old Bigpond email accounts - which we all know are very frustrating to manage when you have multiple devices - there is an easy way to move to a new email account that doesn't have the same limitations.
You can just 'auto-forward' your emails to your new account - just like a post office re-direction. This means that you don't have to change your old Bigpond email address, because you will still get emails sent to that address at your new email address.
Check out this new Handy Hint, just added to the iTandCoffee Club members-only area.
Members can view this tip any time - make sure you log in first.
If you are not yet a member of The iTandCoffee Club, why not join the Club today for unlimited access to great tips like this, as well as regular special offers and free/discounted members only classes.
No wonder my download of El Capitan took so long! Problem with Apple downloads for Telstra customers
On Thursday and Friday this week, I was hugely frustrated by problems with downloading software updates from Apple.
For an iTunes update attempted at a client's, and for my own downloads at home on Friday, the 'progress bar' was showing that the update would take at least 24 hours! At my client's, it said we would have to wait 50 hours for an iOS 9.0.1 download.
In the end, my El Capitan download for Mac took about 9 hours - on our extra fast broadband Telstra cable service, that should have seen it take less than an hour.
Well, I have just read the following article in The Age about the reason for my problems. There is a fault in an under-sea cable between Singapore and here that is causing slow downloads and streaming from Apple for some users.
Read more here.
In the article from last week's newsletter, titled Oh Telstra, you have really confused me about my excess mobile data!, I promised I would provide an update once I got my monthly Telstra bill.
Well, the bill arrived this week and, just as feared, Telstra had charged me more than $10 for my excess data usage. My excess data charge was over $25 when it should have only been the $10 charge. Not a huge amount overcharged, but overcharged none the less.
I contacted Telstra this morning (using their 'Live Chat' service - which I prefer to calling, as it allows me to keep a record of the 'chat' with the customer service agent), and outlined the problem.
Initially the agent told me that the extra charge is still payable because I did not specify that I wanted to top up my data until well after I had already exceeded my limit.
It was only when I sent her my screenshot of the misleading message (thank goodness I had taken that screenshot) that she agreed that the extra charge needed to be removed. She has now credited the amount over $10 to my account.
She also promised to bring the problem the attention of the 24x7 App development team.
Here's hoping they fix this very soon, before others inadvetently incur excess 'excess data' charges. Make sure you tell other Telstra mobile users about this one.
This month, I found myself nearing my data limit on my mobile phone.
Just as a aside, this was mainly due to unexpected data usage I have incurred by looking at my photos, after I had upgraded to iCloud Photo Library. Every time I want to view a photo when I am off my WiFi, it is 'pulling the photo down' from my iCloud and using a bit of my mobile data.
As a consequence I am now avoiding looking at photos on my iPhone when I am out and about - unless I absolutely have to.
In the past when I have neared my data limit, I have purchased a 'Data Pack' from Telstra for extra data, which I have been able to do very easily from my Telstra 24x7 App.
I am then only charged for the days that I use this Data Pack, so it has never cost very much. The only thing was that I had to remember to 'turn off' this data pack at the start of the next month, to avoid ongoing charges.
Well, I was excited to see that Telstra has made a change to how it handles excess data usage on my post-paid mobile account.
When I chose the option 'Add-Ons' option in my Telstra 24x7 app, I got the below message on my screen - telling me that Data Packs are no longer available. Instead Telstra has a new service called Extra Data.
Great (or so I thought) - all sorted, no need to do anything.
I must have 'missed the memo' when Telstra announced this new service/feature. (Did anyone else see it?) Apparently, it came in on May 12th 2015.
The message that I got indicated that, as soon as I exceeded my data limit, I could rest assured that the 'Extra Data' that Telstra now offers would kick in, saving me from excess data charges.
The screen said nothing about having to activate this new feature - it appeared in would just happen seamlessly.
Well, maybe not!
Today, I went to my Telstra 24x7 app to check how much phone credit I still had available to me for the month.
To my shock, it showed that I had over 300MB of excess data usage!
I tapped on the Add Ons option at the top of the screen again (like I had before I had exceeded my limit), only to find on the next screen that the 'Extra Data' feature was showing as 'Inactive' (see below).
So, I have NOW activated this feature using the Activate button shown.
But the big question is now whether I am going to get a large excess data charge on my next bill.
Here's hoping the Telstra billing system is smart enough to recognise that this 'Extra Data' feature has been activated on my account during the billing month, and therefore wipe any 'Excess Data' charge.
Stay tuned - I'll let you know when I get my bill later this month!
For those of you interested in ensuring you have activated this feature on you Telstra mobile plan, here is the relevant page from the Telstra website.
After months helping a client resolve drawn-out issues with their Telstra email and billing, after bringing in the Ombudsman, after Telstra confirms to us and the Ombudsman in mid-Dec 2014 that the problems are absolutely, definitely, completely, FULLY resolved, and we agree a final compensation amount for the client to 'close' the matter ...
... Telstra send yet another bill for the cable internet service that was terminated months ago.
My head hurts from hitting it against the Telstra brick wall!
I am still struggling to understand how, when I could look at the Bigpond website and see that the client's supposedly terminated account was still set up for billing, Telstra could not see the same thing - no matter how many times it was raised and they were asked to fix it.
Even though, because of the Ombudsman's involvement, we has finally been escalated to a 'Complex Complaints' team here in Melbourne, we could still not get the Telstra representative from that team to accept that what we were seeing meant that the problem was not yet resolved.
Even sending screen shots of their own Telstra website screens, showing the account billing details that were not supposed to exist, would not sway the representative from his adamant assertions that the account would no longer bill.
Of course, it did - one full week after the Ombudsman send the final 'resolution of complaint' letter to us, and the matter was supposedly fully resolved and closed.
And the response from the Telstra representative today nearly two weeks after we asked that the complaint be re-opened (and several months after the problem was first alerted to Telstra)?
"Regarding being billed for the BigPond Cable service on account number nnnnnnn I have checked and have determined that when the email addresses were reconnected it unfortunately was reconnected as a full service and not just a email service."
To use one of my kids' favourites terms, "No sh%t Sherlock."
Why did have to take so many calls and emails to work this out when the evidence was there all along? And of course, we got no apology or acknowledgement that he had got it wrong.
As a Telstra customer and shareholder, I am appalled by the money that was wasted on just this issue - the number of resource hours that were required and solve just this problem was so ridiculous and unnecessary. Multiply that by the number of others suffering the same torture at Telstra's hands!
A problem shared by many
In just the last couple of weeks, I have spoken to two local families whose main Telstra email accounts were just cut off by Telstra - with no explanation, and with no request from them as the customer to do so.
In both cases, this caused ENORMOUS stress and resulted in hours and hours of frustrating calls to Telstra, and the loss of emails. Neither sought financial compensation from Telstra for the problems caused - something I would have insisted upon.
I know so many of you reading this rant will have the same types of stories, of similar dealings with Telstra or another Telco. Please feel free to share your story in the comments below. I can't guarantee that 'a problem shared' will be 'a problem halved', but I would love to hear of your experiences.
If you need some help with an existing Telstra (or another Telco) matter, iTandCoffee may be able to help. Just call 1300 885 420.
A call today from a representative of the Office of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) restored my hope for a resolution to the ongoing battle with Telstra about a client's email accounts and billing accounts.
Words cannot describe how good it was to speak to someone that I could understand (!), and who understood the nature of each of the issues we have encountered. This person was interested in understanding the full picture of what has happened since this tale of woe began. No-one from Telstra has shown such an interest to date.
So far, every time Telstra has tried to 'fix' something, we have found a new problem generated.
They have cut off email accounts, re-instated them incorrectly, not communicated changes they have made to email account settings, wiped out emails that had been re-instated, not cancelled an account that should be already cancelled, charged for that account that should no longer exist, not responded to a formal complaint for 8 days, not communicated regularly after assigning the complaint, and - after all this - have left the email accounts connected to the wrong Telstra account (something that we had to work out for them - it seems that no-one at Telstra was capable of noticing this). Back to square one after weeks of aggravation.
In dealing with past Telstra issues (my own and on behalf of clients), I would only have escalated to the TIO as a last resort. However, the TIO rep that I spoke to today said that, in this case and others, we should have given Telstra only one chance to resolve the issue.
So, as soon as the issue had not been addressed the first time, we should have immediately then raised the TIO complaint. And, when Telstra failed further in their commitments to resolve the problem/s, we did not need to wait the two weeks from the original TIO complaint to escalate our issue further with the TIO.
This is great to know - I certainly will show less tolerance for Telstra's 'run-around' and lack of communication and progress when seeking resolution to problems in future.
Our TIO rep has now taken control of getting the matter resolved, and discussing with Telstra the matter of compensation for my clients.
Do you have the 'language' to talk to Telstra and other Telcos?
A key issue for many people in a similar situation to my clients, however, is that they don't have the language needed to talk to Telstra representatives in a way that clearly articulates the problem, and are unable to determine if what they are being told is reasonable.
In some cases, it is also difficult to determine if their problem has been properly addressed when Telstra says it has. When things are still going wrong, is it something wrong at the Telstra end, or perhaps with one of the client's devices. Endless hours spent on Telstra phone calls or Live Chats can generate enormous stress, especially for older people.
I had a case recently where Telstra told my client that an ongoing problem had been resolved, then closed the corresponding complaint - even though nothing had been done to address the problem. When I checked the account and saw the problem still existed, I then had to go through the process of re-opening the complaint. That particular issue took 3 or 4 months to resolve, and should certainly have involved the Ombudsman.
Unfortunately, getting problems understood and addressed is made so much more difficult by foreign call centre accents that even I struggle to understand at times - especially given that much of the terminology being discussed is foreign to most people anyway. This can make it difficult to identify whether an issue is at the point where it should be raised with the Ombudsman.
If you are having an issue with a Telco, and would like someone to act as your 'Advocate' when dealing with Telco staff - or just need help to interpret some of the language that you are hearing, or to help diagnose your Telco problem - please don't hesitate to contact iTandCoffee on 1300 885 420.
And do keep in mind the advice given to iTandCoffee today by our lovely TIO case handler, about only giving the Telco one chance to resolve the issue before lodging a complaint with the TIO.
Complaints can be lodged with the TIO at https://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint.
Fun has not been the term a senior client of iTea&Coffee would use!
After being door-knocked by a Telstra Representative, this lady was convinced to sign up for a new Telstra internet and phone Bundle. She had not, until that point, considered that she needed any change, and only used very little internet for emails and a bit of web browsing.
Well, after a period of more than 4 weeks (it was only supposed to take a few days), and hours and hours (adding up to days) that each of us has spent on the phone to Telstra on the merry-go-round of the Telstra call centre, her new Telstra Bundle is now finally 'provisioned' and her phone is finally back working properly for her.
During this time, her internet was cut off for several days, and there was so much mis-communications (and non-communications), wasted phone calls repeating the same thing over. I know she regretted ever answering the door to that Telstra door-knocker!
And its not yet over - she has been advised that there will be issues with the next bill that will now need to be resolved in early June, so at least one further (probably lengthy) Telstra call will be required to finally put this one to bed.
In the meantime, her online account with Telstra.com.au is still wrong. After several calls to Telstra about this matter, the last rep we spoke to finally advised that it can take up to 2 billing cycles to get the online account looking right after a change to the account! - even though the paperwork and emails she received about her new bundle recommend using this website to view her account and check on her usage. So she can't use the Telstra 24x7 app on her iPad to track her usage against her 5GB plan until the corrections to her online account have been completed. In the meantime, she has been told she will have to call Telstra any time she wants to know her usage!!! Imaging sitting on hold for an extended period just to ask how much data you have used!
I know that this sort of thing doesn't happen for every client who upgrades their Telstra service. But when it does happen, the frustration comes from being passed from one person to the next and each new person having no idea what has happened or been discussed previously, and from people given wrong information and making further errors.
If only we had been able to deal with a single person on this matter right from the start - we had to raise a complaint to get any real help, and even then were passed amongst 3 different 'case handlers' for this case before we finally got a 'regular' to talk to.
If you are finding that you don't have the 'language' and understanding to talk to Telstra or another Telco about a problem or upgrade, iTea&Coffee can help with this. Just call on 1300 885 420.
Luckily, she realised after the call that she had been caught out, so called the bank to cancel her credit card. But these scammers now have quite a bit of personal information about this client that could be used for identity theft - for applying for credit, mobile phones, etc etc.
Make sure you are absolutely sure of who you are speaking to before you ever give out your date of birth, drivers licence, credit card number and other personal details. As a rule, if you did not initiate the call, never provide these details.
PLEASE DO NOT BELIEVE ANYONE WHO CALLS YOU FROM TELSTRA, MICROSOFT OR ANY OTHER PROVIDER AND TELLS THAT YOU HAVE PROBLEMS WITH YOUR COMPUTER OR INTERNET (or any other service).
If you think that there is a chance that the call could be legitimate, ask them for a reference number and tell them you will call back on the main enquiry number for that organisation. They should have no problem providing and accepting this if they are legitimate.
Visit the Stay Smart Online Alert Service provided by the government, to check for information about known scams. Below are the details of the Telstra scam, scooped to the 'Great Technology Tips from the Geek Goddess' web page.
Call 1300 885 420
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