I have to admit to being quite phobic about making any changes when it comes to Telstra and my internet service.
Every time I have made a change, it has resulted in lengthy followup calls to resolve issues and errors.
So I have been delaying making the switch to NBN at home. We already had a fast cable connection (100mbps), so we were not expecting to benefit greatly from a faster service by switching - although the upload speed IS significantly faster on NBN.
Our hesitation has also been because we have found that the cable service is still suffering constant and lengthy outages - usually attributable to an NBN outage - so we were not instilled with any confidence about switching.
A few weeks ago, we received a letter from NBN saying that we needed to switch within the next 6 months.
So, I bit the proverbial bullet, called Telstra and placed my order for NBN. (We stayed with Telstra because we are currently half-way through a 24-month contract.)
The day of installation
I took half a day off work so that I could be home between 12 and 5 for the installation.
The technician arrived at around 3pm (good start!), and the install went smoothly, with our internet back up and running within about 30 minutes. This was such a relief!
About an hour after the technician left, I went into our study to tidy up. The technician had plugged the NBN router into a nearby powerpoint, but I needed to plug it in at a different spot so I could move a cupboard back into place.
It worked until it didn't
After plugging the router's power adaptor in to it's proper place, I tested out our connection - and had nothing.
Looking at the modem, I found it had no lights, no power. I tried every possible powerpoint - with no luck. It was obvious that there was either a problem with the cord or the modem.
I called Telstra to say that the device was not working, hoping that they could contact the technician to come back - as he had said he had no other jobs for the day. Of course it was a lengthy call - they first told me the issue was due to an outage (which we had been suffering for many days at that point and was causing slow internet and dropouts). I emphasised that there were no lights, so no power - that it was the device, not our connection.
I was then told that my issue was because the service might take 24-48 hours to provision. Again I emphasised that the problem was there were no lights, no power - and that we had already had it working until it just didn't!
The agent said there was no way they could contact that technician, offering me a new NBN appointment for 2 days later, for another NBN technician to look at the problem.
The prospect of no internet ...
With the prospect of no internet for 2 days (in a household of 6 people who are BIG internet users), I asked if there was anything the agent could suggest in the meantime, and was there any way we could get a replacement device sooner.
She suggested I call NBN to see if they could give me contact details for the technician and gave me a number. I called NBN, who told me Telstra should never have suggested that I call NBN as there is nothing they can do in this situation - all bookings must be through my Telco.
I suspect the Telstra agent just gave me that number to get the crazy lady off the phone. I was just so angry that I had thought it was a good idea to switch to NBN that day. I just KNEW something would go wrong. I do feel sorry for the poor agent who really could not do more than book another appointment.
Surviving 2 days without home internet
Realising that we were not going to get a solution for 2 days, I then called back Telstra, figuring that I would ask for extra mobile data for my iPhone for the month - so that we could at least use my personal hotspot for essentials (like Netflix!) over the next two days.
Telstra was quite willing to do this - but the agent said she had to transfer me to the NBN team to do this. The agent from the NBN team then tried to diagnose and solve my problem again, despite being advised the this had already been done. She then suggested that I could just plug back in my old Telstra router and a stop-gap measure.
This actually solved our problem for that first night - only. The next day (once the NBN order had been fully provisioned), we were without internet.
We then survived (amazing really) with hot-spotting for this one day, and the problem was fixed the next day, when the technician replaced the faulty power cable.
And then we got to bill - another call to Telstra required
When I placed the order for NBN, the agent I dealt with told me we would receive a new router and advised when that would occur. At no point did he mention that we would be required to pay for this router.
So, on receiving the Telstra bill yesterday, I was surprised at the high cost it showed.
Closer inspection showed that we were being charged $216 for the router.
At first, I thought about letting this go - but then check the 'critical information summary' that Telstra sent me after placement of the order. This only mentioned that casual customers would be charged the $216 for the router. It did not make it clear that I, as a long term customer, would be charged.
So, once again, I was on the phone to Telstra to seek reversal of this charge.
This was sorted within about 30 minutes, as was the additional charge that needed to be removed for a 'multiple number' service from Telstra that no longer worked after upgrading to NBN - something of which we were also not advised!
Our impression of our NBN connection after 9 days
We have now had NBN for 9 days - and I spend quite a bit of times on 24x7 chats with Telstra today, trying to resolve problems we have had since we switched.
My boys, who are both avid PlayStation gamers, have not been able to play their online games since the NBN connection was provisioned. (Wondering if I should see this as a blessing!)
They get dropouts constantly - multiple times each hour. These dropouts might only be for a second or a few seconds, but they make the games unplayable - as they get knocked out of the game when it happens.
We have noticed dropouts with Netflix too, but it is less of an issue for those of us who don't game.
The first Telstra agent I 'live chatted' with today told me that it was an issue with our connection. He told me that he had fixed it - and that we should monitor our service for 24 hours and let Telstra know if the problem recurred.
This fix did nothing - the problem recurred over and over in the first hour after the supposed 'fix'.
The next Telstra agent I got tried to tell me that the issue is due to us having too many Wi-Fi devices on the network - something that was never an issue for our previous Telstra router.
The 'live chat' with that agent was completely unproductive so I ended it and figured I'd try some further diagnostics before contacting Telstra again when I can work up the energy.
It does appears that there is some issue with the new Telstra router when there are several devices accessing the internet. It certainly be very disappointing to find that the device they have given us is a downgrade from the device that we had for many many years!
I am regretting that I didn't wait a few more months before making this change.
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