Why we left Telstra

When my wife switched from an ordinary mobile phone to an iPhone Telstra heavily overcharged twice. We went elsewhere. We're not sure yet that the elsewhere is better than Telstra!

This page is a record for my own use as well as to provide information on the poor service that we have had for the benefit of other people.

Written 2013/12/26
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com (David Clarke) – ©

Work in progress This is a work in progress

My wife's mobile phone was on a Telstra pre-paid account for several years. When my son upgraded his iPone he gave his older iPhone to my wife who then took the SIM card from her old phone and put it in the 'new' iPone.

Telstra rip-off

Within an hour the $50+ credit balance had shrunk to zero! This was about December 10th.

So I called Telstra on my phone and complained. They told me that the problem must have been that the new phone used data and that data was charged for at a high rate on the wife's current plan, and they told me how to stop the phone using data until we switched to a different plan that included more data. They also reinstated $50 credit. That seemed reasonable.

Another Telstra rip-off

We did not switch to a new plan imedeately. My wife noticed that over the next five days or so, even though she used the phone for nothing other than around ten or twenty text messages (SMSs), the $50 credit shrank back to zero again. The Telstra account with the old phone used to cost about $100 every four months.

So we switched to Southern Phone (SP). Unfortunately the story hasn't ended there.

Telstra errors

We concluded a deal with SP for a plan that included sufficient data for some use of maps and Internet access, etc.; SP sent my wife a new SIM card and I went through the 'automatic activation' routine on the SP site on Thursday 19th December 2013.

On Monday 23rd the iPhone had not been activated and I rang SP.

In order to change the account to SP I had to provide information confirming my wife's identity. On the phone to SP I was told that the date of birth that Telstra had on file was not the same as the one that I gave so the activation had not happened. The person at the SP call center told me I needed to call Telstra, find out what date of birth they had for my wife and call back to SP. On ringing Telstra I found that they had my wife's date of birth wrong by ten years and had also spelled her name wrongly!

Poor service from Southern Phone

I should say here that generally I have been very pleased with the service that we have had from Southern Phone. The poor experience with the iPhone activation was the exception. (Written 2013)

Update September 2017

By 2017 Southern Phone's standards for service had slipped badly.
I phoned SP back the same day with this information thinking that the problems should now be at an end. No. This time the person at the SP call center said that I should have got Telstra to fix the errors (contrary to what the previous SP person had told me), but she did go on to say that they would try to get my wife's phone activated. She said that if they couldn't do it they would call back. On December 26th 2013 my wife's phone is still dead and I had had no call from SP.

I emailed SP and complained, also telling them about this page.

The phone service was activated on December 27th.

More poor service from Telstra

On 2013/12/30 I bought a Telstra WiFi 4G MODEM and went through the activating procedure at around 1500hrs WA time. I received a message from Telstra that it would be activated within one hour and I would be informed by SMS at the time. 15 hours later it had not been activated and I had not had any contact from Telstra. (I have since found that they emailed me, but they did not contact me via my mobile phone.)

I phoned again 0600 on 2013/12/31, spoke to a technical support person who asked some questions and said that the device would be activated within 50 minutes.

A couple of hours later it still was not activated, but it was by the end of the day.