My broadband “on hold”

April 21, 2007

I can confidently say that I have just had one of the most frustrating customer experiences of my life.

Wednesday 6pm

I arrived home on Wednesday evening to find my broadband connection down. We’d seen a TelstraClear van on our driveway earlier in the day, and we’d received a call that afternoon from someone wanting to schedule a modem upgrade. Broadband was still down though. “No problems”, I thought. “I’ll give TelstraClear a call”.

I gave up the first couple of times as I had been kept on hold more than 20 minutes each time, but without any message telling me what the wait times were.

Wednesday 9pm

I tried again later on that night, and finally got through after 40 minutes. No apparent problems, according to the kind lady. So I asked her if she could give me a time for this supposed upgrade. I was told that I would have to be referred to another “business unit” and that their wait time was 79 (yes, seventy nine) minutes! Bugger that. She said I should try calling later.  So I did.  At 10pm (hold time of 40 mins), 11pm (hold time of 40 mins), and then at 6am (closed!), and 7.30am (hold time of 40 mins).   I wasn’t prepared to stick it out.

Thursday 9am

I tried at work the next day. Twice. Both times I was told the wait time was 15-20 minutes. Both times I waited about 30 minutes, but to no avail. Thank god for handsfree!

Thursday 10.30am

And then I remembered I could send an email as I was at work! Within 15 minutes of sending the email I got back a response. Not the response I was after, but one nevertheless. Subsequent emails went… unanswered. Back to the phones. More long wait times. Getting angry now.

Thursday 9pm

Tried later that night. More long wait times. Bugger that. 50 minutes +. Finally sat it out and got through. Still no apparent problems, and everything should be working. But it’s not. At least they confirm a time for my modem upgrade – sometime between 9 and 12 Saturday morning.

9am Saturday


10am Saturday

Nothing. Decided to call TelstraClear to ask for an update

10.30am Saturday

woohoo, only a 30 minute wait. She can’t get hold of the technician dispatched, but will call me back with an update.

12:00noon Saturday

He’s running late

13:15 Saturday

Technician turns up, does something at the Telegraph pole, swaps out modem. Fixed.

The Summary

I cannot believe how much time I spent on hold (broadband is important!).  Over three hours, for a massive total of three conversations. That’s just totally unacceptable. Once I endured the wait, the service was actually quite good.  Which was the only saving grace from me hurling multiple expletives down the phone.

Let’s face it – it all comes down to penny-pinching.  This is going too far.  I’m content to wait 5-10 minutes, or be offered a callback service.   But this was nowhere near that.   I never have to wait more than a couple of minutes when I call my electricity supplier, so what’s so different with these guys?

Call Guinness

I’d love to hear about other on-hold stories.  Can anyone else out there beat my call waiting record?   I might have to call Guinness.

One Response to “My broadband “on hold””

  1. […] update, telling me not to crap myself.  Easy customer service stuff.  And am I gonna call them?  Not with their call waiting times! Posted by Dan Filed in Just […]

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