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Telstra combs websites for complainers

Date
David Thodey

David Thodey Photo: Josh Robenstone

Telstra has 60 people combing social media sites to sniff out people who complain about the company.

The telco's chief executive David Thodey said the power of the consumer is greater than ever before and Telstra is playing catch up on customer relations.

"We ourselves have about 60 people who monitor every social media site ... and you can imagine what is said about Telstra," he told a Queensland Media Club lunch in Brisbane.

Mr Thodey said complaints, such as technicians not showing up or poor network coverage, travelled fast and far with just a click of a mouse.

He said Telstra was trying to reach the complainers and help them before the news spreads.

"If you can get ahead of that and say, 'no we are here, we'll talk to you,' [there is] enormous change in terms of customer reaction," he said.

"That is not to say that we get it right every day but we need to be far more dynamic, chat rooms etc, in terms of using this technology."

He said customer service was a challenge for Telstra as it has gone from a monopoly to being forced to compete.

Also, it was easy to make mistakes when each day 100,000 people visited Telstra outlets and technicians made 35,000 home visits.

"So the opportunity to get it wrong is very high," he said.

AAP

51 comments so far

  • Why don't they just employ 30 Australians to answer complaints over the phone / via email, rather than make people complain on social media to get ANY level of customer service?

    Commenter
    Frank
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    April 16, 2012, 4:21PM
    • Yes I totally agree with that, Telstra has as over a Barrel in country Q.LD it is the only provider that works so they know we need them , ringing up ia a nightmare as the call center does not care and only wants to sell you something else and does not have a clue what you're talking about.
      If there was somebody else with outback coverage I would change tomorrow .

      Commenter
      kornelia.gold
      Date and time
      April 16, 2012, 5:26PM
  • So thats why you sit on hold for so long -- they're all on facebook!

    In all seriousness, I have posted many a problem to social media sites regarding telstra services that are failing (politely too) and not once have they responded.

    It appears that their lack of customer service is permeating through to the new(ish) digital frontier

    Commenter
    okeefe78
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 16, 2012, 4:30PM
    • You have got to be kidding! I complained via Telstras very own online service and got a message saying that they'd call me back within 2 - 5 days. 7 days later they called me to tell me that someone would call me within 2 days. That was almost a week ago and I still haven't heard from them... They are all obviously still using the social media sites...

      WAKE UP TELSTRA!!! You are no more interested in the problems your customers experience at the hands of your inept customer service representitives than you are at maintaining an Australian workforce in your call centres.

      Commenter
      Nick
      Location
      Gloucester NSW
      Date and time
      April 16, 2012, 4:30PM
      • :)

        That's good as it's real.

        I find telstra to be obsessed with money and stealing from people:
        # Oh, you're $5 overdue on your bill this month so we'll charge you $15 per month for being overdue.
        # Oh, you bought your own phone for a landline instead of renting one of ours and you've returned ours so therefore we have to charge you $1.50 more each month because umm, you're not renting one of ours.

        Corrupt telstra needs to be put out of business once and for all- I won't shed a tear for it when it's gone just as I won't shed a tear for qantas, holden and the big four banks once they are gone. And if you think a new ad campaign is going to change my mind then you CEO's are demented.

        A good site to have whinge about crappy corporations is www.shamebook.org
        I have a good whinge on there right now about hair in my McDonalds burgers.

        Commenter
        Alex
        Location
        Finley
        Date and time
        April 17, 2012, 1:25PM
    • Comb this Telstra! I have a littany of complaints about Telstra's Fibre to South Brisbane roll out. I was forced to go to the Telecommunications Ombudsman and ACMA after having no luck accessing support from Telstra. I can't even get a name for the section who are responsible for this project! Of course I have griped on social media also. None of this is surprising!

      Commenter
      Michael S
      Location
      Dutton Park
      Date and time
      April 16, 2012, 4:40PM
      • So if I complain about Telstra on social media (such as this forum) they will contact me and fix whatever is I am complaining about - or just try to shut me up!

        Sorry to so cynical, but sounds like the big T is more concerned with image than service

        Perhaps 60 people that could be redeployed elsewhere where they might actually provide better customer service

        Now just kickin' back until they track me down and 'help me'

        waiting ..... still waiting..........

        Commenter
        Point St
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        April 16, 2012, 4:58PM
        • It never ceases to amaze me how many morons jump onto social media to vent their spleen at the first sign of a problem with their carrier instead of dealing first hand with the company, the above commentors have got weasle written all over them.

          Commenter
          Jack Pixel
          Date and time
          April 16, 2012, 5:20PM
          • Telstra Employee... are you one of the 60 Mr Pixel? Do you think potentially the reason people become so fed up is due to their complaints going ignored for so long that the only option they have is to complain publicly in the hope that someone may take the problem seriously...
            I believe you have weasle all sewn up...

            Commenter
            nickthe
            Date and time
            April 17, 2012, 8:55AM
          • @Jack Pixel... with all due respect, you've either never been Telstra customer (ie never had to make a complaint), or perhaps you're one of the 60 people Telstra uses to comb social media.

            Here's just one of my personal examples of Telstra's very poor customer service. My mobile phone was stolen whilst I was overseas. When I got back to my hotel, I called Telstra using a VoIP service to report the loss of my phone. When I got back to Australia, Telstra claimed to have no record of my call, and therefore my phone SIM had not been cancelled... I had to use the VoIP log to prove to Telstra that I had called them.

            I then needed a letter from Telstra confirming I had reported the phone as stolen in order to make a travel insurance claim. They refused to provide a letter claiming they could not access my records for "privacy reasons". I had to go to the Ombudsman to force Telstra to send me a simple letter to give to the insurance company. Customer service... I don't think so.

            Also, can someone please explain to me how a telephone company could have the worst automated response menu system I have ever encountered??? No wonder people complain on social media... you can't get Telstra to answer their own phones.

            Commenter
            Nick
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            April 17, 2012, 9:24AM

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