Saturday, November 13, 2010

Telstra, how many thefts, how many deaths before you are accountable?

It’s raining, you know how I know it’s raining? Not because stuff falls from the sky, but because my bloody phone is not working again.

I shouldn’t be so selfish – it’s not just my phone, it’s the whole street. The 80yo widower, the 75yo couple with severe health problems, the 35yo with the 2 young children, the 60yo with epilepsy.

They are the people I worry about. Not me – I have a mobile phone an old copper line (my main line), and a pair gain telephone line (newer type), they do not. The only reason I have the pair gain is because I was told I couldn’t get ADSL, I had a 2nd line installed to enable access to the internet, which in itself was a nightmare and I had to wait 3 months for.

This problem is not something that’s just occurred. This problem has been occurring for the better part of 50-60 years. I know this because the first line installed on the street, was connected to the property I own. There was a husband and wife living here before me, they built the house soon after WWII.

I’m not sure exactly when – but the husband passed away in his sleep. The wife went to pick up the phone to call the doctors, no phone service.

The wife (an elderly lady by this stage) had to go the nearest neighbour some 500m away to place the call. So much for modern conveniences.

I’ve given up trying to record the number of times the phone lines don’t function, but I do know that Cup Weekend, about 2003, we had no phones for two weeks. I remember this because my neighbours house was robbed. Then when my boat was stolen, (about 2001) we had no phone lines (the police didn’t believe us) Then in the summer of 2004 I was forced to go to work with broken leg because I couldn’t drive and the phones were up and down and you couldn’t rely on them. Don’t bother with mobile phones, reception is piecemeal at the best of times, Bouncing off towers in South Yarra, Whittlesea, Kalkallo and even Mentone sometimes.

Internet? – if it wasn’t for friends of mine, I’d still be on dial up, I was told I could not have ADSL until ………… wait for it……………. 11th November 2011. That’s still 12 months away and that was 4 years ago!

So back to the present……………. We’ve had rain, I know that, you know that. My husband and I went out for the day, leaving my teenager at home doing homework/study for upcoming exams. We rang home at 11am, only for the phone to ring out. We rang the
2nd line, he was unable to hear it due to closed doors. We had to ring his mobile to get a response. In 2010 that is not acceptable. I thought telephony services were a basic service to be expected to be available as long as you pay the bill.

Not for 10 houses in a small area less than 50km from the CBD of Melbourne.

The problem is so bad – that at one stage our house (street) was on a level 2 complaint – which meant that I had direct access to the technician and all I had to do was call the mobile number.

Telstra, if you want to know what the problem is, check the pits out the front of 101 and 151, bucket out the contents, dry the lines out and we should have service again. Remedial action would involve ensuring water CAN NOT get into the pits in the first place.

Give me back my phone, give me back my connection to the outside world, now I have to wander down the street, giving my sons mobile to the 80yo, give my husbands phone to the 75yo (I think they’re home). Telstra don’t care, so I have to.

And next time I have to call the police using 3 mobile phones, I should sue Telstra for the time and cost involved in getting the billing break-down because the police don’t believe me when I say that the phone isn’t working.

Telstra you suck, oh and you owe me a credit or two for service NOT provided over the last 14 years or so.

Yours sincerely


Update 16th Nov 2010 -


  1. Western Gippland, 1960 to about 1975, we were on a party line. Trees hung over telephone and electric wires. Occasionally our electricity would go out, but it was were quickly repaired. I can never remember the phone not working. We've come a long way.....not.

  2. LOL 1960-1975 and you pretty much always had power and phone? Jeez I must be in a time warp, pre 1960? - we have brown-outs and 30sec-1min black-outs on a weekly basis.
    Full-blown black-outs are slightly better now, since the old transformer blew up. But they need to fix the phones now

    Just get so sick of fighting, if it's not one thing, it's another and you get tired (A Forrest Gump line comes to mind about now)

    Thanks for the comments

  3. Heather I think you should seriously consider sending Telstra a bill for your time and for the lack of services in your area. It certainly wouldn't hurt. Who knows you may be lucky and they will pay you something.

  4. Anon - I agree - but life keeps getting in the way. I've decided to take stand now. I've got some good people behind me - I spend most of my energy, both mental and physcail just surviving and getting through day to day tasks. sounds like ac op out, but trust me - have a pole around here and you'll see what I mean.

    Thanks for the advice though