Man’s desperate call for help goes unheard
PAYING for a mobile that rarely works in the confines of his Norman Gardens home has left Bill Smith both frustrated and fed up with Telstra.
Since signing up to the popular carrier roughly five years ago, Mr Smith claims to have found the service consistently riddled with issues – living in a newly-confirmed ‘black spot’ now the latest.
“We live in Rosewood Drive and our mobile phones don’t even work inside the house,” he said.
“For a long time, we’ve been trying to figure out why, but when COVID-19 started I got more interested in why because we always have to go outside to use the phone.”
Mr Smith claimed multiple attempts to contact Telstra’s service team back in April proved futile.
“Basically, they came back and said there’s no problem with it … even to the point of where when you go online to report a fault, the website still says its service to the area is still working.”
He was further forced to explore different measures, adding both he and his partner’s phones also only received one bar of service if WI-FI was enabled.
“Since then, I got a notice from Telstra to say that the issue had since been fixed when it hadn’t,” Mr Smith said.
“It also said the location is mapped with good 3G in-building coverage and that Telstra workers were working within company expectations.”
A complaint to the ombudsman some two months later would eventually result in another Telstra team member taking on the case.
“Within a week from that I get a call from Telstra and they informed me that I’m living in a black spot and that solutions to fix it would come at a cost to me,” he said.
“I’ve also spoken with two of our neighbours up the road who were both already aware of the black spot after their daughter encountered similar issues.”
Remedies offered to Mr Smith were both costly and at risk of still not rectifying the issue, he claimed.
“The woman said I could look at installing an aerial on my roof that may not even work but will cost me nearly $2,000 to install,” he said.
“If I go to another provider Telstra may try to lower our exit fees, though they would have to figure out how much it would cost to cancel the contract.”
Mr Smith further revealed Telstra may look at reducing the account’s monthly fees.
“Until Telstra install a new tower, we’re pretty much buggered,” he said.
“I’ve been with Telstra a long time but unfortunately I think I’ll have to change.”
“You just wonder how many more customers are being caught in this same position.”
Telstra regional general manager Rachel Cliffe said there were many factors that influenced mobile coverage, including terrain, trees, buildings and the type of handsets used.
Ms Cliffe said in Mr Smith’s case it appeared indoor coverage was proving an issue, which was why an extension antenna device was recommended.
“We understand that this has been very frustrating for Mr Smith, which is why we have given him a number of options to consider,” she said.
“This includes purchasing an antenna to attempt to improve his indoor coverage, or cancelling his services with us at no cost.”
She added Telstra would continue to work with Mr Smith to determine his best option.