AN INVERLOCH couple has been left dumbfounded after they were signed up to switch their internet to the NBN network in error, without their knowledge and without any desire to do so.
Kevin and Pam Rayson were surprised to receive two parcels with a home phone handset and a wireless internet modem, but ignored the parcels.
It was when Kevin attempted to use the internet days later that the problems began.
The internet had been disconnected without his knowledge and a long saga of unhelpful phone calls to Telstra followed.
The couple’s home phone was also disconnected, leaving Kevin to use his prepaid mobile phone, which racked up $60 in credit across two days.
They were left without internet for 11 days and no home phone connection for six days.
As a handyman who relies on phone calls and emails for jobs, Kevin estimates he lost at least $650 in income across four days.
After 10 hours of time, phone calls and investigation, he finally had some answers and pinpointed that a local internet retailer had wrongly signed him up for nbn.
Unable to reconnect to the old ADSL connection, the couple were forced to wait until Telstra and the retailer fixed the issue and installed an nbn connection.
Kevin was not happy about how the situation has been handled.
“I appreciate that I’m just a one-off long-time Telstra customer, I run a small one-man sole trader business out of home, but as far as Telstra’s concerned I’m just a home customer,” he said.
“I understand that it’s not critically urgent, but it was costing me money and I was spending a lot of time on it. I was getting nowhere and I didn’t instigate it.”
The retailer blamed the issue on human error and expressed his apologies to the couple.
“It’s unfortunate and I totally apologise,” he said.
“At the end of the day, I have given him assurance that if he wants to leave Telstra and go anywhere else, he doesn’t pay any termination charges.”
The retailer also said he would be looking at compensation options for the couple.
Kevin and Pam are now connected to the nbn network on a Telstra plan, and will continue to work with the retailer to determine the next steps.
NBN leaves Inverloch home disconnected
THE NBN rollout in Inverloch hasn’t helped an Inverloch couple whose holiday rental was without an internet connection for more than two months.
Cally and John Cadd purchased the property at Beilby Street, Inverloch in August and were told that new ADSL internet connections were not available and they would have to wait until nbn was connected.
The couple accepted the predicament and purchased a costly Telstra mobile broadband Wi-Fi dongle for personal use and for guests.
nbn became available at the start of October and the couple organised an internet plan through retail service provider DCSI, but they have been unable to establish a connection.
After much troubleshooting, attempts to establish a connection with three different routers and countless emails and phone calls, the couple are still without a connection and are disgusted.
Cally described the nbn rollout as a farce, and said it had left the couple in a very stressful and difficult position.
“nbn has bought out the ADSL option, so there’s no way we can even go back to that,” she said.
“In a business of accommodation, people get panicky if they can’t get online. We’ve got Apple TV and all that stuff.
“We’re providing a service to guests and it’s in our advertising like most places. Everyone expects free Wi-Fi these days.
“We’re frustrated by the process, it’s costly and we’re wanting some answers because we have no options.
“We feel like we’re being held for ransom.”
The couple has spent more than $500 on mobile broadband in the past month and are hoping to have the issue resolved soon.
They do not blame DCSI for the issue and have pointed the finger at nbn.
“We understand our service provider is doing all they can. The problem seems to be at nbn’s end,” Cally said.
“You can’t disconnect people and tell them they’re going to do something then not do it.
“You’ve got to have infrastructure to support people.”
An nbn spokesperson said they had been alerted to the issue by the retail service provider, and the issue is being investigated.
“When you are connecting thousands of homes and businesses every week, there will inevitably be issues with some individual premises along the way,” the spokesperson said.
“However, nbn continues to work hard to eliminate these issues and improve the connection experience.
“If anybody does have connection issues or problems with their service, we urge them to contact their phone or internet company, who will work with nbn to get them rectified as quickly as possible.”