Anyone with a telephone account or internet has one, the dreaded ‘Service provider’…

Well maybe not dreaded, but there are certainly times where the companies that take your hard earned cash for a phone or internet service make it ridiculously hard not to want to move to the next one. If you are one of the lucky ones that never have a problem, then that’s great for you – this article probably won’t help you in any way whatsoever. If your not though – read on!

The facts are that if you are paying for a service, you should get it, right?

If you are active on social media and connect with some of the bigger names in the industry, you have probably seen the (many) posts that illustrate the issues people are having with their services whether they are phone, mobile or internet related problems.

I have seen and experienced my fair share of issues. From billing to technical support, there are avenues that you can go through to make sure you get your problem sorted out by the correct areas.

The service itself

 
What is it exactly that you are paying for? Is it the fastest internet plan? Is it unlimited data? Is it unlimited phone calls from your house phone? It’s important to know what is included in your phone or data plan, and the ‘fine print’ around the usage of it. This is where some people land in hot water with overuse, and potentially get hit with enormous extra costs.
 
But even with these plan differences, do you actually get the service you pay for? How often is your internet down or ridiculously slow? How often does your home phone drop out in the middle of calls? It’s probably not a lot, but if it is then you have the right to a quality of service as a consumer.
 
Consumer rightsThe first step is to call the service provider and ask them for technical support. This can be a time consuming process sometimes as they have to isolate what is wrong, work out the best course of action, and then resource help to fix it (if needed). Most times you will have a problem fixed within about a week, maybe a few days if your lucky, but if there are bigger issues be prepared to wait what seems like an eternity for it to be resolved. Know your rights in this instance, and use them to your advantage. You can read all about consumer rights on the ACCC website by clicking here.
 
For worst case scenarios, get ready to spend a LOT of time on the phone, taking notes and talking to numerous areas of your telco problem… My advice here is simply to be direct, assertive (but not rude), and to ALWAYS ask for a senior position manager to help escalate an issue. If you feel like you are getting nowhere, maybe talk to their ‘disconnections’ team – they often have more ‘power’ than the general level support to help resolve issues. Last resort in cases like these is to get in touch with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO). Please try and resolve the issue directly with your provider first if you can, but these guys will back you up if you can’t.
 
This goes for almost all problems with your service provider. Over billing or lack of service can be a pain, but if you talk to the right people you shouldn’t have an issue.
 
I offer advocacy to help if you feel like you need it – just give me a call and I can see what I can do to get your issue sorted out.