New Internet Plan

After a long and at times frustrating journey, I have a new Internet plan with Westnet that gives me 200 Gigabytes of downloads a month (100G Peak/100G Off Peak)  despite the obstacles created by Telstra.

It took over a month, more phone calls then I can remember and incredibly frustrating conversations with Telstra but I have a new plan and a roadblock that was obstructing my goals is now gone.

You can read about my previous thoughts about a new plan here and at the end of August I made the decision that I needed to make the change for the following reasons:

  • High costs every month
  • Continual excess downloads
  • Stress from continually watching downloads limits to limit costs
  • Inability to use my Internet to it’s full potential

Having made the decision to change I followed the instructions I had been given.

The steps I was told were

  1. Contact Telstra on 1800 804 698 and advise I wanted them to switch my telephone line back to them.
  2. This will take 5 – 10 working days
  3. Once the phone line is transferred to Telstra, contact Westnet and they will put in the new broadband plan
  4. That will take 3 – 5 working days
  5. I have a new Internet plan with Westnet.

These are the actual steps I went through

  1. Contact Telstra on 1800 804 698 and advise I wanted them to switch my telephone line back to them.  Contacted Telstra 30 August 2010 and was told the change over would happen about the 13th September. (5 – 10 working days)
  2. Advised Telstra I didn’t want it the change over on the 11th September and could it be delayed until Monday 20th September as I would be away in Sydney that week when it wouldn’t be too inconvenient to lose Internet access.  Telstra assured me that would be no problem at all.  20th September it was set to happen and recorded in my phone contract.
  3. On Friday 17th September I received a phone call that my Internet couldn’t be changed over because they didn’t have enough information.   I rang and was advised that the request to transfer had failed on the 10th September and they had just got time to ring me to discuss this with me.  When asked why if it failed on the 10th, it took them a week to call but I never really got an answer for that, just that it had happened.  Even though I provided them with all the information they requested and once they read the application and contacted Westnet it was able to go through immediately.  However as a result of Telstra failing to recognise the account number and getting the right information I was back to waiting 10 – 15 working days to get a change over.
    I requested to speak to a manager as I had it recorded in my contract with Telstra that it would be transferred on Monday 20th September.  After 5 phone calls in which I was told no one would ever have given me a definite date, I finally got through to someone who actually knew something.  Chris at Telstra is one of 3 people who helped me out of the approximately 15 Telstra employees I spoke to during this change over.
  4. Chris advised me that no matter the reasons, there was no way I was getting a change over on Monday.  What he could do was fast track it as much as possible which he did.  I had a call on Monday 20th September from Chris advising that on Monday 27th September it would be transferred over.
  5. At 1 pm, Monday 27th September, we lost Internet access and I rang Telstra and was advised that it had been done, everything was right to go and  I could go contact Westnet.  Of course they wanted me to get Internet through Telstra but as they couldn’t match Westnet, I was staying with Westnet.
  6. I rang Westnet when I got home from work at 5 pm on Monday 27th September, happy in the thought I could get a new plan hopefully by Friday as I was having 4 days off.
  7. Westnet were unable to help me – they couldn’t see the codes from Telstra. So I rang Telstra back.  “Oh no, someone must have told you the wrong information” I was told.  “It can take 2 – 5 days for the codes to be seen by another ISP”.  What the??? No one mentioned that in any of the conversations I had.  “Wait 24 hours to see if codes can be seen but be prepared for it to take some time”.  Seeing as it went off at 1 pm on Monday, I decided to wait until 1 pm on Tuesday
  8. Tuesday 28th September, I ring Westnet, ask if the codes are visible and was again told no.  I rang Telstra back and now I’m told it could take 3 – 5 working days.  Needless to say, I’m not happy so I rang back, asking for Chris who was not contactable, even though I had his employee number.  So ok, what can you do for me?  Nothing was the response.  Not happy with this response I rang back again determined to try and speak to a supervisor or manager.
    This time I spoke with Justin, he gave me a $50 credit for the troubles I had had and tried to get the codes fixed.  He advised me to try in the morning.
  9. Wednesday 29th September, ring Telstra first and got someone who had no idea but said to ring your ISP, not our problem, we can’t help you.  Before demanding to again speak to a manager – a mysterious person I never managed to speak to at Telstra, I think they don’t actually exist.  I rang Westnet and they can see the codes.   They took down my details, put in the application and said 3 – 5 days.
  10. Thursday 30th September.  I receive a SMS from Westnet (meanwhile during all of this Telstra never once SMS’d me about anything) advising my broadband was set to be done on 6th October.  I rang back, explained all the issues I had with Telstra and asked if it could be fast tracked.  Westnet sent the email but advised they couldn’t promise anything.
    I decided to again ring Telstra, seeing as they were the cause of the delays to see if they could fast track it.
    This time I got Kim.  She was most helpful, did everything she could to get me access, fast tracked it, spoke to the ‘back of something” boys, even rang me back (something all the others apart from Chris told me was impossible) and advised your Internet should be on tomorrow.
  11. Friday 1st October – No Internet, no codes, no nothing.  I rang back and was advised I would have Internet access by Saturday 2nd October
  12. Saturday 2nd October – there was a red light on my modem internet setting, so I rang Westnet.  The provisioning people don’t work weekends.  Again, no one told me this, so I had to wait till Monday (luckily Western Australia wasn’t having a public holiday like NSW was).
  13. Monday 4th October – rang the provisioning team and as WA is now 3 hours behind NSW I had to wait until 11 am.  A very helpful Aaron looked at it, found out that Kim (presumably) had changed the date due for provisioning to the 2nd October and it was now over due but yes, you guessed it, it hadn’t been done.
    Aaron rang Telstra to be advised that the tech didn’t get around to it on Friday but would be doing it by close of business Monday.  I asked if Aaron was aware Monday was a public holiday in NSW?  He wasn’t and Telstra hadn’t mentioned it.  However Aaron rang back Telstra and was assured it would be done by close of business and Westnet would monitor it.  I had calls through the day from Westnet advising me of the progress however as 6 pm NSW time approached and no internet, I was again seeing another day wasted waiting to get this done
  14. I rang Westnet at 6 pm and they checked.  I had internet access but my user name was not being accepted.  Westnet checked, changed a few user codes that had been set to zero waiting on Telstra and
  15. I have a new Internet plan and it’s working.

Proposed change to my new internet plan

5 steps and 5 – 10 workings days to change over plus 3 – 5 for the broadband provision

Actual change to internet plan

15 steps and 20 working days to change over and 3 working days for the broadband provision.

The 20 days belong to Telstra and the 3 days belong to Westnet.

Now I see why Westnet continues to win Customer Satisfaction Surveys and Telstra has such a bad reputation.

Never give up your goal, don’t accept what you’re told and keep asking questions.

Image: Francesco Marino /