Telstra does it again – marketing malfunction or billing blunder?

Written by on October 3, 2016 in Billing & Payments, Opinion with 0 Comments
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It is, perhaps, unfair to pick on one particular telco suffering from billing issues, but Telstra has done it again. Hot on the heels of very public outages and PR disasters, Telstra now seems to have made an unforced error, of the most basic kind.

Their web site said that customers on their L Plan would receive unlimited standard calls, texts and data while roaming in eligible countries.

Except they didn’t. In fact, they didn’t mean it. It was actually for customers on their XXL Plan. Their website was wrong.

And so now the PR battle starts again. Customers will be contacted, compensation will be given, damage limitation is in full swing.

Telstra, hailed as a leading digital telco has, it seems, made one of those mistakes we used to laugh about in bars at billing conferences in the 1990s.

Billing, we said, sipping slowly, always seems to be the last to know what is going on. Billing managers would read of a new product on the bus on the way to work.

Whether this case was the other favourite, Marketing promising things that Billing simply could not deliver, or whether it is simply a break down in communications, we may never know.

What we do know is that because they did not check all their communications channels, they now have a large amount of work ahead of them putting this right. One very pertinent point, picked up by the Sydney Morning Herald, was how do they know whether customers signed up to the plan on the basis that there was such a good deal on roaming? And what do they do about it.

We also do not know whether this, and the other blunders that have plagued the telco over the last year or so, are a symptom of unhappiness in the ranks. After all, sloppiness is often caused by people who don’t really care.

We hope not. We actually rather like and admire many things that Telstra are doing in the digital world.

But, please, get the basics right too.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .


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