Consumer advocates call on Telstra to set customers free after outages

Fly, my pretties, fly, says CHOICE

Australian consumer group CHOICE wants Telstra to release customers from their contracts, after months of repeated outages.

Presenting its latest analysis of telecommunications plans, which unsurprisingly bells Telstra as the most expensive kitty in the litter, CHOICE says “free data days” are no longer an adequate response from a carrier that's had six major outages this year.

CHOICE reckons the biggest Telstra premium, compared to the lowest-priced similar product – amounts to 92 percent: for a 1000GB-allowance ADSL2+ plan, a Telstra customer pays AU$115 a month, while TPG's “unlimited” ADSL2+ service is $59.99.

On the mobile network, the premium is less: in its analysis of 280 plans in all, CHOICE found Telstra is only demanding 35 per cent more than its cheapest competitor.

Telstra told CHOICE “network quality is central to getting value from a plan”, which comes across both to CHOICE and Vulture South as ironic in the face of its repeated outages.

The Australian Communications Consumers Action Network's Teresa Corbin chimed in to support CHOICE's call, and is quoted in the CHOICE release as saying its “free data” days don't make up for the impact of its outages.

+Comment: Vulture South would add that it's long past time for Telstra to assume that blog posts from the CEO serve to explain what's going on. It's long past time for someone to answer questions about exactly why the carrier is failing so often.

We have been calling Telstra “The Big TITSUP” for its “Total Inability To Support Usual Performance”, but alas, these outages are starting to represent usual performance. ®

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