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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 7920

Ms HALL (12:54 PM) —Today I would like to raise an issue that has caused great concern in my electorate and, I am sure, in other electorates throughout Australia, and that is the reluctance of Telstra to respond to problems experienced by constituents and the impact that that is having on them. I am not talking about the $2.02 fee per transaction for paying an account by cash—I will raise that at another time. Rather, it is Telstra’s failure to address the issues that my office raises with them.

Previously, the contact person at Telstra was able to resolve most of these issues without too many problems. It is with great reluctance that I have had to bring this to the parliament today, because no matter how hard that person in Telstra tries I still have a number of issues that are unresolved. If people reading the Hansard could see these, I have about a centimetre full of issues that relate to unresolved complaints. They are from people like Christine, who paid her account and, after much problem with Telstra, transferred to another provider. Telstra owes her a hundred dollars. There is Helen, whose husband died. She has had trouble transferring the account across to her name and had her telephone number quarantined and her mobile disconnected. Another couple had ongoing problems with an account. They were signed up to a Blackberry over the phone. When it arrived they said, ‘I do not want this,’ but they keep receiving accounts for this Blackberry that they had returned immediately after receiving it.

There is a litany of complaints that I have received in my office. I would like to call on Telstra to be much more receptive to the concerns of their customers and to the concerns of people that have contacted their office and whom I have contacted on their behalf, and to resolve some of the problems that are real issues for these people. Given the fact that there is a time constraint, I will finish here but I would like to reiterate that it is time for Telstra to act and be receptive and do something for all these people.