CHOICE questions Telstra’s “premium price” after major outages

CHOICE claims Telstra customers should be allowed to break fixed contracts

Telstra customers should be allowed to break their fixed contracts if affected by the recent spate of network outages, consumer watchdog CHOICE has claimed.

An analysis of 280 products from some of Australia’s most popular telecommunications providers has revealed that some Telstra customers were paying up to 92 per cent more for their home broadband internet and up to 35 per cent more for their mobile plans.

CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey said that although the telco was “charging a premium price”, with seven major outages in the past six months – including a June 30 cut that affected 75,000 customers around Australia – it was not providing a premium service.

“There’s only so much free data Telstra can offer before they have to admit their network is failing on a fairly regular basis and that promised premium network is a thing of the past,” Mr Godfrey told ABC News. “Telstra should do the right thing and let those seeking to get out of a fixed term contract do so.

“Telstra claims its real point of difference isn’t data limits or cost but its network. Log those outages, record your loss and then if Telstra doesn’t agree to let you out, take the fight to the TIO [Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman] because they’re clearly charging you a premium price and you’re not getting a premium service.”

CHOICE said it compared Telstra’s products and services to equivalent or better offerings from its competitors. However, Telstra has called the analysis “flawed”, because the research didn’t consider the company’s full range of plans.

“In its analysis CHOICE misses many of our most popular and comparable plans and fails to consider things customers tell us are most important, such as the breadth, speeds and availability of our network and the extras we include,” said Telstra spokesperson Stuart Bird. 

The 92 per cent figure came from comparing Telstra's $115 ‘large broadband’ product, which includes 1000GB of data, to TPG's $60 ‘basic bundle’ with unlimited data. 

Are you a Telstra customer? Are you happy with your service? Would you call it a ‘premium’ service? After these repeated outages, do you feel inclined to break your contract?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    12th Jul 2016
    I'm with Virgin which uses Optus and service is always dropping out on my mobile can get emergency only.21st century and karana downs has black spots everywhere.another ones forest more plans for me.monthly go as you pay get better deals
    12th Jul 2016
    with vodaphone less than 1 k from tower drop out all the time even at 5am,4 g and SLOW
    12th Jul 2016
    We WERE Telstra Business customers a few years ago, but following incidents of absolute ratshit service from them, we dumped them in favour of M2. Would never touch a Telstra product of any kind ever again in my life. I walk past the Telstra store in our local shopping mall, look at all the prospective customers sitting there being bullshitted to, and say to myself, you poor uninformed morons !!
    Old Geezer
    12th Jul 2016
    M2 is a reseller of Telstra and Optus products so you are getting same service.
    12th Jul 2016
    Ah, yes, but we never had any service issues from our other provider which was actually People Telecom. M2 took them over after we sold the business.
    Tom Tank
    12th Jul 2016
    Telstra are a disappointment without a doubt. While I cannot complain about my broadband or landline service I do object to an Australian Corporation using overseas cut price providers for customer call centres.
    I do not use Telstra for my mobile as I use Amaysim which uses the Optus network and while coverage can sometimes be a bit iffy the prices and service are excellent.
    I would have thought that outages of the magnitude that Telstra has inflicted on customers should be grounds to consider that Telstra has broken their end of the contract and the customers are free to move to another provider.
    Part of the issue is the then Government forced each mobile provider to build their own separate network when surely a shared network would have been more economical and better than what we have now.
    13th Jul 2016
    The lovely Telstra lady in Malaysia was horrified as I described our third world coms and mobile coverage. She didn't understand the five days electricity outage at all. They must have underground lines. Does anyone know? I don't recall seeing overhead lines in Singapore but might be wrong.
    12th Jul 2016
    Gave Telstra the flick about 2 months ago could not cope with the drop outs have my mobile with Vodafone they are very customer related
    12th Jul 2016
    What I didn't realise was that when you sign up to the NBN your landline phone will run through the Internet. So if I shut down the modem to give the grandchildren computer free time or the internet is down due to technical issues (usually weather based) so too is my ability to ring 000. - None of the telcos seem to understand that the analog landline was our lifeline. Even back to base systems no longer work.
    13th Jul 2016
    There will have to be a back up checking system in neighbourhoods to check on people who are aged, disabled, very pregnant etc.

    Like in the olden times before telephones.

    You are right.

    We had five days with no electricity or mobile coverage as the tower went down during last years storm. The copper line worked but the NBN won't.
    12th Jul 2016
    Some new housing estate now has communications monopolies - all the infrastructure belonging to only one provider.
    I'm stuck with Telstra, service/enquiries a nightmare. They call it a smart community, not allowed to talk about in Telstra Store - telephone only. Never less than an hour on anything significant.
    Just a few decades ago monopolies were considered bad, now OK.
    13th Jul 2016
    Its interesting, justme. Monopolies are illegal, remember the lawsuits with Microsoft exclusively providing Internet explorer. However, you are a group of little guys without zillions to fight the big guys. PS I love your avatar - I want one of those!
    14th Jul 2016
    14th Jul 2016
    mmm and the Govt. is talking about introducing e-voting.
    Telstra has black spots too. They have connected landlines to wrong houses in country areas too.

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