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View Full Version : 210mins on phone to BigPond



BLINDER
10th July 2008, 03:45 PM
I wanted to ask a question of Bigpond about our usage so I called them this morning.
I was shuffled between about 8 different people and 4 different desks.
Suffice to say I was exceptionally unhappy with the responses and amazed at the stupidity of a lot of the answers and cheesed off entirely that the entire phone call lasted 210 mins (the phone has a counter on it). Is this a bizarre new record??

My issue is that we were with Optus Broadband for about 3 years and never went over maybe 6-7GB per month.
It looks like our first 2 months with Bigpond are going to see 12GB data per month.
This strikes me as inexplicable. We haven't changed our habits (we have tried to decrease how much we use - we're being fairly judicious now - since I looked at the first weeks use on the Bigpond "my usage"page)).
Is it possible that our infrequent email use and standard internet browsing could possibly get that high??
We don't bittorrent or get music or video's etc. We're what I would have thought was light users.
I tried switching off all the computers + peripheral devices here - and it still registers usage - in one case it said there was about 80mb of use between midnight and 8am with nothing but the cable modem on.
This was never an issue with Optus.
Is there anything I could do? Anything to check? Anything to secure?

laprius
10th July 2008, 03:47 PM
wireless? make new password? use WPA-PSK for security...

Comet
10th July 2008, 03:47 PM
Any chance of having a wireless connection?

purana
10th July 2008, 03:48 PM
If you haven't noticed, BigPond ADSL traffic is counted in both directions.

SO if you uploaded alot on your previous plan, chances are that value of usage only included/calculated the download usage.

BigPond on the other hand count both directions. Thus you could see a huge change in your usage.

BLINDER
10th July 2008, 03:48 PM
I disabled the wireless aspect of it today.
It is WPA "protected".
One of the telstra people said that was a-ok.


If you haven't noticed, BigPond ADSL traffic is counted in both directions.

SO if you uploaded alot on your previous plan, chances are that value of usage only included/calculated the download usage.

BigPond on the other hand count both directions. Thus you could see a huge change in your usage.

Uploads are virtually zero.

Wally
10th July 2008, 03:49 PM
There is something with BigPond.. They overcharge on something, we always end up over when I only just browse MacTalk / Few other forums and occasionally download a 10mb file..

It gets me there.

BigPonds solution probably would be "Install a Virus scanner, check for spyware"
then when you say "Oh I use a Mac, no virus scanners here"

then they start rambling on about the start menu, thats when you hang up.

Wally

purana
10th July 2008, 03:50 PM
Turn everything off including the modem for a good solid few hour period, and confirm if the usage meter shows usage for said period, if it does then clearly internal issue. Otherwise it looks like you need to do more investigation.

BLINDER
10th July 2008, 03:51 PM
There is something with BigPond.. They overcharge on something, we always end up over when I only just browse MacTalk / Few other forums and occasionally download a 10mb file..

It gets me there.

BigPonds solution probably would be "Install a Virus scanner, check for spyware"
then when you say "Oh I use a Mac, no virus scanners here"

then they start rambling on about the start menu, thats when you hang up.

Wally

YEp! I got all of that this morning/this afternoon!!
There's just no way someone around us would be stealing it either - we're surrounded by the elderly - I've hidden our Airport Extreme.
I can see people outside anyway - no one ever uses a laptop beside the house that we wouldn't notice....

BLINDER
10th July 2008, 03:52 PM
Turn everything off including the modem for a good solid few hour period, and confirm if the usage meter shows usage for said period, if it does then clearly internal issue. Otherwise it looks like you need to do more investigation.

I mentioned to them I'd done that and clearly shown the usage.
I will do it again on the weekend and see what happens.
How can I get them to admit fault if it clearly does it again??

fompsweeva
10th July 2008, 03:58 PM
I mentioned to them I'd done that and clearly shown the usage.
I will do it again on the weekend and see what happens.
How can I get them to admit fault if it clearly does it again??

Ring consumer affairs. It's quite easy to get in touch and open a case.

BLINDER
10th July 2008, 04:01 PM
Ring consumer affairs. It's quite easy to get in touch and open a case.

It's only just happened and I've only just queried Bigpond @ this stage.
I'd first like to work out what might be happening rather than just looking like an angry tosser (which I do often enough in the car).
I was seeking their assistance and have no reason to think I can't figure what might be the prob in this next month or so.

uncyherb
10th July 2008, 04:03 PM
I disabled the wireless aspect of it today.
It is WPA "protected".
One of the telstra people said that was a-ok.



Uploads are virtually zero.

If you're using 6-7 Gb per month on Optus, then your uploads are not virtually zero. Every time you open a page, watch a video or do just about anything there are commands being sent back and forth between your computer and the 'net. It all adds up... but it shouldn't add up to anything like 5 extra Gb, more like a few dozen meg. People who get caught out with 5Gb of uploads are people sharing torrents or the like.

How can you get Telstra to admit fault? You can't. They've got a measuring stick and that's that. Pointing to Optus does nothing, because for all you know Optus were under-measuring the traffic.

arkenstone
10th July 2008, 04:04 PM
I agree with the uploads thing. Telstra and Dodo and very recently Optus charge for uploads which depending on your usage is usually around 30% of your usage.

If you used to 'download' 10 gig on Optus you probably 'used' 13 gig (as three of them were in uploads). Telstra are just mean enough to charge you for it (WHo ever heard of swapping broadband TO Telstra anyway? Some people are KU-RAY-ZEE)

uncyherb
10th July 2008, 04:04 PM
Ring consumer affairs. It's quite easy to get in touch and open a case.

Consumer affairs would point you to the TIO (http://www.tio.com.au/).

Taezar
10th July 2008, 04:04 PM
My best friend's pensior mother had something similar happen. When she was in the US for 6 months visiting my best friend she got charged $145 more than for the previous 6 months when she actually used the computer! The account wasn't being used at all. In the end she played the little old pensior card and went back to optus. :)

BLINDER
10th July 2008, 04:07 PM
If you're using 6-7 Gb per month on Optus, then your uploads are not virtually zero. Every time you open a page, watch a video or do just about anything there are commands being sent back and forth between your computer and the 'net. It all adds up... but it shouldn't add up to anything like 5 extra Gb, more like a few dozen meg. People who get caught out with 5Gb of uploads are people sharing torrents or the like.

How can you get Telstra to admit fault? You can't. They've got a measuring stick and that's that. Pointing to Optus does nothing, because for all you know Optus were under-measuring the traffic.

Thanks uncy - I realise all of that - And yes, when I say the uploads are virtually zero I'm not accounting for the info that is generated every time - it is a small amount though.= - WELL under 1GB - way under!
I'm starting to wonder if Optus under-measured but I would have thought that 5-7GB was an accurate representation of what we were doing.

BLINDER
10th July 2008, 04:12 PM
I agree with the uploads thing. Telstra and Dodo and very recently Optus charge for uploads which depending on your usage is usually around 30% of your usage.

If you used to 'download' 10 gig on Optus you probably 'used' 13 gig (as three of them were in uploads). Telstra are just mean enough to charge you for it (WHo ever heard of swapping broadband TO Telstra anyway? Some people are KU-RAY-ZEE)

Yep = crazy here and after today - getting crazier!
Optus couldn't provide certain things I needed so I had to go elsewhere and everything I needed was accounted for in what the sales rep discussed with me from BigPond (over a 40min phone call as I asked lots of minutiae detail - just didn't hammer out this point well enough though!!)
OK - I'm just getting the current stats for the past use:
1973 96 2070 - this month 96mb upload
10672 636 11307 - last month 636mb upload

Brains
10th July 2008, 04:15 PM
Does your modem have a traffic counter in it?

BLINDER
10th July 2008, 04:19 PM
Does your modem have a traffic counter in it?

In the words of Pauline Hanson - please explain...
Got no idea!

SyncMan
10th July 2008, 04:27 PM
Is there anything I could do? Anything to check? Anything to secure?

They discuss this in a big way over here (http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1005922), maybe already covered many times over and over, who knows.

BLINDER
10th July 2008, 05:32 PM
They discuss this in a big way over here (http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1005922), maybe already covered many times over and over, who knows.

Thanks for that SyncMan. It was very informative - I now feel as if I've just gone through a 210min rape by the telco.
Just look to the Ombudsman sooner rather than later!

SyncMan
10th July 2008, 05:51 PM
Thanks for that SyncMan. It was very informative - I now feel as if I've just gone through a 210min rape by the telco.
Just look to the Ombudsman sooner rather than later!

Been there, done that :mad:

silverdreamer
10th July 2008, 06:01 PM
For a start, when you talk to bigpuddle support, let them know from the start your on a Mac, and discuss nothing with anyone untill they put you through to an apple specialist, doing so leads to frustration.

And try using macpommes usage widget to monitor your usage.

macpomme about (http://macpomme.com/)

iPirate
11th July 2008, 07:40 PM
Try this: Unplug your modem. Go to some Bigpond HQ the next day. Ask them to show you how much data you've used in the past 24 hours, and the most recent Data usage time. Then say "Well could you fix this (handing them the modem) cos I think it's downloading over wireless, it's been unplugged since yesterday".

Hopefully they'll fix the problem then.

Brains
11th July 2008, 09:05 PM
In the words of Pauline Hanson - please explain...
Got no idea!

Most modems have a traffic counter in them, buried somewhere in their built-in web interface. This usually shows the number of packets transmitted & received. What type of modem do you have?

I just had a nasty thought.

What if Telstra were counting the hordes of packet-probing and malware attacks that happen ever-so-frequently on Bigpond networks? Sure your modem's firewall would stop them dead, but as far as the Bigpond traffic-o-meters are concerned, you're receiving bytes that count against your quota.

BLINDER
11th July 2008, 09:59 PM
I'll certainly look to try the last couple of post's ideas.
Thank you all for your continuing help.

BLINDER
17th July 2008, 07:33 AM
Update:
Since having the conversation w/ BigPond the network upload/downloads seems to be more accurate.
I also turned off the wireless capability of the BigPond modem (just in case).

In other news: Looked @ my visa statement for last month and WAS charged by BigPond for "Bigpond security". THis is something I don't want and didn't ask for!
I rang immediately and was once again defeated by the forces of BP stupidity:
"We can't see the payment here...", "Can you fax the Visa statment so we can see it"
"I don't have a fax - I can email a PDF if you like straight away".
"We don't have email..."
"You've got to be kidding me - what kid of company etc. etc.", "BTW, I'm not paying to fax you anything".
"You can take it to a BP shop and send it to us from there".
This is what I'll be doing today.
From what I can see this is a duplicitous, unhelpful, irrational, blindingly EVIL company.
I'm looking to break my contract ASAP cause I can't handle their nonsense.

Final rant:
I cannot for the life of me work out the billing.
As far as I am concerned, given the conversation I had with the salesperson, a payment of $79.95 per month. This comprised 59.95 for the internet and 19.95 for the homeline.
It looks like I'm being charged for cable installation ($220 after they've worked out a discount???) - and the telstra phone bill side of it currently says $78.74
It's broken down like this on the telstra bill (as opposed to the BigPond bill)
Previous balance $156.87cr
We received $0.00
Balance $156.87cr
New charges pay by 28 Jul '08 $235.61
Total $78.74

Part of this payment is for service and equipment charges - something that was NEVER mentioned in the intital discussion.

This is the BigPond pricing:
BigPond Cable Special Offer Installation Discount
Miscellaneous 24 Jun 117.27cr 117.27 cr 129.00 cr
1 BigPond Cable WiFi Modem (Prof-Inst) 24 Mth
Miscellaneous 24 Jun 317.27 317.27 349.00

Total for $200.00 $220.00

THey said I wouldn't pay for installation.
What is going on here??

Have they broken the contract??

Piratbyran
17th July 2008, 07:47 AM
This may sound untimely; but do you have the option to get out of this contract. If you can. i suggest you run.

BLINDER
17th July 2008, 08:08 AM
This may sound untimely; but do you have the option to get out of this contract. If you can. i suggest you run.

It would cost $330 at this stage to get out. Not money I want to throw away.

But I do have some good news - in between writing the last post and this one I made another call to Bigpond - this one of about 20min duration.
The extra charges have been dropped!!!:D
The phone rental is gone!
The modem and install charges are gone!!!
I'm back to what I thought I'd be charged.:thumbup:
Just have to sort out the BigPond security thing today and I'm happy w/ the outcome.
I'll then wait out the two years and be gone cause I won't have anything else to complain about.:)
I can even cope with the 12GB and it's peculiarities and up it on the rare occasion I need 25GB.

chrome
17th July 2008, 09:04 AM
call the number and select account cancellations. Tell them that you want to cancel. They will ask you if there is anything they can do to change your mind.

Why yes, as a matter of fact, there is...

TheKeddi
17th July 2008, 09:15 AM
This is the main reason I go with smaller internet companies!

I am with Adam internet, they are fantastic!

My niece is with bigpond and pays way more than me for a 1/4 of the download limit and then gets slapped for uploads as well!

Do yourself a favor and change suppliers,

It's beyond me why people actually sign up with bigpond in the first place.

bakeraus
17th July 2008, 09:21 AM
I would post this on the Whirlpool forums which is for all internet help. If I was also you go in to a Telstra store and complain or get them to make the call for you because I would never give them bastards any money for the phone call to them.

harper
17th July 2008, 09:26 AM
call the number and select account cancellations. Tell them that you want to cancel. They will ask you if there is anything they can do to change your mind.

Why yes, as a matter of fact, there is...

I have found this is the quickest and most effective way of dealing with any telco... those automated systems are painful

Blinder I have had similiar issues with telstra/bigpond... i feel for you.

btw with these contracts you can get out of them easier if they approached you about the service... alot harder if you actually went to them, shopping asking questions etc

and I love the fact your telecommunications company cant receive emails... try getting them to call you thats even harder... sorry we can't make phone calls :mad: the irony...

silverdreamer
17th July 2008, 09:48 AM
It would cost $330 at this stage to get out. Not money I want to throw away.

But I do have some good news - in between writing the last post and this one I made another call to Bigpond - this one of about 20min duration.
The extra charges have been dropped!!!:D
The phone rental is gone!
The modem and install charges are gone!!!
I'm back to what I thought I'd be charged.:thumbup:
Just have to sort out the BigPond security thing today and I'm happy w/ the outcome.
I'll then wait out the two years and be gone cause I won't have anything else to complain about.:)
I can even cope with the 12GB and it's peculiarities and up it on the rare occasion I need 25GB.

you seem to have had a bit of a horror story my friend, and I dare say the fault lies in a lack of communication and understanding on both sides.

Telstra do have some dipsticks on staff, and at times you can be told a number of different stories by different consultants, before you get the correct one. I have been on the phone to them a number of times over the last few days trying to re-organise my iPhone contract, didn't I have some fun, but all is sweet now, and I am happy.

There are a couple of thngs to remember when talking to Telstra.

1. First up, when you get through the queue, and get to a consultant, make sure their is no conversational barriers. ie: make sure you can understand what is said and vice versa. No offence to our immagrant population, but if you can't clearly understand the consultant, you are going to get no where. Politly explain that you have trouble understanding him/her, and ask to be put through to someone else. I know:rolleyes:, it put's you back in the queue, but this is important, be patient, hang up, have a cup of tea and try again later.

2. If the consultant your dealing with tells you something that you feel is incorrect, ask to speak to a supervisor and have them confirm it, or in some cases, set you right.

3. Make sure you tell them up front your on a mac, and again, if the dipstick says they are unsupported, ask for a supervisor, or hang up and start again.

2 years down the track, I think you will be happy with the overall Telstra experience.


Tele consultants for any Telco or similar company, are all the same, some know what they are on about, and some are absolute turkeys.

I find Telstra easy to talk to overall, have been with them since I stepped off the ark, but the queue is a pain,.... but then I suppose they do have a rather large client base.

Bart Smastard
17th July 2008, 11:38 AM
As a complete opposite to the original post. I called Optus last night at 7:15pm to renew my cable internet contract and change over my wife's mobile from Telstra to Optus.

I thought this would be a busy time to call but I was on hold for only 3 minutes before speaking to a friendly and incredibly helpful consultant (in Melbourne not Mumbai) who took me through all the motions of what I wanted, recommended a phone and put through my request with high urgency because I told him I didn't want to see another bill from Tel$ra... ever! We even chatted about the iPhone - he told me that the plans will improve within the next 6 months.

In all, I was on the phone for 27 stress free minutes.

BLINDER
17th July 2008, 02:06 PM
Bart - dealing with the original sales consultant was easy - as good an experience I've had w/ a telco.
Switching contracts is never the issue with your new company!
But later on... the pain sets in.
I'm feeling fine w/ Telstra/ BigPOnd for now. I had to switch cause a couple of things I wanted to do just weren't an option w/ Optus (my very long term supplier from the past).
Optus erfused several times to help with my broadband and my phone bill (they were charging $50 a month just for the phone supply - waaaaaay over the odds. Telstra is doing it for $10 a month + phone calls, of which I have very few thanks to email!!!!!)
Optus became rude, belligerent and totally unhelpful when I questioned them over several issues in the last 6 months of being w/ them.

silverdreamer - I took notes during my conversations w/ Bigpond so I don't think fault rests on both sides - I'm sure they'd say differently.
The guy I dealt with today was an Aussie in Geelong - was brilliant in dealing with me - and solved all but one issue. They're not all scum!
But I think BigPond doesn't care if they make mistakes with customers and you luck out if you get someone who will help fix the problem cause most of the phone consultants I've dealt with so far were rude too!

mac_man_luke
17th July 2008, 02:16 PM
at work we have been on bigpond cable for around 8 years+

Recently we have noticed that over the weekends up to 100mb per day was showing up on the usage meter! we have no wireless and everything but the modem and router are off over the weekend.

We have not bothered to do anything about it because we are in the process of changing over to node adsl2+

Bart Smastard
17th July 2008, 03:28 PM
Blinder, I have found with call centres that it is very hit and miss in regard to getting a satisfactory result.

I have friends who will never go near Optus again because of one incident they had years ago. I've heard others complain about 3 but I'm a customer of both companies and have been satisfied with their service each time I've needed to call them

Similarly there are people who are dissatisfied with Apple because of how a problem was handled.

Years ago I worked at customer service call centre and although I tried to be polite as much as possible, I found that during a 12 hour shift it only took one grumpy customer to push me over the edge. And often the next few poor souls who called after that didn't always receive a warm reception either.

The point is, customer service relies on two people communicating with each other over the phone. Not being able to see the other party is the first hurdle in this arrangement and clear instructions is the second but the biggest hurdle is attitude. All these hurdles need to be cleared by both parties.

I'm not saying that your bad experiences were your fault. I'm just saying that when it comes to describing a problems and solutions over the phone there are times when one or both parties can complicate things unnecessarily.