Telstra adds weekend option to home visits


The nation’s largest telco Telstra will now allow its customers to book appointments for its technicians to visit their houses on weekend to fix thorny problems, ending a long-running problem where their visits were restricted to the normal working week.

“Customers in metropolitan and some regional areas can book to have their fixed line or BigPond cable service installed or repaired on weekends,” the company said in a statement issued today. However, it remains unclear whether the weekend booking functionality will apply to customers of other ISPs who need Telstra to repair copper infrastructure running into premises.

The news comes as part of a wider customer service improvement package revealed by Telstra chief executive David Thodey today.

Other measures include a new option with Telstra’s phone support line, where customers who have an unresolved problem can simply say “complaint” into their phone and be transferred directly to a specially trained consultant and the option of leaving a message and having Telstra call back if telephone queues are too long.

In addition, the statement said Telstra was making it easier for consumers and small business customers who called it to speak to the most appropriate consultant. A common problem when calling Telstra is that customers get transferred around between departments before they find the right area to take their call.

Thodey said the changes were recommended by Telstra employees and had also resulted from the experiences of more than 700,000 Australians – whose problems had been “formally tracked” as part of Telstra’s customer service program. And further changes are coming.

“These changes are about demonstrating respect for our customers and their time, and not taking their choice of provider for granted,” said Thodey.

The news comes as Telstra also today announced other changes in its line-up of business ADSL broadband offerings, boosting the top speeds of its Business DSL service from 4Mbps to 10Mbps and re-branding it TBB Ethernet. The service is symmetrical, meaning upload and download speeds are the same.

“TBB Ethernet makes it possible to support quality IP telephony and applications like video-conferencing, offering big savings in telephone call costs and the travel budget,” said Telstra on its blog Telstra Exchange. The upgrade project will hit some 500 telephone exchanges before the end of 2010.

The company also announced this week that giant networking company Cisco had become a partner in Telstra’s Business Systems program — in which telecommunications hardware and services are packaged together in offerings to end users.

Image credit: Telstra


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