Horror story: Is this a typical TPG experience?


blog Over at ARN, tech journalist Spandas Lui appears to have had a nightmare experience with TPG, with the national broadband provider reportedly having a great deal of trouble with … switching an ADSL broadband connection on and then, six months later, moving it to another address. According to Lui, her cousin and house-mate convinced her to sign-up:

“Some friends had warned me against TPG so I tried to relay their cautionary tales to her but to avail. Grudgingly, I gave in. She called TPG. I calmed myself and thought “How bad could it possibly be?”

The answer is very, very bad.”

The question is, is this a typical TPG experience? Your writer has a similar tale of woe to tell with TPG going back a decade … culminating in the forced cancellation of our service by snail mail. Trying to reach customer service by telephone at that point was an exercise in frustration. However, things may have changed since then, and certainly there are no shortage of horror stories from other telcos like Telstra, Optus, and even, occasionally, telcos with better reputations like iiNet.

Has anyone else had similar experiences with TPG?

Image credit: Pawel Pierog, royalty free


  1. I’ve been with TPG for….quite a number of years now.

    I’ve only really had one run in with their (admittedly) awful customer support in that time, although the problem was also partially my fault.

  2. I think so. You get what you pay for. If you want/need brilliant in country customer support then you are going to need to pay quite a bit more for it somewhere else.

    But if you are reasonably technical and rarely need customer support then they are great. Never had any problems, probably because I don’t think I have ever had to call their support.

    From a technology perspective I think they provide a great service. Fast and reliable at a great price.

  3. I’ve been with TPG, Bigpond, Optusnet and now iiNet, and never had a problem with any of them.

    iPrimus on the other hand … :-(

  4. I’ve had fairly on and off service in terms of speed/quality, each night being a toss up of good or bad.

    Calling for support is a nightmare, the funny thing being as long as you’ve got a little patience, then posting your problem on Whirlpool tends to get you support, and from an Australian engineer/sales person, rather than from someone overseas.

    • My worry with going with TPG has always been the supporting bandwidth … with so many cheap plans, are they really provisioning enough backhaul into each exchange to properly support users etc? I have heard patchy reports of this.

      • They are vertically integrated with the Pipe acquisition all the way from Guam to the Pipe DF to each of the exchanges they have installed kit at.
        If anyone has enough capacity, they do :)
        Teoh was pretty bullish in a commsday interview last week.

        • Why the continual stream of posters on whirlpool complaining how slow it is of a evening? I understand a few post now and then but they seem to be getting a torrent.

          • I’ve been with TPG ever since being kicked off exetel for being “unprofitable” (must be a sucker for punishment) and never had a problem with performance.

            Now, granted, I’m about 700m from my exchange, and it’s an inner-Sydney exchange as well, but one common use-case in my house is streaming Korean dramas from overseas (usually from Korea or the US) and never really notice any problems with it.

          • I know a few on TPG and they say the speed is great, they actually get only about 300-400KB/s of a evening but if that’s ok for them great. Still seems to be a lot of people getting a lot less posting.

          • You may be right, I’ve never actually measured the speed, but for what I do with it, it’s been fine.

            I just did a speedtest.net run now (8:20pm) and here’s what I get:

            Sydney: 2.2MB/s down, 108KB/s up
            Korea: 348KB/s down, 103KB/s up
            US West Coast: 642KB/s down, 103KB/s up
            US East Coast: 597KB/s down, 98KB/s

            I’m not sure how that compares to other times of the day, but it’s good enough for me. Certainly for the price I pay :-)

  5. If it’s typical I feel like I’m missing out on something. We’ve been with TPG for awhile, since we’ve been on 56k.

  6. Had TPG in melbourne, was a great service & inexpensive – no drop outs and same speed as my Telstra neighbours.

    When I moved out into the eastern suburbs I got TPG net & phone line connected. They sent out a tech to activate the phone line quickly. Customer service was actually really good.

    When they connected me in the suburbs they disconnected me in melbourne but I needed the service there for another week – they reconnected me without charge and only a few hours after I sent them an email asking for it.

    My experience is: email instead of calling. Calling is (same with everyone) sitting on the phone, getting connected to some international person. Emailing allows you to send all the history and required info allowing you to skip all the pain of explaining.

    • Your experience was quite different to mine then Rusty.

      They told me they could upgrade my service to a larger plan but failed to mention my month by month plan would be changed to a 24 month plan.

      This caused me a great deal of headache when trying to disconnect a few months later, They simply refused to budge and stop the automatic payments from my credit card. I would have spent at least 4 hours on the phone to them over many weeks.
      I went to the telecommunications ombudsmen who gave me an Aussie number to call and a complaint reference number. Within minutes of calling I had my plan cancelled no questions asked.

      My experience: If you have not gotten anywhere within 10 mins of calling the telco, fill out the quick three step form on the TIO website. Much faster.

      • Yeah they have short memories. Email everything.

        They certainly aren’t a premium service ISP but for $60 a month unlimited data and a phone line – I recon it is worth that little bit of extra typing work!

  7. I’ve been with TPG for about 6 or 7 years and moved house 5 times during that period and all relocation were easy and done within 2-5 days. I’ve had mixed dealings with their phone support but email has always been good.

  8. I’ve been with TPG for DSL and mobile (resold Optus) for a number of years and recommend them to my friends, but as someone said earlier, use online chat/email medium rather than by phone.

  9. Happy here, also moved my mobile to TPG, was with iiNet previously and feel the TPG network is alot better.

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