Shame on you, Dodo tells Paul Fletcher


news Cut-rate broadband provider Dodo has slammed comments made about its customer service record in parliament by Liberal MP Paul Fletcher as “grossly unfair” and noted it would have expected more from the politician, given he was a former telecommunications sector executive.

Earlier this week, Fletcher attacked early NBN pricing released by Dodo and fellow ISP Exetel, claiming the pair’s commercial plans didn’t reflect the reality of what he said would be increased pricing on the NBN compared to today’s existing broadband options.

The Coalition’s MP’s attack also broadened to Dodo’s customer service record. “I make the point that while there is nothing wrong with being discount operators, as Dodo and Exetel are, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman reports that over the period October 2010 to March 2011, 4.5 percent of its complaints concerned Dodo, although it had a market share of 2.9 percent,” he said.

However, Dodo chief executive Larry Kestelman this afternoon issued a statement returning fire on the Liberal MP.

“Mr Fletcher’s tactic of using Australian companies to simply bash the Government’s NBN is grossly unfair and I would have expected more from an elected representative who actually understands the telco marketplace,” said Kestelman. “Not all Australians can afford the high prices for broadband charged by some of our competitors and his attack on value for money providers is a real blow to all Australians who are fighting the ever increasing cost of living.”

Kestelman pointed out that the Coalition was “constantly chiding” the Government for a perceived increased cost of living in Australia, including on the issue of the National Broadband Network — with Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull raising the issue of high NBN prices on the same day as Fletcher’s comments about Dodo.

“But now when it suits a political target it is fine for them to justify higher prices,” said Kestelman. “Mr Fletcher and his Coalition colleagues cannot have it both ways.”

“Surely all Australian’s deserve affordable broadband. If Mr Fletcher is trying to preserve the status quo and the dominance of the old school telcos, this is not a policy that is going to endear him to the Australian public.

The Dodo chief also took umbrage with Fletcher’s grasp of customer service statistics, claiming the MP had simply “lifted” figures from Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman reports “without taking into account that Dodo is a full service telco provider and compares well against its much more expensive competitors”.

Kestelman said in the past 18 months, complaints against Dodo to the TIO had dropped 40 percent. In December last year, Dodo-related complaints were 1.58 percent of all TIO complaints, he added, and in March 2011, just 1.21 percent of complaints related to Dodo. Call centre performance was also strong — with the company’s daily average answer time never having risen above 2.5 minutes in the past six months.

“If Mr Fletcher had actually taken the time to look at what users are actually saying he would have seen that our performance is significantly up in almost every category,” the Dodo chief executive added. “We deliver our customers great value – something Mr Fletcher seems to have a real problem with. The telco market needs companies like Dodo to keep the big boys honest on pricing. We are providing a great value for money proposition to our customers today and will continue to do so with the NBN.”

The office of Paul Fletcher has been invited to respond.

While Fletcher’s right — Dodo doesn’t precisely have a great reputation for customer service — it was perhaps somewhat of a low blow to criticise the company’s customer service in Federal Parliament.

In addition, Kestelman has a very valid point about the Coalition. It’s hypocritical for Turnbull and Fletcher to be criticising claimed high prices under the NBN and those attempting to offer lower prices at the same time. As I wrote this week, personally I feel the whole pricing issue is a bit of a dead end line of argument for the Coalition anyway, but if it is going to go down that path, it should at least be consistent.

Image credit: Dodo


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  1. +1 to Dodo or at least Larry Kestelman, I dont think I’ll ever get a service from Dodo but credit must be given for calling out the opposition on their continuing stupidity with regards to pricing, really more RSPs should be doing this.

    • Agree. Likewise I’m probably not first in line to signup to Dodo but I agree 100% with all of their comments.

      Not everyone wants a internet connection with super low contention and $20/hr Australian support, they are happy for the ISP to cut corners and often receive less than exceptional performance to save money.

      It is only logical that ISP’s with such mindset have a higher ratio of TIO complaints than other ISP’s, and as Larry shows, it’s improving.

      I just can’t believe that sites like The Australian and comments from Turnbull and Abbot are quoting Internode NBN prices, and not only totally ignoring the requirement to factor line rental into the comparison, but implying it’s what everyone will pay – Internode are a quality provider and not a cheap one.

      And furthermore it’s silly to complain about rising costs of living then dismiss Dodo and Exetel’s pricing, and again refer to Internode pricing.

      Do you think people who are struggling do the grocery shopping in a BMW? No, they are probably driving some several decade old shitbox. They don’t care if it does not perform 100% 24/7

    • I have actually just signed up with them for one of my accounts, and it’s been superb. Even the customer service was surprisingly smooth…
      I had an issue with (what turned out to be) a bad line from Telstra on a new install. I had a level 3 tech checking back with me to make sure it was all OK, even though I had already told him that it was indeed a Telstra problem (who were also very good and efficient…what’s up with the Universe?).

      My impression is that the Libs comments are smelling of “attack at all costs, never mind if the arguments are true or make sense”.
      Sadly, there are many who don’t have our knowledge and experience and cannot know this…

  2. Yeah like the TIO figures are anything to go by… they take all complaints “in good faith” You can tell them anything and they will accept the complaint and mark it as a complaint against the carrier… How many of those complaints are actually valid and not the usual, oh my service was suspended cause I didn’t pay my bill so i’ll go to the TIO.

  3. I am perfectly happy with my Dodo service. Unlimited broadband, no problems. Netgear Modem N150 resulted a shit Modem (for my application) so I put my own and all is great. Support from Dodo (Phillipine)… so far great too…. I think the Coalition Broadband gurus are well lost in space and do not much know what they are talking about…. I know once NBN services are available (whether Mr Turnbull and Co.. wins or not will)… Dodo will offer us that service…

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