Two Mile man fights Telstra and wins on service failure

WHEN Telstra says it has “no issues with mobile coverage in Gympie,” Two Mile resident Ricky Ware says he feels like taking issue with the big Telco.

WHEN Telstra says it has “no issues with mobile coverage in Gympie,” Two Mile resident Ricky Ware says he feels like taking issue with the big Telco.

He would ring them up to do so, if only he could.

Like many mobile phone owners, Mr Ware likes to use his phone at home, so he does not have to be out to take a call.

But he found he had no reception inside.

So he switched to Optus and reception improved dramatically.

The problem was Telstra would not let him out of its service contract with him, without big fees.

“I’m sitting at home getting very little, if any signal,” he said.

“It’s not just me. My house mate had the same difficulty.

“We could be on the phone talking and it would suddenly cut out.

And Mr Ware does not live out in the sticks. He lives at Jardine Close, near Riverview Drive, on the Two Mile-Chatsworth side of town.

“I used to live at Widgee and I had to walk down the road to get signal, but when I did, it was better than I get here,” he said. Now, after questions from Telecommunications Ombudsman, Telstra is letting him go, without penalty.

But during all this, another bill has arrived. He does not think he should have to pay it.

A Telstra spokeswoman said terrain and buildings could cause trouble and reception boosters could help in “fringe areas.”

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Telstra take City of Melbourne to Federal Court over out-of-home advertising dispute

The telco’s move follows the council referring Telstra and JC Decaux’s new phone booths to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal earlier this …

Telstra has taken the City of Melbourne to the Federal Court as part of its battle with local councils over digital out-of-home displays.

The telco’s move follows the council referring Telstra and JC Decaux’s new phone booths to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal earlier this year claiming the large format digital adverting displays were subject to local government planning rules.

A Telstra payphone with a digital display in central Melbourne

Melbourne claims the new generation payphones featuring large format digital displays are not ‘low impact’ under the Federal government’s telecommunications rules and therefore are not exempt from council regulations.

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In April, the City of Sydney joined their Melbourne counterparts in objecting to Telstra and JC Decaux’s plans with councillors calling on Lord Mayor Clover Moore to seek support from various politicians and regulators for their view that Telstra’s plans are not exempt from council control.

The Sydney councillors called on Moore to write to the chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims; minister for communications, Mitch Fifield; shadow minister, Michelle Rowland; NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian; and the CEO of Telstra, Andy Penn to express their dissatisfaction with the advertising units.

JC Decaux and Telstra pulled out of the city’s street furniture tender in January with some sources claiming concerns about the large format payphone units were partly responsible for the scuttled bid for Australia’s largest out-of-home contract.

The two companies unveiled their Adbooth partnership in late 2017 to “bring the phone box into the 21st Century” with 1,860 payphones nationally being upgraded to include mobile phone charging ports, digital advertising screens, public transport information, interactive digital art along as multilingual and disability support services.

As part of Telstra’s Universal Service Obligation, the telco is required to provide payphones across the nation.

Carmel Mulhern, Telstra’s group general counsel and group executive for legal and corporate affairs, wrote in a blog post on the company’s site: “To clarify whether the new booths are a low impact facility, the City of Melbourne recently commenced proceedings in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) challenging our right to upgrade payphones in the Melbourne city area.

“Because we operate a national payphone network, we think the best path is to ask the Federal Court to decide whether our new payphones are a low impact facility, so we have one judgment that applies across Australia. This will avoid the time and cost of court action in other states, and should mean a quicker, consistent outcome.

“Notwithstanding the decision to take this action, we will continue to engage and work with all stakeholders, including local governments and other associations on this project.”

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said the council expects VCAT to hold a directions hearing on the matter next week. The Federal Court is yet to schedule a hearing on Telstra’s case.

In a statement to Mumbrella, a City of Melbourne spokesperson told Mumbrella: ” On Monday 25 March, the City of Melbourne refused 81 applications by JCDecaux for planning permits to display commercial advertising on public phone booths across central Melbourne.

“Under the Telecommunications (Low-impact Facilities) Determination 2018, planning approval is not required to install telecommunications infrastructure provided it meets the criteria for ‘low-impact facility’.

“At 2.7 metres high and 1.2 metres wide, the new payphone structures are 600mm taller and 400mm wider than the older phone booths. They are also fitted with 75” LCD screens – which are 60 per cent larger than the previous signage displays – and which are programmed to show up to four advertisements per minute.

“In addition, the City of Melbourne applied simultaneously to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) seeking a ruling that Telstra’s new larger phone booths do not meet the low impact criteria and therefore require planning approval. The matter of City of Melbourne vs JCDecaux and Telstra is listed for a directions hearing before VCAT on Friday 17 May.

“We are also aware of media reports that Telstra intends to file a Federal Court action “to decide whether [Telstra’s] new payphones are a low-impact facility”.

Paul Wallbank

    Paul Wallbank is News Editor at Mumbrella. Previously he’s covered business and technology issues for outlets ranging from The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald to the ABC and Business Spectator.

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Telstra Has A Stonking Samsung Galaxy S10e Deal Right Now

Telstra has some pretty great Samsung Galaxy S10e deals at the moment with $10 off per month. In addition, you can also score a free pair of JBL …
Image: Gizmodo

Telstra has some pretty great Samsung Galaxy S10e deals at the moment with $10 off per month. In addition, you can also score a free pair of JBL noise-cancelling headphones valued at $349! Here are the available plans.

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the “entry level” phone in Samsung’s flagship S10 range. It sports a smaller 5.8-inch AMOLED display, a slightly less powerful 3100mAh battery and a cheaper dual-camera array (a standard 12MP lens and the 12MP ultra-wide angle lens.) Otherwise, it’s impressively similar to its bigger siblings. (See how the specs compare here.)

Currently, you can get the phone on a 24-month lease plan for $79 a month – down from the usual price of $89. The plan comes with 20GB data, unlimited talk/text and a free JBL Headset when you sign up online. Here are the inclusions – click on the Got To Site button to learn more:

Prefer to own the phone at the end of your plan? Telstra has a non-lease version of the same plan – it’s $89, but that’s $10 less than normal and you still get the free headset. Here are the details:

You can check out a selection of other Galaxy S10e plans here:

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Telstra really, really wants customers to see its latest text message

Early last month Telstra announced its new rewards program ‘Telstra Plus’; today The Monkeys has unveiled the program’s first campaign. Telstra …

Early last month Telstra announced its new rewards program ‘Telstra Plus’; today The Monkeys has unveiled the program’s first campaign.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn called it an ‘Australian telco first’ upon announcing the new rewards program at Telstra’s Melbourne Discovery Store on Bourke Street. Doing away with its former rewards program, ‘Telstra Thanks’, the new Plus program is set to offer eligible customers live sporting and entertainment discounts, new devices and more.

Today, The Monkeys unveiled the new rewards program’s first television and radio spots – the latter of which includes a cameo from Michael Bublé.

The 30-second television spot revolves around Telstra’s alert message to customers, letting them know about the introduction of Plus. In the spot, Telstra finds this message so essential that it has plastered it around several rather unorthodox communication mediums including fortune cookies and the side of giant ram statues.

The accompanying radio spot echoes a similar urgency, though apparently not enough to convince Bublé to sing the message.

“A rewards program like Telstra Plus should be fun and feel rewarding in itself,” says The Monkeys creative director Ben Sampson. “Rather than just rolling it out, Telstra decided to play with the creative and use the announcement to engage with their customers even more.”

Upon announcing Telstra Plus, Penn explained that the new rewards program is better suited to Telstra’s evolving offerings, “Many of our customers have been with us since before the days of internet and mobile phones.

“As we start to unlock the latest generation of technology through 5G, Telstra Plus is our way of saying thank you for being with us today as we move through an exciting time.”

Members of Telstra’s Plus program will be separated into tiers – ‘all members’, ‘silver’ and ‘gold’ – depending on the length of their relationship with the telco and their average monthly bill. Gold members will receive the full force of Plus’ advantages, including ‘VIP service’, which Telstra has yet to explain in detail.

Further Reading:

Image credit: Telstra

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Telstra to begin transition to ‘Agile at scale’ from July

“Not every team at Telstra will move to full-scale Agile ways of working, and some will use tools from across Agile, Human Centred Design, Lean and …

From July this year Telstra plans to begin its largescale transition to an “Agile at scale” model, according to the telco’s HR head.

In a LinkedIn post published earlier this week, Alex Badenoch — Telstra’s group executive, transformation and people — said the telco had “embarked on a multi-year transformation” as part of its ‘Telstra 2022’ (T22) strategy.

“Not every team at Telstra will move to full-scale Agile ways of working, and some will use tools from across Agile, Human Centred Design, Lean and DevOps where it makes sense,” Badenoch wrote

Telstra CEO Andy Penn in June 2018 announced T22, which he said would see a net head count reduction of 8000 over three years, removing one in four executive and middle management roles in order to “flatten the structure” of Telstra.

“The rate and pace of change in our industry is increasingly driven by technological innovation and competition,” Penn said in his announcement. “In this environment traditional companies that do not respond are most at risk.”

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