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Why did it take three policemen to solve a Telstra customer’s NBN issues?

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How far would you be willing to go to sort out your Internet issues? One man staged a sit in at a Sydney Telstra store until police were called. But they didn’t arrest him – they actually solve his problem.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports Matt Dooley, after months of battling with Telstra to get his NBN connection installed, refused to leave the store at the Marrickville Metro until his issues were resolved.

Instead of working for a positive outcome for the customer, Telstra called the police and when they arrived they actually took the customer’s side and helped him negotiate a resolution to his problem.

Why couldn’t they have done this in the first place?

Why did it take police involvement to get Telstra to resolve this customers issues?

If it was possible for the police to get this person’s issues sorted, why did they tell him there was nothing that can be done?

There are so many questions Telstra need to answer.

Telstra has confirmed it is investigating the incidents and details of the customer complaint.

UPDATE: Telstra issued a statement about the incident and Mr Dooley:

We have been working with Mr Dooley over the past few months to assist with his specific complex issues, so we understand Mr Dooley’s frustrations.

Our staff make their own decisions on what happens in their stores and if they have any concerns, especially in regards to their personal safety, follow protocol by contacting Centre Security.  Centre Security attended the store in the first instance, assessed the situation and made the decision to contact the police.

We are continuing to work with Mr Dooley and will look at the background of this case to see what we can learn to ensure a better experience for our customers.

Here at Tech Guide we receive many emails and pleas to help customers get their issues resolved.

And not just with Telstra but other telcos and other tech companies as well.

In nearly every case, whenever we have escalated the problem to a contact of ours within that company, there has been a positive outcome.

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Not everyone knows the phone number of senior members of a tech company or telco and it was their involvement that helped get these matters sorted for our readers.

But what that shows is there is a way to get things done and in a timely manner.

We’d like to think it’s not so they can stay in Tech Guide’s good graces.

It just seems companies are using the longest path to get to a solution.

The saying is a satisfied customer will tell one or two other people but a dissatisfied customer will let hundreds of people know they’re not happy.

In the case of Mr Dooley at the Telstra store, this wasn’t a matter of a customer walking in with a first-time complaint.

According to the SMH story, Mr Dooley had made more than 80 calls to Telstra to try and rectify the issue.

He even took his complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman but was caught in a massive backlog of other complaints against Telstra.

Usually, when a customer makes a complaint to the TIO, the matter is escalated to a senior level at the company.

And what makes matters even stranger is the fact that it costs Telstra (and any other telco) money when the TIO got involved.

With that in mind, you’d think any company would try to avoid this added cost and aggravation and just resolve the issue.

It would be rare to find a customer with a complaint or issue that was relevant only to them.

We’re sure there have been plenty of times when customers complained about the same thing.

So here’s a wild suggestion – why don’t they use the same method of solving one customer’s problem and use it to solve the same problem with other people.

It sounds simple because it actually is that simple and the three police officers who strolled into the Telstra store at Marrickville Metro just proved that.

The SMH says Mr Dooley spent more than $3000, more than 100 hours on the phone and was using a temporary ADSL connection waiting for his NBN to be hooked up.

He says the NBN cable had been installed and all he needed was a modem, router and a cable. That’s it.

Mr Dooley works from home in the film and television industry and a fast and reliable internet connection is essential for him to do his job.

When issues as seemingly simple as this are prolonged, one has to wonder whether the company in question is just lazy or ignorant.