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Shiraliee called back some time later and said she had the POA and could talk to me.

It was then that she said that a finalisation bill had been sent to the “Estate of Mrs XXXX” at an address unknown to me and the call to the number was just a courtesy call to advise the cut-off.

We fixed that, and hopefully, my wife’s aunt will have uninterrupted service. At that stage, I had spent nearly an hour on the phone, listened to my frantic aunt and my blood pressure (which is usually low) was on the boil at the difficulty to simply retain the status quo.

I asked for some compensation – not for my time which as POA I give freely – but for my Aunt’s angst. Leo came back on the line, and it was a cat and mouse game where he asked how much I expected and I said it was up to him to make an offer which I may or may not accept or go to the Telecommunications Ombudsman. We settled for a token credit.

GadgetGuy’s take: Why is Telstra so hard to deal with?

It seems to me that the useless, faceless Philippines call centre focuses on handling “larger than expected” phone traffic in as short a time as possible using poorly scripted solutions and not really caring if that solves the issue – you can always call back again and lodge a new incident.

Shiraliee and Leo were empowered to do something, but in my case, the absence of a POA on file (that I had sent twice before) slowed things down.

Now, I am a reasonable and logical man and patient to the nth degree, but my patience wears thin where incompetence or unreasonable obstacles are placed in the way of a resolution. Sure, Telstra was protecting my Aunt’s interests, but then some other Telstra department had been conned by a scammer into finalising her account and taking it over!

Telstra talks the talk but does not deliver.

Telstra scam
Motherhood statements are just a lot of hot air!

So my message to the elderly, infirmed or those incapable of handling their own affairs is to appoint a trusted POA quick smart to avoid being ripped off.

Now let me tell you about those damned itinerant Irish roof repairers that are ripping off vulnerable people as well…

The Channel 7 report is here.