There are two of us here at gadgetguy.com.au writing about our experiences with Telstra NBN, and it’s going badly for both of us. And now, it seems, I for one have been abandoned by Telstra.

Before getting into it too far, let’s do a little tldr:

  • On 31 May I lodged an order for NBN for my home office with Telstra. I asked for the $90 package – the standard $100 50Mbps tier, minus the phone connection.
  • Some weeks later, I received an email from Telstra saying that they were going to be connecting me up in a few days … on the $100 plan.
  • I called up and said I ordered the $90 plan, sans phone.
  • So, Telstra cancelled my order and said “Sales” would contact me to start a new order.
  • Of course, that would mean going back to the end of the queue again.
  • And now, four weeks later, “Sales” have still not called.
  • Outcome: I’m still on ADSL speeds two orders of magnitude less than what would have prevailed had the NBN never been contemplated.

Telstra NBN pre-ordering arrives

As I explained back in March, even though the infrastructure had been installed up the street from me, and even though TPG and Aussie Broadband had been offering me pre-order deals, I could get no useful information out of Telstra.

But, of course, I persisted, and eventually I found that I could lodge an order for NBN on 31 May this year. The chap I spoke to at Telstra was helpful, but he gave me to understand that once my order was lodged, it would still be quite a few weeks. He promised to call me on 31 May to take my order.

I didn’t wait. On 31 May I called the order line myself, rather than wait for Telstra to call me, and I lodged an order for NBN for my home office with Telstra.

I was quoted $100 for the 50Mbps tier. At which I balked because I knew that Telstra had $90 per month packages for that tier. Ah, but during one of my previous Telstra misadventures, I’d been flicked from “Home” to “Business” category. The virtually identical “Business” plan costs $100, not $90.

Why, precisely, am I on a business plan? Oh, that’s right, Telstra put me on one. Unasked.

Anyway, when I objected, the fellow said that I could go on a $90 per month plan if I was prepared to go without a fixed phone line.

Hallelujah! For a couple of years I’ve been trying to get rid of my fixed line. The only calls I get on it are from scammers. Seriously. I generally don’t even have a phone plugged into it.

So, of course, I said most emphatically, joyfully, “Yes!”

Maybe as little as a week

We completed the order and I asked how long it would take. The salesman said that things moved pretty fast in Canberra, and it could be as little as a week. That was a pleasant surprise!

Telstra NBN

That very day I received an email from Telstra about my NBN order. It didn’t say anything specific about my order, nor the costs involved. That email was, bluntly, flippin’ weird. It was mostly concerned with me understanding “important information about the speeds you can expect to receive on the plan you’ve chosen”. But then it went on to thank me for my “patience while we’ve worked through the technical issues delaying your order.” What technical issues delaying my order? My confidence in this communication wasn’t helped by the fact that one of the two links in the email to information about NBN was … broken. The link was supposed to be to https://www.telstra.com.au/content/dam/tcom/personal/help/pdf/cis-business/nbn-key-facts/smb-legacy-key-facts-sheet-nbn-services-fttn-fttb-fttc.pdf, but somehow they’d messed it up and made it to https://www.google.com/www.telstra.com.au/content/dam/tcom/personal/help/pdf/cis-business/nbn-key-facts/smb-legacy-key-facts-sheet-nbn-services-fttn-fttb-fttc.pdf.

That’s the kind of thing that truly assures one of the technical competence of one’s Internet provider!

Maybe as much as three months

The email added, “We’ll send you email updates as your order progresses and will contact you within 8 weeks to confirm your technician appointment.” Eight weeks? Damn. Still, since the email was partially incomprehensible, I allowed hope to triumph over experience, and continued to entertain the possibility that it might be a week.

So, around a week later I rang up to see if installation was imminent. But then I was told it could take from eight to twelve weeks. Indeed, it could take from four to six weeks before Telstra had even appointed a Connections Manager for my order. Typically, I was told, that the total period to installation was six to eight weeks. I would be contacted in due course.