I’ve spent a bit of time over the last few days finding out how insane Telstra are. Ok – I’m sure many of you will tell me that I should have known that already 🙂
Basically in December last year I went into the Telstra store and discussed my requirements with the shop assistant. I wanted a 21MB broadband connection that I could use via USB on my current laptop, but that my new laptop which was on order (Toshiba Portege R600) had an embedded NextG modem and I wanted to be able to move the SIM from one device to the other at will. The shop assistant sold me a Telstra BigPond Broadband Mobile device.
Ok – so I take it hope, and during the sign up process it failed to activate. After talking to the support team, it turns out that this device has already been activated. That seemed a little strange when you think that the box was totally sealed when I got it – never mind – back to the store and they swapped it. The second device activated and worked just fine and I was happy.
Now – some months later, my new laptop arrived – yippeee :-) I took the SIM Card out of the BigPond device and installed it into my laptop. I then spent time trying to make this work. I tried APNs including telstra.internet, telstra.bigpond, telstra.pcpack and telstra.datapack. I also tried using my BigPond username and password and ultimately failed. I called BigPond support for assistance and after over an hour on the phone I was told “Oh you can’t do that…”. I was told that the BigPond Broadband Mobile devices are sold as a package, i.e. the SIM and the device are one and can not be separated at all. Ok – thats not what I wanted. The BigPond phone rep told me I should take it back to the store and discuss it with them.
I took the BigPond Broadband Mobile device back to the store and spoke with the manager. I told him what I wanted and even pointed to the Toshiba Portege R600 they had on display to show him that is what I had. The manager took it all in his stride and set about fixing things. After a further 2 hours at the store, they finally had it sorted. The cancelled my BigPond Broadband Mobile account and issued a new Telstra Mobile Internet account complete with a BLUE USB modem that looked identical to the white one except for colour. It was explained to me that the Telstra Mobile Internet SIM was movable from device to device without any issues, but the BigPond one was not.
End result – I’m happy. But I thought I’d blog this to save others out there some time and pain.
David Mackie says
Ah so that is why my Lenovo Tablet can’t play and I have to keep using the Stupid Dongle
Wait for the cancellation fees that Bigpond/Telstra will send you now.
Wayne Small says
I have it in writing that they will creditany cancellation fees 🙂 Have not seen the bill yet.
Dave Phillips says
Hmmm, your fist mistake was believing a salesperson. You may also notice that the Bigpond device gives you a live internet IP address while the Telstra SIM gives you a 10.x.x.x address with all the standard NAT issues
Wayne Small says
Yeah – I know but he looked honest… and I even pointed out exactly what I was getting… I think thats why they gave in in the end and cancelled one account in favour of the other.
Nat Wallis says
I am not at all surprised by this, and the little understanding of Telstra (shops) about Telstra Mobile Broadband. As this is mainly for commercial customers most Telstra shops dont know about it. The worse thing is trying to get support if you tell the “operator” that you require internet help – they will always transfer you to bigpond. Help must be requested from the mobile division. The other interesting thing is that there has been reports of significant differences in performance between the Telstra & Bigpond networks and from my minimal experience I would have to say that Telstra is quicker than the bigpond – as to why I dont know. In relation to billing I wouldnt be surprised if they didnt bill you as they have been pretty good about this to us and a number of our customers moving service – although its usually from Telstra to Bigpond, not the other way around.
I’ve have experienced the exact same thing here and thought it was the APN too, however the people at my Three store said it was related to the contract and you couldn’t switch from one modem to another without jailbreaking the sim. I didn’t get it and went with another provider and I love that the sim is inside my Dell and not in a dongle.
The customer service leaves a lot to be desired, It just does my head in when I get a problem and have to call them.
You must have been far from impressed going through that personal hell…Those shop assistants all claim to be experts!
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