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.