NBN customer service is appalling

Back in October last year we reported on our disappointment regarding our two NBN services. We have an FttB service in Sydney (replacing our ADSL2+ service) and a satellite connection in Bucketty (100km from Sydney).

As reported, both services are disappointing.

The service in Sydney is no better than the previous ADSL2+ service, but at least no worse, fortunately.

However the satellite service is a shocker. Download speeds are usually no more than 3Mb/s, which is worse than our very basic ADSL service (where we get, on average, 5Mb/s). I am very glad that we haven’t disconnected our ADSL service here.

The NBN company has been sending us three-monthly emails with online forms, where they ask all sorts of questions about the services; and of course we fill them in. Every time they ask if I would like to be contacted by them to discuss our problems and every time I have clicked ‘yes’. Now, nearly a year later as far as our Sydney service is concerned, nobody has bothered to actually contact us to follow this up.

What is the use of such a so-called customer service if it is not acted upon?

In the meantime another interesting observation is that, as we now have two broadband access services in Bucketty, when the Telstra ADSL service in our area is being used heavily (late afternoon, early evening) the ADSL service slows down; so I then change over to the satellite service. That service typically cuts out every 10-20 minutes or so, and then reconnects automatically, mostly within a minute. When I eventually tire of these drop-outs I switch back to the ADSL service in the hope that the service performance there has improved, and remarkably this seems to work most of the time.

Is this satisfactory? Of course not. Needing to have two services in order to get some sort of accessible online connection is appalling. But I don’t have much choice as there is no light at the end of the tunnel for those who have to rely on the NBN.

Or perhaps…. we recently had a bushfire only 100 meters from our property and it also damaged the Optus mobile tower. As the community has an excellent relationship with Optus the damage was rapidly repaired and some further bushfire prevention arrangements were discussed. During these conversations Optus also mentioned its home wireless broadband service, Bucketty is anxious to know if this perhaps is an alternative to the current appalling services, perhaps at least for those who are within the direct footprint of the mobile signal.

Just so that you know I am not talking about rural Australia – we are 100km from Sydney and from our office you can see the glow of the city in the night sky.

Paul Budde

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