Hanging on the telephone

24 Sep 09 11:30AM EST

Frustrated telephone caller

Telstra posts $4.07 billion profit and yet 82 year old Doug Tancred can’t use his pensioner discount. Shame!

Members write letters and email CHOICE daily. Some want things fixed, or specific products tested in our Marrickville labs, others just want to get a bad experience off their chest — like Doug Tancred from Manly, NSW who after hearing our new CEO Nick Stace on Margaret Throsby’s radio show writes:

"I was interested in your pursuit of Telstra’s $2.20 charge (for paying accounts with cash). May I bring to your attention another Telstra opportunity?

"I have been in benefit of Centrelink’s Age Pension for 10 years which includes Telstra Pensioner Discount. I took up Telstra’s offer under Telstra Rewards Packages. This says if you have your home phone (landline), mobile phones (3) and internet service with Telstra on one account you get their Rewards Packages."

Doug continues his lament: "On April 11th, 2007 I received a letter from Telstra under their Customer Terms, saying Pensioner Discount Customers are not eligible to receive benefits. I believe they did not make this clear when they offered the Rewards Packages knowing of my pensioner discount at the time.

"I was required to retain one and quit the other. Naturally I chose the pensioner discount as I felt I had earned it and believed it should be quarantined against any other matters. At the time, I don’t believe any MPs took up this matter of breach of privilege! There are some 300,000 aged pensioners who may have been disadvantaged in the meantime."

Doug began his letter to Nick Stace: "Like you, I am British and proud of it… and after a 46 year 'working holiday' I too would not wish to be anywhere else"! It’s sad to think an iconic company like Telstra that posts $4.07 billion profit (over 10% increase) can’t behave better to our aged pensioners.

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