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Frustrating Customer Service - Very incapable of solving issues of my NBN voice.

Level 2

Where do I even begin?!


We've been a TPG customer for over 12 years. The service is great if you don't have issues. Once you have issues, you really get to experience the worst problem solving capabilities throughout the customer service/tech support teams. They throw you around, but do not resolve anything, say the words that they understand but they do nothing, "best" out of all, they mark the ticket as "resolved" when the issue is still there.


Currently the issue is resolved, thanks to my self, that I did my own thinking. For lots of people who rely on the provider to fix issues, probably this will never happen in my very circumstance. Posting here, is because I am finding so difficult to file a complaint with TPG. I hope someone from TPG can read it, hope other customers who spend the time and patience to read through this long story will benefit from my experience. 


So here goes my rants, and story. I will use dot points for clear understanding for this messy situations. - again, warning, very long read.


  1. on 12/08, we were connected to NBN100, from the old and clunky ADSL2+. Activated the service by using the TPG provided TP-link modem, and left it on for 1.5 hours for provisioning. After 1.5 hours, set up and connected to my own Netgear Nighthwak for better wifi performance. - Disclaimer: we fully understand that we will not be able to use NBN VOIP on home phone via this router, which is ok. As we only keep the home phone for the sake of accessing NBN bundle. Providing this, we have no dial tone to the home phone (which is again ok), therefore should have no usage incurred.
  2. on 22/08, we received an email "restoration of home phone prepayment outside of included value), which means they claimed our balance of home phone has dropped below $5, and they made an auto-charge of $20. At this point, we were not aware of how much balance we previously had pre-NBN (rarely check the account management portal), thought they might charge to keep the balance at certain value.
  3. on 29/08, guess what, we again received an email "TPG home phone usage reminder" suggesting we have used 50% of our home phone prepayment outside of included value, which means the account is soon approaching the auto-charge limit $5. 
  4. At this very point, I suspected that something wrong on my account, how come we kept hitting the usage thredshold whilst not having a dial tone through my home phone?! So I went to the account management portal, pulled out the "NBN VOIP Usagage" portal (underlined this, because this will be referred later), and I can see that every single day there have been at lease 3 or 4 outgoing calls on my account! Isn't that scary?! So I immediately dialled our very own home phone number, guess what?! Some lady PICKED UP! I specifically asked if you are the number with an "8" to start with(my number), she probably thought I was a scam, only said, I can tell you "this number starts from 9".
  5. On this very same day on 29/08 (Friday) at 11:54, I called TPG tech support, because I am pretty sure there are some technical issues with my home phone, potentially wrong port was linked. The tech support, upon hearing out, was very certain this is only an usage related issues, which should be routed back to customer service. So I did, spoke to customer service, re-verified myself, repeated the story again, suggested the rep to make a physical call to the number, so she did and she said "weirdly a lady did pick up.". The customer services said she would need to speak to a tech support. After a while, she came back said, oh I can now set a restriction on your credit card so that the auto charge won't occur, but we really need to get to the bottom of this, so we will ask someone to investigate the root cause. I was like, so are you going to refund these amounts that someone else is using on behalf of ourselves?! What about future charges? She said, we couldn't refund anything, and all future charges will still happen until we find out why. Like I said, you can imagine a consumer like myself at this point can't be happy, I demanded a proper solution. This customer service rep, put me directly to the tech support girl. The tech support was quite friendly, and understandable, created a ticket for me, promised that this can be rectified between 24-48 working hours. Understandable, all good. End of the conversation on this date, call duration? haha, 1 hour 22 minutes.
  6. on 02/09 (Monday) at 12:40pm, as I've heard no updates, I made the phone call to TPG again. During account verification, I quoted the faulty ticket number. Guess what I've heard?! The guy said - upon checking, this ticket is closed. I asked if the issue is resolved, he just said, it was closed because this is account usage issue which should be handled by customer service, the ticket was created by tech support, which is a wrong escaltion, so we closed it. Should I be all "joyful" now after hearing this?! Oh I probably forgot to mention, this lady who's making phone calls that I've been paying, is very active with making these daily phone calls, seriously "active", the account balance dropped to $8.25 at that point. So I demanded a solution, the guy re-opend the ticket and escalated to customer service, and advised me that I need to be routed back to customer service. (I seriously do not understand how customer service can resolve faulty phone line?! but OK!) Customer service again gave me the same thing like the Friday before, I demanded to speak to a supervisor, the rep was super super relunctant to do so, first said ok I will need to put you on hold fo a min or two, and afterwards, repeated the same for 3 times, then she said, all of the supervisors are in a meeting, so I asked when they can finish, she promised me that a supervisor will say the same. But I insisted to speak to one, so she again put me on hold for 2/3 times, said oh I found one who's available, let me brief her. After many holds, I did eventually speak to a supervisor A (because we will have another one), she was quite efficient, immediately said, I will refund these usage to your credit card, but still need to investigate the issue, but rest assured, she will take care everything and send me a text message immediately after the call and later for updates, and again assured, don't worry, I won't need to do anything, she will take care of everything, all I need to do is to keep my current modem on. All happy right? I thanked her. Call duration: 58 minutes + 6 minutes with supervisor A. - I received NO text message after the call like she promised she would, but ok, as long as the issue is resolved, right?
  7. By Thursday night (05/09) at 18:00, I still heard nothing, that's how many hours from Monday 13:30?! So I rang. Waited on hold like forever, I spoke to one USELESS rep. I reported the ticket, he refused to give any update, put me on hold again for many times, later said, you can only speak to supervisor A for this, because it is assigned to her. After many holds, he said, she is not currently available, she will call you after 30 minutes. And end of the conversation (call duration: 40 minutes) - You probably figured if you have read thus far, I never have received that so-called call back from supervisor A with the so called after 30 minutes. But I probably haven't been understandable enough, he clearly said "after 30 minutes", why am I so "unreasonably" expect that could be the same day, after 30 minutes, linguistically, could be in x years even right?!
  8. So, a new day has arrive, on Friday morning (06/09) around 08:30, I decided to call my favorite number "TPG". This time I've got through the best rep I've got so far, she was lovely and understanable, she said the supervisor A is not yet in, but she would personally speak to her about this issue, and also email me the notes. I thanked her very much, and asked if she can speak to her about a timeframe to have this resolved. Becuase I am quite cautious given my billing cycle is approaching and my credit card is restricted to be auto-charged. I have no complaints with her. She was lovely, she emailed me right after the call as well and advised me what time the supervisor A would be in and again assured that she would speak to her. The whole conversation plus the hold only took 13 minutes. 
  9. But you know, nothing is ever surprising anymore. I've never received a call from this supervisor A. So I emailed back this lovely girl I spoke to in the morning, she responded me very promptly, advised that A is not in today, but she did speak to a Supervisor K (see? I said this is useful to use "A"), and K would ring me in 1 hour. - She is very very lovely.
  10. Very very promtply, at 16:13 (yes, almost another day right?), K called me, again I need to repeat this story that I've repeated 100 times. Again when I said I am using Netgear router, she again like all the others that I've spoken to, like she has never heard about it, immediately said, she need to speak to tech, so she put me on a brief hold, later said, in a couple of hours a tech person will speak to me because they need to get a MAC address. - 12 minutes short conversation, looks like it is going somewhere right? I was like, FINALLY!
  11. At 17:49, tech rep called me, said he does not need MAC address, because he found no issue. The call usage is pre-NBN time, now, if you are interested, you would understand why I underlined "NBN VOIP USAGE" button from my #4 point. I was like, what?! on NBN usage log, it stipulated DATES, these dates are post-NBN time. On top of that, the Friday before, customer service rep called the number, a stranger picked up, he was like, ok I will call now, he came back said "no one answered", I was like "sorry, I can't guanrantee a stranger that I don't know is by the line 24x7 for you". I wasn't happy, seriously after one whole week, this is what we get. He was like " I am helping you now", then again, said, I need to assign this to customer service, because there is no issue, someone will give you a call.  - 14 minutes call
  12. So this is a Friday night, the following week is going to be my billing date, I am determined this needs to be resolved, or I will cancel my service with them. So rather than waiting, I called at 18:12, waited forever on hold, got to another utterly useless rep, I didn't say much, quoted my ticket number and demanded to speak to Supervisor K, after many holds, he eventually came back said, K is not in the office, my support said "there is no further issue, can I put your credit card back to be auto-charged to you account?", I was like, excuse me? what are you saying here?! Guess what happened, he was like "hello, I can't hear you, I can't hear you". I checked my phone, full bar reception, and interestingly, he only answers "I can't hear you" when I say something, like he is responding to me, we have this unspeakable rhythm going. And of course, he eventually is gone from my line. (duration? 18 minutes).
  13. Immediately at 18:31 I called again, waited for longer, got the last useless rep (you can see we are almost there, but he is no good). I did the same, quoted ticket number, asked to speak any available supervisor. He first said, you need to tell me account number, I asked " cant you pull it out from my ticket number", he was firmly with a "no", so I asked why everyone else can, so he was like, give me a sec, then he was like "ok i found it". Post that, he again, did that - put me on holds for many times, came back said the ticket suggested the issue is resolved, you don't need to speak to a supervisor, I can re-connect your credit card. I again demanded to speak to one, he was like, if you don't believe so, speak to me, I refused so, he put me on hold again, I just hang up. Did I mention he addressed me repeatedly with my last name rather than first? But small details, useless rep. Oh this call took 28 minutes.
  14. At this point, I am not happy, but I was like, ok you said issue resolved? I connected the TPG TP-link modem back, and linked up the phone. (At no time anybody told me to do so! The suggestion I've got from Supervisor A on #6, is that to keep my netgear on). Guess WHAT?! The phone does not work! 
  15. I called again at 19:04, directly to tech support, this time, spoke to a very helpful rep. Repeated this long story, she said she will now check. And she found out the line was not provisioned properly. So she spent sometime re-provision for me. And fixed the phone line issue. She is very very helpful. The call took sometime, but it was necessary. 

My key frustrations:

  1. The phone provisioning issue should never happen at the begining. Even if I did not allow a 24-hour time, TPG at no time suggested that I need to connect the default TP link modem on for 24 hours for provisioning the home phone. And at no time it warned me if I failed to do so, I will be eneded up paying for someone else.
  2. The issue is eventually resolved. At no time, any of the rep or tech rep suggested me to connect to the TPG modem for triage, instead all I need to do is to keep my 3rd party modem which does not support NBN VOIP function on.
  3. Clunky and inefficient process. Tech support does not understand this is related to home phone, which is a technical problem,rather they think this is about usage only, keeps pushing to customer service. Customer services are a mix of small number of good, but a large pool of bad "fish" who assume the intelligence level of customers to be below 0, so that they can say whatever necessary to make the customers leave the conversations. They refuse very very much to escalate the issues that they can't even handle to a supervisor.
  4. Supervisors are useless. I've been promised by Supervisor A that she would take care of everything, like how long, and when? I do not know if any of these customer service reps had lied, but A failed at multiple points to updates with me even though I've made the effort to find her. 
  5. Frustration and also a mystery. To my point#11 above, the tech guy said he had found no issue. Now everything is fixed, I re-connected to my netgear, so phone again is not connected (which is ok, I understand Netgear does not support VOIP). For experiment sake, I rang the number, I get "the number is not valid". So my assumption is that at the tech triage point, even for these many days I've been using netgear, they should detect at very least "no valid phone line" rather than "no issue found"?!

All in all, tech support can be good, only if you know what's wrong. We, as consumers, should really be responsible for finding out what went wrong? If so, shouldn't we only be paying half to what we are paying now? As we literally are assumed with their half of job duties. 


Thanks for reading this long story. To TPG, I hope your complaint team can treat this as a proper complaint. I do acknowledge, I have not been polite and calm in a few of these conversations, but this is understandable if you've been treated like this. Posting here, again because there is no way I can get through to complaint via your customer service.



Hi @amikam7


Thank you for raising this matter to us and we apologise for the poor experience.


We welcome all feedback as hearing from our customers is the best way we can improve our business.


We tried to locate your account using your community details to no avail.


We'll forward this to our Complaint resolution team; Customer relations and a case manager will be in touch with you via Phone call or Email for further discussion.


Please send me a PM with your TPG username or customer ID number.


How to send a PM? Click here.




Level 2

Hi, I've advised my ID in a PM.


Thank you, @amikam7.


We've advised our Customer relations team with your complaint.


They'll be in touch with you via phone call or Email on Weekdays as they are close on Weekends.