Friday, March 19, 2010

The Wireless Modem Part 2

So, Jade replied as follows:

Hi Jade,

Thankyou for bringing this to my attention. I appreciate the depth of detail, time & effort that has gone into explaining your experience with my staff & team in general.

Like all complaints or concerns that are brought to my attention, I will now investigate your allegations & act accordingly to my findings.

If there is merit to your allegations, I can ensure you, as manager I shall resolve the matter.

Please allow a timeframe of 72 business hours for my findings regarding this matter. Due to my commitments today & the unavailability of the concerned staff, I would like to inform you that the intended investigation shall commence as of 09:00am Thursday 25/02/2010.

If you require further information or clarity in regards to this response, please do not hesitate to contact me on the mobile number stated below.



Jade Smith

Store Manager

I am not sure if she meant 72 business hours, but it was less than 9 business days before she wrote back, as follows:

Hi Christian,

Thankyou for contacting me in regards to this matter I have now looked into it with the Staff involved. Firstly I'm sorry that you feel your service from the store here was less than satisfactory when you came in looking for an alternate wireless solution.

After speaking with my staff they have explained the situation to me as to what happened with your transaction. It seems my staff offered you a few different solutions rather than just the BP Elite Modem and upgrading your Bigpond monthly usage allowance. After Shaun passed you onto Jed for some further information he offered you a solution using Telstra Mobile Broadband in which you would be required to purchase the new TMB Elite Device for $399.00 and could set up a Casual TMB Plan which offers you the download/upload allowances that you would of required to perform the additional uploads back to the USA at a price of $69.00 for 6GB.

He has advised me that he offered this as the Pre Paid options were too expensive and you were using it irregularly and it is more convenient that Pre Paid were the credit expires after 30 days. This TMB solution also means that it can be cancelled at any time with no cost to you by simply removing the data pack which is added to the account and reactivated by adding the data pack to the account the next time you require it and you only ay for what you use. As you were happy with your current BP Wireless Service he did not recommend buying the BP Device as even though it may be cheaper it was not a practicle solutions as the speeds are controlled by Bigpond were as the TMB speeds are not.

You have told me in your email that you were offered a few options but you decided to go with the BP Elite device and upgrading your BP plan. The issue that we face is that unfortunately you were not happy that the claimed speeds did not meet your expectations. As Jed explained the day that you came in these are only claimed speeds and peak speeds may vary but it should definitely be within the range stated of 550kbps - 3mbps upload. By choosing the new BP device and registering it with your account this leaves us no way of being able to switch back to your old device. I have contacted BP Tech support to verify this infromation and it is correct.

On the day you came in to receive a refund for ths device our systems were running very slow and there were different things Jed needed to check off first to make sure that the account was correctly set up so that you can achieve the maximum speeds. I have had a talk to him and let him know that his communications skills with customers needs to be a lot better when facing issues like this so that people such as yourself are not just left at the counter wondering what is going on.

As my staff did offer you a different solution to what you bought to start with unfortunately im unable to refund your device and it would also mean that you would be unable to use your current BP wireless device. If you had of taken the TMB solution with a casual plan it would have allowed me to do this as the devices require no registration and we could cancel the plan at no additional cost. The only thing I may be able to suggest is to contact Bigpond technical support on 133933 to see if there may be some other technical reason as to why you are not getting the claimed speeds from the device.

If you require further information or clarity regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me

Kind Regards,

Jade Smith

My response:

Hi Jade. Your staff are liars. I am not overly surprised, however, I should make this clear from the outset.

As I made clear to your staff at the time, my bigpond account is at the maximum allowance. I decided to upgrade my modem on my current plan because I was EXPLICITLY told that a 2 GB file would send in 15-45 minutes. NO-ONE told me that the speeeds could vary, although I know that. I expected the EXPLICIT advice I was given to be the truth and for the range given to allow for network variance. 10 hours is no-where near close enough to 45 minutes to give you any reason to disregard my compaint - your staff lied to me to get a sale and are lying to you in order to keep their jobs and to give you an excuse to ignore me.

I don't care if you have no way of turning my old device back on. I know your systems are fundamentally broken, that's why when I moved from ISDN to wireless, I could not move my email address to the new account. That doesn't change that your staff lied to me and you're now backing them up in their lies. It does not change that I was sold something on false pretences, and I surely have a trade practices claim as a result. If you're going to ignore me, I will have to forward these communications on to whatever body oversees retail transactions such as this and decides on their legality. Is it the ombudsman i need to speak to, or is it just a more general body that stops fraud in retail ?

If you'd paid attention to the letter I wrote, you'd know that I went on to buy a prepaid device because I needed to buy more bandwidth, and that I was lied to about the cost of that device ( that is, the cost of charging it ). Are you saying that I can use this device at a rate of $69 for 6 GB, because I was charged $100 when I came in to recharge it.


In the absence of a prompt reply, I also sent this:

Jade, I've done some research and according to the Sale of Goods Act 1954:

Specific performance
In an action for breach of contract to deliver specific or ascertained goods, the court may, if it thinks fit, on the application of the plaintiff, direct, by its judgment, that the contract shall be performed specifically, without giving the defendant the option of retaining the goods on payment of damages.

The judgment may be unconditional or on the terms and conditions as to damages, payment of the price or otherwise that the court thinks just. The application by the plaintiff may be made at any time before judgment.
It seems to me that if your network can't provide the speeds you promised me, the Sale of Goods Act leaves room for me to be refunded and /or paid damages. In this case, it becomes complex because any damages paid would have to include the damages incurred because my old modem no longer works, meaning if I am required to return it to get a refund, damages would at least include the cost of getting me to the situation I was in prior to the transaction.

Do you know which legal body I should be making my complaint to ? I will start with the Ombudsman, but if you know of a better body for me to contact, I presume you're legally obliged to tell me on my request


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