So, my next step was to send the following to the Ombudsman:
I have a Bigpond service, on a contract, for wireless internet. I went in to a store and asked for a way to upload a file quickly, they sold me a $400 modem on the basis that it could upload 2 GB in 15-45 minutes. It took 10 hours, and as my service now is no better than it was before I upgraded, I asked for a refund. I've written to the store manager, her staff have lied about what transpired and they are refusing to do anything about it. I've sent her a passage of the Sale of Goods Act 1954 ( from memory, I found it online ) which states i am entitled to a refund and damages if goods do not work as promised. She is stonewalling me. I was also told that a prepaid modem would be available to me at certain rates and the rates I was told were also lies. My entire experience with this particular store is that they are liars. I spent $400 on something that literally did nothing for me ( as my old modem works just as well ) and I don't see why I should spend $400 on nothing because of lying sales staff.
I have to admit at this point that neither the Ombudsman or Jade did anything to address the issue of my being lied to about prepaid rates. However, when the TIO replies to you, you get a code, and a secret phone number. The people on that number will not talk to you without a TIO number, but they are VERY helpful when they do talk to you. Well, mostly. I called the Telstra secret help line, and they said they would investigate my claims. Later that day, I travelled to Melbourne for a weekend with my son. I got there, and tried to connect my notebook, and got an error message : Invalid user name or password. I called the general support line, and the person on the other end first established that she could not log in to my account, then reset my password twice, both times we established she and I could not log in, then insisted I uninstall and reinstall the software and test again before she could escalate the claim to tier 2 support.
This is actually a new development, in the past I've called support and gone through the 'is it plugged in, is it turned on' level of monkey support they offer, and been told that we've 'exhausted tier one support options', but when I asked about tier 2, I was told it did not exist.
So, I was told it would take 4 business days before anyone would call to try and help me. Now, this was on the Fri before a long weekend, so we were talking about a week without the internet that my work relies on to exist. I was not pleased. I complained to the TIO again, they said that as I had a complaint open, I could not open another one. I called my trusty secret number, and the person there organised for me to be placed at the head of the queue.
The next morning ( which was Tuesday, not Friday ), I got a call from a guy, and he basically told me to try my password, then did some typing on his end, told me to try it again, did the same again, and the third time it worked. I did not have to change anything on my end. I find it odd that I complained to the Ombudsman and found myself disconnected within hours of doing so. I'm sure that's not a normal procedure they follow, but either way, it was somewhat of an interesting co-incidence. Nevertheless, I must admit that once you get to the point of complaining to the TIO, my experience is that you find yourself then put through to people who speak English and who actually do try to make your satisfaction their desired outcome, which is a world apart from the people behind the numbers passed out to the general public.