Dear Telstra,

Your wireless Next G service is pathetic. I can sit in one place with three, four or five bars on my connection and it continually drops out. Your “assist me” button is really helpful. For example:

When you’re trying to get a stronger mobile phone signal, try moving the Next G™ device and your laptop to another location within the coverage area. This might be as simple as moving your laptop from the dining room to the lounge room, where signal might be stronger.

If I move to another place in the house it might come back on at three, four or five bars again, but then promptly drops out again. I don’t know what was happening last night, but I could not get a reception at all — not on my wireless broadband or on two of the mobile phones that were in the house.

Since I have typed out this email, my signal has dropped out and come back on four times and I have not moved from the same position.
This really sucks when we have no other options in country areas. You must really enjoy your monopoly.

Dear BigPond Member,

Thank you for your email dated 06 Aug.

Unfortunately, we cannot control some external events that may affect our provision of the Service to you.

As with any radio system (i.e. mobile broadband card, mobile phone, TV signals, radio etc), there are places inside the marked coverage areas where the service may not work due to a variety of environmental factors we may not have any control over. For example, radio reception can be degraded or non-existent in certain places, basements, lifts, underground car parks and large buildings. Reception can also be affected by mountains, tunnels and sources of radio interference like television, microwave and radio transmission towers.

Whilst Next G coverage covers 98% of the population, the coverage displayed is created using tools that predict the likely areas of coverage. While the coverage identified is generally accurate, there will be areas described as being within coverage areas where mobile phones will not work. Planned future coverage is subject to change.

If you are experiencing low signal we would recommend purchasing an external antenna for your Next G Device. These come from minimal gain antenna’s to high gain professional installations and there are numerous benefits such as higher data speeds for data users and more consistent data rates. For more information on the antenna’s please visit the following location (here).

We currently offer the antenna’s on a 10-day money back guarantee and if you see no improvement please contact us on 137 663 for a rebate.

If you wish to purchase an antenna please call the BigPond sales team on 137 663 option 1.

If you have any other questions, please visit our Help Centre at www.bigpond.com/help

The Help Centre is a handy resource for our members which includes things such as our Frequently Asked Questions and our new Email Troubleshooter which has been set up to help you solve all your email problems.

Thank you for choosing BigPond.

Kind regards,

Adam Collard
The BigPond Team
www.bigpond.com

Dear Adam,

Thankyou for your email dated 07 Aug and your helpful suggestions.

Fortunately, I CAN control all of the external events that you suggest may affect the provision of your service to me.

Being a rural customer (i.e. my house sits in the middle of a paddock), I can assure you that:

  • Although the farmhouse is rather large, we have no basement, I keep the wine in the back cupboard.
  • The last time I looked there was no lift in my house, although I do have to go down one step to get into the loungeroom.
  • I did think of putting in an undergound carpark for my Pajero, but I decided to park it under a tree near the shed.
  • Looking over the back fence, the only large building I can see around here is the local wheat bin which is about 8km away… we do have an outside dunny… but I talked my dad out of putting a second story on it.
  • I have not seem many mountain climbers around here lately, and I can see about 5-10km in each direction (only during the day, it is a bit dark at night).
  • The dog has dug a few holes next to the kennel, but he hasn’t quite mastered tunnels as of yet.
  • The last time I looked out in the paddock I did not see any television, radio or microwave microwave towers. I am beginning to wonder if there is a Telstra tower.

If you took the time to read my original email (some how I don’t think you did) and did not use this cr-p automated message response you would in fact find that my main complaint was not about coverage, but dropouts. As a reminder, here is the first lines of my email to you:

Your wireless Next G service is pathetic. I can sit in one place with three, four or five bars on my connection and it continually drops out.

The fact that I have three, four or five bars says to me that I do in fact have a service in this area. By my reckoning, three out of five bars would not constitute a low signal, but I do appreciate your efforts in trying to flog me an additional piece of useless equipment (the antenna). Continually achieving five out of five bars on reception before dropping out would be extremely helpful to me.

You say that planned future coverage is subject to change … does that mean it is going to get worse???

Once again, keep on enjoying your rural monopoly and I look forward to your next automated response.

Kind Regards,

BigPond Member

Dear BigPond Member,

Thank you for your email dated 06 Aug.

I am unable to determine the exact cause and nature of your problem with the information you have provided. To be able to assist you further, I require some further information including:

  • your BigPond Wireless Username:
  • the make and model of modem you are using, the firmware and software of your wireless broadband. (This is obtainable by clicking tools and then device or hardware information
    from within your connection manager.)
  • the IMEI and IMSI numbers associated with your device. (These are also obtainable by clicking tools and then device or hardware information.) 
  •  the operating system, and version on your computer (e.g. Windows XP SP2),
  • the version of Internet Explorer you are using,
  • type and version of Internet security package in use,
  • type and version of firewall,
  • the email program, and version you are using (e.g. Outlook Express 5.5 or Web Mail), and
  • full details of any error messages you may be receiving.

    This will help assist me in diagnosing the problem and provide further
    assistance. 

Alternatively, you may contact our Technical Support department on 133 933 for over-the-phone assistance with your issue.

If you have any other questions, please visit our Help Centre at  www.bigpond.com/help 

The Help Centre is a handy resource for our members which includes things such as our Frequently Asked Questions and our new Email Troubleshooter which has been set up to help you solve all your email problems. 

Thank you for choosing BigPond.

Kind regards,

Adam Collard

The BigPond Team www.bigpond.com

Dear Adam,

Thankyou for your automated email dated 08 August.

Great to see you are still using the automated responses. Next time you may want to change the date at the beginning of your email. Yes, my first email was sent on the 06, the second email was actually sent on the 8th.

In response to this automated answer, here is my humanised response:

  • [email protected] (yes, that really is my account name. Don’t send me an email there as I have not used it since I was forced to set it up)
  • I commonly refer to my modem as cr-p, but I think it is a Maxon BP3-USB
  • BP3-USB R2.0.18 [Sep 13 2007 08:16:11], BigPond Wireless Broadband 2.10.6, 2.0.0.9 build 611
  • IMSI 505013440772010 IMEI 354049012545215
  • Windows NT
  • Windows Explorer
  • e Trust EZ Antivirus
  • Windows firewall
  • Internet (gmail. heaps better, easier to use and less spam than bigpond)
  • “No Signal” pretty much covers the error message I get.

I sincerely wish you luck in trying to improve my signal with this information.

I really appreciate you trying to palm me off to the on line help centre in every email that you send me, but I have already tried that avenue. That is what brought me here to this lovely email dialogue (must be that automated response thing again eh?). Then again, the responses so far have been as helpful as your on-line help centre.

Could these problems be due to the fact that when you are using Next G on the fringe of the coverage and then someone else comes along further inside the coverage radius and places a call or downloads some data, it actually pulls the coverage radius in at the fringes i.e. kicks me off??? I feel as though I am going around in circles here. Perhaps you should take my initial email as feedback and not as a customer help question and I should face the facts and just accept that (refering to my initial email) “Your wireless Next G service is pathetic.”

Looking forward to your next automated response (and probably even more looking forward to the day us rural customers have another Next G alternative). Until then keep on enjoying your monopoly.

Kind Regards

Peter Fray

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