TPG – Lack Of Communication

Posted: May 24, 2013 in Dummy Spits, Shame File

I was contacted by a reader the other day who told me a tale of customer service so hideously bad it was almost unbelievable.

The company she was having issues with were acting like Truly Pathetic Grubs, which is probably how they came about naming themselves TPG.

It all started when she decided it was time to organise a broadband connection at her home, as having a reliable broadband connection these days is quite important, despite what the Coalition may think.

Coalition assess the long-term costs of servicing and upkeeping their sub-standard Broadband policy

Coalition policy advisors assess the long term costs of servicing and upkeeping their sub-standard Broadband policy

She had been advised by a friend that TPG’s plans were reasonable and so decided to check out their plans.

That was her first mistake, but unfortunately not her last.

Her next mistake was to fill out an online application for one of their plans. From there on, there was seemingly no turning back…

As you can see from the link below, TPG were unable to provide her with the service that she was requesting.

Unable to provide service email

TPG stated in an email response to her request

“The address that you have indicated for installation to take place has been unsuccessful in qualifying by Telstra for the following reason: BUFFERED.

This means there is not enough Ports in your Exchange to supply the ADSL2+ with Home Phone service.”

As a result of this another option was sought, and Optus was chosen and an online application was completed as it had been for TPG.

Whilst waiting for Optus to come back to her, TPG had a change of heart and told her that they may be able to indeed connect her service despite their earlier advice and asked if she would like to proceed with her application. Having not had a confirmation from Optus as yet she said yes.

TPG then sent an email, linked below to tell her where the application was up to. It is to be noted that it states that there is no fee owing, it would take between 10 and 20 business days to connect, and that on their diagram/graph it shows they had reached as far as verifying her address.

Account Update Email

At this point Optus contacted their potential customer to inform her that they could connect her service in two days, which was at least five times faster than TPG, as they had cable available in the area.

Naturally Optus had themselves a new customer.

An email was quickly sent off to cancel any action that was intended to be taken by TPG seeing as though there was no fee owing and TPG had only reached the confirm address stage according to their correspondence.

Cancellation request sent same day as no fee stated

TPG sent an email to confirm that they had received the cancellation, and said that someone would be in touch.

From that moment on things became hairy, and I don’t mean in a clean, shiny, blowing in the breeze kind of way, I mean like the gross hairs hanging out an old man’s ears kinda way.


Apparently confirming someone’s address has become quite a pricey process if TPG are to be believed, because below is part of their response:

“According to our Standard Terms and Conditions which you agreed to as part of the sign up process, an agreement is formed whereby you apply to acquire a service from us and we accept your application.

Installation of your service has already commenced in our system based on your application which we accepted on 25/04/2013.

The contract you entered into specified a total minimum charge of $2,029.71 over the contract term which you are liable for. We have decided not to charge you the full amount, however you are required to pay a cancellation charge of $350. Plus $480 cancellation fee for the super unlimited bundle. A total of $830 fee will be incur to cancel the account.”


How nice of them to not charge the full amount. If anybody out there wants an address confirmed, as that is as far as they’d reached, I’m happy to do it at half of TPG’s rate.

This is despite TPG’s own chart shown below that shows that the next step in the customer application after “Confirmation Of Address” is “Advance Payment”. Given the application was cancelled at this point, and the same letter stated no fee owing, I’d assume there is nothing to charge the customer for.


Since this point, TPG have been waging a campaign of harassment, calling repeatedly each day and demanding the $830 or they will continue with processing the connection. These calls have been made to both my reader’s mobile phone and her place of work, causing an awful lot of stress.

TPG seemed intent on harassing and bullying a consumer, who was only exercising her right to choose her service provider, until she paid $830 to TPG for providing no service at all other than sending the original notice stating they were unable to provide the consumer what she was originally seeking.

This bullying and harassment has continued unabated all this month. My reader was also advised by TPG that despite being told daily that she did not want their service, TPG had arranged for a Testra technician to come out and do the connection, something that may actually incur a cost on TPG’s end.

The Testa technician didn’t turn up as threatened, but the harassing calls still continued.

A better option than TPG

A better option than TPG

This week I contacted TPG myself in order to hear their side of the story, and I saw just how frustrating it must have been for my poor reader.

I contacted customer support with the details of the reader and spoke to a young man named Ariel. He informed me that due to privacy reasons that could not discuss the particulars of a case with anyone but the client, which is fair enough.

I asked to be put through to whoever was in charge and said I only wanted to understand why they were trying to charge $830 without performing a service, and then harassing and bullying the poor soul on a daily basis. I made it clear I did not want to discuss anything about the account that would be considered private and was writing an article on the matter, if they wanted their side of the story to be told, they best tell me what it is.

After much discussion with things going seemingly nowhere, I was finally told a manager would not talk to me, and that there was absolutely no record of my reader on their system at all, and I must have the wrong company.

I then asked if the call was being recorded and was told that it was. When I informed Ariel that it was against the law to record the conversation without informing the caller I was told that everybody calling TPG knows their call is being recorded. I have my doubts.

Given that I wanted a record of the conversation to refer to I asked for the recording number, if you work for TPG and are reading this you can look up the record it’s number 180955.

Miraculously, TPG must have used their psychic powers of observation, because moments after I was off the phone, my reader for whom they had no record or detail of just moments ago was being called yet again. How odd.

This time my reader was told by TPG that the service was indeed cancelled, and apparently could not seem to understand why my reader was so upset, the recording number for this call was 2784788 if someone from TPG wants to check it out.

Time will tell if this sorry saga is over, although I fear not as another email was recieved the day after this call saying;

 “We would like to advise you that the installation is still in progress at the moment.  We are still waiting for confirmation on the status of the job order.

    Please check your service in the next 24 hours and should you encounter any issues, please feel free to reply to this email or contact us on 1300 725 322.

     We appreciate you choosing TPG.”

The matter is now being reported to the Telecommunications Ombudsman.

For those of you looking for a broadband solution or any other type of solution, I would avoid TPG like the plague if I was you.

Judging from these links, I don’t appear to be the only one who thinks so, far from it in fact.

If you are having an issue with a company and have the documentation to back yourself up, you can email me here and I will let my readers know about it. I’ve decided to take  a leaf out of Derryn Hinch’s  book and start my own “Shame File” of company’s who bully, harass, and seek to rip-off the consumer.

TPG is no doubt the first of many.

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  1. I was so pissed off with TPG I registerd TPG has bad service dot com. They wanted us to pay 26 dollars for a call from our TPG bundled home phone to their call center 1300. To report put service out. I had the site up 24 hrs, then strangely everything was solved in a heartbeat 🙂 funny that

  2. Heather says:

    Great story. Thanks for your work. This appears to be one for the Ombudsman though, in order to get final resolution.

  3. Irene Bolger says:

    She should not pay a cent. Call their bluff and let them take her to court (which they probably won’t) and i’ll represent her for free.

  4. Robert Williams says:

    I have had similar problems with Optus and Telstra in the past so I don’t think it is unique to TPG. I actually have a mobile service with TPG and have had little to complain about. In my dealings with Optus and Telstra the one thing I have noticed about telco’s is that they are afraid of words. Two words in particular, “Telecommunications Ombudsman”. The mere mention seems to send them scurrying for their automated apology response and a resolution to the problem usually in the form of a cheque book.

  5. Lee says:

    Having had landlines, mobiles and broadband with Telstra, Optus and TPG, I can confidently state that TPG have been by far the best of the lot for customer service. You don’t get connected to half a dozen people before you get to the right one, and they have always been very helpful and courteous. When I tried to connect my broadband, it was initially rejected by Telstra, but the email clearly stated the possible reasons for the rejection, and how to rectify them. I emailed them back about it, and they double-checked with Telstra directly (rather than relying on their automated systems), and I was connected without any problems. My suspicion is that the real villain her is Telstra – their automated system tries to find any excuse to prevent customers from not using them directly. I also strongly suspect this customer did not read TPG’s emails properly. Be very careful when reporting stories like this without knowing both sides of it – you of all people should know that.

  6. Nic says:

    Hi Lee…from what i can see the customer is right. She has a choice to choose which provider she wishes to go with. It kinda takes away her freedom of choice by the look of things . TPG clearly have been hounding this customer hoping that she will give in. That’s not service that is bullying and intimidation till one rescinds. It’s a cash grab by TPG and clearly bad service. And it looks like Wixxy did get both sides of the story. You should re read the above.

  7. Maureen Butterworth says:

    Great idea Wixxy. Imagine my horror yesterday when I received a legal letter asking me to pay up $9500 that I allegedly owe Telstra, within the week. Yes, $9500 accrued in the past 12 months and we haven’t had a working home phone since mid 2011 and they cut off our internet ages ago and we use a pre-paid USB at the moment. My daughter has her “I” phone thru Telstra and is happy to pay reasonable costs, however, we have been consistently over charged for at least the past 3 years. Our situation is being examined by the Ombudsman and this legal letter is ILLEGAL. Hundreds of hours and wasted breathe talking to absolute idiots from all over the planet who have no idea how to operate the complicated software that Telstra uses. All the arrangements that my daughter makes amount to nothing. There are never ANY records of the phone conversations she has and we go from one person to another. We have even spent hours at the shopping centre business unit and nobody can tell us why we are being charged for services we are not using. There are 2 mobile phones in this house and mine is a pre-paid. So, how did we rake up $9500 worth of telephone usage? And, guess what? I guarantee the Ombudsman is a toothless tiger. Regrettably, I will be forced to seek assistance from the “free to air” TV stations, which is my last resort. Telstra has us over a barrel as they will not release us to go to another provider, until the bill is paid. I have no doubt Telstra is holding everybody to ransom.

  8. Like others here, I’ve had very few problems with TPG, and the ones I’ve had aren’t really their fault, and whilst they were happening, the service was very good.

    I was with them for over 5 years in Sydney, and now almost two years in Perth.

  9. jim says:

    just to think that TPG came out of the CSIRO ……….butt merchants

  10. Keith says:

    In my dealing with a number of Phone and ISP’s (Internode, iinet, Vaya), their standard reply is to blame customers even those it is The Phone and ISP companies problems and then try and threaten customers to pay for The Phone and ISP Companies problems.

  11. Anne says:


    Nothing to do with the above, but I wanted people here to read todays, The Political Sword…

    “Political Hatred”. tony abbott has a lot to answer for. AND I hope he suffers

  12. girlseule says:

    Wow so dodgy, well over $800 for nothing is scandalous. They all seem fairly dodgy but, I don’t know who do go with on that glorious day when we finally get decent Internet in my street

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