Big pain in the Pond

Today I got bill shock. Well, not bill shock exactly. More like, quota shock. Here’s my email to BigPond’s contact us form.

I wish to make a number of complaints.

I am a wireless customer. I have just reached the end of 12 months so the price for all plans has doubled. Due to situations explained in this email, I am set to embark on this second year paying $90 for 2.5 GB for this first month. I am extremely unhappy.

Complaint #1: I wish to complain about the high prices. At half price, the plans were at the high end of broadband pricing. At regular price, now, they are ridiculously high.

I have limited choice in broadband provider. ADSL is unavailable at my residence, due to a technology blocker (pair gain). Telstra have not fixed this in the years I have lived here (since 2000) and BigPond profit as a result by charging a premium for wireless broadband. Complaint #2: pair gain system still limiting my choice in broadband. Complaint #3: BigPond not offering discounts to customers suffering due to technology limitations with Telstra infrastructure

So having just entered the second year as a BigPond customer, knowing this would cost more, I switched down to the 5 GB plan. Someone at your end chose this time to link my BigPond and Telstra mobile accounts, with the result two days were shaved from my last month (ended yesterday, 24 October). Complaint #4: don’t merge accounts (for simplicity on your end) at the customer’s expense.

Because of this account merge, my usage meter — which I check regularly — was saying the monthly period was September 27 to October 25. I assumed this was inclusive and today (25 October) learned it was not. Thinking today would be my last day before changing to the 5 GB plan, I left Steam to download a new game. This morning I learned that 2.5 GB has already been consumed from my new (5 GB) quota. I hoped it would download the files from the (unmetered) gamearena steam server. Apparently this was not the case. Complaint #5: get the gamearena steam server working so customer’s can benefit from unmetered content.

All of this has made me very disappointed with the service. Can you do anything to help me? Here’s a summary of those complaints and the actions I would like to see in response.

Complaint #1: I wish to complain about the high prices.
Action: please offer better prices!

Complaint #2: pair gain system still limited my choice in broadband.
Action: remove the pair gain (or please explain to me why I suffer pair gain, and when — if ever — this situation will be resolved!)

Complaint #3: BigPond not offering discounts to customers suffering due to technology limitations with Telstra infrastructure
Action: offer me a discount! Broadband costs me so much more because of this pair gain 😦

Complaint #4: don’t merge accounts at the customer’s expense.
Action: don’t shave days off account/quota, add days on. Make this a win:win situation for customers, not an opportunity to steal a few more bucks.
Action: reset my quota for October-November. I lost 2+ GB because of you ended the last billing period prematurely. Don’t make it cost me this month’s quota.

Complaint #5: get the gamearena steam server working so customer’s can benefit from unmetered content
Action: Unmetered content is used as a major selling point on BigPond, start delivering on the promise! I’ve read gamearena can’t control the steam server. I don’t care about excuses. Fix it!

In much anticipation of your reply, by which I will judge whether I can remain a BigPond/Telstra customer. Between my wife and I, we have 2 iPhones, a home phone and Internet. We’ve taken it all away before and can do so again — it’s painful though. Here’s a prime opportunity to help a customer and win some loyalty.

Hoping you can offer us a reason to stay.

With Left 4 Dead 2 (another big download + gaming time) due out 17 November, I hope something good happens to allow me to enjoy the Internet. $90 a month for 5 GB though, it’s just too expensive. Is it time to move house? Somewhere with broadband, like say, California?