Resolving an NBN migration billing dispute

Patrick Zhuge

Pangu Australia

Reading Time: 2 minutes

About the Business

The client is a Sydney-based real estate agency with offices in two locations.

One of their offices was running their phone lines over a SHDSL link. It was a dedicated copper data connection (separate from their Internet) carrying their voice traffic with 1Mbps of bandwidth. It was a typical set up for a small office with about six to seven people.

Business Challenges

My bill tripled after the migration

As the NBN roll out started in their area, the existing copper connection in that office was subject to disconnection. During this time, they were approached by a representative from a telecommunications service provider, advising them the need to migrate to the NBN. They were also advised that their existing services would be cut off soon, so they needed to act quickly.

The representative further explained that the new NBN service would not be charged higher than their existing copper service, so it would be ‘like-for-like’ from a monthly cost perspective. The client agreed and moved ahead with the migration.

Everything was going fine until they received the first bill after migration. The phone line charges tripled!

The infamous “please contact the billing team”

Digging into the bill, the client found that the new NBN service was charged at a whopping 85% more than the previous copper service. Not only was the monthly cost more than quoted, but there was also shocking installation cost which was never mentioned previously.

Immediately they contacted the original representative, who promptly advised that the issue had been sent to the billing team to resolve. 

Since then, the client found themselves in a cycle of chasing for updates, being told to contact the ‘billing team’ and receiving phone calls demanding payment on the bill. The client was under immense pressure for several months and was quite desperate to find a resolution.


The devil is in the detail

The client engaged an independent consultant to help. After a thorough review the consultant suspected that the new service was charged without relevant discounts applied.

The consultant explained that the quote seemed to be based on a discounted catalogue price. The discounts needed to be applied to their bill in order to reduce the monthly cost to the agreed level, as well as waiving off the standard installation charge. However there was no reference to any discounts on their bill. It looked like the client was charged the full catalogue price.

Guided by this analysis, the consultant helped the client lodge a complaint directly to the telecommunication service provider. In the complaint, the consultant explained this analysis in detail, so that it could be directed to the right department.

Return on investment

Within two weeks the issue was resolved. The telecommunications provider promptly applied all relevant discounts and credited incorrect charges.

The client was finally relieved of the pain and got on with running their business. Without the consultant the client might have spent another few months dealing with this issue.

Estimated Project Cost

$250 ~ $350 per hour for the consultant’s fee.

Patrick Zhuge

Patrick’s passion is all about helping businesses adopt technology. The key is connecting businesses with the right guidance from the right people for the right technology. This is the core idea of Pangu, a platform that brings everyone together.

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