When companies just don’t listen

I got a call from my mother-in-law yesterday morning while I was driving, she was telling me that a man at the door wanted to install the NBN and do something to her connection. She gets a lot of harassing phone calls and door knocks so I told her she should say no and we will sort it later, she said the man claimed if it wasn’t done now it would cost to do it later, this set off some alarms to me and I told her, just say no and he can leave a contact number or card for us to follow up later.

I called after a few minutes and all was ok but as expected he left no card or contact.

When I got home I checked with the NBN site about installations for her, officially it says;

We’re currently getting the nbn™ broadband access network up and running in your area.
There’s still work to do before we connect your premises.

So I sent some feedback on their contact us page, I wrote;

My mother-in-law was approached today by people claiming they needed to install new networking/internet services in her house so she called me to check. The person then did not leave a card (on request) but claimed that if she didnt do it now there would be a charge to do it later. I believe this is another scam opportunity and people will be fleeced by it.

They were nice enough to get back to me quite quickly;

Thank you for your enquiry to nbn. The reference number for your enquiry is xxxxxxxx.
First of all, we would like to say sorry about the experience that you and your mother-in-law encountered in relation to the incident of getting connected to nbn™ network.
Although our rollout map indicates the address xxx Xxxxxxx Street, Xxxxxxx VIC is in a Service Available area, your address is currently Service Unavailable. Service Unavailable means that the nbn™ network is available in your area however additional works are necessary to allow a service to be connected.
Please note that a standard installation of nbn™ equipment is currently free of charge. It is best to speak or ask from your preferred Retail Service Provider if they have any other fees involved.
Our rollout map can only provide an indicative view of serviceable addresses. We apologise for this inconvenience.
When your address becomes Service Available on the nbn™ network, nbn will contact you via mail correspondence. We suggest that you register with us via the rollout map and we will be in touch when you are able to connect to the nbn™ network.
If you require further information, please reply to this email directly or call us on 1800 OUR NBN (1800 687 626), quoting the above reference number and a consultant will be happy to assist you.

But this left me confused. I did not make an “enquiry to nbn”, It was not an issue of “getting connected to nbn™ network”, I really didn’t need to be confused by the fact that it is in a “service available area” but “currently service unavailable”.

Basically the person did not read or understand my email, so I replied;

This was not a request to get the NBN connected but an unsolicited attempt to get into my Mother-in-laws house under the guise of an NBN installation.
She called me to confirm her concerns at the time, that this was BS and not genuine.
A lot of people, particularly older people are not aware of what is occurring in the NBN roll-out. I submitted this report to let you know that your brand is being mis-used and exploited.
Please don’t apologise for the experience, do something about the lack of understanding the public has in regard to connections and services being delivered by your product and how that is being exploited in cases such as this.

And again with an even quicker reply;

Thank you for your enquiry to nbn. The reference number for your enquiry is xxxxxxx.
We do appreciate letting us know about the experience your mother-in-law had with someone mis-representing themselves as an nbn employee. We do take these instances seriously and we have an active media campaign in affect to educate the public what to expect with nbn. Unfortunately there are those out there that will take advantage of every new situation. 
If you require further information, please reply to this email or call us on 1800 OUR NBN (1800 687 626), quoting the above reference number and a consultant will be happy to assist you.

Yes, they take this very seriously and they have an active media campaign in affect. Again, not helping.

Later that day my wife talked to her mother and got some more info. Sure, there has been some workers around lately doing digging work in the area and she may have thrown out junk mail that talked about the NBN. Her English is not great and she gets a lot of door knocking sales and some really harassing phone calls so this appeared to be another in the long line of bogus sales tactics.

Why did the NBN not know what was happening when I reported it? Why did they not understand my concerns or care? Why did the guy at the door tell her it would cost later if she didn’t do it now? Does it cost people more if they are not home to answer the door? Does it cost more if they threw out the pamphlet? According to NBN it doesn’t but they have no idea what is going on in the street, they are four or five contractor-company-contractor-installer levels removed from the coal-face and their media campaign is not effective.

Thanks for sorting this out so effectively nbn



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