Grumpy / Taking the money, but no service

Share Canberra's trusted news:

THE article by columnist Chris Coleman (CN,February 9, “Home is where the internet is”) is a perfect example of how various agencies are happy to extort charges for services but when it actually comes to providing that service the customer is left stranded.

I moved into a new townhouse in Watson about a year ago. Watson is an established suburb in North Canberra. You would think that having the NBN, gas, electricity and water connected would be a simple exercise. Not so.

The problem first started with the developer who used the address that related to the undeveloped land to register the utilities. They engaged the services of another company to install the water, gas and electricity meters. They would not give me the name or contact details of this company.

When it came to connecting the services, ActewAGL and the NBN said my address does not exist. I contacted the ACT address manager at City Services who was great and gave me a letter that confirmed my correct address.

I had to take photographs of all the meters and show these to ActewAGL. The services were connected, but it took more than six months for the correct address to be displayed on my invoices. ActewAGL insisted that my address was the one used by the unidentified company engaged by the developer.

ACT Revenue office was the worst offender of all. It was happy to collect $28,000 in stamp duty, but refused to acknowledge my correct address.

It took numerous phone calls, emails and threats to not pay the rates before it changed my address. It took six months.

Now, the NBN was even worse. Negotiating between NBN Co and my ISP (TPG) was a nightmare. Both had different addresses and neither would accept my correct address.

TPG refused to deliver the modem because my correct address was different to the address NBN had. It took many months to get this sorted.

Readers may not think this is a big issue, but if you have the NBN your telephone is connected via the NBN. If you call “000” in an emergency using your NBN connected phone your address is given to the emergency services. In my case the address did not exist so the ambulance would not be able to locate my house.

Also, someone has given Google my address. It is incorrect so now taxis and Uber can’t locate me!

Try talking to someone on a help desk located overseas and the matter gets worse. They just don’t care and they have no idea how things work in Australia.

Buying a new property should not be so stressful. You pay a connection fee for electricity, gas and water, stamp duty for who knows what reason and connection fees for NBN, but you don’t actually get any service for your money.

Grumpy is an occasional column dedicated purely to things that get up your nose. Readers are invited to vent (no more than 300 words, please) at editor@citynews.com.au

 

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleHindson leads the charge for Australian music
Next articleWelsh / Emotions roll again as murderer meets his fate

Leave a Reply