Monday, 20 October 2014

Telstra and Optus customers suffering serious iPhone order delays and poor customer service

IT HAS been a month since the crazy queues outside the Apple stores for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It has been over 5 weeks since you were able to pre-order them from Telstra, Optus or Vodafone. But many people still haven’t got their new device.
When the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were first able to be ordered, many sales reps from all three big carriers were telling customers that their phones were in stock, only to later be told that it will be coming in two weeks. No three weeks. No, maybe sometime in November.
That’s if they were told anything at all.
The delay of stock is an issue, due to how Apple allocates its stock worldwide. It’s also speculated that the launch of the iPhone 6 in China — a key market for the company — will mean that the focus to get enough stock in Australia will be even less.
However, the lack of stock is only a small part of the bigger problem here.

Not everyone has been as lucky as these guys in getting their hands on an iPhone from Tel readers have overwhelmed our email inboxes with stories about not only ridiculous delays but shameful handling of situations, particularly from Telstra and Optus.
Reader Shantel Tamarah informed us that she placed her order at 7am on September 13th from Telstra, with a confirmation email promising a delivery time of “up to two weeks” after the 19th (the iPhone release date) depending on location.
Ms Tamarah later rang Telstra to confirm that there was nothing else she needed to do with her order, with the Telstra representative informing her that her device had been dispatched and she would receive it on the release day. This was not the case.
Following many phone calls with Telstra staff insisting her device was coming in the next few days, she eventually managed to speak to an honest representative who informed her that they did not have any stock and realistically she was looking at late October/early November for it to arrive.
Other Telstra customers who pre-ordered their phone have not yet received their devices, despite Telstra posting on their support forums saying that all pre-orders had been filled.
Some people have even tried to cancel their order, with Telstra telling them to “give a real reason” why they need to leave. One customer (who asked not to be named) said that after they gave Telstra their “real reason” they were told to wait for the device to arrive and post it back. Not until that happened were they able to cancel their order and account.
Optus has proven to be just as difficult to deal with as Telstra.
One loyal customer of 20 years told that he signed his new contract after not only being assured that Optus had stock, but that it would be delivered on release day. After being messed around by Optus customer service, it wasn’t until the Telecommunications Ombudsman became involved that Optus tried to sort the situation out.
Another reader reported his phone was delivered to his local Optus store, rather than his address, and then was sold to another customer before he had a chance to come and pick it up.
One Optus customer told us that when she asked if she could be offered any compensation for her continued delay, Optus said it was her responsibility to approach the appropriate team if she wants any. When she did contact the “appropriate team” she was told they can’t start the process until she receives the phone.
Some staff have also experienced problems, with two people who ordered through Optus on launch day receiving their first piece of communication today advising them that their order would be delayed a further two weeks.
Despite the lack of stock and delays to existing orders, that hasn’t stopped carriers from excessively advertising their iPhone 6 deals. Optus has been particularly prominent, with its ads covering CBD bus stops and signs in cities across the country. The carrier has told that they are still heavily advertising as they have 16GB models in stock, however they are currently out of 64GB and only have limited availability of 128GB models.
So what can customers do now? Both carriers seems to be allowing customers to cancel their orders, but only after some attempts to convince customers not to. If you do cancel, Apple retail stores have more stock than carriers and are able to sign you up on their plans in store.
If you still aren’t getting any luck, boss, Ruslan Kogan says he can have one at your door step in five days.
“While there is certainly some supply shortages in the market, we have been consistently outperforming our competitors ​by​ being able to supply the iPhone 6 much quicker and cheaper than others in the market. Our average dispatch time for the iPhone 6 is 5 days. We have even had several wholesale customers and large retailers purchase iPhone’s from us as it’s their only alternative to being able to fulfil customer demand in a timely manner.” Mr Kogan said to
“We apologise to any customer who has had a poor experience ordering an iPhone with Telstra,” Steven Carey, General Manager Media, told
“We are working to fulfil orders as quickly as we can. Unfortunately, demand for some models and colours is currently high. In instances where customers face a wait for their chosen model we send a regular text message to confirm that we are continuing to work on their order. Customers who would like to talk to us directly about the status of their order can contact us on 132200.”