My drama unfolded when after a quick five day business trip to New York I decided to use Sunday afternoon to install a new iQ3 box which had been delivered while I was away.
I have been a Foxtel Premium customer for 20 years and I have two Foxtel boxes installed at my home, I chose to only upgrade one iQ2 box.
After connecting the box a reference number appears on the screen along with a number to call to get the iQ3 activated on to the Foxtel system, a processthat Foxtel claims is a simple process.
When I was finally put through to an operator I was asked to supply my telephone number and address where the service was being provided.
I am a Telstra/ Foxtel customer.
After supplying the details I was told that I did not exist on the Foxtel or Telstra database.
When I gave them the reference number on the screen I again was told that they could not find my account.
When I pointed out that I must exist as Telstra had just shipped a b rand new iQ3 box to my home I was again told that they could not find my account.
They even claimed that my Telstra account number that was used to bill me for my Foxtel service along with my home phone and mobile service did not identify me as a Foxtel customer on their system.
I then asked them to track the number on the card inserted into the new iQ3 box, again I was told that I did not exist on the Foxtel database, this is despite the fact I still had Foxtel services streaming to my home.
By this stage I had discovered that I was dealing with call centre wallies based in Bangalore, India.
I was then asked them to track the serial number of my old box and knowing a little about Foxtel boxes I decided to go to advanced settings on my existing iQ2 box where under setting the number is shown on the screen.
Again I was told that this number was not the right serial number as it was “not long enough”.
I then went back to the iQ2 box and read the serial number on the bottom of the iQ2 box, where I discovered it was different by one number.
What was revealed was that the Foxtel database was failing to show the last digit of the serial number on the advanced setting screen because another Foxtel idiot had failed to add another field to the serial number database so that the entire 11 digit serial number could be displayed in the advanced setting menu.
By this stage we got traction and I was finally revealed as an actual Telstra Foxtel customer.
Within minutes we had Foxtel programming.
When I asked about my second Foxtel box I was told that this would not be affected by the upgrade.
Several hours later my wife who uses the second Foxtel box switched on her iQ3 only to discover that she had no programming.
Again I had to go through the same “you do not exist as a Foxtel customer process”.
When we finally hit pay dirt and I was revealed for the second time as an actual paying customer of the overpriced pay TV network, I discovered that what the idiot in India had done was program the iQ2 box that was being returned to Foxtel as the second installed box in my home.
This was despite the replacement box for the iQ3 being clearly identified by the serial number as the box that was being returned to Foxtel.
After going through another round of serial number identification process the second iQ2 box was identified and programming restored.
An hour later my wife decided to play one of her 400 gigabytes of stored program only to discover a message that said that the program could not be played as it was recorded when the account was inactive.
This was despite the fact all of the programs had been recorded when the Foxtel account was active.
It was then revealed that the second Foxtel call centre idiot had reprogrammed the card from the iQ2 box that was being returned as the second active box in my home.
“Sir there is nothing we can do about it we are sorry” was all Foxtel could offer.
The content is still taking up a large slab of hard drive storage with the title of the program still showing up on the screen. Apparently Foxtel indexing is not able to link the title with the source content due to Foxtel deliberatly not letting customers back up content before an install update.
I was then asked for my home telephone number, when I gave them the number they said it was “different” than the one on my account. When I pointed out that my monthly Telstra bill along with my Foxtel charges were on the same account I was told that could not be.
At this stage I gave up and hung up to face the wrath of my wife who was seething that her Lifestyle Channel programs which she used for her work as an Interior Designer had been wiped forever.
One has to remember that Foxtel is an organisation that charges a massive premium for their services but outsources to cheap call centre labour in India, this is also the same Company that cut corners with their software development of the iQ3 resulting in over 12,000 complaints at the last count.
One also has to remember that Telstra spent $4 Billion dollars introducing a consolidated billing system so that customers could be billed on one bill for services such as Foxtel home phone, content and mobile.
One would think that after spending so much money they would at least be able to align a telephone number, an account number with a Foxtel service especially when a customer has spent over $32,000 over 20 years buying a service from Foxtel.
PS: I got my Fetch TV account operational in three minutes and my Netflix account in five minutes and that accounts for two minutes finfing my credit card. Total time on the phone with Foxtel Telstra over 90 minutes.