24 hours after Telstra franchisees were exposed for price gouging owners of iPhones we can reveal than tens of thousands of consumers and businesses are being charged $237.50 a year for a White pages listing that has not been authorised.
Last week I got a bill from Telstra that included an itemised cost for the listing of two telephone numbers in Telstra’s Yellow pages. The cost for each listing was $237 one listing was for my home phone number and the other for a telephone number than we cancelled with Telstra nearly two years ago.
Not only did Telstra disconnect this number they stopped sending a bill for the service
On a Telstra bill dated 25th July 2010 the disconnected number not only appeared on the account so did a white pages charge for my home phone number which happens to be a silent number.When I followed up with Telstra I was told by the accounts department that they could not handle the problem so they attempted to put me through to the Telstra directories division. After 20 minutes of being on hold the call dropped out.
When I finally got through I was told that my wife had authorised the costs. However this is not true.
Several months ago my wife did get a call from a call centre spruiking white pages listings. The caller was told that we were not interested. There was no mention of costs, no confirmation of a booking in the post or via an email and definitely no authorisation for any charges.
When we finally got through to an operator I was told that the issue was a Telstra issue. “I work for Sensis not Telstra” she said.
When it was pointed out to her that Sensis was 100% owned by Telstra she said I was not aware of this. She had no explanation for the disconnected number or why a charge was now appearing on a Telstra phone account.
She later said “This happens all the time”. Your wife confirmed the billing in February 2010 that’s all I can say. I was not working for the Company then” she said.
She said that she would come back to me. I am still waiting.
We have also contacted the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission for a comment.
Telstra PR executives or Sensis were not available to comment.