Have you walked into a Telstra store to upgrade your phone and they have offered you FREE accessories with your phone plan? Here's how it normally goes - you walk in to get a new phone and your salesperson tells you that they are running a special deal at the moment. If you signup for that new iPhone they will give you $100/$300/$600 worth of accessories as a bonus. Well, check your bill - you are paying for these!
Most likely you haven't noticed these accessory fees and charges hidden in your bill. But they are charging you $10-15 a month for your FREE accessories.
Here's my story - I went to upgrade my leased iPhone X at my local Telstra store (Warriewood for those of you on the Northern Beaches). I was annoyed because my sister had received a text saying they would wave the $99 upgrade fee for her and I wanted them to honour the same deal for me. The Manager in the store told me that he couldn't override the system but he could offer me $300 of accessories if I upgraded then and there and then I could call Telstra and argue to have the $99 fee removed once I was billed. I declined to upgrade then and there and he offered me $600 worth of accessories if I upgraded right then and there. So I did.
Fast forward 2 months and I'm being charged $15 a month on my account for 'accessories' as well as on both my teenager's BYO handsets.
A call to the store has the salesperson telling me, "they aren't allowed to give away products and they would have told me about the repayments when I was signing the contract." Except they didn't. And they know that. My research has shown that I'm not the only one they have failed to disclose this information to. A quick Google search shows complaints on their own website in multiple threads of angry customers who have been sucked into this deal.
Further investigation shows this post by blogger Luke Martinez where it seems he and his readers have suffered from the same scam. A former Telstra employee has commented on his post saying it's one Franchisee in particular - what a coincidence when, on further investigation, it shows this franchisee is the owner of my local store.
Yes, I should have read my contract more closely, but be aware so that you read yours. And if you have an unexpected accessories charge on your bill get in touch with Telstra and raise Holy Hell. They have been getting away with this scam for far too long.
Have you been hit with this charge?
After calling and complaining to Telstra, who told me to take it to the store, and speaking to the store who denied everything I lodged a complaint online. Today, two days after lodging the complaint, I was called by a lovely woman at Telstra who sorted it all out. She reimbursed me the accessories fees, cancelled the accessories contract and refunded me the $99 upgrade fee. She went out of her way to help so if this has happened to you I suggest lodging a complaint this way.