I had a problem with my home phone last weekend. There was no dial tone. And whenever someone rang they just got the answering service at the exchange.

I went on to the Telstra website, and found the link to Residential Line problems easily. I then found a simple and clear set of instructions to perform an isolation test (to ensure that the problem is not at my end with my equipment). When the test failed to produce any results, I rang their service line.

The automated response system answered my call, requested the number, and immediately conducted a test. During the test, which took a couple of minutes, it regularly gave me a status report (“the test is proceeding”). At the end of the test, it reported that no fault has been reported for this number and redirected me to a human.

Despite the warning that “we are handling an unusually large number of calls” and the suggestion that I may want to call back if I did not want to wait, a human answered within a minute.

I explained the problem and the results of my isolation test. He clearly explained the circumstances under which I will be charged for a service call-out. He then proceeded to do a test on the line, with good status feedback to me during the process. The test revealed a problem at the street level. And he advised me that the fault will be fixed by the next morning. He also offered to redirect all my calls to my mobile phone free of charge for the duration of the fault.

This was a great experience of a process that worked well. The service person had the appropriate information, and the appropriate authority to take action. The problem was expediently identified, and resolved, and the customer provided with information and a good temporary solution.

Well done Telstra.