Hint to Telstra – Australia wants your service to work properly, Australia is not interested in your rebranding….

On Friday I received an email from a computer at Telstra. It was an announcement that mainly caused me to shake my head in dismay.

The subject line reads: See our new brand before Australia does

True dear reader. Apparently rebranding is the priority of the company that specialises in regular service outages, digitally disrupting businesses from functioning, preventing kids from doing homework and generally stopping people connecting in the connected world.

Someone needs to explain to Telstra what digital disruption really means.

The disruptions have happened so often that Telstra’s compensation offer of a free data day, now falls on deaf ears. Australia (to use Telstra’s collective noun for all people and businesses in this country) is fed up – we just want our internet and phones to work. After all that’s what we pay for. Well we pay more than that – if we want Telstra to mail monthly invoices to us, because we cannot rely on their internet to deliver it by email, we have to pay north of $3 an invoice. If this was a third world country there’d be riots in the streets.

film not video

The email content states:

There is nothing more important to us than our customers, so before we share the next chapter of our brand story with the world on Sunday night, we wanted to share it with you.

On what planet do these people live? What Telstra customers have bookmarked the Telstra brand story, anxiously awaiting the next chapter for their reading pleasure? Change hands please, we customers are begging you.

The message continues with a link to a video and a subtitle “Click to watch the film“. As they say, the devil is in the details and I suspect if you click you’ll watch a video not a film.

This ignorance of small data is what Telstra is famous for, apart from digital disruptions. Here’s an email Telstra sent to me two days before Friday’s rebranding message.

The subject line reads: Malcolm, here’s a hot deal on a Samsung Galaxy S7 and Tab A 8.0

Samsung offer

Samsung 2

There’s even a free footy pass for the two codes I don’t follow – just another small data glitch…

Samsung 3

Note to Telstra: I am currently about six months into a two-year iPhone plan with you. Why would I even consider switching to a Samsung now?

The computers at Telstra must know what phone and plan I’m on – aren’t I one of those customers referred to in the rebranding message – who are supposedly more important than anything else?

This is the simplest and smallest of data – a customer’s record. How does Telstra continue to get things so wrong? Why is mediocrity such a respectable KPI at Telstra?

But hey, why get the small customer data correct when you’re doing a rebrand?

In case you are waiting with baited breath dear reader, the rebrand is all about the magic of technology. And I must say it does reflect Telstra’s technology – it magically disappears when you want to use it.

You can watch the magic of technology here, or maybe you can put the garbage out, you’re call.

As a shareholder I’m so pleased Telstra is focusing on rebranding, rather than providing a service that works when I need it to. That’s sure to keep the analysts and the customers happy.

Gotta go – need to put the garbage out.


  1. Funny and well written as ever Malcolm – would you mind if we republished ?



    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Hi Malcolm,
    I received the same thing and I am still trying to work out what is so special.
    I am also receiving a lot of emails from Bupa telling me of all of their special offers but not anything about reducing my fees seeing as how I am a pensioner , I am not after special deals on joggers etc.

  3. Two Words. Exactly. Concur. Telstra enters into an agreement, a promise if you will, to deliver a seamless service. When they don’t get that right they have broken their promise. Focus on getting that service promise right. Then worry about being a smarty-pants. Onward!!! One day big business will get it! Until then!

  4. SNAP Mal! How long have you got? I recently switched to Dodo from Telstra “Business” (# see link on your LinkedIn blog)

    Now Dodo use Telstra’s infrastructure, so I won’t avoid the outages… but they are WORKING HARD to deliver excellent customer service as they obviously see Telstra’s weakness! …and I assume they don’t have the fat cat overheads which is why they can deliver their service at a much lower cost.

    Example. I can always get my friendly account manager at Dodo. During Telstra’s long and wide-spread ADSL outage in May, the Telstra call queue was so long that I had to get up and call them at 3am to get through! Then, “the fix” involved going online… DUHHH!

    To be fair, just luckily, I have a separate “Personal” mobile data account – (refer back to #) and during the outage I ran up $500 in excess data charges – which Telstra (# one of them…) credited when I complained… I thanked the senior manager involved and she said I was “one of Telstra’s nicest customers”… is there a message there?

    • Now I have received a lovely letter (see link on your LinkedIn blog) asking me “why” I have left them….! May I repeat myself by saying DUHHH!

      …and just to go to another pet hate – ignorant young marketers* note that the proforma letter is addressed from “MR Andy Giles-Knopp” but “signed” by “Andy Ellis”…

      * I will soon be starting my own Blogsite. It will be called Grumpy Old Man Downunder and will be dedicated to all things to do with ignorant young marketers, CEOs who abrogate their responsibility and hand it over to ignorant young marketers, shonky and misleading marketers, businesses that deliver bad customer service, the Australian Nanny State and 105 other things I hate about this country!

  5. Malcolm,

    Great post as always! Whenever I read a case like this, I tend to think…

    1. Who is in charge of the marketing?
    2. What on earth are they teaching people in marketing programs?

    For grumpy hard-core direct-response types like me, yet again I think hasn’t anyone read “Scientific Advertising”? (…”Remember that the people you address are selfish, as we all are. They care nothing about your interest or your profit. They seek service for themselves”.) Clearly not…and it was the same 5 years ago…and will probably be the same in 5 years time! At times, it rather seems that mainstream marketing has got worse over the years!

    Thanks again!

    Kevin Francis

  6. No Kevin. We dinosaurs were the first to understand marketing in the “modern” world. It is just that we are now considered to be dinosaurs…!

Comments are closed.

© Malcolm Auld Direct Pty Ltd 2022 | Commercial In Confidence

Privacy Policy

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop