Telstra users report delays as population moves to working from home

Telstra users around the country have reported issues with mobile connection problems as large parts of the population move to working from home.

Online service tracker Downdetector has escalated reports of heavy Telstra usage in every capital city across the county.

A similar map can also be seen for its major competitor Optus.

Telstra’s own website shows little to no outages, however the it said there may be delays in contacting their customer service department which is based out of the Philippines.

“Due to new COVID-19 measures introduced by the Philippines Gov, a number of our call centre team members will not be able to take your calls,” Telstra said in a statement.

“This will mean longer wait times for customers calling or messaging us. Our teams in Australia and India are online, but will be prioritising calls from our customers in most urgent need of help including Medical Priority Assist and high risk enquiries.

“There is no impact to Triple Zero 000 calls. Our stores remain open and we ask you to use, our Telstra 24×7 and My Telstra apps to self-serve instead.

“We will have more self-serve tips to share soon. We know how frustrating this can be. We are doing everything we can to improve the situation. Thanks for your patience.”

Optus has issued a similar statement, urging customers affected by slow internet speeds or technical issues to use their app.

“Our focus is keeping Australians safe and connected. We have Customer Care Teams based in Australia, the Philippines and India,” Optus tweeted.

“The teams in India and the Philippines have been impacted by social distancing measures introduced into those countries.

“We want to ensure any critical or immediate connection or service issues have priority. We therefore ask for your support in limiting service requests to those that are essential.

“This will ensure there are reduced wait times for those in need. For anything non-urgent you can utilise self-serve in the My Optus App, or leave us a message.”

Today Telstra said it would rapidly recruit an additional 1000 temporary customer agents in Australia to cover customer service volumes traditionally done by overseas centres.

The roles will be located across six sites in Australia where the company has existing contact centres – Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Bathurst and Townsville.

More than 300 of these 1000 roles will be hired in Melbourne.

Telstra has said it is looking to hire those with retail customer service experience and can apply via the organisation’s website here.

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