Friday, 26 October 2012

Incompetence, a definition: Telstra

It is always good to see the drive for client service in Australia. Please do note the extreme sarcasm contained within this post as well as the frustration.

Mobility comes as a critical function of what I do and being tired to a desk severely restricts my ability to complete my tasks, but then a lack of connectivity does constrict this far worse.

So, why am I upset?

Well, I find without notice that I have been disconnected from all my services today. I called this morning and discovered that there is an amount owing. That in itself was strange, the prior bill I received was for $329.75 for the month and was due on the 19th of October. I could comprehend the issue if this was outstanding, but it was paid on the 18th, a day before the due date. This was confirmed by Telstra.

What I was not informed of was a new bill. This has not at this point been sent to me as there was an issue on the account from the prior month and a credit was applied.

So, following an excess of an hour on another phone (not one of the three on the plan) and one that is not included in my unlimited talk plan (and hence will be charged next month at a high rate) I receive the bill via email.

The amount is paid directly by credit card.

At this point, it is stated how I can obtain access in a few minutes. Well, this has occurred, for voice at the least. However, I care far less as to having voice enabled. I care for data.

They seem to have not enabled data however and again it remains disconnected.

What am I offered?

Well, to enable reconnection, I am offered a prepaid data stick for my phone. I will of course have to get over to a Telstra shop, make an appointment and listen to the ranting's of one of their sales people, but I will have Internet connectivity.

Again, oh for competence in this country.

We need to truly open this market for competition. There is little right now in this semi-government fiefdom and what we see again and again in the ITC arena here in Australia is a poor homunculus derived from what we have overseas.

Even those systems derived and designed to take us into the future are backwards facing.

If we take the NBN we see a roll-out of already obsolete technology. With new last mile wireless services, there are already superior options, but ones that have a commercial and not a government flavor.

Then, this genuflection of past ways has always been the failure of governments everywhere.

Back to the issue at hand.

The end result is that I have to await a reconnection sometime in the future. A new service can be reconnected (and I have managed to have this done many times) in under 5 minutes, but having a disconnection (even one that has been admitted as their fault by Telstra) unbarred will take days…

Commercial reality has to take a front seat in all aspects of life. This includes semi-government corporations (like Telstra) and security and risk.


Availability is a part of the CIA or AIC triad, the fundamental aspect of security that we base all decisions against. Yes, confidentiality and integrity have value, but there is a balance in all these scenarios where the integrity of data, the confidentiality of data and the availability all need to be weighted against the total cost.

Increases in one aspect always lead to either an increase in cost or a reduction of the other aspects of security.

It always seems strange how we overlook the need to incorporate availability. In this online world, without availability, there is often little need for a project or service and thus little need for security at all (no project = no need to secure data for that project).