How to Talk to an Australian Telstra Representative

telstra customer service

Getting in touch with Telstra

Telstra is the largest telco in Australia, providing everything from mobile SIM plans to home phone and fixed line services. The telco boasts of 99.4 percent total network coverage, the widest in the country. Telstra also has the widest 5G reach so far, covering 75 percent of the population.

But despite these great feats, Telstra isn’t perfect – no telco is. You might run into some problems with their service now and then, such as network outages, billing and payment issues, and so on. Thankfully, Telstra does a great job of providing several channels to get in touch and solve your issues. You can contact Telstra over email, chat, the Telstra self-service app, and more.

Telstra also has call centres, so you can actually speak to a human over the phone to get your issue resolved. However, since Telstra moved its call centres overseas a couple of years ago, a lot of customers have complained about difficulties in communicating with service representatives who may have heavy foreign accents.

So how can you talk to an Australian Telstra representative? It’s actually quite easy, and we’ll tell you how in this post. Read on to find out.

Telstra is moving all call centres to Australia

Telstra has heard customers loud and clear. After receiving several complaints about overseas service representatives, Telstra announced in January of this year that all of their call centres will be back in Australia within 18 months. The telco again reaffirmed their decision to localise call centre interactions when they recently announced their T25 strategy.

Telstra’s move was not surprising. Trying to get an issue resolved with the help of someone you can barely understand can be difficult. And with Telstra’s ongoing T22 strategy focusing on customer satisfaction, this seemed like a logical step for the telco to take.

But another problem might have contributed to Telstra’s decision – the coronavirus pandemic. With COVID-19 causing countries to take drastic steps, Telstra’s overseas call centres in the Philippines were shut down due to that country’s nationwide lockdown measures. This caused even more customer service problems, but it also gave the telco  the chance to consider alternatives.

Now, with Telstra’s pledge to bring all call centres to Australia, customers can speak to an Australian Telstra representative when they need to. 

Here’s how to talk to an Australian Telstra representative over the phone

Telstra has different phone numbers for different issues. We’ll explain what each number is for so you can get to the correct department quickly.

The table below shows Telstra’s Australian call centre phone numbers

Telstra DepartmentPhone NumberHoursDescription
General13 22 00Monday - Friday
7:00AM - 11:00PM AEST

Sales, account review,
billing and payment,
tech support, complaints
and feedback.
Multilingual1800 241 600Monday - Friday
7:00AM - 11:00PM AEST

Free interpretation service
for help resolving general
issues.
Telstra Platinum13 75 8724/7

Subscription based service
offering 24/7 tech support to
members.
Financial hardship1800 531 951Monday - Friday
8:30AM - 7:00PM AEST

Customers experiencing
financial hardship can
seek payment extensions,
service suspension, cheaper plans
or government support.

While customers can contact Telstra over the phone, it might be best to use alternatives. If you want a quick resolution, then you can contact Telstra over chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, free of charge. You’ll find Telstra’s 24/7 chat on the My Telstra App or the Telstra website.

Conclusion

The financial implications of running huge call centres are substantial for phone companies. In simple terms, their warehouses full of staff answering customer questions and resolving technical complaints cost a great deal of cash to sustain. Big T can either offshore those teams (and suffer the customer complaints that will inevitably be associated with ‘language difficulties’) or they can leave them in Australia and pay a fortune for the wages. 

Far preferable, from Telstra’s perspective is to offer you alternative options to resolve simple queries – for instnce, their self service app which is available 24/7 for you to fix things yourself. Not only is it cheaper, but the research says that people who use self-service apps are generally more satisfied with their phone company than those who don’t. 

The net result of all of this is that Telstra underinvest in their phone support and over invest in their app support. However, this is about to change. Telstra announced that all call centres will be in Australia by next year. However, we believe that won’t change much as far as the best way to get your issues resolved. 

So here’s our advice: Don’t look for Telstra’s Australian call center number for problems you can solve yourself. Use the app; it’ll work better and you’ll be happier. You’re welcome.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.