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Transact monopolist behaviour?

By tagline - 4 June 2012 8

I was rung up the other night by a telemarketer for Transact offering to double my broadband speed. As I’d been annoyed about two years ago by doing the same and finding it locked me into a two year contract with my current bundle and that the same happened any time you made any change. I asked whether this would result in a new contract. The answer was yes. I rang up next day and found my contract expired in February.

If you move and can no longer use Transact, they call this a breach of contract and charge you a large sum. I explained to the Transact person on the phone that I don’t mind if getting a new iphone and a new service locks me into a contract but that a press button change in my ‘bundle’ isn’t the same thing. This annoys me:

    1 Transact at this point has the only optical fibre broadband network in Canberra. Their bundles tie you into services that you don’t really want.

    2 Am I being cynical or is their current marketing a ploy to shore up customers before the NBN comes to town.

    3 Should they be allowed to lock you into contracts that you don’t really have much choice about in a market where there is no direct competition (except indirectly say ADSL, Foxtel and Telstra direct lines for separate services)

    4 I travel regularly overseas particularly to Asia. I find Australian Internet, mobile and cable TV prices are outrageous in comparison.

Any comments welcome

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
Transact monopolist behaviour?
mezza76 10:55 am 02 Aug 12

quickbrwnfox said :

StrangeAttractor said :

Keijidosha, You are forced to purchase at a minimum a bundle from transact that includes a phone line and a data line, at a specified rate. On top of that you need to pay an ISP to provide a data connection to the internet. I’d guess that’s what the OP means.

As for point 3. The areas in which Transact rolled out fibre, ADSL is not competition, because the copper and exchanges simply aren’t there. Transact was granted a complete monopoly on fixed line communications in these developments. This wouldn’t be so bad if they actually offered value, but transact see it as an opportunity to gouge their clients a new one.

I do however agree with your answer to point 4!

Sad to say I am one of these clients.

Line rental for a phone we don’t use so I can get internet – $50 monthly
Internet monthly bill – $50 on 200GB

Saw a plan on TPG for both of these services for $69.99 monthly. So I called them in hopes of availing for these products – not possible.

Unless other telco companies are able to provide phone line services in these new suburbs owned by TRANSACT, I don’t think residents such as myself have any choice but to keep sucking it.

+5 (I bundled my pluses)

It really brings the need for the NBN into focus. 200GB at 100mbps = $79.95 per month. Add phone calls from $10 a month (free local and national)… kinda puts the currrent pricing ‘regime’ (and I use that word in the context of a authoritarian one) to shame.

quickbrwnfox 9:30 am 02 Aug 12

StrangeAttractor said :

Keijidosha, You are forced to purchase at a minimum a bundle from transact that includes a phone line and a data line, at a specified rate. On top of that you need to pay an ISP to provide a data connection to the internet. I’d guess that’s what the OP means.

As for point 3. The areas in which Transact rolled out fibre, ADSL is not competition, because the copper and exchanges simply aren’t there. Transact was granted a complete monopoly on fixed line communications in these developments. This wouldn’t be so bad if they actually offered value, but transact see it as an opportunity to gouge their clients a new one.

I do however agree with your answer to point 4!

Sad to say I am one of these clients.

Line rental for a phone we don’t use so I can get internet – $50 monthly
Internet monthly bill – $50 on 200GB

Saw a plan on TPG for both of these services for $69.99 monthly. So I called them in hopes of availing for these products – not possible.

Unless other telco companies are able to provide phone line services in these new suburbs owned by TRANSACT, I don’t think residents such as myself have any choice but to keep sucking it.

watto23 3:29 pm 04 Jun 12

Transact, nearly caught me out a few years ago. I thought I was signing up for a cable connection. When I read the contract, it turned out it was just for home and mobile bundling through Transact. I managed to get that contract cancelled and anulled, yet my complaints the sales person had lied to me about when the cable was to be installed seemj to fall on deaf ears. That was 5+ years ago and I still have no cable or a decent competitive ADSL2 service, all because I live in a suburb with underground cabling….

Phend 2:29 pm 04 Jun 12

Transact are a contract obsessed and demand a new commitment for any change – even when the change will make them more money and there is no risk to them. I don’t think they have confidence in their own product.

It was a number of years ago now, but I was eventually allowed to upgrade (and give them more money) without a new contract term. This was only after I sent the CEO the following letter, none of the call centre staff would budge:

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=756549&p=15#r298

It took a while, and I can’t promise it will work now, but I had success with that approach.

GBT 11:03 am 04 Jun 12

In TransACT’s VDSL areas which I assume you are talking about, there is competition in the form of ADSL. Most people who do have TransACT in VDSL areas are those who got it ages ago and just aren’t too fussed in looking at what’s out there, or people who are too far from the exchange to get a decent ADSL service. While it may not seem like competition, it’s as much as anyone else connected to Telstra exchanges gets.

Where TransACT are really screwing people over is in their FTTH areas where they have a true monopoly as there is no copper in the ground at all. Those areas are also the areas where TransACT are price gouging, charging up to $120 for the line without even including ISP costs (the data.) Their reasoning for this is that it supposedly cost a lot to lay the fibre but that is not really the customer’s problem if they have no other alternative. If TransACT couldn’t provide a service at a cost even close to comparable to other ISPs they should not have applied to the ACT government to be granted a monopolistic network in new suburbs.

There are quite a few threads on Whirlpool in the TransACT forum about their terrible behaviour but until either iiNet (their new owners) does something about their pricing or NBN comes along, all we can do is wait around getting screwed.

As for your other point, it is stupid that TransACT make you take a phone line when it is not required for the service like it is with ADSL (non-naked.) More ways to screw money out of you really. TransACT is hands down the worst telco I’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with. Even worse than Tel$tra.

Keijidosha 10:36 am 04 Jun 12

StrangeAttractor said :

As for point 3. The areas in which Transact rolled out fibre, ADSL is not competition, because the copper and exchanges simply aren’t there. Transact was granted a complete monopoly on fixed line communications in these developments.

This is true for some newer developments, but TransACT cable was also rolled out in existing suburbs that already had copper lines and Telstra exchanges.

StrangeAttractor 10:18 am 04 Jun 12

Keijidosha, You are forced to purchase at a minimum a bundle from transact that includes a phone line and a data line, at a specified rate. On top of that you need to pay an ISP to provide a data connection to the internet. I’d guess that’s what the OP means.

As for point 3. The areas in which Transact rolled out fibre, ADSL is not competition, because the copper and exchanges simply aren’t there. Transact was granted a complete monopoly on fixed line communications in these developments. This wouldn’t be so bad if they actually offered value, but transact see it as an opportunity to gouge their clients a new one.

I do however agree with your answer to point 4!

Keijidosha 9:54 am 04 Jun 12

1. How do they “tie you into services you don’t really want” – if you don’t want to bundle, then don’t.

2. In most areas of Canberra the NBN rollout won’t be completed until 2016 (or later), so a 2 year contract won’t help TransACT much.

3. TransACT own the cable, therefore you deal with their terms. I would say ADSL2 is considered pretty direct competition and reason enough to warrant contracts.

4. Simple – Australia’s population density is far less than most of Asia, therefore we pay more to cover infrastructure costs.

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