I received a bill from Telstra today for $19.80. I don’t have an account with Telstra!
I immediately called to query the account. The helpful operator was not surprised and said she could guess why I was calling.
She asked me if I knew what 1900 information numbers were. I played dumb and she said they were numbers that people call to get the weather, horoscopes or other information.
More likely they are vote lines, sex lines or scams.
In my case, someone in the household had made 43 calls to a Channel Seven competition.
The Telstra operator said I was lucky these were “cheap” calls, as many of the “information” lines are much dearer.
She said I could ask my phone company to put a ban on 1900 calls.
I don’t understand why billing for calls to these numbers is routed through Telstra. It should be through the household’s phone company. If there had been only one call, would Telstra have spent a dollar to print an account for 50 cents and post it to me?
I have not entered into any contract with Telstra to provide me with services I don’t want. I did not authorise the calls that were made; I did not make the calls.
In my view, two things should happen:
- Instead of requiring customers to bar 1900 calls, it should be an opt-in service;
- The customer’s phone service provider should issue the bills.
I’ll write to my Federal MP suggesting this.