Sorry for that $35,000 bad call


TEL­STRA has apol­o­gised for an “er­ror” that saw the vol­un­teer-run Leopold Fire Brigade hit with a $36,000 bill.

Leopold CFA trea­surer Lyn­ton Bot­ten said he was left shocked af­ter open­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s March in­ter­net in­voice to find a cou­ple more ze­ros than usual on the to­tal.

Mr Bot­ten — a CFA vol­un­teer of 40 years and trea­surer for 28 — spent hours on the phone to mul­ti­ple peo­ple from dif­fer­ent de­part­ments in Tel­stra with no one able to ex­plain what the “con­sult­ing ser­vices” fee meant.

“I couldn’t be­lieve my eyes when I opened that let­ter,” he said. “I knew it had to be a mis­take but the bloody prob­lem was try­ing to get some­one to talk to you.”

The small vol­un­teer-run CFA out­post said the trou­ble started once Tel­stra had con­nected the brigade from ADSL to a NBN plan. Be­fore that, the CFA’s in­ter­net bill sat at around $9.95 — jump­ing to $70 un­der the new plan.

“We said no thanks to that and asked to be dis­con­nected,” Mr Bot­ten said.

Tel­stra area gen­eral man­ager Loretta Wil­lato yes­ter­day apol­o­gised for the billing de­ba­cle. She con­firmed the full bill had been with­drawn.

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