March 15, 2009

Media group charging extra for native help

The Australian telecommunications group Telstra says customers must pay extra if they want to speak with one of its Australian employees.

An unidentified Telstra spokesman said the company has created a new messaging service that allows customers to avoid speaking with overseas workers for a negotiated fee, the Sydney Telegraph reported Sunday.

Following feedback, calls for selected customers would be answered in Australia, the spokesman said.

Telstra had previously outsourced its messaging service to overseas workers, leading to complaints.

Telstra Memo customers can now have their phone calls diverted to an Australian call center where callers can give company employees any messages they want to leave.

The Sunday Telegraph said the service costs up to $12 a month depending on the number of times the call center takes a call for the customer.