More dirty deeds from the inevitable; Telstra is reported to have been rorting its iPhone 4 customers at its T-Life stores by charging them prices that are significantly higher than what is advertised on their website.
It has been said that in some instances there are stores asking customers to sign contracts that agree to more than $1,000 of additional charges versus what is advertised here. Also, while it is well known that Telstra charges its post paid customers an up front cost for its 16 or 32GB iPhones, depending on the size of the monthly cap, some T-Life stores are also tacking on further monthly handset fees that adds up to hundreds of dollars across the full term of the contract.
A member of the Whirlpool forums has said that he approached the T-Life store manager about these discrepencies and was given a charming reply. Apparently the manager said that because he is the owner of the franchise he can charge whatever the hell he wants. He doesn't have to issue subsidised phones nor does he have to follow the iPhone 4 plans that Telstra have on their website.
Others have backed up this forum user and said they, too have experienced the same issues with the same responses from other T-Life store managers. What's worse, Telstra has rebadged all of its stores to T-Life, so it's not clear as to which are owned by Telstra and which are franchises. The other thing to be weary of is that apparently they don't tell you about these additional charges until after the contract has been signed. Lovely.
One way to avoid these franchised stores is to head over to this page on Telstra's website, search for stores in your area see which ones have an asterisk; this is indicative of the store not being Telstra owned. Telstra also states in a disclaimer at the bottom of the results page that "prices at Telstra Licensed Shops may differ to prices at Telstra Shops and Telstra Shop Online".
Further details about this dirty deed over at the source.
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