Telstra call centres jammed by speech recognition outage

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Telstra call centres jammed by speech recognition outage

Customers advised to use live chat.

Telstra customers were unable to reach the telco by phone yesterday due to a malfunctioning interactive voice response (IVR) system.

The telco flagged the issue at 1.30pm on both its @Telstra and @BigPondTeam Twitter accounts.

"Hey guys. We are currently having some issues with our phone systems. In the meantime try our live chat service," account administrator Scott posted.

A Telstra spokesman told iTnews the issues stemmed from a faulty IVR at "some" of the company's call centres.

"Some of our call centres are experiencing intermittent issues with their IVR, which has resulted in some customer calls not correctly being put through to our consultants," he said.

"We apologise to our customers and thank them for their patience as we resolve this as quickly as we can."

The spokesman declined to disclose which call centres were affected, and for how long the issue had been ongoing.

Just after 3.20pm yesterday, he informed iTnews that the issue had been resolved.

Customers on the Whirlpool forum reported experiencing a "stuttering connection and eventually dropping out". Others reported experiencing up to 30-second delays between each voice prompt before being disconnected.

On Twitter, the telco was lampooned by customers - even after the fault was said to have been fixed, and despite messages from the telco recommending customers attempt alternatives like online chat services.

One user, @fionazeee posted after 4pm: "@telstra, you're a joke, waited for 1 hour on phone and then the phone hung up. Great customer service!!!!"

Another user, who identified himself as Andy Pearce, Creative Director of digital advertising agency Amnesia, complained of having experienced call centre issues "all weekend".

"I've been trying to get through all weekend and all day today," Pearce posted past 3pm yesterday. "Call credit is now $0. Thanks. Your service is appalling."

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