Telstra gave this mom unsolicited parenting advice instead of a cable fix
When you contact your cable company, you expect it to be a bit of a hassle. What you don’t expect is for the customer service person to give you rude and unsolicited parenting advice, but that’s exactly what happened when an Australian news anchor tweeted at Telstra telecommunications that her TV and internet were down.
Newsroom manager and mom Michelle Stephenson contacted Telstra to let them know her broadband and paid television service, Foxtel, weren’t working. Her devices said the estimated time until they’d be back up and running was two days, but Stephenson had a cranky son who wanted to watch a show, so she reached out to Telstra via Twitter to see when she could actually expect a fix.
To her surprise, Telstra’s social media manager, Renee, responded by telling her to take her kid outside.
Excuse me, what?
Stephenson immediately fired back, saying she’s a busy mom who’s been with her son all day and she just wants some down time. Kudos to her for managing to come up with a nicer response than, “How about you just give me my cable and shut the hell up?”
Soon others jumped on the bandwagon as well, telling the social media manager her response was insulting and inappropriate.
Renee eventually responded and said she wasn’t trying to be rude — she’s a working mom herself — and asked for Stephenson’s zip code so she could get more information about the outage.
A Telstra spokesperson has since told the Daily Mail Renee’s comments were “inappropriate” and she’ll receive further training and counseling, presumably on why it’s better to help the customer before you insult their parenting skills.
Regardless of what this social media manager was trying to accomplish, her comments came off as condescending and judgmental. Stephenson wasn’t there for a lesson on how many hours of screen time her son should get each day; she just wanted her fucking television and internet to work. That’s understandable. It’s obnoxious when you’re trying to get a Paw Patrol episode’s worth of peace and quiet and your service is down.
How much screen time someone else’s kid gets is none of our business, and allowing a kid to watch a show or two doesn’t mean the child never reads a book or goes outside. Cable and internet are services. We pay for them. We expect them to work. If Renee wants to counsel people on how to raise their kids, she should find a job doing social media for Dr. Sears.
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