Telstra rivals Twitter quietly

Summary:A number of Telstra's major broadband rivals have said they have no immediate plans to follow the telco's lead and use the Twitter micro-blogging service to monitor service outages and contact customers about support plans, although a closer look shows Optus to be one of the only large carriers not using the tool.

update A number of Telstra's major broadband rivals have said they have no immediate plans to follow the telco's lead and use the Twitter micro-blogging service to monitor service outages and contact customers about support plans, although a closer look shows Optus to be one of the only large carriers not using the tool.

(Credit: Twitter)

Telstra launched the offering over the past several weeks, garnering a mixed response from Australian users of the service, but Optus, iiNet and Internode said they weren't as keen.

iiNet did admit it had already dabbled in the tool and had an unofficial Twitter account. But the ISP didn't intend on extending the channel to offer Twitter support in an official capacity, according to a spokesperson for the company.

"For now we're interested in informally participating in the commodity free, open conversation platform that Twitter encourages," they said.

Despite its unofficial nature, answers to customer queries have been posted on the Twitter stream since the first post on 30 September. In answer to one tweet on whether responses would be coming 24/7, the answer read "Not at this stage no. For now it's proof of concept, hurtling towards a greater destiny! We hope."

The iiNet account follows an Internode twitter account, which existed despite the ISP's managing director Simon Hackett saying the ISP was happy with its current medium of using broadband information site Whirlpool to communicate with customers.

"We're quite open to the idea, but to date we're finding that being open and accountable on Whirlpool has served us well for many years and continues to do so," Hackett said.

He said many senior staff, including himself, were active on the site. Recently when Internode had an outage, Hackett made multiple posts on threads discussing the problems.

Internode's Twitter stream has been in operation since midway through last year. Optus, however, seemed the odd one out, with no Twitter account, official or otherwise.

"At this point in time, we're not using Twitter. However, we are always looking at emerging technologies and tools to improve the way in which we communicate with our customers," an Optus spokesperson said.

Topics: Telcos, Optus, Social Enterprise, Telstra

About

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for t... Full Bio

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