One.Tel's down, Telstra smells roses

You didn’t exactly need a crystal ball to see that One.Tel was up to its neck in it and Telstra must have had numerous strategy meetings to work out how it would tackle the telco's downfall.

SYDNEY (ZDNet Australia)--It's hardly surprising that Telstra has come out of One.Tel's big stink smelling of roses is it?

Afterall, you didn’t exactly need a crystal ball to see that the junior telco was up to its neck in it and Telstra must have had numerous strategy meetings to work out how it would tackle the telco's downfall and glean as much as possible from its demise.

However, I bet even the Number One telco didn't foresee the abominable mistakes made by Optus that catapulted Telstra into its present position of glory.

Firstly, contender to the telco throne -- Optus -- rushed in where others feared to tread, threatening to cut off access to 250,000 One.Tel mobile customers who used its network.

It zapped bewildered One.Tel customers with SMS messages shortly after, promoting its own mobile services -- an action which One.Tel's administrator angrily dubbed a "corporate raid".

Optus's debacle also heard cries of legal action from One.Tel's administrator, whose request for an extension on the automatic seven-day free period of services was denied by Optus, despite a provision in corporations law which makes the administrators liable for debts incurred after the free period.

On the back of Optus's public relations blunder, Telstra announced it had struck a deal with the administrator that would extend its MobileNet service to One.Tel clients.

In order that One.Tel clients didn't incur termination fees for breaking their contracts, Telstra committed to pay a commission to One.Tel for every customer that migrated to its service.

How bad did Optus look?

Not only had the administrator accused it of virtually pilfering subscribers, but if users opted to move over to Optus they would incur costs for breaking their One.Tel contracts.

Quick as a flash, Optus was on the bandwagon and offering a similar deal.

Now you'd think Optus would've learnt something from this but no, it dumped on One.Tel customers a second time by disconnecting fixed line services without forewarning them.

Optus was the wholesale supplier of One.Tel's long distance capacity and claimed it wasn't "commercially viable" to continue doing so.

Not to worry, Telstra jumped in to save the day again...and to nab a few more customers. It offered to transfer One.Tel's fixed telephone customers automatically to its own services if they just continued to use their telephone service after midnight on June 8.

Customers don't have to lift another finger, unless they choose to go with an alternative carrier -- then they will have to arrange the entire shenanigans themselves.

Telstra said it would "do its best" to progressively connect customers to its long distance services if it was "withdrawn by other carriers".

So, One.Tel's business has taken a dive down the dunny and Telstra has come up smelling roses...funny that.