Yesterday Telstra, Australia’s largest, formerly monopoly Telco announced that they would put a $2.20 administration fee on all payments made in person.

Even for Telstra, who have over the years dug up creative ways to convince their customers to go elsewhere, this is a coup.

Have the accountants finally taken over the madhouse? Is there anybody in marketing home (or are they all out to lunch with the ad agency?) Even if they are actually just catching up to the usurious practices of several of their competitors, the opportunity to spotlight the raping of their retail customers pockets has not been missed.

We all know that in-person service is more expensive than electronic, it is also a pretty good way for a business to connect with and  understand its customers, but that is clearly of no value to Telstra who apparently know all there is to know about marketing and their customers.

Pity about the shareholders who have seen an impressive erosion  of the value of their shareholdings, even before the impact of the WFC is taken into account. Is there a connection here?

So to the award, a new category, recognizing excellence in marketing stupidity, the “Twit Of The Year Award”  (TOTYA)  has been created to recognize Telstra’s excellence in pissing off customers. A stellar performance this year, on top of the continual failure of their bigpond servers to work reliably, a hefty premium sought for mobile internet connection, and just a general “get stuffed” attitude displayed to just about everybody throughout the year. Well done Telstra, a super performance!