Hey Hey!

I just spoke to Telstra, and they can move me to a $79 cap!  So I've signed up.  I have to make Mobile Phone Repayments, (of $62/month) and also pay a plan fee of $79/month, but for this, I get $450(+100 to other Telstra Phones) of calls.

This beats the pants off last time I tried to do it when they told me that I'd need to cancel my existing contract (at a cost of $800) to move onto the cap.

Huzzah for credit!

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The Telstra Saga Concludes(ish)

Well… well well well…

We complained to Telstra about Don's mobile.  eventually (after going back and forth to the Telstra shop 50km away) Telstra cancelled Don's contract, and re-signed him with another phone.  it arrived, we sent the phone back, and they actually got the charges right on it…

We noticed a couple of erroneous charges on the bills, including ISDN charges for two months since we were switched over to ADSL (which is actually incompatible with ISDN). 

Anyway, we put in a complaint to the TIO, seeking compensation for the 50 odd hours we've been on the phone to telstra, and the 400km we've driven because of their stuff-ups, and after they said "we can't do anything for you because there's no loss of business." We called Telstra again, and after calling them 3 or 4 times, and another 60 min of being on hold, they eventually gave us some credit.  Actually, a lot of credit. Unless you consider it in a per-hour way, where I'd earn more at McDonalds. 

So we're changing ISPs, and we're waiting to make sure that the credits are applied correctly before we bugger off to Soul for our landline.  Since Telstra have the best mobile coverage here in Tas, (by a huge way, Optus coverage is about 20km away, and is patchy even in Launceston itself)  we're staying with them for our mobiles…. but that's it.

So yes, that's what's going on.

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From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee! (aka bye-bye Telstra)

A Wise Woman once said to me that there are times when the english language really lets you down.  I understand what she means.  (Thankyou C's mum.)

There comes a point where no word can describe the amount of frustration, anger, and annoyance that you feel.  I call that point: Telstra.

People say they hate things all the time, when they really mean they just dislike them.  hate is the opposite of love, it's equal in its enthusiasm, just opposite in its direction.

I used to hate Telstra, or say that I did, at least, I really just wanted them to get it right. Now, I don't, now I'm passionate about exposing their incredible fuckups to the world.  I wish that I had never had the misfortune of dealing with them in the first place. Long story short, Don's mobile is malfunctioning.  I took it in to the local Telstra Shop on Monday, and they said "you have to call the manufacturer, and they'll send a satchel for you to use."  Here in Tasmania at least, Harvey Norman was forced to accept (and continue to accept) iPods for warranty repair, since Return to manufacturer is not considered a valid warranty system. I called Don and let him know, and he called the manufacturer who told us to return it to the place of purchase, and then he called telstra, whose call centre left a note on the account to say that the Telstra shop should accept the phone back since it's a warranty claim.

I returned to the telstra shop today.  They refused to take the mobile phone as a warranty claim.  I handed Don over to the manager to see if he could sort it out (Don's a bit more forceful than I).  No.  So he called Telstra, who said that yes, the Telstra Shop in Brisbane St, Launceston, is legally required to accept the phone for warranty purposes.  Telstra have sent the Telstra Store in question an email saying that they need to call us to arrange the warranty stuff before 4 tomorrow.  Now… call me cynical, but I'm not expecting a phone call.  The call centre guy has even said that given the circumstances, he would not be surprised if Telstra allowed Don to cancel the contract free of charge.

If the Telstra Shop don't do soemthing proper about it, We're taking them to Fair Trading, the ACCC, The Telecommunications Ombudsman, and putting in a recommendation to Telstra that they be stripped of the franchise name since they're ignoring any statements that Telstra staff are making on our accounts.(and considering getting in touch with Today Tonight/A Current Affair)

If nothing else, avoid the Brisbane St, Launceston branch of the Telstra Shop like the plague.

We're shifting our Broadband, and our landline, and possibly Don's mobile across to another provider or two.

Fuck You, Telstra.

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Make your bills disappear!

Here's how I turned a $480 phone bill into $15 credit! Now that I have your attention, our simple system… um, actually, I'll give you the real info.  We all remember the Telstra Phone Saga? yes? good.  And we know that we finally have ADSL? excellent.  Well… we got a phone bill yesterday, from Telstra.  And I took a look.  It was Sizeable.  ($480 is Sizeable, I think) I wasn't quite expecting that amount.  So I looked at it.  I read it reasonably carefully.  and I found 5 problems with the account for this month alone. 

So: Step 1, find mistakes in your bill.

I called our Case Manager, Gloria.  Well, no, I attempted to call our case manager Gloria on the Telstra "Ring us direct if you already have a complaint lodged with us" number.  It connected, told me there is a longer than average queue, and that if I could hold, that would be wonderful, and if not, please call back on the next business day.  Well, I tried to hold, twice, and as soon as the recording stopped, I got the characteristic BEEP BEEP BEEP of being hung up on.
So I called the general Billing Complaints number.  I did that 4 times in an hour because at random intervals, I'd just hear "beep beep" usually when I suspect that I was about to be put on hold.

Step 2: get hung up on a few times

finally, I was connected to a consultant who did not hang up on me.  in fact, I was on the line for the entire duration of my call. (well duh, but you know what I mean)  I explained to her The Saga and the new stuff that happened today and  the problems with today's bill.

Step 3 (easy): convince the consultant you're sick of Telstra

finally, the whole process may take 2 hours, but a pay rate of $245/hr is pretty good, imho
step 4: have a glass of wine. (may be enacted concurrently with 1-3)

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Happy Birthday to me!

Well, it's my birthday *checks time* today, Don gave me his presents early… he gave me $100 towards a media Centre PC (which is sitting in the entertainment unit just nicely!), and he gave me an installation of the Mobile Antenna setup that Telstra have (hopefully) paid for for me.  (He's the handy-man, and I am… not. lol)  lookin' forward to having James, Ben, and C around for a small party, and then off to Mum and Dad's on Sunday, for mum's birthday, and possibly back again in a week for Brother's birthday

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I’m sure I’ve heard this plan before…

the whole webcomic is a spoof of all sorts of Role-Playing games, specifically The Final Fantasy Series, but today's episode: "Like New Coke" reminds me of Telstra…  Who have this plan down to perfection, except that they forget to factor in product life-cycles, y'know, stuff like "This will be obsolete in 10 years."  The obviously schedule the "and everyone'll thank us for it!" section for post-obsolescence.

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New Phone, Shiny shiny shiny shiny shiny….

Where to begin… the beginning.
About November last year, Hubby got a call from Telstra, selling new phones, I posted about it in Freedom, Telstra Corp Must Die, and The Telstra Saga Finishes. Well, we got no reception.  Bugger.  Well I complained, and Telstra said that they basically didn't care, and that was about 12 months ago.  Then we find out Telstra's going to can our ISDN Home account at the end of next year for no reason we can fathom, and they try to push Wireless Broadband down our throats… No sale, we get no reception.
"Really?" says the Telstra Rep, "Looking at the map here you should get some signal, what Handset are you using?" 
"Samsung A701" replies hubby.
"I think those have been recalled, Oh it looks like you can probably get landline ADSL anyway, but call faults to ask about the recall."

I called faults, and there was no recall, but there was a very helpful guy who said that we should never have been given these handsets.  He also says that there's no way in hell wireless broadband would be suitable for us.  He puts in a recommendation to the Telstra PR people that we be given new handsets.  Got the call today to say that we'd been approved, and to take our old handsets in and we'd have the remainder of our contract terminated free of charge, and would then be able to get new ones.  I got a Nokia N95 and Hubby Got a ZTE 165 (aka Telstra 165 Country Phone)

Still no reception, but this phone is supposed to be one of the best for coverage, and it's a v. nice phone.  They'll bring out a house antenna for it soon, and then I'll be able to get coverage at home. 😀

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The Telstra Saga Finishes!

Yesterday, I went to Crazy Johns after trying a couple of places in town to see if they had the A701s in stock, since, having called Telstra at 2pm that day, I found out they were out of stock on the bloody things and I was now looking @ the 22nd at the earliest.  Tried Signing up on Tuesday, but my application was blocked courtesy of the misappropriated debt as per Telstra Corp Must Die. I didn't have order numbers or receipt numbers with me, as I was in town, and hadn't expected any problems with all this stuff. HAH!

Today, I went in and got myself all set up, I have my A701 now! it's a beautiful little phone. but because people were out of stock, I missed out on a 512MB MicroSD Card (approx AU$30). I called Telstra Direct Marketing, and made a bunch of complaints, such as never receiving the call from the manager I was supposed to etc. and then told them I wanted them to send me a MicroSD Card. They told me they couldn't. I told them that the reason I didn't have it is their fault. They told me that they're sorry, but they still can't. I told them I at least want a $30 credit to my account by way of apology. They headed off to check that was ok with a colleague. They returned and asked me how much the card was. I responded saying that they were worth $30 at Crazy John's in Launceston. He gave me the credit at that point, and asked if there was anything else I wanted to do. I said that cancelling the order was a good move, since I already had the phone I'd ordered through them, I then mentioned that I would never deal through Telstra Direct again.

Crazy John's were fantastic. helpful, friendly, and actually knowledgeable! I got a good deal on accessories, their MegaPack (or SuperPack, or whatever it is) Bluetooth Headset, Phone Case, Car Charger, and 1yr Extended warranty for AU$99. fabulous, especially when you realise that the headset they supplied retails for around AU$99 on it own

So this is the headset, a Motorola H605, a very nice, very comfy piece of equipment. I drive at least 2 hours a day, so a comfy bluetooth item is really important.

Pack Value:
    Headset : $99
    Case : $25
    Car Charger : $20
    Warranty : $50

So we're looking @ almost 50% off.

and I know someone's going to wonder… no, I don't work for Crazy John's, nor do I know anyone who does, and they have not provided me with any incentive with knowledge that I would make this sort of a post. this is me saying they're fab. Fab Fab Fab.

Well, that's pretty much it for today.

oh, and to you, Dear Telstra Direct Marketing, "Eat S*** and die!"

Telstra have a great network, and everything works just fine unless you have to actually talk to someone. then you're screwed.

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Telstra Corp Must Die…

well… where to begin…

last week on Tuesday, Don got a phone call from Telstra touting the fantasticness of NextG, that we might actually get reception out here.  Don called me and asked me to look into the Samsung A701 which I did, I looked, and compared, and liked it so much that I decided I'd call them and order one for me as well. Don ordered his the following day. I was given a delivery date of Friday the 10th of November: no phone, I called Telstra, "It hasn't been dispatched yet". No further explanation. I called today to determine whether it had been sent. It hadn't. The reason it hadn't is because there was (apparently) an outstanding amount on an old (ie 2003) account, and the charges occurred after I'd transferred ownership of the account to my mother. To dispute the claim would have taken 2-3 weeks, provided I still had all the relevant documentation. I paid the $60-odd over the phone and then called them up again, as their debt collectors couldn't just patch me back through to Telstra proper. I hate Telstra so much, why didn't they tell me that on Friday?

To be fair, when I called them again, I explained what had happened, and they said "that's horrible, I'll set up a credit to your new phone account for the nearly $60" and I'm getting a call from their manager tomorrow, apparently (I'm not holding my breath). And the phone has been dispatched, It's supposed to arrive at work (well, @ the Student Association anyway).  When you speak to Telstra, and make shows of good faith, it seems to work in your favour. Although the experience leaves me asking "why, before I paid, would it have taken 2-3 weeks for the investigation to conclude, when after I paid, the whole thing took me about 5 minutes?" I don't know…

Don was told his phone was due to arrive tomorrow, and he got it today. I'm mildly frustrated, esp since it's actually a -really- nice phone! It's great! We played with it for a while, and I've just been getting all the stuff off my V3 before the new phone arrives. We still have no reception at the moment.

I'm a bit of a videogamer, and I've been playing "Arc:Twilight of the Spirits" over the last few days, it's a really nifty RPG, I'm quite pleased. If you have a PS2 and some time to kill, I'd definitely recommend it. Thus far it seems you get to kinda play both the good and the evil heroes, who are, strangely enough, brothers. Check it out.

Well, that's enough for today I think.

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And so, friends, this is how freedom is won. not in battles with swords or guns, but by putting down the damn pen at the end of your last exam and feeling your hands magically uncramp! The Tas University system now has only cursory control over me until next semester begins (I work at the uni now.) and it feels fantastic! (having said that, I'm blogging from the uni right now).

I'm loving Telstra right now.  The NextG network is supposed to have much better coverage than the GSM network, so Don and I are getting new phones, Samsung's A701 to be precise. It's a nice looking phone, and the fact that we might actually have mobile connection at home was the deciding factor. (that and it's costing us the same amount as we were spending before with two brand new phones into the bargain)

Lady Livia has her last exam ever coming up, as does the Divine Miss C and I wish them both the absolute best of luck with it! C dear, you can beat Mr Cameron-Jones! I'm sure of it!

we have new shelves up! I've been painting them, and, I've just discovered in the mirror here at work, that I have bright blue paint in my hair… bugger.

and now I'm waiting for DVDs to copy. It's almost as much fun as watching the paint dry yesterday! ah well, life goes on and it's easy money.

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