Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lights! Action!

My experience with Optus over the years has not been good. Optus and Telstra are the only two companies with a nationwide cable network so they tend to function like oligopolists -- i.e. they compete in only limited ways. And if Telstra has low standards of customer service then Optus sees no reason to do better: "Don't rock the boat, old chap, or we might all have to work harder!". Very "Yes Minister"!

So it was with some trepidation that I bought a new Optus-linked cellphone. And I struck difficulties with Optus immediately, as you can see below. I of course wrote letters (see below) and filled out online forms but got no helpful response. It now transpires that I was only a week away from getting my Optus service cut off!

Anyway, just a few hours ago I did get a phone call from a perfectly knowlegeable, intelligible, polite and helpful Optus staffer who seems to have fixed my problems. His call apparently was in response to one of the two online forms I filled out a couple of weeks ago. When you fill out one of the forms it tells you that they will try to respond within two days. But TRY is obviously the weasel word. They don't try too hard.

Rather amazingly, however, he tells me that to preserve my service beyond the end of this month, he has to give me a new number and courier to me a new SIM card! I wait with bated breath! Efficiency it is not.


"Scott", the Optus staffer has just called back and, through some strange hocus-pocus, I apparently now have on my new prepaid SIM card over $80 of credit. Seeing that I originally paid only $69 for the original phone-and-card package I can only say: "Thank you very much!". It's not often I make such a good profit out of complaining about bungles! There have always been a lot of allegedly free phones but this seems to be a real one!

Someone once said that the universe is stranger than you CAN imagine. Optus is clearly a part of that universe.

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