Saturday, December 22, 2007

Poor Margaret

I do feel a little sorry for Margaret Robertson. As you will see in a post below, I wrote her a rather mordant letter recently which does tend to portray her as a bit of a dumb cluck. And guess what? If any of her friends Google the following:

"Margaret Robertson" Optus

They will get this blog and its irritated comments to her at the top of the page.

A little-known secret of Googling is that if you want Google to pick something up fast, you should put it up on a blogspot blog. Why? Because Google OWN blogspot! Is that simple enough?

I do think there is a job for Margaret still to do however: Trace the arrogant Optus operative who sent me a sheet of letterhead paper with only the date on it in response to my initial enquiry. The implicit message in that was that my enquiry was so contemptible as not to be worth a reply. The operative concerned needs to be transferred to less demanding duties. We will see whether Margaret is up to that.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Days!

The new SIM card arrived via ordinary mail, not courier, at around midday today. And it works!

I hope this is the end of my troubles with Optus
It's got worse instead of better!

I might have known that expecting even minimal competence from Optus was too much to expect. The SIM card that was supposed to be couriered to me did not arrive and the old card is still active with a credit balance of only 20 cents!

And, to cap that, I finally got a call in answer to my letters -- from a girl who was totally unaware of what Scott of the internet enquiries branch had done! I told her to talk to Scott, get her story straight and ring me back but what will transpire from that remains to be seen.

So, only weeks after acquiring it, I have at the moment a totally unusable Optus cellphone! Unbelievable.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Telstra calls the kettle black

Sounds like some real psychological projection going on in the news report below. Telstra is accusing Optus of being reluctant to connect its cable to large dwellings. I had a HUGE battle to get Telstra to connect its cable to my place. I actually had to write to the Prime Minister before they would do it! Even though their cable was only a couple of yards from my front door! Hard to believe, really.

Telstra and Optus are two very lazy oligopolists and that is all there is to it. It is a definite case of the pot calling the kettle African-American!
Telstra has taken a swipe at its competitor Optus, accusing it of getting a cheap ride on its network instead of investing in its own. The claim comes a day after Optus announced it had upgraded its cable network to 20 megabits per second, and ahead of an anticipated ruling on the price Telstra can charge for access to its copper network - known as unconditioned local loop (ULL).

A spokeswoman from Optus denied the claim, suggesting Telstra is attempting to distract the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding its ULL decision.

Telstra has lodged a request with the ACCC to exempt it from offering Optus access to its ULL network where Optus already has cable. It claims that despite Optus' cable network passing 2.2 million homes, it continues to rely on Telstra's, particularly in multi-dwelling apartments.

"SingTel Optus claims that only 1.4 million homes within its cable footprint are serviceable, which is code meaning they don't want to make the investment to connect nearly 40 per cent of homes that have cable running past their front door," Telstra executive director regulatory, Dr Tony Warren, said. "By comparison, overseas cable networks treat less than eight per cent of their homes passed as unserviceable."


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.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dear Margaret

Margaret Robertson
Customer complaints escalated

Dear Ms Robinson

I am puzzled by your letter of 13th. What about my previous letter requires "investigation"?

All that I asked for was information and routine services. All that was required was a prompt and polite phone-call to me from one of your more competent staff.

You might however care to explain why you have ignored the two approaches I made to you via your online form.

You might also care to explain the gross rudeness of your eventual reply to my letter of Nov. 30. The TIO has the specimen concerned. I have also emailed Singtel about the offensive behaviour concerned.

I am also flabbergasted that your letter to me carried no return address or any Optus address of any kind. I enclose your letter for your further perusal. What are you trying to hide? If I did not know better, I would think that Optus was some sort of cowboy outfit. Do I have to write to Singtel about that too?

Yours etc


Friday, December 7, 2007


Customer complaints

Re: Possible complaint to the TIO

Dear Sirs/Mesadmes,

You have so far ignored my letter of 30 Nov (copy enclosed).

In the circumstances please give me in writing all the terms and conditions to which I am subject as user of no. 0422142596 and give me full written particulars of all that I have agreed to. If you also ignore this request, I will raise the matter with the TIO.

Please note that if I have to be on some plan or other, I request that I be put on a plan that gives me as long as possible to use prepaid sums.

I would also like you to change the number of my service to a number I had earlier in the year but which I cancelled. The number is 0413 836248. When I had that number it was with Vodafone.

Thanking you

Dr John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)