Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ben the bull-artist has shown what he is

Optus PR man "Ben" (ph. 9085 9197) thought he could palm me off with corporate emollient (not that he would be bright enough to know what that word means. It means "soft-soap", Ben). He was wrong. I wanted action, not verbal puffery. When I insisted that he track down the offensive member of Optus customer-relations staff, he simply hung up on me. That was all he had left in his repertoire after the bull did not work. Taking a real interest in a genuine customer complaint was beyond him.

Prior to that, however, he had promised me that he would get a member of Optus accounts staff to ring me and explain why the information on their account checking number (5555) had been wrong in my case.

Nobody has called. So Ben is not only a bullartist but he is someone who does not keep his word. I cannot say that I am surprised.

So Optus still has two problems: Rude staff and an accounts department that does not give customers accurate information. Time for me to get back to Singtel, I think. I am sure they would be horrified to hear what cowboys their Australian representatives are.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Optus hangs up on me

I have just had another call from my contact at Optus -- Mr. 9085 9197. He had two bits of news for me:

1). Last time he called, I queried the fact that I had got a message saying that my prepaid account was about to run out. That was crazy because a call to the account-checking line (5555) told me that I had a balance of over $80 and that it was usable up until June.

His feedback? He said: Yes. My account WAS about to run out but that he had kindly added $60 to it as an ex-gratia gesture. I appreciated the gesture but I was quite dumbfounded by the state of the Optus accounting system. It's worse than the Left hand not knowing what the Right hand is doing: The Left and Right hands are contradicting one another! It's a madhouse! Customers obviously cannot trust the Optus account-checking line.

My contact was flummoxed by my report but did promise to get someone from accounts to call me. I await that call with interest.

2). In my previous conversation with him, I asked him to track down the person who sent me the contemptuous non-letter. When he rang back just now he said (predictably) that he had not succeeded at that. I pointed out to him that there would have been only two or three people who had dealt with my matter so had he actually interviewed them? He said he had not. When I pressed him to do that, he got very abrupt with me. So I asked him at that point what his name was. He refused to give it to me and hung up on me! That's PR Optus-style, apparently.

It does appear however that his first name is "Ben". I am inclined to write to Singtel about him. He is not fit for his job.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Contacting Optus

I had the rare privilege of a phone call from Octopus yesterday -- a guy who even gave me his number to call him back on: 02 8085 9197.

His call was in response to my letter to the TIO. He noted, rightly, that most of my complaint had already been sorted out as a consequence of my email to Singtel, the parent company of Optus. I think it is now the third time that I have had to write to Singtel to get basic civility out of Optus. They really are meatheads there but the polite Chinese in Singapore hold them to a higher standard.

I did however insist to my caller that the meathead who replied to my initial complaint by sending me a blank letter with only the date and my name on it should be traced and transferred to less demanding duties. We will see what becomes of that.

The meathead's actions did of course constitute a very vivid message about how contemptible and unworthy of reply he thought my complaint to be.

It reminds me of a time many years ago when I had some sort of disputation with a person of European origin. He disliked my letter of complaint so much that he sent it back to me torn into pieces by way of reply.

I must have incensed him rather much, however, as he also sent me a letter of his own a few days later abusing me.

I of course then tore HIS letter into pieces and sent it back to him! I learn fast!

But, getting back to Optus: One of their peculiarities is that they often send out letters with no return address on them! They do not even give a phone number -- mighty strange for a phone company! They just do not be want to be bothered by the unclean herd who are their customers.

So I note with some glee that the clever-dick blank letter that I received was on a letterhead that DOES give contact details. It says that their address is 367 Collins St, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 and that their P.O. Box is: Box 53, Collins St West, 3000. And their phone is 03 9233 4000.

What a treasure-trove of rare information!

Hey! There is a fax no. too: 9233 4900

Give 'em hell!