I'm an Idiot #82

I've yet to meet anyone who is happy with their mobile phone provider.

I am with Telstra Next G.  The coverage is good, it's a pity I can't say the same about the option plans and the service from its staff.

If there was another provider that offered the same mobile phone coverage all over Australia I'd be tempted to switch.

I am on a capped plan.  I don't understand how they work.  My phone is mostly used to keep in touch with war veterans I am helping to negotiate the convoluted bureaucratic maze of dealing with DVA.  I refer of course to DVA's compensation system, if system is the right word.  Mind you, I have nothing but praise for their welfare system and the people who work in this field.

But I digress.

I rarely exceed my capped amount except for Christmas last year and more recently, last month.  My phone bill didn't give much information.  I could see that it cost me $29 to access my message bank!

I rang Telstra.

An automated female voice greeted me warmly: "..... So that I can direct you to right people, just say in a couple of words what your enquiry is...?

I answered appropriately.

"I'm having trouble getting that, say in a couple of words what your enquiry is.."

I repeated what I said previously.

"Right, just so I have the right information, is your enquiry related to the phone you are calling from?"


"...I'll transfer you to the next available operator.."

A female human voice came on the phone.  She spoke in perfect Asian/American English: "Hello my name is Mary, how may I help you today?"

"I want to cancel my message bank, Mary"

"OK, I can do that for you today.  What is your name?"

She then proceeded to ask me my name and date of birth.  The conversation continued something like this: "Now Ian, may I call you Ian?"


Thank you Ian.  Now, Ian what can I do for you today?"

"I'd like to cancel my message bank, Mary."

"Thank you Ian, you want to cancel your message bank.  Is that correct, Ian?"


"Ian, I can do that for you, Ian.  Will you stay on the line for me, Ian."


A pause for a few moments.

"Hello Ian, are you still there?"


"Thank you for holding, Ian.  Ian, I have now cancelled your message bank."  Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

"Yes, I'd like to get a phone bill that lists the calls I make."

"Ian, you want a detailed account."  Is this correct, Ian?"


"I can do that for you Ian, I am just amending your account to a 'detailed account', in future you will get a detailed account, Ian."

"Thank you."

"Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

"Yes, can you lend me 100 bucks?"

"Ah, I'm sorry Ian I......."

"It was a joke Mary"

"Oh, thank you Ian, if there is nothing else I can help you with would you please stay on the line and answer a few questions about how you found Telstra service?"



Woopee, in just 20 minutes of talk time at no expense to me I will be now saving $29 a month in message bank calls if I exceed the capped amount that is.

A couple of hours later I got a text message...

You missed a call from  xxxxxxxxxx, who said "Yeah g'day Ian it's Jeff mate.  Just returning your call.  Thanks bud.  See ya."
This message was provided by Telstra at no charge to you.

Bloody hell.

I still have messages!  They get sent to me free by text message from Telstra.  I don't have to access 101 and pay for the privilege of listening to messages from ugly dumb Navy guys like Geoff anymore.

What an idiot I've been paying $30 a month for this service when Telstra offers it bloody free.

I wonder why they don' tell you this?

Bloody Telstra!


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