Tuesday, May 30, 2017
May 30. Day 150. The claws are out
When I was heading home from a two-year stint in London, my boss wrote me a resume that said I was "unflappable under pressure". There is one type of pressure that will make me flap about like a crazed creature. There is one type of pressure that brings the claws out. That pressure comes from the incompetence of telecommunication companies.
A couple of weeks ago at the Paniyri Festival I walked into the Telstra NBN van and inquired about a new Internet service. No we are not in an NBN area (is anyone?) but we do have this wonderful thing called Velocity as part of the Telstra Smart Communities. So sign me up, I thought. If only it was that simple. I have spent so many hours on the phone being flicked between departments. It has been so bad that many of the details have been blanked out for mental health reasons. We did all the security checks, the technician was booked. All set. And then not. There was a phone call yesterday. "We may be recording this call for quality assurance. Stay on the line end for a short customer survey". There was just one hurdle, or so I was told in a phone call. My old home phone number with Optus is part of the Woolloongabba exchange. Telstra uses the new South Brisbane exchange so I will need a new phone number. No-one uses my home phone so I wasn't bothered. So I agreed to go ahead. They did all the security checks again, all the disclosures again then said I'd need to be transferred to sales for that new number. Okay. The transfer happens and then after confirming my date of birth AGAIN ... it cuts out and I get the recorded survey. I call back. On hold again, more checks, more advice to stay on he line for the survey, we go to organise the number change but wait. You want Velocity? That's a different team. We'll transfer you. I get cut off again by that recorded survey again. Today we start afresh. More checks, more confirmations and again I'm told they need to put me through to the Sales Department. Hang on, I say. Are you sure it's Sales? Yesterday we did that and I was told not Sales, Velocity. More checks. More flipping between departments. Velocity team ring back and say "sorry, you can't have Velocity. Not in your area." There would have been a modem shoved down someone's throat but I can't reach Mumbai. So my neighbours have it. Four different people have said my address is compatible. You gave me an installation date. You have wasted at least four hours of my time on hold and in fruitless department switching and NOW you say not in my neck of the wood. He agrees to get yet another person to call me back. The status right of this point is yes, this is a Velocity area. Yes, my order was cancelled. No, we are not sure why. Yes, we will investigate. Yes, there will be compensation. Unflappable? Not this little black duck.