September 9th, 2010
|04:55 pm - The phone saga ...|
So, I had a simple goal. It was time to get a shiny new phone, especially with WorldCon coming up, and I'd narrowed my choices down to one of two Android-based phones - Samsung Galaxy S, or HTC Desire. That also meant chosing between Optus and Telstra, since both handsets are being sold exclusively through those networks at the moment. I decided to try Optus and the Galaxy S, and placed an order online on a Thursday (a week before WorldCon).
They called me back to confirm the order, and all seemed ok, with delivery scheduled for the following Monday.
Monday rolled around, and I waited eagerly for the phone ... and waited ... and waited.
No sign, so just before 5 I gave up and called Optus. After 20 minutes on hold, I finally spoke to someone, who said they'd had a problem porting my number across from my current (pre-paid) service. Gee, would have been nice of them to tell me about it, preferably sometime before the delivery date.
To fix that, first I had to call Vodafone and give them some personal details so the porting could go through - but by the time I wrestled their phone system and got through to a person and got it sorted, the Optus person had hung up on me.
So, I changed my plan - I'd go in to a nearby Optus store the next morning (Tuesday), and just order a phone there and take it away with me.
Sounds simple ? But the store is not actually owned by Optus, it's a franchise, so they couldn't directly cancel my order, I had to call Optus to do that myself. Another 20 minutes on hold, while standing around in the store, and that seemed to go through ok, so I went on with the business of getting my phone.
They took a bunch of details, got the phone out for me ... and then their system said that my credit check was refused. WTF ? Their online ordering system was perfectly happy with it. And their home phone/internet system was happy with it too. But apparently I failed to pass the "Optus criteria", which (another 15-minute-on-hold phone call later) they were not able to give any details of. Bah !
So I left, empty-handed ... and went across the road to the Telstra store a couple of hours later, at lunch-time.
It took a while to sign up, but I took away the phone in my hot little hands, and they said it would be activated soon, and I was happy.
That didn't last, of course, as it still hadn't been activated by the next morning ... more phone calls followed, to Telstra, Vodafone, and Optus in turn (another hour and more gone ... ), to work out what was going on. As it turned out, Optus had started the number porting process, and thus had a hold of my number. "Let go!" I shouted (well, without actual shouting :-) ), and again the next day, and finally the rusting machinery creaked into motion and relinquished my number, sometime on Thursday or Friday.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday (first day of leave, pre-WorldCon), I got a call from the mail room at work, telling me that there was a delivery waiting for me. I wasn't expecting anything to be delivered there ... except for the Galaxy S from the original cancelled (repeatedly!) online Optus order.
On Thursday, I dropped by work, and found that it was indeed the handset that I'd told Optus not to deliver from the order that I'd cancelled on the contract that I didn't want. Whee.
I've now arranged for them to take it away again, before they start trying to charge me for it !
Friday came around, and my new connection with Telstra still hadn't been activated, so I wandered along to the store again. After explaining my situation yet again, they issued me a new SIM, and said it would be active in 30 minutes, or maybe an hour, but at worst, try again next morning (?!).
Fortunately, I'm very patient (despite what the tale above may lead you to believe!), and the phone did indeed become active the following morning, at around 11:30, and has been happily networking ever since.
Well ... except that I got a text on Monday telling me that I'd used up 104% of my 205Mb allowance. That was wrong in two regards - I hadn't used anywhere near 205Mb (I have an app for that :-) ), and my limit should be 500Mb anyway. On the other hand, they did say the allowance would be pro-rate for the first billing period, so maybe it was something odd going on with that ... so I waited a bit longer. But today I checked, and my usage had reset to 0%, but still only 205Mb allowance. Another trip to the Telstra shop followed - it seems that somewhere in the flailing around, they'd changed the contract I was on, and lost the handset and extra data allowance. I think that's now sorted ...
For extra irony, Telstra called me at home on Tuesday (about the only time they could have, normally no-one's there), to try to persuade us to switch our home phone/internet over - and amazingly, they managed to do it - $10/month off each of our phone contracts, and $20/month less for the phone/internet for slightly higher bandwidth allowance. Must have caught me at a weak moment ...
And finally ... Telstra posted me another SIM, which arrived on Tuesday. I took that back today too.
Current Mood: tired
Telstra are staffed by odd sods. That is all I have to say - easiest way to get stuff done is threaten the ombudsman.
I have a similar story with Virgin, involving emails that seem to take 4 hours to get to them (I send at 9am, their timestamp is 1pm), and the fact that despite having enough cash on hand to pay out the contract many times over, they want a payslip (which I don't have, having been on leave for the previous few months).
Almost tempted to go "screw the online deal, I'm just going to a shopfront"
Wow, Just, Wow
I myself got me a new phone, and changed providers/plans when I got it, From a pre-paid plan to a post-pay plan, it took all of an hour from walking into a shop (suck that down you iPhone-tards! Betcha you can't do _that_) to having my new phone activated on the new (optus) network
Wonder why you were having so much trouble?