And the saga continues.
You see, I had managed to get this mobile connection working on a small netbook but that is not my laptop that I use for working purposes and general internet connection. But with no working connection on that main laptop for the foreseeable future, I went to use the netbook again.
The connection is now running at a download rate of zero on this unit that it worked fine on before. But I decide I shall be smart this time and call 125 111 which last night I was informed was the direct line to technical support. Only one problem with that – once again I had been told the wrong thing. This number has absolutely nothing to do with prepaid services. So I had to hang up and call 125 8880 for the umpteenth time and yet another twenty-five cent hit.
After being on hold for a while, I was put through to a ‘consultant’. She asked me for my service number but quite inexplicably put me on hold once more only part-way through my recitation of the necessary digits. Then the call was disconnected.
I called yet again - yet another twenty-five cents. After more delays I finally spoke to a ‘consultant’ who now claimed that I had used up all my credit – more than a Gig! From a unit that isn’t working properly! I was told to check my balance via the Telstra Turbo connection manager. Except that doesn’t tell you anything. I was then told I should have registered online to check such details. First I have been told about that. I was further informed that I would have to validate this new credit voucher via the telephone.
So I put petrol in the car, drive into town, incur a $2 parking fee for the time it took me to get into a shop, purchase a credit and return to the car to go home.
While waiting for yet another interminable time on hold, I read the voucher which was quite adamant that I could do this online. So I tried, while my phone was jammed between cheek and shoulder. It appeared to accept the voucher number but now a message appeared saying that it would be up to 48 hours before this was put through! In the meantime, I am still on hold, listening to an incredibly annoying tune that has me wanting to just hurl the phone across the room.
At last – a person answers the phone. She updates the account. I query my balance. She keeps telling me it is $30. I have a considerably difficulty in getting her to understand that I want to know the balance in download terms ie the download limits. She is unable to tell me anything meaningful. So I ask where I am supposed to be registering online for such information as told earlier today. She is unable to tell me and has to put me through to a ‘specialist’. Someone else takes the call. I ask him where I am supposed to be registering so I can find out what is going on with my account, and he just hangs up in my ear. Was I rude? Abusive? Nope.
I start experimenting with Telstra’s website. I manage to work out how to register. I explore my account. The account balance tells me NOTHING about available data download. The history is meaningless as it shows extensive use when the unit was not working!
I have purchased a set amount of data download. It is not unreasonable to want to know how much download I have left. Instead, it appears that I am supposed to just whip out the calculator and convert $ into Mb by some arcane formula that I first have to work out for myself. But wait – that would also depend on how much my original purchase was for – larger purchase amounts, the price per Mb becomes cheaper. So now my formula for working out what my balance actually is depends on a range of factors in an algebraic formula – solve for X – and just hope that you got it right. What is this – I have I suddenly slipped into a time warp back to 1980 and am studying Higher School Certificate Pure Mathematics once more?
This is an amazing scam by Telstra. Consistently tell people the wrong information so that they have to keep calling back at another twenty-five cents a time – and tell them yet more incorrect information. Set up a system that forces you to call them to sort out updating. Then only give useless information after they have registered, so that you will have to call them back yet again to find out what it actually means. And then leave the poor sods who are silly enough to use their service, now having to go through complex mathematical calculations to work out what their available download limits may be.
At present, I now have to have two computers on my desk: my laptop with everything on it that I need to do the work I am supposed to be doing but which cannot connect to the Internet for reasons still unknown, and a netbook that will connect to the Internet – sort of- but does not have the software I need on it, and as those units come without a CD/DVD drive, I cannot install the software that I require. So I am forced to download information onto a flash drive and keep going back and forth between the two units. And in the meantime, Telstra are still yet to give me a single, sensible, useful response to anything.
You want to know the real irony of all of this? The doctor wants me to avoid stress!
And there is one more aspect to this that I have so far refrained from ranting about. Telstra now have their call centres somewhere overseas. By the accent, I am guessing Indonesia somewhere. But the operatives refuse to answer my question as to where they are. I do not hold it against anyone for being from another country and only speaking my language with a strong accent. I am quite sure they are speaking English far better than I would speak their native tongue. But that accent makes it quite difficult for me to understand what they are saying. And their prepared script is so insincere it isn’t funny. If I hear that accented ‘I am sorry about that sirrrr’ one more time, I shall be looking for someone that I can ram sharp pointed objects into. But where their performance really goes down hill is when they try to spell things. There is an accepted, international phonetic alphabet for English – alpha, beta, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot etc. But these clowns use silly words that could mean anything. For example, telling me in heavily accented English to type B for Bob sounds equally like telling me to type D for Dog.
This is beyond ridiculous.