Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Episode V: The Optusians Strike Back

Probably the last thing I expected to hear this week was LK spending much of her morning trying to renew her contract with Optus. Despite the fact that they made a mistake and disconnected her service and sent her to debt collectors, she decided to continue with the company.

Many Americans won't understand this since most cell phones there are linked to a particular phone company, but here we actually get to remove one phone company's card from our mobile phones and put in another company's if we wish to change carriers. Part of LK's problem today is that my phone stopped taking a charge, but realizing that hers had been discontinued I took out her Optus sim card and inserted my Telstra card.

Well, that's not the problem. My losing her sim card is the problem.

So, LK needed to call Optus to get them to send out a replacement card. She decided that, since my Telstra handset had crapped out, she may as well renew her contract for another two years and pick up a new phone that I could use.

I can only surmise she was not paying any attention the other day while I spent an incredibly long time on the phone with Optusians. So long, in fact, that I ran up a $35+ phone bill with Telstra trying to get Optus to drop its outrageous charges.

I considered it money well spent and assumed that LK would never have another thing to do with Optus. Remember, this is the woman who created hours of running around for herself when she yanked all her money out of her long-time bank because they made her wait about 10 extra minutes. Apparently in the LK rule book a rude bank teller is 20 to 30 times worse than being sent inappropriately to a debt collector.

And judging by today's conversation, apparently having to wait about 80 extra minutes on the phone isn't that big a deal, either. Or maybe my bride is just mellowing out down here in Tassie.

Today's battle started mildly enough. First she went through the automated choices until finally getting into a hold queue for about 10 minutes. Then she talked to one person who spent about 10 more minutes and finally referred her to another department. After what seemed like an amiable chat, they then referred her to another department.

After 15 minutes of waiting on hold she got through to an Optusian who told her she needed to speak with another department.

"But that's the department that sent me to you," she said. The Optusian then spun the customer wheel of misfortune until a new name came up and recommended that LK ring them.

I could go on in greater detail, but I think some selected quotes from my sweetie will tell the story better than I can. And by the way, I am not including the six or seven times she had to explain why she was calling:

  • (speaking to me, while she is on hold) "They told me it was going to be 2 1/2 minute wait, but when it came my time they put me in another queue. You could hear the clickover happen."
  • (speaking to an Optusian) "That's one of my problems. I don't know what the pin is. . . I never changed it from 0-0-0-0."
  • (speaking to me, while she is on hold) "I just thought I was going to end up with a better phone." [You all need to remember that she started doing this to get me a better phone. Because apparently LK had forgotten it.]
  • (speaking to me, while she is on hold) "Did we take care of removing the business name when we changed our address with them? My problem is that I am afraid to mention it to them."
  • (speaking to an Optusian) "I was told I need to use MyOptus, which I've never used. I was hoping Customer Service could help me with that."
  • (speaking to an Optusian) "This is now my fifth phone call within Optus. I keep getting transferred. I want to buy something."
  • (speaking to an Optusian) "What's interesting is that what came up with the login is my husband's name and not mine."
  • (speaking to an Optusian) "No, I'm sorry. I'm not laughing at you. My husband started laughing and it made me laugh. No, really. It's not you."
  • (speaking to an Optusian) "I don't know. Maybe that's me. Maybe eight years ago, I signed up for it. I don't know."
  • (hanging up) "They said they will send me an e-mail."
By the way, our (Telstra) phone keeps track of the time a call lasts. Her final call - out of five - lasted 58 minutes. Her final comments: "I just wanted to buy something."

My final thought. The Optusians won today.


A Postscript

After posting the above very nearly in real time, LK received the e-mail from Optus that gave her access to her MyOptus account. In order to buy the phone she wanted, all she had to do was link her Optus accounts.

Problem was she needed a secure code. Which, of course, she did not have.

Not a problem. They will send it to your phone via SMS. Well, not a problem for most, but it is for someone who is waiting for the sim card to show up so the phone will work.

Still not a problem. You can call customer service and they will help you do it.

LK decided to wait for the sim card.

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