Friday, June 29, 2007

Back from the real world

Bloody Telstra! Well, its not their fault I suppose. I've been offline thanks to some idiot digging a hole and tearing up the phone lines. No phone or Internet. In case you're wondering... yes, it sucked.

Now, an insight into the mentality of the average Australian. We live on a fairly new subdivision that consists of a few small rural properties of about five to ten acres each. Currently there are only a dozen or so houses built in the immediate area and all of them were cut off by some fool with a hole digger. I didn't bother calling Telstra (with my mobile) for a day. Lets see if someone else will do it.

Nope, apparently not!

Later the next day (offline +2) I rang them on my mobile to be greeted by the always cheery recorded Telstra lady asking me to simply say in a short sentence what the problem is.

"My phone's broken"

"It sounds like you need 'Faults and Services'. Does this sound correct?" asked the pre-recorded voice again.


"Transferring you to 'Faults and Services'."

Quite frankly, as a technology fan, I was impressed. Voice recognition has come a long way. I didn't have time to be impressed for long, the 'Faults and Services' department have a menu of their own and its one with multiple numbered choices. After working through that I was placed in a queue. Then I was told by another recorded voice (a man this time) that the queue was longer than usual and I could expect to wait longer than usual to be answered. Then it actually gave me another option. The recorded voice told me that I could hang up and call back later!

The hold music kicked in and I thought about it.

Two, maybe three seconds later, I hung up.

This sucked. My mobile is pre-paid. My credit could easily run out before I make it to the end of a longer-than-usual queue. The number was a one-three number so it's only charged at the rate of a local call - but not on a mobile. You pay for every second you use your mobile even if it's a 1800 freecall number.

So I called mate whose phone did work to see if he could perhaps notify them of the breakdown on their website first - not wanting to wish a cumbersome menu and a longer-than-usual queue on him. No luck though. Only way to contact anyone at Telstra is through the menus and queues.

So thanks mate, for sitting through the queue for me.

He got a nice real lady from Telstra to call me on my mobile and I was able to report the fault. The next day (offline +3) a Telstra guy came around in a van. He didn't bother getting out of the van, he just drove up the driveway and spoke to me through his window. That's not an uncommon thing when you have Merlin by your side. He said its a nice place I have here and he doesn't think the problem is on my place and then he drove off. Later on he rang me and said he found a hole that someone had dug while working on a nearby subdivision. Fifty pair torn in half and exposed in a hole full of water. It had been raining. He said that the damage has taken out the whole area and was surprise that I was the only one to call about it.


As I was saying, the average Australian. Lets see if someone else will do it. Yep. Apparently "I" will.

The Telstra guy then tells me that he's going to organize some contractors to fix it. Should take about two days. That's five days offline (offline +5) and there's not much you can do about it. The evening of day nine (offline +9) we got our dial-tone back and we came back online to a wealth of antivirus updates and neglected e-mail accounts. Bloody Telstra. Yeah, It's not their fault that someone dug up their cables, but I thought they would be able to fix it themselves. Instead a small suburb was without local phones for over a week while waiting for contractors to be organized. And with the huge number of calls that they get every day about breakdowns and service faults, you'd think they would have a link on their front page that says REPORT FAULTS that leads to a form that you can fill out without tying up any operators. Gotta love the new privatized Telstra. NOT!

Good work on the voice recognition though...

Its cold here. It's rained on and off for the past week so the pond is full and the garden is green, but temperatures have been as low as 6°C on some nights. Nearly everyone I know has or had a cold or the flu or just getting over it. Cilla (precious wife) had a day off work sick so I got her a hot water bottle - something she's never had before and has quickly learned to appreciate.

This Saturday is the Blue Moon.

YouTube, in true Google style, have a application in a web page that allows you to edit video. The actual software is made my Adobe and is called Adobe® Premiere® Express (BETA) and lets you cut together your own videos using clips you have uploaded to YouTube or other videos from the YouTube site. You can also add captions, apply borders and use transitions. As the title suggests, the software is still in beta and so some intended features are still not implemented.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Will be in Brisbane Saturday, and yes, that only happens 'Once in a Blue Moon'.
Tell me does it send men wild or is that just on a full moon. LOL