Thursday, 22 March 2012

I ♥ the telco ombudsman

Oh man. Have been doing MAJOR battle with a nameless telco provider here in Oz.  They are even more crap than I remember them being.  I only have myself to blame because I was very happy with my previous phone and internet provider. Only I got greedy.

A young man came to the door and offered me this fabulous deal. Much cheaper than what I was currently paying. It seemed too good to be true. Initially I was strong:

“I’ve been with them before. I wasn’t happy. I don’t want to be with them again.” I tendered.

But in the face of his persistence I wavered. I went and checked what my old provider was offering me; it was nowhere near as good as what the new telco could offer. So I signed up with them.

“You won’t regret it. I guarantee,” promised their agent. “They’ve changed.”

Changed my arse. (Sorry about the language.)
In the first bill they didn't even make an attempt to include all the promised discounts. You know, the ones that were so good I signed up with them.

Then they said they'd "churn" me over from my previous provider. I didn’t have to do a thing. When I queried this and told them it didn’t look like it had happened they reassured me that they had done it but  if my previous provider continued to bill me they’d offer me a credit on their bill.

Naturally my previous provider has billed me. So now I’m paying two providers. When I raised this with the new telco yesterday they insisted that they couldn’t “churn” me over, privacy laws wouldn’t let them.

“But, but that’s what you promised me,” I bleated.

“Well, we can’t do it. And if you want a credit for the bill you need to take it to your nearest store.”

This was not the answer I wanted or what they initially said I'd have to do.

“Oh, so if I want to get out of my contract with you what sort of penalty will I pay?”


Right. Don’t really want to pay that.

Now my latest bill is again missing discounts. There are some in there just not all of them. When I rang and spoke to them the girl argued with me over the wording in the contract. She tried to tell me that the discount was in total and the words ‘something extra’- being an extra discount, didn’t actually mean that.  Finally got to speak to someone else who agreed with me over the wording and what they actually offered me and has applied the discounts etc. So, in theory, everything in future should be hunky dory.

Except . . .after spending an hour on the phone to them each time I get a bill I’m slightly disenchanted with them. So I rang the telco ombudsman hoping he would tell me something other than: You signed the contract, sorry, there's nothing we can do.

That's not what he said.

For the record, I love the telco ombudsman. He tells me that they have done the wrong thing (I won't bore you with even more detail) he has initiated a complaint against them on my behalf, he reassures me that over 90% of complaints are resolved to the customer's satisfaction and now I am waiting for someone from the telco who will need to negotiate with me for the things that I want.

What do I want?

Encouraged by the ombudsman I want to go back to my previous provider, and I want the telco to pay the bills I've received from my previous provider coz that's what they said they'd do. The ombudsman kept on at me until I told him exactly what I wanted. So now they have to come to the party and try to meet my demands. If I am still not happy I ring the ombudsman back and they go into bat for me again.

Like I said, I love the ombudsman.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Stuck in my ways . . .

OK, so I’m going to ‘fess up and admit to having had a few dates with someone I met on-line dating. I know - unbelievable, right? It’s early days so I’ll just wait and see what happens but I can't help musing on things. 

What concerns me is that I’m so set in my ways that it’s hard to remember how to ‘be’ with someone. Eg If they make you a cup of tea and it’s not very good, do you say anything? If you don’t you then run the risk of forever getting cups of tea made to that original formula.

It has also brought up the staying-over issue. If I stay over, or he stays over, I don’t sleep. This is very disappointing, as you can imagine. I don’t sleep even if I go into my spare room. Perhaps this will change with time, although based on my experience of marriage it is unlikely to improve a lot. I’d be happy if it just improved to the point where if I at least go to another room I sleep. That’s what I’m aiming for at the moment.

It has made me realize how settled I am in my ways. I like doing things my way, I like my space, I like lots of time alone, and I like sleeping in my bed, alone. It is, perhaps, fortunate he is quite relaxed and accommodating. 

I know I should just relax because it’s not as if we’re about to move in together but my little head starts thinking about that kind of thing. There were lots of compromises that had to be made when I was married and I’ve got used to not having to make those now. I wonder if I would ever be able to go back to being gracious and compromising.

I still think the best marriage is one where you live next door to each other. For some inexplicable reason, however, people laugh hysterically when I mention this. I don’t think they would’ve had the nerve to laugh at Katharine Hepburn when she said it! 

Right, back to just enjoying dating and having sleep-overs. Breathe, Stella, just breathe. 

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Of foolishness and frailty

Ah, so I thought a Cuban dancing weekend sounded like a good idea: social dancing on the Friday and Saturday night, dance workshops and classes the rest of the time. A friend was coming with me, I’d know people – well one person –it’d all be fine.

On the downside the accommodation was less than salubrious.  It was advertised as dorm style accommodation of 6 – 8 bunks. All the two bed, en-suite rooms were already gone. When I arrived I discovered it was more like an army barracks. There were about 20 bunks stretching down the large room, a toilet block, then more bunks. No doors. Except on the individual toilets. More bunks, shower area, bunks, repeat.

I got there before my friend and registered. The squeals of delight and the cheek kisses as I did this were a clear indication that everyone around me knew each other. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little left out, but I comforted myself with the thought that my friend would arrive soon.

He did. We went to the pub next door for dinner ‘with’ all the other participants, who all sat in large groups. We sat on a separate table. Neither of us were optimistic about the evening at this point. Still, we ate, and returned to the camp for the evening class and then the social dancing.  The dancing looked fun; Cuban salsa, I’ve previously mainly done L.A. style but I thought this weekend was an opportunity to learn more Cuban. They were also doing Bacchata and Zouk and some other dances I didn’t know.

It was hard to get a dance. The salsa scene is rather cliquey- actually any dance scene I’ve been involved in has always been cliquey.  I’d only done a couple of Cuban classes and only recognized one or two faces; my friend was fairly new to dancing and was intimidated by the more experienced dancers there. I couldn’t blame him; I was intimidated and I could probably follow anyone who asked me to dance.

Only they didn’t. 

My friend decided it was too much for him and decided not to stay the weekend. I figured I could tough it out. If I could survive the social dancing, maybe make some friends, Saturday would be better with the classes. I asked one or two guys to dance, a couple asked me but it was hard going.

The longer I stayed there the more envious I became of the couples dancing so well together, looking like they belonged with each other. I returned to the dorm and was surrounded by friends giggling and laughing, some getting all glammed up in  little black dresses and red lipstick, others returning for their drink stash.

I feel like a bit of a failure, and a little sad, but the introvert in me won out and I decided to come home too.  Crap. Life as an extrovert must be easier.