Telstra — Australian for incompetence

I need to vent…

About 2 months ago I ordered a Telstra NextG wireless setup for work. I got the forms filled in, sent them off and I had my connection the next day. Not too shabby, but the customer service went downhill from there.

Around the end of June I started to wonder why I hadn’t received a bill for the modem or the service so I called the Telstra team that support our company to ask why I hadn’t been invoiced yet. Quite simply the retard at Telstra who had entered my order made not one, but two, massive and incompetent mistakes that add up to Telstra threatening to disconnect ALL Telstra services in my name!

So what had this sorry excuse for a Telstra employee forgotten to do?

  1. They didn’t bother to enter any of the direct debit details that I had supplied, so my bill was never going to get paid
  2. They completely ignored the section, repeated on two forms, that told Telstra to send invoices to my home address

I got those errors fixed, or so I was led to believe. They also said that they’ll reprint the outstanding invoice and send it to my home address so I can pay it. Sweet.

I also ask what amount is outstanding on my account and I’m told ~$90… strange as I should have been invoiced for the modem but I get told it may appear on next months invoice. Great system Telstra have here.

I go to my office for the first time in a month a day or so later, and what do I find in my mailbox, no, not an invoice, but a reminder to pay the invoice that I’ve not received. The letter contains the usual telco threats. Oh, and the outstanding amount was around $630, not the $90 I was told. lol… what fools.

Send off an e-mail asking what the hell is happening.  I confirm, again, that I want the bills sent to my home address. I also ask why the direct debit isn’t working and the reply I got just said that they’ve sent my direct debit request off to the people to handle that stuff… in my book that’s an admission that they didn’t bother to do it the first time.

I explained that I would not pay the bill until I had the invoice as I cannot expense the account without the invoice. I get told they’ve ordered a reprint of the account.

Onto today, and what do I find in my home letter box? If you’d said a Telstra invoice you would be so wrong. Instead I have another letter, this time from Telstra threatening to cut off every service in my name.

So, despite me being the one to contact Telstra in the first place about the invoices that aren’t arriving and notifying them of their two errors when entering the order, do I get any thanks… Nope! I get threats.

I’ve escalated this to our CIO and asked them to ensure that Telstra don’t do anything stupid, or should that be anything more stupid than they’ve already done.

Seeing as I can no longer trust the Telstra staff that look after our accounts I’ve had to resort to paying the bill out of my own pocket, without an invoice, which I can therefore not expense, so that Telstra do not cut off all of my services due to their incompetence.

We used to be with Optus for our comms, but changed to Telstra. We must have gotten a great deal on the prices as you certainly wouldn’t change for the non existent customer service.

I have both my mobile and my landline with Telstra but a history of 9 years of on time payment of bills doesn’t seem to matter one iota to them. Great to see the way they treat faithful customers.

I wonder if I will get the written apology I demanded?

Why you should never buy another Maxtor or Seagate harddrive – part 2

After my last blog entry on the incompetence and unethical behavior of Seagate / Maxtor it seems I finally got through to someone at Seagate.

Got a call from the Seagate courier and also the Seagate logistics company responsible for the RMAs, as well as a couple of e-mails from Seagate themselves… seems that the incompetence permeates all levels of this sham and they thought they’d all better pull their collective fingers out.

I happen to live on one of the MAJOR streets in the Melbourne CBD… Hoddle probably planned the street himself, the street has been around for that long! BUT, these facts didn’t seem to matter as they couldn’t find my place! WTF!!! The street number is on the front of the building in 12 inch high letters! Seems like a convenient, cover their arse, excuse if you ask me.

So now I have my broken drive back, after, wait for it, 70 days! How ordinary is that… so much for customer service!

And yes, they were true to their word. They HAVE voided the warranty on the drive… all because of a misplaced a ‘8’ -vs- a ‘B’ or vice verse… can’t really be bothered working it out.

Do yourself a favor and NEVER, EVER purchase another hard drive from Seagate or Maxtor, or whatever names they are trading under this week. You will end up with nothing but pain. Buy a drive from an ethical company.

I really hope they ask me to participate in one of those ‘how crap was our service?’ feedback sessions. I’d love to tell them of all the lying and unethical behavior they’ve been inflicting on this now ex-, and never to be again, customer.

Wolfie’s Grill, Sydney, Australia

I was in Sydney again during the last week for a training course, which meant that I had the opportunity to head back to one of the best feeds that I’ve found in Sydney, Wolfie’s Grill on the waterfront at West Circular Quay.

As I’ve said previously, Wolfie’s is a meat eaters paradise…

Today I again went for the pork ribs with barbaque sauce. Not just one or two ribs, but a full set of ribs and they were as good as I had remembered. In the good old days you used to get chips with your main, but no more. You need to order sides like chip separately.

We chose a nice Victorian pinot to accompany our meal and I again finished off with a glass of port.

I knocked of half a point as they’d removed the chips from the rib dish… maybe they’ll do the right thing and change their mind and give you basic sides with your meal!

Why you should never buy another Maxtor or Seagate harddrive

This tale begins probably 2.5 months ago now. One of my 500GBytes hard drives started acting erratically, eventually become unreadable and then started to click… Not good, atleast I had most of the stuff backed up.

But that’s when things started to go downhill.

I logged onto the Maxtor website, which redirects to the Seagate website to try to find out if my drive was under warranty as I’d only bought it just over a year ago. Found the link for checking warranty, entered the model number and the serial number and, according to the website, the drive was still under warranty and could be RMAed and a new one would be sent out. Sweet!

Packed the drive up and sent it off. Every couple of days I checked the website to see if the drive had been received, no luck… hhmm… A couple of weeks later I raise a support case with Seagate online asking what’s happening.

I eventually get a call from someone at Seagate saying that I had got one of the numbers wrong in the serial number. Apparently I’d entered a ‘B’ instead of an ‘8’, or vice versa. OK I thought, the drive should still be under warranty so there shouldn’t be an issue. BUT NO!!!! Seems that if you get a character wrong in the serial number they refuse to correct the error for you. Rather they tell you that they will return the drive unrepaired, AND, this is the killer, they mark the drive’s warranty as VOID, so you can’t try to return it again with the corrected serial number.

I asked to speak to this person’s manager, they flatly refused to allow me to escalate the issue. He even had the nerve to say that he had no manager! Since I doubt I was speaking to the chairman of the board of Seagate this person had just LIED to me.

I updated my support case online saying that since Seagate refuse to honor a valid warranty then Seagate should return the faulty drive to me.

A couple of week later I get another call from Seagate saying that they are shipping the unrepaired drive back. That was mid May.

A couple of weeks go by, and still no harddrive. I update my support call again asking what’s happening.

Another week goes by and I get another phone call from Seagate asking whether I’d received my drive yet. I say no, and the lady says she’d follow this up to try to find out what’s happening.

So, where are we today, 2.5 months into this saga and 10 or so days after the last call? Well, I’m still without a harddrive (either the faulty one, or the replacement that Seagate should have supplied under warranty).

Seagate have just proved how unethical and incompetent they are as an organisation. Not only have they refused to honor the warranty on a drive that IS COVERED BY WARRANTY due to a simple typographical error. They lie to you on the phone and don’t return goods when they say they will.

So, the crux of all this is that Seagate have STOLEN a drive from me and I doubt there’s much I can do about. Well there is, I WILL NEVER buy another Maxtor or Seagate harddrive, and if you enjoy your sanity, I suggest you do the same.

11 June update #1 : Still no harddrive, and no contact from Seagate after updating the ticket in their CRM system.

11 June update #2 : Just updated the ticket in the, so called, Seagate support system. Let’s see if they ignore me again. Also sent an e-mail to Seagate Sale support. Got an auto reply saying they got my e-mail and will respond in three days. Not holding my breath though.

And special thanks to all the people that have contacted me with similar stories of woe.

Supper Inn, Melbourne, Australia

I’ve been to Supper Inn many, many times. I would hazard a guess that its getting up to 20 0r 25 times.

As I said last time, I’ve never had a bad meal at Supper Inn, and tonight was no different.

This evening’s dishes included

  • Chicken sang choy bow
  • Steamed duck with vegetables

Finished off with Tsingtao beer.

You can’t do much better than this for $20/head.

Though I must say, you come for the food, not the ambiance.