Cisco – why did you lead us along for 12 months?

I bought a Cisco SRP547W router about 18 months ago. Its a quite decent unit engineeringwise, it mostly works extremely well and has only locked up once in that time but in hindsight the support for it is diabolically non-existent.

The crux of the matter is that it supports the older IPv4 networking stack and Cisco has promised the newer, but not bleeding edge new, IPv6 network stack for about a year in the Cisco Community Support Forums (for example this thread) for around 12 months now.

Despite being told by Cisco staff, and following up a number of times in the forums, we’ve now been told almost 9 months after Cisco sold us the promise of IPv6 that they’ve now had a change of heart and will not support IPv6 for our routers.

  • How can a company the size of Cisco openly lie to its customers for 9 months in an open forum?
  • How can Cisco just wash their hands of their advertised upgrades? I’m thinking of taking this to our ACCC as false advertising and anti competitive behavior.
  • Will Cisco offer us free or heavily discounted upgrades to devices that will support IPv6 given the lies?

It’ll be interesting to see what Cisco do here… I’m guessing nothing, but I will update you if they get sudden pangs of ethics.

Moral of the story? Don’t buy Cisco!

An update from 16 April
Well the Cisco employee who said that Cisco was looking to support IPv6 many, many months ago is now trying to hide behind the weasel words in the footer of their forums. *sigh*

Moral of the story

  1. Cisco is an unethical company when it comes to support commitments made by their reps
  2. Cisco reps will lie and eventually try to hide behind a disclaimer
  3. Don’t by Cisco

I’ve asked, via the forums, for the Cisco product manager to contact me for a resolution. Time will tell if I get one. I will keep you updated!

Why are PayPal customer support people such incompetent retards???

PayPal customer support… what fucking useless moronic retards!

Wikipedia tells us that the number of English speakers in the world number somewhere between 500 million and 1.8 billion, taking into account people who speak English as first their language or as a secondary language.

It’s just a pity that none of those English speakers seem to work at PayPal.

I’m sure they just send canned, useless responses to your questions so that you eventually give up and go away.

So, what’s my issue?

Well, my account got “limited” by these idiots over the weekend… no idea why, I put it down to general incompetence. They made me jump through a couple of hoops to get my account reinstated, the last of which is that they charge your credit card and you need to enter the reference number for the transaction in the website.

Throughout the process, their website, and the e-mail they send you, states quite simply, in simple, clear, unequivocal English that that money they take from your card will be refunded to your credit card once the process is complete.

Here’s what they say, word for word:

PayPal has charged a small, refundable amount to the card, which will appear on the card statement along with a unique four-digit code.

Fair enough, that’s simple, we charge you, and we refund you. Given those words and the context in which they are used any reasonable person would understand this to mean that the refund goes back to the source of the money, that is, your credit card.

Well, apparently its not that simple to the PayPal support monkeys! Despite what they say on their website and in the e-mail they send, they outright REFUSE to refund the money to your credit card. They will only credit it to your PayPal account.

And why is refunding to PayPal bad? I’m glad you asked!

  1. They take money from your credit card so you will get charged interest at some rate between 10% and 20%
  2. They keep YOUR money in PayPal but do not pay you interest (yet they make interest on your money!)
  3. In Australia, if you want to withdraw less that $150 from your PayPal account PayPal charge you $1 for the privilege, so you can’t even get all of your own money back from PayPal.

Totally unethical and incompetent.

Have asked for this to be raised to the Complaint Manager so I can then escalate this to the Financial Ombudsman.


Everyone misses a bill now and then. Last month it was my turn to miss paying my credit card on time, so the scum at HSBC decided to levy, and how’s this for a name, a “late payment reminder fee”… lol… some marketing genius probably got paid a fortune to come up with that gem! The name might be meaningful if they actually contacted you to remind you to pay your bill… but no, this is a fee for putting one line on your next statement slugging you $30.

In the past banks have been known to gouge phenomenal fee from customers, fees that greatly exceed the actual cost/loss that the is incurred by paying your credit card bill a couple of days late. Most proper banks in Australia have seen the light that they cannot keep gouging money from their customers. Unfortunately HSBC still thinks that they can charge people this unconscionable fee because they are a big bank… they’ll learn.

The thing is, in Oz, only the Government can fine you… banks can’t… they can only recover their actual costs… so, a $30 fee for putting a line on a statement is unconscionable in anyone’s book (apart from HSBCs!) as $30 exceeds the actual cost by atleast an order of magnitude.

Note, I have no problems with paying the interest on the account that I missed (and I have paid it), but I refuse to pay $30 for HSBC to do absolutely nothing apart from putting a “late payment reminder fee” on my statement.

I sent a letter of complaint to HSBC and got back the most useless form letter I’ve seen in a while. Apparently whenever someone misses a payment, or as they call it “this account behavior”, on one of their credit cards, HSBC needs to MANUALLY review all your accounts (I don’t have any other accounts with HSBC… never will either!) and they also have to “telephone correspondence between us and other institutions”. Please… do they take us all for morons… I can bet you pennies to pounds that NOONE even looked at my account before they slapped me with that fee!

Well, I’m not going down without a fight on this one. Since they’ve asserted that they needed to manually review my accounts, and also needed to “telephone correspondence between us and other institutions” they can prove it to me! I’ve raised a complaint against HSBC with the Financial Ombudsman asking them to get HSBC to prove that their costs/loss by me paying my account a couple of days late were $30. If they can’t I have demanded that the fee be reimbursed.

The funny things is that it’s going to cost HSBC hundreds of dollars to defend their dodgy $30 fee.

I’ll keep you all updated.

UPDATE 6 Jan ’10: Already have a new VISA credit card lined up with my Credit Union MECU. And no yearly fee!

UPDATE 7 Jan ’10: The Financial Ombudsman has given me a case number. I need to send in the paper work. Will do this over the weekend

UPDATE 8 Jan ’10: HSBC have rolled over and refunded the “late payment reminder fee” as soon as the Financial Ombudsman sent my complaint. They used the old “gesture of goodwill” defense to say that they were always right but they wanted me to go away. Anyway, they’ll be getting the ‘fuck off’ phone call in a week or two once I’ve changed all my direct debits.

Moral of the story is that these banks have no right to charge such exorbitant fees and when challenged will back down!

The past year in frequent flyer miles

It’s been another year shuffling between airports, hotels and the occasional week at home.

This year I managed to clock up 67 flights and traveled around 105,000 Kms. That’s around 150 hours sitting in plane, not counting waiting time etc.

Trips were mostly in Australia, but also half a dozen trips to New Zealand, plus a trip to each of Singapore & Thailand.

Some stats

Shortest flight: Sydney <-> Canberra, 238 Kms, ~46 mins
Longest flight: Sydney <-> Bangkok, 7,523 Kms, ~9 hours
Most popular route: Melbourne <-> Sydney, 707 Kms, ~1:20 hours
Most popular airline: Qantas, 64 out of 67 flights

Its now time to put my feet up for three weeks before heading off to Brisbane in the New Year.

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?