Friday, July 25, 2008

20 Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do - Mark Twain

Monday, July 21, 2008

Telstra WTF?

This is the reply I get from Telstra this time, no shit. Verbatim.

I don't understand it, it does not make any sense. I think they must use bots that pick random english phrases out of a database and send pointless messages like this to save having real people there.

Dear Rolf S*******,

Thank you for your email dated 20/7/08 regarding your concern.

We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused you. Please be informed that for
your account to be addressed. If you require immediate assistance and wish to Contact
Telstra Mobile whilst you are roaming on an overseas network, you can do so by calling +61 2
9396 1193 or +61 439 125 109, which is a 22.57 cent call from any Telstra mobile. This
charge does not attract GST as the call originates from outside of Australia.

You are also able to book a reverse charge call through the international operator. The
number to book for Telstra Customer Service is 617 3336 6252.

Please do not hesitate to contact us via if you require further information
or assistance.

Thank you for choosing Telstra online.

Yours sincerely,
Paola d315250
Telstra Representative
The contents of this email are strictly confidential. If you are not the intended recipient,
any use, disclosure or copying of this email
(including any attachments) is unauthorised and prohibited. If you have received this email
in error, please notify Telstra immediately by return email and then delete the message from
your system.
Telstra Corporation Limited, ACN 051 775 556, ABN 33 051 775 556

Telstra is committed to providing you with the highest levels of customer service, including
protecting your privacy. Telstra is bound by the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988, which sets
out a number of principles concerning the protection of your personal information.
To view our Privacy Statement, please visit

If you no longer wish to receive marketing emails from Telstra, you can change your
subscription preference at

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Telstra getting worse all the time.

Thank You

Thank you for contacting us. You will shortly receive an email from us with a tracking number.We will aim to respond to your question within two (2) business days.

Oh goody another tracking number! 21 Days since the last email and still waiting for a resolution.

Nowhere on the Telstra site does it tell you how to access your messagebank messages from overseas. What moron is responsible for the worst Telco's web site in the world?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shellie Beach - Deja Vous

Before Easter I was camped down at Shellie Beach and I had the pleasure to meet a lovely family with a talented designer in their midst. In addition to much useful and interesting information about the Rainbow Coast you can find a small video of me on their web site linked below..

Saturday, July 12, 2008


My latest round trip from Essex in England to the Tirol in Austria and back again. I was driving a 15yo Suzuki Jlx 1.6 and discovered you can really affect the fuel economy with your right foot. I managed 7lt/100km at a steady 90kph or 17lt/100km at 140kph! Almost a 2600km round trip and except for the bad weather and non stop accidents on the A6 in Germany it went well.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Telstra ruins the iPhone

It could have been so good. The biggest 3G network in Australia that
works in most of the large towns and bigger rural communities, together
with the iPhone. Distance could have been beaten for once and for all by
technology. Everybody would have wanted one. I wanted one.

But alas we return to the subject of Telstra and their unfair monopoly
in Australia.

Lets have a look at the comparison between the UK where O2 might have a
monopoly on the iPhone itself, but not on the phone networks.

In the UK O2 offer all their plans on an 18 Month contract, 18 months is
a long time in the world of computers.

Telstra only offer 2 year contracts, the first example of their
evil-because-its-easy business practices.

In the UK O2 offer the iphone 3G on many different plans ranging from
30pounds a month upwards. They all include unlimited free data, after
all lets face it, there is NO POINT having an iPhone unless you can
connect to the internet and actually use it for what it was designed for.

As an example on the 35 pound per month plan with O2 in the UK you get ,
unlimited 3G data, unlimited WIFI data through the biggest UK network
with over 9500 hot spots, 600 minutes and 500 texts. Not a bad deal.

In Australia where Telstra have a monopoly you can go on a $350 a month
plan and pay over $8400 for your iPhone and STILL have to pay for your
data usage at the pay as you go rate of $2 per megabyte after you have
used the free $15 of data included. Calls cost much more than in the UK
too and you get less of them.

Yes that's right folks, Telstra have created a world where you can pay
$350 a month for an iPhone and get 7MB of included data usage, not even
enough to download one email with a couple of quality photos each month.

Telstra sucks. Telstra has a monopoly. The government and the ACCC are
failing the people of Australia by allowing this to continue.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Europe (UK)

Is where I am at the moment. I'm really just here to visit family, but if I get the chance to fly I'll jump at it. I'm heading off in the direction of Austria tomorrow, a long way for a European to drive (I'm in the UK at the moment) but not for an Aussie ;-)

Telstra (the stupid useless overpriced monopolistic morons that they are) are driving me nuts at the moment. I think I am going to have to get a satellite phone for my bush travels, the fact is that the next G network sucks, is unreliable and horrifically overpriced and the coverage is abysmal. The worst thing is that there is no customer service at telstra, everyone who works there seems to have lost the will to live and hates the world and you can tell this when you are unfortunate enough to have to deal with them.
I still say Vodafone are the benchmark for a mobile phone carrier, they are helpful and competitive and constantly evolving and getting better at what they do.
Telstra are like some sick joke.

I notice that globalstar are now down to just 45cents per minute for outbound calls on their satellite phone service, which is pretty impressive considering that it just works anywhere. Inbound calls are free and its 30cents to send a text message.

OMG I just checked my Telstra mobile bill and they are charging me $0.98 cents every month to process my payment, no shit, they debit me automatically every month and actually have the audacity to charge me extra for paying them. No other carrier does this, this only happens when you have a monopoly and you can sodomise your customers at will with impunity. Not only this but I see that they are charging me an extra 5 cents to supply the delivery report for each delivered text message. And they charge me for listening to the voicemail messages that are left because my phone never rings because their coverage is so lousy.

I went for paperless billing with everyone as soon as it became an option, because in case no one has noticed we need the trees to convert C02 into glucose and electrons are 100% recycled. But I hated doing it with Telstra, some companies actually pledge to use the saved money to plant a tree or something, telstra just make more profit and laugh.
It gets better, you can't even download a PDF of the paper bill or see it on-line, instead all you get is the front page summary that tells you nothing about exactly how they came up with their ludicrous charges. When you eventually find the buried link on their 'so not user friendly web site that is so slow that you can write a blog entry like this whilst waiting for it' you get a text file in comma separated text format and called "select". What kind of a stupid moron came up with that? Who ever you are I hope you read this and then choke to death on your own stupidity.

What I end up with in a spreadsheet for gods sake is this:

Service Number Call Type Date Time Place Called Number Alias/Nickname Rate Duration Incl GST$ Caller Group
0428 400 xxx
National Direct 30 May 10:08:00 PM Exmouth 0427 773 xxxMNET 35 03:30:00 PM 11.22 (unallocated)
0428 400 xxx
National Direct 03 Jun 10:35:00 PM Exmouth 0427 773 xxxMNET 35 07:30:00 PM 14.02 (unallocated)
0428 400 xxx
National Direct 09 Jun 06:57:00 PM Exmouth 0427 773 xxxMNET 35 04:00:00 PM 11.57 (unallocated)

I am looking at this and trying to decipher it, I guess the MNET means I called another poor unfortunate telstra mobilecrapnet customer. But what is with the duration? Can you have a duration that is AM or PM? I know I never spent 3 hours and 30mins on a call and even if I did telstra would want my first born child, not $11.22 so it must mean 3mins and 30 secs for $11.22 or $3.20 a minute. So it IS cheaper to make calls on the Globalstar Satellite network. Also telstra are charging me 30 cents per SMS which is only 3 cents less than Globalstar would.
Telstra Suck. Period.

Whilst I am at it I better warn people about the worst phone in the world, its the Telstra badged ZTE F165. It has a pointless little antenna that you can pull out when you have no coverage, it won't make any difference. I have done tests and the pull out antenna makes NO DIFFERENCE to the signal strength or coverage area, and yet they conned me into paying (and yes i feel so stupid now) hundreds of dollars for it on the grounds that it had significantly better reception than any other phone. The reality is that I have done tests and compared it to their cheapest and its exactly the same. With the notable exception that when you have a weak signal putting this phone close to your head causes it to drop out, that's right, I have to make all my marginal calls on speakerphone because my brain interferes with the phone or something. Go figure. If we were talking about a tiny Ma and Pop operation I could understand how they suck so badly, but this is a company that made 5.7 Billion Dollars from their mobile phone network in 2007. Yes, that's Billion and I can see why, charge like a wounded bull and give as little as possible.

Telstra make me angry, in case you failed to notice, they raise my blood pressure.

Http:// could be there just for Telstra, but it's not.