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.

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