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December 05, 2005

Multitasking service

On Saturday, the atoms that formerly comprised the Bleeding Edge spouse's mobile phone spontaneously disintegrated and rearranged themselves elsewhere. Possibly in a parallel universe. [It would take a good deal more courage than Bleeding Edge has to suggest that this, or any other object formerly in the possession of the spouse might have been lost. They are simply subject to physical perturbations of an uncommon variety.]

This required an urgent visit this morning to Calculator King, and the expenditure of $900 or so on a Treo 650, case and screen protector, kindly applied by Jack Cooper, who is probably the world's greatest living applicator of screen protectors. (The price of these things has dropped quite a bit, fortunately).

Because the Telstra MobileNet account is in Bleeding Edge's name, it also required our attendance at Mobiles 2000, a Telstra dealer in Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, to obtain a new SIM card. We realise, of course, that replacing a SIM card doesn't earn a dealer much, if any money, and the process of hanging on the end of the line while Telstra verifies the customer's identity and talks to its machines is extremely tedious.

We therefore understood why the gentleman who served us was serially distracted. Unfortunately, this distraction prevented him from noticing that there was a system fault which meant that when we got it home, the SIM card refused to register on the Telstra network. We lost a half hour trying to get it going, then rang Telstra to report the problem. The operator was extremely courteous and helpful, but the upshot was that according to her, it's going to take another hour or so to fix the problem. Six hours after we bought the phone, and replaced the SIM card, it's still not operational. Stay tuned.

One thing that the Mobiles 2000 person should have realised though: our contract is up in less than a month, which means we'll be in the market again for another contract. We don't think we'll be taking up Mobiles 2000's time.

UPDATE: Finally connected at about 5.45pm. Which meant the spouse had no phone for an entire business day. The primary problem, of course, was caused by Telstra, but the dealer had a chance to impress us and gain our business, and instead lost us.

We're still happy, by the way, with MobileNet, although we know that the charges are over the top. The sheer reach of the network, however, and the service we've had from them keep us hanging in there. If Big Pond was as efficient, perhaps we'd still ... well, maybe not. That big a rip-off we couldn't contemplate.

UPDATE TWO: The chaps at Mobiles 2000 seem to be a decent bunch who were having a bad day - apparently Mondays tend to be bad days in the mobile phone industry - and happened to have been let down by the Telstra system. They've apologised. We've agreed to give them another go.

Posted by cw at December 5, 2005 03:33 PM


Yep, I've been treated like a illegal refugee by Telstra before whenever I have tried to change anything on my phone. The funniest was when I got an unsolicited call from Mobilenet (on my Telstra mobile) warning me my contract was about to expire and trying to flog me another contract. I asked when exactly will my contract expire? The sooper salesman wouldn't tell me that. It was confidential unless I could give him my password. I may be the odd one out in Oz, but I don't carry such trivia around with me.

Anyway, I finally got around to switching to Virgin mobile. The switch was painless, I didn't even have to speak to Telstra to keep my number, much less give them my password or attend a Telstra shop and use the secret Telstra handshake.

Yes, I got better service on making a change on my Telstra account with Virgin. Work that out Sol.

Posted by: Ozviewer at December 5, 2005 04:57 PM

I switched from telstra to virgin too. I have a lot of respect for the way virgin mobile operates (they respect their customers), and little for telstra (always patronising, or ripping you off).

Posted by: raoul at December 5, 2005 11:13 PM


I have concern that companies/service providers have to lock their customers into a contract. If you have a good competitive product you should not have to chain up your customers like criminals. If you do not perform I should have the option to go elsewhere. And, who can read a contract and understand every point in the document?

Well, I will end here before the veins in my head explode.

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.

Benjamin Franklin

Posted by: Phillip Booth at December 6, 2005 08:30 AM

find the story hard to beleive only because as a loyal customer of mobiles 2000, i know they are not open on a saturday, and havnt been for over a year.

can you clarify this for me please as i only know them as a retailer who takes the utmost care when it comes to customer services.



Posted by: adam at December 6, 2005 04:25 PM

Your phone discussion brought up phone ads, of course, and I thought I would click on one to find out how receiving a free ring tone paid for an ad.
Wow! If I had entered my details as recommended, I would have found myself paying $13.20 per week without ever having agreed to a thing - I don't consider just ticking a box agreeing to spend $13.20 per week.

If you are feeling particularly malicious, I suggest you enter all the phone numbers you can find and watch the bills mount.

cheers, Paul

Posted by: Paul at December 6, 2005 06:22 PM

Telstra fun and games. After my recent problems regarding local businesses who are also on Telstra local calls not being able to ring me on my home phone. After the jumping, ranting, raving and refund request on my bill they fixed it within an hour. Confirmed it by ringing me on my mobile whilst they patched and tested the landline to my house and then orginised for the affected businesses lines throughly tested and it really works now. Thank You Telstra.

Pleasantly I received a call from a Telstra Customer service manager on Saturday asking me if I am happy with the work that was carried out to fix the fault. The lady was extremly polite, caring and understood the situation perfectly. We actually chatted for around five minutes. A very nice gesture on Telstra's behalf. So thank you Telstra.

But why does someone have to 'scream' at them before any of this happens. I am unable to get any form of credit on my account as it was only affecting incoming calls to my home phone. Work that one out.

ps. Paul can I please have your mobile number so I can send you a ringtone. Only $6.60 twice weekly will be billed to your phone. Twice weekly to have it appear on the 'Business Corporate' mobile account as small amounts that look like phone calls made and not an annual subscription fee of $343.20. Now this is very deceiptful and I am glad for that amount of money paid out they will give me a 'Free' ringtone but still limit me to only being able to get 4 ringtones per week. Even if the ringtones were free I doubt I would still be able to go through 4 ringtones a week.

This sort of thing enjoys the EULA debates that are taking place including the Sony DRM issue in the Texas lawsuit.

Evil streaks run through us all I think Paul. I am wondering if I should look up who works for this company and the directors on ASIC and then just drop their own mobile number into the form and see how they like it.

Posted by: Stephen at December 6, 2005 11:52 PM

Posted by: customer at April 23, 2006 06:34 PM