Customer service disasters

August has been a busy month for us. Yes, in just one month we have enjoyed all this fun!

  • I ordered 3 mobile broadband. I waited at home all day for delivery. Nobody turned up. I rang them and was told I had not supplied enough identification (even though I had filled out their arduous online signup form completely). I could scan and email (or fax) further identification, and then wait at home another whole day for delivery. No thanks.

  • Our dishwasher played up. We called Electrolux to come and look. They couldn’t make an appointment time any sooner than two weeks later (two weeks washing dishes, ugh). The service guy got sick so they cancelled the appointment and rebooked for a time an additional two weeks later. We tried another company, Drac Services. They didn’t show up and told my wife she hadn’t been home when she rang to query. Turned out they’d gone to the wrong customer. Booked another time. Finally made it to our house a couple of days later. Five minutes to assess the problem ($70): motor burn out. Said it would be an easy fix, like pick it up and return the next day ($370). Didn’t pick it up until after the weekend. Didn’t return it for another two weeks after we rang to complain (twice). Charged more than $370 when additional GST slipped in there, even though we’d been told it was included in quote — which is their legal obligation. Haven’t paid them yet — hey, it has only been one week!

  • Last week, twice the go card readers have flashed red when I ‘touched off’. I interpret this as not working, so I swipe the card again. Both times this has resulted in an extra $5 charge, followed by a call to Translink to get the money credited back to my go card. Which takes 10 working days. Too bloody slow, Translink. I’m still watching my go card account, where is my credit?

  • Transferred a mobile phone, still under contract, to my wife. Ticked the boxes to transfer the commitment (new owner continues to pay contract). Billed $112 for “phone payout”. Three phone calls to Virgin Mobile to fix this. Standard answer from call centre staff is “We pass it on to the billing department. Call back in 10 days.” Oh, and of course, “No, you can’t talk to the billing department. We’re not allowed to do that.” On third call, ranted a bit. Threatened TIO and backcharging. Have been told it’s fixed. I am watching activity on my bank account very closely…

  • The oyster light was not working in one of our four new ceiling fans. Electrician struggled to install them and recommended using a knife to prise off the glass covers. We couldn’t get the cover off to fix the light ourselves. Went back to Beacon Lighting to complain. Said they’d come check it that week. We called them the following week and they finally came around, and couldn’t remove the light cover without a hammer. Waiting on a replacement oyster light. Have light working with cover removed. Looks ugly.

  • Decided to give Telstra a go for wireless broadband. After years of resentment that their landline quality is so poor we get substandard dialup and are blocked from ADSL. Worked out the maths and it is cheaper to bundle with a $20/month phone plan than buy BigPond wireless alone. Went into a Telstra shop yesterday to pick up a $20 plan. Seemed so easy until “We don’t accept 18+ cards as primary identification. We need your passport or birth certificate.” Stunned. Tried online signup for a laugh — where I learned they don’t even accept a birth certificate. It is impossible for me to identify myself adequately to Telstra online. However, I did note Telstra do accept a ‘Shooters License’. Tempting…

  • Our washing machine was playing up. Still under (extended) warranty. Rang Horizon (Good Guys) and they can’t find our records. Washing machine broke yesterday — it does not turn on. Washing piling up quickly. You try it with a family of 6 (2 adults, 1 teenager, 3 kiddlies). Can’t call them until Monday. This is going to go well…

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Our consoles days are numbered

Big fans of gaming that we are in this house, we have 2 PCs for gaming, a Wii, PS3 and gamecube. There are more: N64, SNES and even an Atari, but they’re all packed away. Oh, and a handful of DS Lites and Gameboys are floating about. But I wonder about the consoles …

The PS3 exists here for one purpose only: GTA IV. With the announcement that GTA IV will be available for PC in November, will there be any reason to hang on to it? Sure it’s a blueray player, and a fine one at that, but DVD beats it hands down for price and availability and I’m not convinced the quality difference is noticeable (although I did enjoy Die Hard 4.0 — excellent quality. I’ll need to watch the DVD to compare). The games? Nothing has really struck me as “must have” yet. Other than GTA of course. The dualshock 3 controllers are great, and the USB charging is a great idea (that the Wii should borrow asap). They work great on the PC too, and xpadder is awesome at mapping the buttons. It’s a shame their isn’t better native driver support, or they’d be one of the best gamepads available for PC! So I might hang onto my dualshock, but I think the PS3 will be for sale soon. Just as soon as I complete GTA. Have I mentioned how awesome this game is?

What’s wrong with the Wii? Gotta admit I haven’t been playing it much, enjoying BHD on the PC more. But we love our Wii and it will stay. Very irritated at the long delay and inflated price of Super Smash Brothers Brawl here in Australia (and all PAL regions) and that Nintendo have used the Wii system update to block the freeloader that allows NTSC games to be played. Forcing consumers towards the slow and expensive local market for games is very, very disappointing. Of course, faster releases of games at better (internationally comparable) pricing is the real solution to this! For now, we’re faced with buying another (local) copy of Brawl, or never updating the Wii system again … Please note I’m talking about purchased games, from overseas stores yes, not pirated copies.

Now when GTA IV is released for PC, in the USA first (followed by Europe), nothing will stop me buying the US version cheap from playasia the day it becomes available. And it will install and run on my PC without an issue. That’s how gaming should be. Go the mighty PC!

Props to Sony for keeping the PS3 game releases region free though. Learn this lesson Nintendo, and learn it fast. Your future revenue (from this household) depends on it.

Despite all this, I still love my games 🙂