Yes…Maybe

Dear Optus,

For a company that has “yes” as their signature motto, I have certainly been hearing a lot of “no” recently which has not impressed me in the slightest. As a customer, I really do not like to hear “no, I can’t accommodate your wishes”, “no, I don’t want to give you what we promised” and “no, I won’t help you today”. It tends to leave a sour taste in one’s mouth. Of course, you might argue that I shouldn’t really expect much more from a telco. It wasn’t so long ago that I would start foaming and spitting at the mouth like some crazed lunatic if you so much as mentioned Telstra in my presence but I still like to think that it is possible to get actual service from my phone and internet provider. I should have known from the first phone conversation however that there were going to be problems.

I got a call at the end of last year from someone in an overseas call centre. Sure, she might have been an Australian in Melbourne with a strong foreign accent but she also might have been somewhere in the Philippines or India or wherever your outsourced call centre happens to be. My husband told me once where it was because he used to work for your company but I don’t really care and its not important. I’m just saying I know you outsource these things. So I got a call telling me that I was a valued customer (which I incidentally found a little odd because at that precise moment, my bill was actually overdue) and that I was eligible for a special holiday offer. It was made crystal clear to me (despite the fact that I don’t believe English was her first language) that I was being offered 1 year’s worth of internet for $20. That’s what she kept repeating. This whole offer was going to cost me $20. What was slightly less crystal at the time was the manner in which it was going to cost $20 but we eventually sorted that out too.

There was a $19.95 per month plan. You were going to put me on that for a 12 month contract and give me a free device. You were then going to apply a $10 per month discount making the plan $10 per month. Times 12 months in the year, this contract was going to cost $120. You with me so far? As a special holiday offer however, you also offered me a $100 rebate which would appear as a credit on my 2nd bill. Thus being subtracted from the $120 to leave me a total out of pocket expense of $20. This is where I seem to have lost you. I just got my 2nd bill for the new internet service and there was nary a $100 rebate in sight. So I called and found out that not only had this discount not been applied but that there was apparently no notes on my account, no historical offers of this sort in your promotions database and no information you could find whatsoever to suggest that I should get this money back. See, more “no” again. So Houston, we have a problem.

Now we are going to gloss over the fact that this was sold to me as “all this will cost you is $20” which was in fact a blatant lie. I found out towards the end of the call that as I would be receiving the device in the middle of a billing cycle, I would be charged pro-rata for that time until the first full billing cycle commenced – without the monthly discount. We will also gloss over the fact that I was told that if I accepted, the device would have to be delivered on the 29th of December, no exceptions. A day when I would be away on Christmas holidays. A day when I could not guarantee my whereabouts and availability. A day that was in the end not in the middle of January when the device was actually delivered – after I had rung to request its whereabouts. We will be glossing over these facts. What we will not be glossing over is the fact that I was promised a $100 credit on my second bill and I want to receive it.

Whilst I was on the phone and being passed around from person to person, I was told a couple of times that I wasn’t able to get the $100 I was promised but as a goodwill gesture, you were prepared to give me a $50 credit on my account. Goodwill my butt. $100 is a drop in the ocean for you. A grain of sand on the beach. A Chinaman in China. “Goodwill” would have been crediting me $100 and giving me a couple of month’s access for free. A “Goodwill” gesture might even have been to up the size of my plan without the cost for the duration of the contract. What you offered was a “paltry” gesture that inspires no “goodwill” in me whatsoever. I for one really don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that you will fulfil a promise that you made to me. Its not a crazy idea. It happens all the time. Really.

Now I suppose you are going to turn around and tell me that you have no problem accommodating my request as long as I can prove that you as a company made it in the first place. That’s great. How in the hell do I do that? Your employees are the ones who have not done their job correctly so I have nothing in writing and funnily enough, I am not in the habit of recording my own phone conversations. But wait, you are. Here’s a wild idea Optus, how about you prove how incompetent your staff are by finding the recording where you apparently sold me something under false pretences. I can tell you what day I got the call, I can tell you roughly when I got the call, I can tell you I spoke with a woman (or a man with a very high voice! – does your whole gay-centric call centreness extend to your outsourced call centres?) and I can tell you that the call lasted for over half an hour so why don’t you perform a customer service and tell your customer “yes, you are right and I will gladly help you out”. Or, you know, you could just save yourself the hassle and give me my hundred bucks. It may not mean much to you but it sure means something to me.

Yours,

Your Long Suffering Customer

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