Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Call waiting and 101

This never occurred to me when we joined Telstra 101 service. We just wanted to try it to see if when we buy our next cordless phone, we need an answering machine or not.

It worked ok, but we stuck with our answer machine. One problem is that there is no visible indication of a message when you arrive home. Another just discovered one is that it rather defeats the purpose of having call waiting. Instead of an incoming call tone, it goes to the 101 service. If it someone whose number is in our phone, our phone shows who is calling, but it won’t when the call goes to 101.

So, I decided I wanted it off. Unlike mobile message service, there is little that you can do by pressing buttons on your phone. You can only really listen to your messages. I called someone at Telstra yesterday after trying to turn in off, but they said it was not a user feature. He said to call the general Telstra number. I tried that but they only work business hours. I called today and got into this terrible voice recognition loop. After a couple of false tries, I decided to say ‘consultant’, but then it still wanted to know why I was calling and then would send me back into the loop which did not have a talk to consultant option. Arrrggg. I was getting annoyed after the fourth try.

Eventually, I just called the number and said nothing, and that got me through after a time.

Now our net has gone down. Call Telstra tech support. It took four tries before getting through. Message was ‘we are experiencing excessive calls at the moment, please try later’. Yes, well that is quite predictable because the net is not working.

I have had enough experience with Telstra tech support in past to know exactly what was coming. Well, I though I had, but they have added a couple of extra touches.

Here we go. Press 1 for broadband, press 1 for cable, press one for standard cable. Fine. But here is a newie. ‘Please enter your telephone number related to your internet connection.’ Given I had pressed all the buttons for cable, the system should know that there is no telephone number connected with my internet connection. F***wits. Smarter this time than the last, I said nothing at all and then started on the rest of the process.

Your call maybe monitored etc.

Please be sitting in front of your computer with it switched on etc.

Please have your account number ready.

I suppose this all took a couple of minutes. I was silly really. I did know exactly what I would hear. I have heard it many times.

‘We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our Victorian big pond cable network. Our technicians are working on the problem, but due to the complexity of the problem, we are unable to give a time when the network will be available.’

I can’t imagine what logic tells them that people need to go through all that nonsense when callers just want it confirmed that there is a network problem. I am quite sure it is nothing to do with intelligent end of the business, which are the ever nice, pleasant and polite folk who eventually answer your enquiry.

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