Thursday, December 18, 2014

Out with the new and in with the old

When we changed our telephone plan to save $8+ per month, we eventually received the promised T Box. I won't say how many hours between us we spent on the phone to Telstra trying to sort things out. We were eventually directed back to Australia when it all became too hard for the Filipinos at the Manila call centre. The whole process went on for a couple of weeks.

The upshot was we did receive our T Box. I wondered if it could record? It can, with dual tuners. Does it have a programme guide? It does. We had a choice of two free movies on a Thursday night but how does one choose between two rubbish movies? But yes, it had free movies. It could readily access a lot of movies, some of them interesting to me but for a fee, added to our phone bill. We chose none. I wondered why it was so light compared to our not so old Topfield digital recorder. I think the Toppy has a spinning disk like hard drive, whereas the T Box, some sort of solid state drive, like a flash drive.

We don't have pay tv and don't really want it but the T Box was really an encouragement to sign up and pay, but it did not work for us and Telstras cunning plan did not work either.

The T Box took the place of the Toppy recorder and I immediately wanted the Toppy back. It took R a while to click but eventually he asked me to put the Toppy back. The Topfield is a dedicated digital tv recording machine and while with older and quite expensive versions of the machine when we had issues, I think to do with overheating, the latest one works flawlessly. I note they are now quite cheap to buy.

But if you don't have any sort of digital recorder and you like what Telstra has on offer as a plan, then the T Box does do the job of recording tv adequately.

Before all this T Box nonsense, we bought a new tv. Only by sheer luck, it can do Free View Plus. When we change channels, as well as the station number popping up the the screen, we also have the option of pressing the green button on the tv remote to use FVP. I recall trying to watch a commercial tv station catch up service on the computer and it was hideously peppered with ads that you could not skip through. It is one thing for ads to come on tv where you can have a chat, pour a drink or go to the lavvie. It is quite another thing to sit through minutes of ads when watching on the computer. ABC iview worked flawlessly on the computer. I haven't tried ABC Free View Plus on the tv yet, but I will bet it is better than the commercial offerings which are rubbish. Something I was watching on FVP had the end of it chopped off, after all the absurd spinning of a symbol after one ad. R had the same happen to him.

Just to clarify, the tv picks up this Free View Plus signal from our modem/router internet connection. There is always a bit of delay, as you experience with computers, no, slower than a computer, ours at least.

In summary, the bundled plan from Testra is not bad, but oh what a headache it was for us to get. I will also go so far as to say, it was misrepresented to us when we were cold called from the Philippines.


19 comments:

  1. Andrew, it is not wise decision because call centres are located in different parts of world. We have had call centres in Katowice which solve problems from Asia and Africa. What a stupidity..

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    1. Gosia, that is amazing. We outsource to other countries because it is cheaper. I can't understand why Asian countries would outsource call centres to Poland.

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    2. Further, perhaps it is because you can offer a better quality service?

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    3. Asia outsources because all its people are too busy answering queries from here? Irony.

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    4. Haha River. That is funny.

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  2. We do have pay TV - a gift to the smaller portion. And we now have more choice of rubbish. Mind you, I am not a fair judge since I dislike most television.
    I am tired of call centres overseas. Often creating more problems than they cure... And certainly upping my frustration levels.

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    1. EC, that is what pay tv seems to do. That is offer more choice of rubbish. But good for sport and movie fans, I guess, but they cost extra. Australian based call centres don't always get it right, but it is a much better experience.

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  3. "ABC iview worked flawlessly on the computer. I haven't tried ABC Free View Plus on the tv yet, but I will bet it is better than the commercial offerings which are rubbish."

    Couldn't agree more, but this brings us back to an earlier post. What will we all do if the ABC is totally or partially knackered?

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    1. Hels, we will go to barricades, as I did in the eighties. Lobbying and keeping pressure on decision makers is quite helpful to our ABC.

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  4. I'll never bother with a digital recorder of any type. If I like a show enough, movie or TV series, I'll buy the dvd copies and watch them without ads whenever there is nothing worth watching on TV, which seems to be more and more often lately.

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    1. River, it is the time of the year when little is on tv. There is rather a backlog on our recorder to sustain us. I may belittle tv at times, but there is some great stuff to see.

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  5. All sounds to technical for me!

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    1. Fun60, says she who can control a camera. You learn the technology you need or want to know.

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  6. We have been down a similar road with Telstra. We were offered a bundle which was supposed to bring down our charges and it included a "fee" T-Box. We didn't need a T-Box because we already have Foxtel but since it was"free we took it home. When the next bill arrived there was a $180 charge for the T-Box. needless to say we took it back and demanded a refund, which we eventually got. We had years of drama with Telstra before this over getting all our accounts onto one bill. During this saga we were given a number for complaints which goes to an Austrlian department. We only use that number now.

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    1. Diane, my memory is a bit hazy, but I think they tried to charge us at some point too. How does Telstra get it so wrong all the time? I may one day be begging you for that direct number.

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  7. Our system allows us to record films and watch them when we want. That avoids us to see all the advertising because I push the ff button ! and we can watch when we want and have time. We only watch the News ! We have all European channels and CNN.

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    1. Gattina, that is another thing. The TBox only had fast forward whereas the digital recorder can skip 20 to thirty seconds forward or back. At times we will have five minutes of ads. It is awful.

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  8. I'd be highly suspicious of anything offered 'cold called' as you can bet whatever the offer is, it means a profit for the company and eventually a greater expense for you.

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    1. Victor? We don't get something for nothing? I am so disappointed now. Never mind, the won't be getting anything from us. We have done very well out of Telstra over the years by persistence.

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