Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Optus wins! (This time)

When Telstra abruptly cancelled my mobile phone service, I foresaw a long battle to get it back. So I promptly went out and bought another cellphone attached to Optus -- Australia's second biggest telecoms provider.

I did so with some trepidation, however, as my past experience with Optus has not been good. Optus and Telstra are the only two companies with a nationwide cable network so they tend to function like oligopolists -- i.e. they compete in only limited ways. And if Telstra has low standards of customer service then Optus sees no reason to do better: "Don't rock the boat, old chap, or we might all have to work harder!". Very "Yes Minister"!

Anyway, I struck difficulties with Optus immediately. You can read about it here. I of course wrote letters and filled out online forms but got no helpful response. It now transpires that I was only a week away from getting my Optus service cut off too!

Anyway, just a few hours ago I did get a phone call from a perfectly knowlegeable, intelligible, polite and helpful Optus staffer who seems to have fixed my problems. His call apparently was in response to one of the two online forms I filled out a couple of weeks ago. When you fill out one of the forms it tells you that they will try to respond within two days. But TRY is obviously the weasel word. They don't try too hard.

No further response from Telstra yet, though. It almost takes an atom bomb to move them! I may have to lodge a complaint against them with the TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman) shortly. I don't intend to give up on them until my old service is restored.

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