About six weeks ago, I innocently wandered from my letterbox back to my house, opening the mail as I did so. Junk mail, some bills, nothing out of the ordinary.
Until I opened the phone bill and had this image forever burned into my mind:
My first thought was, why is there is a comma in the total? Then I thought maybe I'd cry. And then I thought maybe I'd laugh, because the whole thing was so ridiculous. In the end I asked Steve to call Telstra. (I would have called them, but anyone who has heard me on the phone when I'm a bit angry will know that I'm a customer service operator's worst nightmare.) I actually expected the result of that call to be a bit of a laugh at the computer error, and for it all to be fixed then and there.
The charges were for the trip we had just returned from. You know, the BUDGET holiday we had in New Zealand. Before leaving, we had bought a data pack from Telstra so we could use our phones over there, including the internet - Steve had told them what we intended to use them for and a suitable pack was recommended. 'Lucky you bought the pack,' the lady said over the phone. 'Without it there are ridiculous charges for this type of thing.'
Lucky indeed. I'd hate to see their version of ridiculous charges!
Long story short: we lodged a complaint, they agreed to drop it by 75%, we still nearly fainted at the almost $3,000 bill that still left us with, I inundated Telstra with angry tweets, we went to the ombudsman, we were then offered 50% off the total, we really freaked out and made them stick to the 75%, we went back to the ombudsman, I sent more angry tweets, and just yesterday the whole thing was resolved.
A phone call that meant we can breathe again: they've wiped THE WHOLE LOT. We owe them nothing.
Life goes on as usual.
Can you imagine the change in mood around here now?
- Next time we go away we will stay in touch by sending good old-fashioned postcards
- When you're suffering from insomnia, it is possible to lose even more sleep
- A very relaxed, easygoing person can become a major stress head very quickly
- When you have quite low blood pressure it's actually very easy to raise it (although I don't recommend this particular method)
- Shoulders do not belong next to your ears
- It is possible to not breathe properly for six weeks
- Calling Telstra people morons over the phone doesn't actually speed up the resolution
- Using the word 'ombudsman' a lot makes you feel very important