19 September 2008

A Phone Call to Telstra

Automated Female Voice: Welcome to Telstra. So I can direct your call to the right place, in a few words, tell me the reason for your call.

Me: errr... Problem with Message Bank.

AFV: That'll be about messaging services for Message Bank or Telstra Home Messages 101. Is this for a Home, Business or Mobile phone service?

Me: Home.

Smoochy Girl (simultaneously): Waah! No, Muh-Yee!

AFV (after a pause): I’m sorry! I’m having trouble understanding what you mean. Is this for a Home, Business or Mobile phone service?

Me (leaving the room): HOME!

AFV: There are 2 message services: Telstra Home Messages 101 which is a free service accessed by dialling 101 from your home phone and Message Bank which is a personalised message bank. Is this enquiry for Telstra Home Messages 101 or Message Bank?

(Annoying, particularly because this is exactly what I said in my very first words to AFV, if only she had the capacity to understand me.)

Me: Message Bank.

Smoochy Girl, who had followed me (simultaneously): Aaah! Muh-Yeee!

AFV (after a pause): I’m sorry! I’m having trouble understanding what you mean. Is this enquiry for Telstra Home Messages 101 or Message Bank?

Me (leaving the room again): Mmmess-age … Bank!

AFV: Are you currently using Message Bank on your phone?

Me: No.

AFV: Okay here are the Message Bank choices. Would you like to turn it on or… (more options, yada, yada.)

(Here, I blanked out and gave her what she wanted. Identification, answers to silly questions, everything. I came-to when an actual man spoke to me. His accent was more difficult to understand than the slow, clear speech of AFV, but he was unable to understand much more of my problem.)

Actual Man (Incomprehensible & Uncomprehending): Hello, How may I help you today?

(Hm. So the last X minutes of informing AFV in detail about the reason for my call were all for naught?)

Me: Hello, my name is Givinya and I am having trouble with my switch from Message Bank to Telstra Home Messages 101.

AM(I&U): Could I please have your full name and date of birth for identification purposes?

(I provided these details for the second time this conversation, having given them to AFV above at some stage.)

AM(I&U): What is the problem with your Message Bank?

Me: Well, yesterday I changed phone plans and at the same time, I changed from Message Bank to Telstra Home Messages 101. And now, when I pick up the phone I can hear the stuttering dial tone that tells me I have a message, but when I access my new Telstra Home Messages 101, it tells me there are no new messages. Could there be one remaining unopened message on my old Message Bank? And now I can’t open it because I’ve had that service discontinued?

AM(I&U) asked many questions unrelated to my problem, all of which I attempted to answer while reiterating the real problem.

AM(I&U): I think I will give you the number for our Message Services. They should be able to help you.

Me: Okay, thanks very much. Sorry it was a weird question!

AM(I&U): Okay, I will be putting you through …

Me: Thankyou very mu-

(Disconnect. Beep, beep, beep. End of call.)


Jen said...

Ok that sound so much like a service call that I have made. Don't you just want to yell, "THANKS FOR NOTHING STUPID SERVICE PERSON. WHAT PART OF CUSTOMER SERVICE DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND!"
Sorry, I am a little passionate about this topic. ;)

tinsenpup said...

I used to work for Telstra. It would probably be ill-advised for me to tell you what I really think of them, so I'll just say that I think Telstra are WONDERFUL (in opposite language) and let you interpret.

Tracy P. said...

I wish I could tell you that now that my kids are older they know better than to talk to me or hang out making noise in the room where I am on the phone. I WISH I could! Yikes!

Kelly said...

and then I said, "URGHHHHH! YOU ^%#^#&$*% PHONE COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Swift Jan said...

I have had similar experiences with centre link! Gotta love it! And Optus for that matter....

Crazy Sister said...

The worst is when a kid picks up the other phone and sends the automatic voice off on a tangent.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I hate those voice-activated things! It never fails, a kid always yells or a dog always barks or I burp or SOMETHING sets it off and I have to start all over again.