Thursday, 17 July 2014

Life: Telstra. How bad can a business be to its clients?

Just yesterday I said to Debra.. "If Telstra was the only phone company on the planet; we'd go back to using two tin cans and a piece of string to communicate."

God I hate calling Telstra

How can one telco incite so much dislike (was going to say hatred) actually I will say hatred, from the population at large?

Well it's simple I think .. they are indifferent to you.

Your call is important to us! Rubbish! If it was you would answer the phone!

You have been placed in a priority queue! Rubbish! Being in a queue is not giving me priority!

Please say what your call is about. (Asked by a robot) I want to talk to a human!

And on it goes...

Press 1 for this, press 2 for that.. what number do I press for "Get stuffed you uncaring bastards?"

No matter what they say.. they don't give a stuff about you!

You are just a number to them. (Your account number in case you rare wondering)

And I will give you a couple of examples:

When we moved Deb's shop to Clayfield we had a divert put on the phone number. This is a fixed fee for a year (fair enough) and must be renewed. So.. at the end of the year, somehow the charge for the divert was given its own separate account number and sent.. to the old shop.

Except it was sent to the wrong address at the old shop.

So Telstra don't get paid, we don't know we have a bill to pay and on it goes. Now most sensible companies would get on the phone and say.. "Hey we have an outstanding invoice here!" such luck! They couldn't do that because they actually had our phone number incorrect too!

So naturally they gave the matter to Dunn and Bradstreet who started to harass Debra for the payment.  I intervened and said.. send us a copy of the bill and if it is for us.. we will pay it. They would not tell us who the bill was from, they demanded a stack of Deb's personal details and on it went. Eventually they told us it was from Telstra. I rang Telstra (to an offshore operator who couldn't understand me) to be told our account was up to date.

Next step was the Telecommunication ombudsmen who instructed some bimbo from Telstra to call us. She was aggressive on the phone because we had called on the TIO and was "not particularly helpful." (I am being mild here) The entire thing started again.... God give me strength!

Eventually.. we got a copy of the bill. Just marked to Debra Taylor, Shop 14, One Park Road Milton. (We were in shop 13) But nobody could identify the phone number or the account number. Now we're talking about a $187 bill here.

So.. I managed to get to the bottom of all of this crap. Nobody could understand why a simple charge on a phone bill would be removed from the bill, placed on another bill (with its own account number) and sent to the wrong address with the incorrect phone number.

No apology from Telstra (well why would they care.. they have gazillions of customers) none from Dunn and Bradstreet (they had reduced Deb to tears) and after 3 months.. the problem was sorted.

Peace from Telstra.

(Apart from their annoying salesman who wants to sell us a new plan. He eventually stopped when i threatened to insert a phone into him!)

And then we get the June phone bill from Telstra.

Amount looks about correct.. but it arrives 2 days after payment is due!

So.. Debra rings them... they graciously give us an extra two weeks to pay. (Good on them...  not OUR fault, they got the bills out late)

A week later the overdue notice arrives. (We still have 7 days grace here) So I pay the bill. A few days later the next bill arrives still showing the outstanding amount.. and a $15 late fee!

So what is it with these dick heads?  Why has so much stress come into our lives when we need to talk with somebody at Telstra. And just why do we need to talk to somebody in a bloody call centre offshore?

Why can't we have Australians working for Telstra.. people who can help us when we need to contact them?

So Telstra.. you won't be getting your $15 and I might just send you a bill for an hour of my time being stuffed around by your uncaring system!

Oh... I will be looking for two new iPhones in October... sorry.. no way Jose.

As Doc Neeson said... "NW/GS/FO!"

Monday, 7 July 2014

Photography: A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

As a Professional Photographer, I get to use a lot of cameras that often make amateurs drool. But the funny thing is; with a few exceptions, I just see them as tools of trade. They don't really get me excited.

Not at all!

After all the thing we want as Professionals is that killer image!

With the digital camera race on in full, I simply upgrade them as time goes by to get bigger files (not really needed in most cases.. but clients like them) and also to get a newer camera body. (Less likelihood of a failure on the job.. is the theory)

Back in the days of film, Pro level 35 mm and medium format cameras were built to a higher standard and designed to go for years. Like my brother's F2 Nikon from 1973, it still works well. (And it has been dropped several times too!) They were tanks. Much tougher than today's digitals. (After all digital cameras don't need to live a long life as technology will make them obsolete before they wear out!)

So a new digital camera around here is nothing special. The come in the door regular as clockwork so a new one arriving is a bit ho hum.


But then today.. IT arrived!

A camera that I have been lusting after for about a year now.

And it is a digital camera that has enthused me as much as my Rolleiflex 6008 Professional back in the last century! Now that was a camera!  A fine German hand made instrument (when it was working) that was engineered and designed with a working photographer in mind. Inserts that could be used either way, no more moving the spool over. Built in dark slide.. I could go on.. but I won't.

No.. today the Fuji X-Pro 1 arrived.

From Fuji's new series of X cameras, this is the supposed Pro model.

But who cares about labels.

Here is a beautiful camera that cries out to be used. It feels good in the hands and with its amazing X series sensor, its low light performance is simply amazing.

This camera is a beautiful thing, it is a joy and it inspires me to go and create great images.

Like no camera before it has.

It is almost like it has a soul and it is communicating with me.

Yes.. I know that sounds weird, but that is how it is.

Hopefully in the coming months I will have some images to share.

In the meantime....

A thing of beauty and a joy forever!