Wednesday, April 7, 2010

High Five, Telstra! Or Do I Need To Book In For That?

So we waited in line for half an hour at the Telstra shop today, only to be told to go home and book an appointment online. I'm sorry, but what the fuck?! Yeah, that's right, I typed out all the words, instead of just the first letters of each. That's how absurd it was.

The Tlife website, where we were directed, claims it is "A Whole New Experience From Telstra". Too  bloody right it is. I guess you could also call the Telstra experience where we were told that nobody had come to connect our phone for 2 weeks becuase they may have been in a car accident on the way, "new". Or the slightly confused looking saleslady, who stared blankly at me when I was quite obviously attempting to buy a new phone, who simply left me to figure it out for myself. Um, they're plugged into the walls, lady!

Telstra aren't all bad and evil with curly horns and pointy goatees though. Sometimes they randomly call me to tell me that I can now have $300 worth of calls a month instead of $250, for no extra charge. Or to tell me about the newest phones - which I do appreciate, but I can't visualise what a Nokia 4305GTDHDK looks like or will do, when I'm on the phone. Hence why there are Telstra shops.

The shops themselves might be an elaborate ruse though. If the service in there is so continuously, ridiculously bad, maybe we won't go in there anymore, and do all of our Telstra transactions on the phone or online? That way, they won't have to pay all those staffers to man the shops/fiddle with the display laptops.

The "Personal Shopping" idea is a good one, at least slightly, in theory. Make an appointment, show up, have someone go through everything you need. It's great if you are that organised. If, however, you're just a regular Joe who assumes that a shop exists for customers to simply walk into and purchase or enquire about products, it seems you're out of luck.

Our reason for being there, aside from my desperate need for a new phone, was because the Mr's beloved iPhone spat it and refused to work anymore. The Apple helpline couldn't help, Google couldn't help - as it was purchased from Telstra originally (online, might I add), we took a punt and thought, oh hey, let's take it back there and see if they have any suggestions. They did - go home, go online, and go away.

We ended up visiting a smaller, local phone store where a friendly and slightly awkward young man put some saftey pins into the phone for awhile. Always trust a geek when it comes to technology, is my motto. However, the phone is really really stubborn and refused to be fixed, so it had to be sent away. Filled in some forms,  exchanged some pleasantries about the weather, phone gets sent off to iPhone land to be fixed (or retired and replaced) and we trot off home feeling that the entire process wasn't a complete waste of time. I did manage to nick over to Diva while Mr waited and consider buying a snake-shaped arm bracelet. It's scary to think that the old-fashioned way of walking into a shop, talking to a salesperson and coming to some sort of a conclusion, is on the way out, isn't it?

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