Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's not personal, it's just business

I hate the way people do business these days. They can't just do you an honest service at a fair price. They see you simply as a money cow that they have to milk.

I use Optus for my mobile phone provider. They have mostly been a pain in the arse to deal with and I wouldn't recommend them, but the deal I was on was what I wanted and I had used them for prepaid (because it's easy to recharge with them), so I could easily switch to postpaid.

So my contract ran out and I didn't know, because who keeps track of that stuff, and I was shocked by my bill this month. I don't use a mobile much, so I have a $19 cap and my bill is usually just the $19. It was much more so I checked it out online. My value on my plan had disappeared so I wrote them and asked why they had done that without telling me.

So some chick rings me and she is actually very unpleasant and unhelpful. Her line is basically "I don't know what you're talking about". She doesn't know what my plan was, what the new plan is or whether the T&Cs have changed. "You would have got some T&Cs," she said. Well yes, I probably did, so likely it was buried in the fine print that they would fuck me once my plan ended. But I don't recall anyone telling me that when I signed up for the plan and certainly they did not let me know the contract had ended.

My business is obviously not worth much to them, so it won't hurt them much that I move on to another provider. It would have been nice if they had made a token effort to keep me but I guess a customer who actually checks his bill instead of just paying what they demand is not what they want at all.

So I wrote them a message, which will obviously be ignored, and Optus can join my list of businesses that will get reverse word of mouth from me.

I feel really dissatisfied with your customer service. Someone rang me and was not at all helpful. She did not explain why I suddenly lost the value on my plan or where I could find details of the plan I have been dumped on without being told I would be. She could not tell me where in the terms and conditions it says that would happen. It doesn't in the current T&Cs but she said the old ones must just have been different. She did not explain why I wasn't told you would be taking half the value of my plan away so that I could decide to move on or choose a new plan. She could not actually have been less helpful if she tried.

She could for instance have retrieved and sent me a copy of the T&Cs that applied to my plan, so that I could see where it said you would remove half my value when my contract ran out. Can you do that? I haven't kept a copy so I'd appreciate it if you could email me the T&Cs that applied to that plan. I'm fairly sure it wasn't actually mentioned on your webpage, but I accept that businesses hide things in fine print and that you hope people won't actually read their bills but will just pay. It's a bit like "interest free". You offer a good deal up front but hope to make more money by sneaking customers onto worse deals without letting them know.

I know I'm not a high-value customer and you probably don't mind losing my business, but I feel you effectively cheated me this month. I guess that's how you do business though and certainly, if your representative is anything to go by, you don't care about keeping your customers happy.


At 11:24 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an effect of this complex environment we exist in that is getting more complex really fast, such that we as humans cannot keep up with it without somebody getting screwed.


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