Has Telecom gone mad?

I find a few things about Telecom (New Zealand) curious.
The first is their automated phone system. I called the help desk of their XTRA Internet business to find out why my web access suddenly didn't work. Before I got to speak to a human being I had to go through the usual tree of menu options. I don't know about you, but I get annoyed when I have to wait through a sales pitch ("If you would like to know about XTRA products and services,…press 1") before I am addressed as a customer ("If you are already an XTRA customer, press 2"). In a very obvious sense it says that customers come second. For some reason the username and password on my broadband modem had to be reset. I had made no changes, so I wondered why that would be necessary and have to say I felt some concern for the level of security in their system.

Today the telephone account came in. I had changed the broadband account because I have moved from my city apartment to the North Shore. I had chosen a fixed price usage account, but the bill included 5MB of additional bandwidth that had been consumed. I don't know about you, but a fixed price in my book is a fixed price. My understanding is that, if you exceed your limits, the speed simply slows down.

We will have words about it tomorrow - and I will be asking how much refund I can expect from the billing issues they have had over promised bandwidth speeds and those actually delivered at the end of last year.

While I am on the topic of phone companies I have to also include Vodafone - I really get bugged by the long sales pitch when I am trying to recharge the credit on my prepay cellphone (I make so few calls it doesn't make sense for me to have a contract, I use the cell like a pager). Seriously, making me wait through an interminable pitch for services I have no interest in buying just bugs me.

Phones and Internet are such an integral part of life now it puts the behaviour of the vendors in the category under the spotlight. My international friends who now live in New Zealand regard the speed of broadband and level of service to be a joke. I'm beginning to understand why. By I'm not quite seeing the humour.

Just thought I would share.

On the topic of humour; saw Borat at the movies last night. Very funny in parts. Just disturbing in others. I don't know why but the funniest moment for me was when Borat has been abandoned by his manager, left alone in the middle of nowhere USA with nothing but his clothes, an ice cream truck and a plane ticket home (but no passport). Squatting inconsolably on the pavement he tosses his satchel on the ground in front of him and it clucks. It's the little things.

Of course kidnapping Pamela Anderson is funny too. Sasha Baron Cohen has balls. Unfortunately we know this because we have seen them in the infamous wrestling scene, which was more more disturbing than anything I have ever seen. Heppy Times...Not.


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