Holy smoke!

I am paying a fortune for phone and internet access.

My phone is Vodafone prepaid and I’m having to pay $30 on average probably every two weeks. I reckon that 20 minute wait on hold to change my Medicare address last night probably cost me around $5 or more. As soon as I finished the call, I got a low credit text message when I’d recharged less than a week ago.

Now, this morning, my Telstra USB wireless modem was taking ages (5 minutes or more) to bring up any page except Telstra’s own home page. Yep, the $40 credit for 1GB I bought only last week had run out already. When I check my usage, I find over 1GB was used two days ago. I didn’t download that much! It’s Microsoft’s automatic Windows updates that are doing it, downloading in the background without me being aware of it.

I’ve just had to recharge that with $50 for 3GB to get me through until iiNet starts, this week I hope. Now I have to spend another $30 for my mobile, again until iiNet’s SIM card arrives in the post this week.

That’s $60 to $80 per fortnight I’m paying on average. Grrrrr, Not to mention the Vodafone Network Busy messages I’m getting all the time on my mobile. Hopeless.


I keep forgetting to mention: apropos the ending of analogue TV broadcasts tomorrow, in August last year I received a letter from the Digital Switchover government taskforce. As an Age Pensioner, they told me I was eligible to receive a free digital decoder (“set top box”) if I phoned a 1 300 number.

Even though I have two already, I thought I may as well get my freebie, so I phoned the number. After a lot of talk, I mentioned that my main problem was a bad antenna connection leading to intermittent No Signal messages in a poor signal area (Trigg, for goodness sakes!) I used to be able to fix this myself, but getting up high is a bit difficult now.

We can help you with that, they said. We’ll send an antenna installer to your home. Please nominate a password so that he can identify himself (how many female antenna installers do you reckon there are? None, I’ll wager).

So I waited, and waited, and waited. Months went by with no installer visit. Knowing I was going to sell, I just gave up. Another empty government promise.

Then a couple of weeks ago while I was at Alan’s place at Margaret River, I got a phone call. “Mr Croft, we’re ready to send someone to fix your antenna. When would you like him to come?”

“What???!!! That was seven months ago. I’ve sold the house and moved since then.”

“Oh. Well, sorry about that. Anything else I can help you with?”

Oh, get lost. I didn’t actually say that, but I did say I’m pretty annoyed. What a foul up. What poor service. What typical inefficiency. Very unimpressed.


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