Why is Queensland so backward? It seems that technology is a very difficult concept in this state. We are still without the Internet, with just a flashing red light teasing us with the infinite possibilities of life online.
I can accept not having a connection to the web when I’m floating down a river in France aboard a small boat. I can even accept it when I’m in an ancient cottage somewhere in the Vale of Severn. OK, I don’t like it but I can accept. Rank incompetence, however, I have a very difficult time accepting.
Moving house, while a pain, should be quite simple as far as utilities are concerned. Flick a switch here, take meter readings there, tell the post office where you’ll be living. Being a veteran of many moves, I prepare a list of everyone that needs to be informed and gradually work my way through the list. Obviously, the Internet is high on the list.
In Britain (the country that is usually regarded as backward when it comes to customer satisfaction and populated with a swathe of Victor Meldrew clones) the Internet tends to be changed when your BT (or other provider) account is moved. Very painless and (it seems) simple. For our last move, I just plugged the equipment in and, voila, I had the world at my fingertips.
I’m sure Telstra would say that it’s because it is Christmas and they are short staffed or that the rain and floods all along the east coast are hampering their essential work. That’s all fair enough and I accept that other people are having a very difficult time but they knew about this change two weeks ago when mum originally rang Telstra.
What happened then was the woman she spoke to, instead of just giving mum the existing number at the new place (which had an Internet connection) gave her a new one. She also promised the whole thing would be up and running when they moved in on the 21st.
I wish I knew her name. I’d be splashing it over the Internet (when eventually I get back on the Internet) saying how useless she is and how she needs some basic training in order to do her job properly. This was problem number one.
So mum and dad move in and the phone works fine but the Internet is non-existent. So mum rang again and spoke to some other woman in Adelaide who explained how the first woman had stuffed up, claiming she would fix it straight away and we would have the Internet on Christmas Eve.
It’s funny how we always trust these people because we assume they know what they’re doing. What tosh! We had no Internet on Christmas Eve. So mum rang again and this time a guy told her the second woman had forgotten to flick a switch for the ADSL (or something equally confusing) and now we’d not have a connection until Monday or Tuesday.
It’s Monday as I type this and we still have no connection.
The biggest problem is that we have no recourse. Because service providers force us to take out contracts rather than pay for services as we use them, they can do whatever they like. Mum and dad will still pay for the time they have been without the service they are paying for.
Imagine it was petrol. Each month you have to pay, up front for a fixed amount of petrol. Whether you use it or not. If your petrol station is closed for some reason and you can’t get any petrol, tough luck. You’ve already paid. The petrol company couldn’t give a toss. Sounds silly but it’s exactly the same. We pay in advance for services which we may not get and have no recourse. Sometimes I hate capitalism.
Rant over. For a bit.
Tonight I was lucky enough to enjoy my nephew’s famous lasagne. I’ve heard a lot about it. It has been praised far and wide. (Actually a guy stopped me in Caloundra High Street today and told me how good it was and I didn’t ask him anything.) Here’s a photo of it.
It was lovely and well worth the wait. It was also HUGE. Not wishing to dob anyone in but…someone didn’t finish their’s. Actually, three someones didn’t. Four, if you count the embryo.
Anyway, I had a lovely night at chez Chris & Chloe and was roundly stuffed with delicious food and quenched with Bob’s beer (cheers, Bob). A pity I didn’t get to see Michael & Emma again but hey ho, there you go. Apparently I try and avoid relatives too*.
I finished the night with a much appreciated nightcap at Trace & Bob’s, swapping horror alcohol related stories of excess. And dog dreaming.
I thought I’d include a shot of the happy parents to be. I’m not sure why Chloe is pointing at Chris’s forehead.
* Just in case anyone finds that offensive…it’s a joke!