Monthly Archives: June 2007

Navigating Automated Phone Systems

After moving house recently, we’ve had to go through the paces of updating all of our contact information with various companies.

I called three different companies one after another to update my information and some were definitely better than others:

Without any shadow of a doubt, my encounter with Telstra was the clear winner. When I called, the automated phone prompting was clear, easy to follow and fast to navigate; which resulted in me getting to a consultant faster. During the process, I entered my phone number to speed things up and when I was handed to a consultant I didn’t have to repeat myself. Within about 90 seconds, he updated my details and reissued the final bills to our new address for our mobile and home phone.
Vodafone came in second in my opinion, the automated phone prompting was good but could have used a little work. I felt there were too many options along the way but I got to where I needed to go without too much fuss. My criticism of Vodafone would be the time I waited in queue to get to talk to someone; it was close to 10 minutes compared to less than 2 minutes compared to Telstra. To the credit of Vodafone, the staff were friendly, helpful and efficient and were happy to answer a few other questions while I was on the phone.
GE Finance
GE Finance took the wooden spoon, pretty much horrible service all around. The automated phone prompting was shocking, I actually called back twice, once because I got sick of waiting and another because I chose the wrong option on one of the menus and for some reason couldn’t go ‘back’. After selecting an option, more than once the next step included options from a previous step which was just confusing – they are meant to be narrowing my options, not expanding them. I waited in queue for about 15 minutes and when I finally got through to a consultant, even though I entered my account information into the phone earlier, I was made to repeat it anyway. Although the consultant got the job done, I wouldn’t say they were friendly, happy or chirpy so it just made the encounter that little less pleasant.

Who do you think have the worst automated phone prompting?

Dear God

After finding out that most Gold Coast real estate agents suck and having to move house, one of my worst fears have been realised; it doesn’t look like I’m going to have broadband at my new home!

As soon as the new phone service was provisioned, I submitted an ADSL transfer application to my current ISP. Checking the status of the transfer, it went through a couple different stages but ultimately ended up in a held status stating that there isn’t enough available copper.

I believe it might be time to submit an application into Bigpond and see if they have magical powers which help them find available copper that was previously unavailable to a competing ISP. If that bites the dust as well, other channels will have to be pursued; not having fast, permanent internet at home just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Dear god, please provide me with fast reliable internet at a reasonable price.

Out Of Commission

I’m sorry for the lack of updates on here of late, two major things are going on at the moment:

  • I’ve just moved house and I’m still praying that the gods will provide me with broadband once more. I’ve had broadband since it became available in Australia, so I sure hope that Telstra can perform some magic and provide me with it again or I’ll be forced to find alternative means!
  • We’re coming to the end of the first stage of a major block of development at work and the pressure is on. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time for anything other than work at the moment.

In the next couple of weeks things should begin to return to normal, I can’t wait.

State Of Origin 2007

The Queensland rugby league team have taken home the 2007 State Of Origin title after the second match at Telstra Stadium in Sydney on Wednesday night. In the last 11 encounters at Telstra Stadium, the Queensland team have lost ten times and drawn once; the monkey was finally shaken off the back of Queensland as they won the 2007 State Of Origin series.

The first half was very fast, with next to nothing slowing down the movement of the ball. Only nine minutes into the first half and New South Wales Brett Stewart passes through some soft Queensland defense near the line. Twelve minutes later and Queensland strike back with Greg Inglis scoring a try on the left wing, leveling the scores at six all after a successful conversion. A number of players from both teams left the field with possibly injuries, some returning later in the match. In typical State Of Origin fashion, there was a lot of hard running and big hits. Amazingly, during the entire match no team seemed to have clear offensive dominance, with no major line breaks worth mentioning. At the end of the first 40 minutes of play, the scores were still locked at 6-6.

The second half started with New South Wales clearly increasing the intensity of their running in an attempt to bust through an impressive defensive line from Queensland. The harder New South Wales were running, the more Queensland defenders were entering the tackle to neutralise their offense; even the barn storming Willie Mason had little impact throughout the match against the Queensland defense. With only 15 minutes remaining in the second half, Queensland back Steve Bell charges onto a Thurston grubber to score and take Queensland into a 10-6 lead. From the point on in the game, both teams upped their efforts in offense and defense with the last 3 minutes mandating that everyone be on the edge of their seats.

The winning score for Queensland for the 2007 State Of Origin series was 10-6 and they now enter the third match already having secured the State Of Origin title for 2007.


We’ve Moved

After a lot of effort on Saturday, we’ve now moved all of our stuff into our new home. We hired a three tonne truck (largest you can drive on a standard car drivers license) on Saturday morning and it took three trips in total, however only the first and second had any significant amount of stuff in them.

A couple things didn’t go to plan during the move:

  • it appears that our iron has been damaged and is causing the power to trip
  • I think I’ve lost a little bunch of four screws, which we purposefully wrapped in tape so as not to separate them. As it turns out, it was in vain as it seems we’ve lost them anyway!
  • the antenna at the new place doesn’t seem to be working, so no TV at the moment. Hopefully, we just need a signal booster.

A big thank you to Brendan, Jacob and Andrew for all the help during the move as well.