Thursday, 29 November 2007

Official readibility rating: Undergraduate

cash advance

Well, I thought it was just my other blog, but that clinches it.

I want this blog lifted to "Genius" level, people. Failing that, "Postgraduate" will probably also be acceptable.

I'm lifting my game. I hope that I'm not the only one.

Answer for Cameron's complaint

Despite the fact the ad was wrong and any reference to a detachable frame should not have been made, BIG W should have offered to honour the ad and sold you the $130 item for $98. Apologies for what you experienced. I have passed your comments on to the relevant Area Mgr.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Complaint Posted for Cameron

I recently visited your QV store after reading your latest (15th Nov – 21st Nov) catalogue. I wanted to buy the digital photo frame on Page 19. In the colourful advertisement it says that the frame is made by AWA and is 7” with MP3 player and an extra photo of the detachable fame “included”. It says that it’s at the “everyday low price” of $98.

Now I thought it was too good to be true as it would be the perfect present for my friend…and guess what?! I was right. After making the trek from work on this 37 degree Monday 19th November, and looking around the store for this mirage of a product I finally approached the help desk to be greeted by a young lady by the name of Annette.

Annette let me know that that product did not exist and that if I wanted that exact product ADVERTISED in your catalogue I’d have to fork out around $130. Now, what got me to eventually write this email is the fact that there is no sign anywhere in the store mentioning the slip up, and directing customers to an equally good brand digital frame for $98, and to top it off there was no manager on duty.

The apparent manager Paul Harris hadn’t bothered to turn up to work on this fine Monday (he was probably at the beach, where I would have gone to on this HOT day), and there was no one else on to replace him. Pathetic!

It’s no wonder you can keep the prices so low on all of your products….You only have one manager for each area, and no back up replacements, plus products that don’t exist, thus no sales get done, and therefore you can’t pay for another manager…It’s a vicious cycle!

If you are going to advertise, at least have the brains to proof read your ads. You may not care but your customers do. In fact, if you can’t create a catalogue of 32 pages, you might as well give up, and start up a hot dog stand franchise.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Nacho's Mexican Cantina/Mexicali Rose

We had dinner last Saturday night at Nacho's Mexican Cantina or Mexicali Rose in Lower Plenty. We think that it's in the process of changing names and/or management, cause the signage outside said one thing, but the menus said something completely different.

That of course was no excuse:

To whom it may concern,

Do you know how there are times when you drive past a restaurant all the time and you say to your driving companion, "We really should try that restaurant out"?

That's how we were with your Lower Plenty restaurant.

So finally, last Saturday night, we thought we'd give your establishment a go with a few friends.

Melbourne is, of course, the eating out capital of Australia. However, Mexican food is one area that Melbourne's restaurants can clean up their act.

But based on our experience on Saturday night, it's not going to be your Lower Plenty restaurant that does it.

We arrived at the restaurant at 7pm. It was busy, I'll give it that. We ordered drinks.

They took a little while to arrive. And in the meantime, we ordered food.

Our entree was dips for the whole table - two serves. It took 45 minutes for these to arrive, and when they did, only one was forthcoming.

We asked the waitress where the other one was, only to be greeted by, "They've run out of the dips."

Fortunately, another one was able to be scraped together with a cheese dip and something else, arriving at our table no less than ten minutes later.

So we sat and chatted while we waited for our mains to arrive. At about the hour and a half mark from when we placed our order, we started getting antsy, as you do. We looked around but there was no waiting staff in sight. And when they did appear, it was to serve people who appeared well after us.

We took turns to go up to the front counter to ask where our mains were, but to be honest, your waiting staff should have come and informed us that there was a delay, and the reasons for the delay.

Slowly, our table got more and more frustrated with the lack of service.

Seriously, this is the one time when I wish that there were mice in the kitchen, because you needed Speedy Gonzalez to shake things up. I had to be physically restrained from running into the kitchen and yelling, "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!"

By this time, we were going up at ten minute intervals. One of our party was greeted with, "Yes we already have your complaint. Could you please wait."

Talk about pouring tequila onto a burning fire. How would you feel if someone said this to you?

Finally, when our mains came out, some of us were in danger of falling asleep. This was now 9pm and there was barely anyone left in the restaurant.


I didn't hear a complaint about the food, except that my Chili Colorado was as tough as leather.

Our whole evening was a disgraceful exhibition of shameful amateurism. It will be a long time before we return, if we ever do. You need to wake up to yourselves.

Yours sincerely,


And that was very satisfying.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Qantas? JetStar? Who the f@$%... Part 2

This is Part 2.

Part 1 is here.

Took them a while, but Qantas eventually replied to my complaint:

Dear Dikkii

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your first hand experience of our codeshare flights to Bangkok and back to Melbourne, operated by Jetstar.

Qantas is committed to acting on what our customers tell us and although I can't answer you in detail, I can assure you that I have logged your feedback in our database. We run a continuous improvement program, which uses this feedback to help resolve problems and improve our product and service. Your feedback will be an invaluable input to that improvement process.

Although I can not respond to you with any further information, please be assured that I have provided your feedback to the management of the area responsible, so that they too can learn from your experience.

We value your support as a Frequent Flyer member and I hope you will give us the opportunity to show you Qantas at its best by flying with us again soon.

Yours sincerely

Brigitte Anttilla
Customer Care Executive
Qantas Airways Ltd

Fairly standard stuff - I wouldn't be surprised if Brigitte just cut and pasted from a form letter. I'm not really interested in pursuing this unless I hear from a lot of people who've had the same thing happen to them

In which case it could be a job for the trashy current affairs shows. I've always wanted to meet Anna Coren.

But I will go on record to say that I have no confidence in Qantas' code-sharing arrangements. Nor anyone else's for that matter, especially where a budget airline is used in place of a full-service one.

Disclosure: This blogger owns shares in Qantas.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Qantas? JetStar? Who the f@$% am I flying with?

Just a short missive to Qantas about a flight experience I had with them recently. I must admit, I wasn't exactly "on" when I wrote this, and anger tends to dissipate over time.

Rule number 1 when writing a good complaint: Write it as soon as you possibly can. Anger is a creative force.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I wanted to bring to your attention a mild dissatisfaction that I had recently with flights bearing your flight numbers.

Recently, my wife and I flew from Tullamarine to Bangkok. We were advised when we booked the flights that these would be on JetStar, and this is perfectly understandable, given that it makes perfect business sense to operate code-sharing arrangements.

Our problems, however, started there.

Whilst our flights were on JetStar planes, the flight numbers we were given started with QF, meaning that for all intents and purposes, they were Qantas flights.

So you can imagine our surprise when we took our seats to find that all the normal things that we would expect on a Qantas flight were not there. On Qantas flights, we expect to find meal services, drinks as well as a blanket and pillow.

It, therefore, came as a bit of a rude shock to us to find that we had to pay extra for these on the flight. This is not what one expects when flying what is expected to be a Qantas flight.

While I am doing my best in this not to harp on about what is expected when operating a code-sharing agreement, the following should be noted: It is the duty of Qantas to ensure that where a code-sharing arrangement exists, an equivalent level of service is received by the paying passengers. The fact that JetStar was operating the service should in no way be any different than if the flight was operated by British Airways, Aer Lingus or Burkina Faso Air.

On top of this, at the end of the flight when we went to try to get food, we were told that this was for passengers who had ordered this in advance and that there was nothing for any other passengers, even if they were prepared to pay.

Given all this, we decided to pre-order for our return flight, and were pleased with the results, however as we were, as has been mentioned before, flying what was in effect a Qantas flight, this should not have been necessary.

JetStar operates clean, new planes with what is probably the most attractive cabin staff I’ve ever seen. This says more about JetStar’s recruitment policies than it does about me, but they were competent and did their jobs with a smile. It is a shame, then, that Qantas doesn’t ensure that JetStar provides the rest of the package.

Given that Qantas owns JetStar, one would think that you are in a box seat to ensure that Qantas passengers on JetStar flights are treated with an equivalent level of service to what they would be if they were on a Qantas flight. This would be a no-brainer with any other company where this sort of thing exists.

I hope that this email has been of some assistance. Please feel free to contact me if you require further information.

Yours sincerely, Dikkii.

Oh well, I'll see what I get back.

Disclosure: This blogger owns shares in Qantas.

Monday, 10 September 2007

The Age response

I hope I also get a response from Catherine - If she's got the guts!

Dear Cameron

Thank you for taking the time to contact The Age. I have recorded it in Reader Feedback.

I have also forwarded it to Catherine Deveny.

Kind regards

Helen Barnett
Reader Services

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

The Age Online 5 Sept - Annoying sarcastic writer!

Dear all,

It would be nice if there was the capability to leave comments on particular articles that aren’t a part of the ‘Blog’ section.

Today I read an article by Catherine Devery titled “Why do some wives still change their names?”. After reading the article I felt like giving Catherine a few pointers as to ‘why’, but found myself lost for a place to post these pointers.

So here goes….

Dear Catherine,

Thank you firstly for pushing your ideals and beliefs on everyone else through your commentaries like some unwanted religion. Although I don’t believe that wive ‘must’ change there names I think that it does make things a little easier in the future. Let me give you an example as I’m sure you are currently about to delete this email as I’m not sure you take advise well.

The logical reason why it is still within the realms of sanity to change names at marriage is for the children that usually follow in the future. Firstly the issue of what last name to give your children is the first hurdle. Under the regular system that 90% of the public use, the child/children are named after their father. Simple. Under your devised system, firstly there would be bickering as to the last name of the 1st child followed by further bickering as more children are born. Your solution I would assume would be to take on both parent’s last names in a hyphenated way. Like Micheal Devery-Davidson for example if we were to have children together (trust me this is a hypothetical as you’re not my type, and visa versa).

Although Michael Devery-Davidson is a great name (maybe a little long if a middle name were added, but non the less). Of course there would be more bickering as to whose last name is first and whose was second. Now this form of name naming is fine for first generation kids, but it becomes a concern down the track (as I’m sure as a mother you would also push your narrow beliefs on your children as well).

Let’s go to the next generation assuming hypothetical Michael didn’t become a life long bachelor, seeking to rid the world of capitalism and poverty. Michael weds Kate Smith with the same feelings and beliefs and they have a child Joan. Joan then would take on the name Joan Devery-Davidson-Smith, and adding a middle name would now mean that Joan would need the bank to design a wider credit card to accommodate her ridiculous surname.

Let’s now just flow forward a couple of generations, when you and I have long been divorced are pushing up daisies. We now have created relatives with names like Jeffery Devery-Davidson-Smith-Bond-Gatting-Everitt-Samuels-Jackson-Laycock….You get my drift.

So next time you think wives change there names solely because they are weak or there husbands are chauvinistic pigs, think again, look outside your tiny square that you call reality, and be at peace that it will continue for a long time.


Thursday, 30 August 2007

Answer from Nestle!!!! More Freebies!!!!

Dear Ms Forder (Friend who I wrote this for)

We are concerned to learn of your experience with your recent purchase of one of our products, ALLENS Party Jumbo Pack 570g.

Prior to packing, the sweets are jumble sorted and generally speaking the balance of sweets is fairly even. However, it would appear that the balance of assortments in the packet which was purchased was caused by a failure in the product blending system.

We would hasten to assure you that failures of this nature are rare and are usually detected and rectified by our machine operators prior to final packing.

Thankyou for reporting this matter as it allows us to investigate and take steps to prevent such occurrences happening in the future.

Please accept a cheque as reimbursement for replacement product.

Yours Sincerely,

H Kennedy

Encl. Cheque $20.00

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Nestle Complaint

I was asked to write this for a friend. Passive I know but hey, how upset can you get about this?

To whom it may concern,

For many years now I have had much personal enjoyment from many of the fine products that your company distributes. This is due to the wide variety that Nestle produces and the exceptional quality standard that you maintain. Unfortunately this has come to a grinding halt and left me somewhat disenchanted with a particular product of yours.

For several weeks now I have been purchasing the Neslte Allens 570g “Party Mix” from the Safeway store at Roxburgh Park. I have chosen to do this for one reason specifically. That reason is because I am particularly fond of the “Bananas” that you make. This would be a most auspicious situation except for one thing. There doesn’t seem to be any more than one or two “Bananas” in the entire pack. I have not purely based this on buying one or two packets of your product either. For over 4 weeks now I have purchased no less than 16 packets of your “Party Mix” and have found that the situation continues to reoccur.

The most accurate definition of “Mix” in relation to this situation in the dictionary states: “A commercially prepared mixture of dry ingredients”. Now, having done my homework, I find it hard to believe that there are on average; 12 snakes, 6 black cats, 8 jelly babies, 5 strawberry creams and 5 pink things for whom the name escapes me, in every pack. Yet, only 1 or 2 bananas ever make it! Correct me if I am wrong, but this does seem a little out of balance to say the very least. There are only three reasons I can think of that would cause this. Either 1: The “mixing” machine you use performs extremely poorly. 2: Somehow the QLD banana crisis has affected how many lolly bananas go into your packets or 3: It simply costs you more to produce these bananas and therefore you purposely restrict the amount that ends up in your packets.

Obviously in anyone’s right mind it will be the third reason which leaves me most disheartened with Nestle. As I stated earlier, up until now I have always had the reassurance when buying a Nestle product that I would be satisfied with the quality, but unfortunately here, it seems that you have dropped the ball and put yourselves in the same category as three quarters of the rest of the sub-standard products and companies in the market.

Having tried to locate an Allens packet of just bananas alone to fix this problem for myself has thus far not been fruitful (pardon the pun) and seeing your bananas are the only ones that I like, puts me in a most unfavourable position. I would ideally like to continue purchasing your products but at this stage, if this type of “skimming” or “cost cutting” continues I will be forced to select another inferior product from one of your competitors because I would rather do that than be seemingly ripped off each time. I realise that this is only a minute problem in your grand company but one that could spill over into further products in the future. This, I would be most upset to see which is why I am bringing it to your attention now.

In any event, I, as a consumer of several of your products, would love to see an improvement in this area and restore my faith in the Nestle brand which I have spent a lifetime getting to know and feel safe with.

Any action or response to this feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Optus = Twat, Loser, Inbred

Dear Whoever,

Congratulations on breaking your own world record of 3 complaints in 3 months. You’ve surpassed all expectations by moving to 4 complaints in 3 months. This being the 4th complaint, about….you guessed it my non existent phone line.

Once again a technician was sent out fix our phone line, and once again they exclaimed that the line wasn’t connected at HQ so they couldn’t do anything. Once again I was put through the agony of calling through to Optus customer service, and then being transferred to every person in the entire building, explaining my circumstances over, and over again. The reason I get to speak to so many call centre operators? Well it’s not because I have a craving to socialise with your staff, it’s in fact about two little words, “call stats”. PAINFULL!!!!!

Well the buck stops here! I have now had 3….count them 3, technicians at my house now. All of them have said the same thing “we can’t help”, and yet when I called today I was asked if I wanted ANOTHER one to be sent out. SURE, why don’t you send 50 out, and we can have a “I can’t do jack sh*t party” where once again I end up being shafted!

Seriously, I’m not asking you to perform brain surgery, or map the solar system, and surely there is a logical reason why our phone doesn’t work, that doesn’t involve sending out another useless technician?! Either sort it out or be declared the most useless company in the world. The Telco that couldn’t connect a phone line. Wow, it doesn’t get much lower.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

I can't believe they would question my integrity! - Spud reply

Dear Clay,

As stated in my first email, the situation was not one of apology, but one of solving the situation with haste so no other customers were aware of the situation. I can say with complete confidence that my friend was not offered an apology, she was however offered another spud, for which she declined. She then had to ask for a refund, which I thought was ludicrous in the fact that it should have been the first thing offered. When I eat out at a restaurant and I receive something I didn’t order, the restaurants first step after an apology would be to offer the meal for free. Just because you have an “outlet” doesn’t excuse you from becoming a hot dog stand.

I can imagine that when faced with any issue one becomes defensive, so I can understand the franchisees response to the complaint. Regardless of how busy the store was, customers once again should be the number 1 priority, not just money. I can say however that I’m not out to “get” anyone and have certainly been truthful in my account of the events. The only reason I have complained on my friend’s behalf is that she simply said she would never use Spudbar again, and I mentioned that if no one makes them aware of their mistakes then they will never be able to rectify the situation for the benefit of all their other customers.

I am certainly open to helping you resolve this matter and am available for further comment if needed.



Spud response # 2

Dear Cameron,

Thank you for your email.

To ensure this doesn’t happen again the Franchisee and Staff will be required to attend additional training and satisfy the assessment criteria for Module 24 of the Spudbar Franchisee Induction Program ( Customer Service ).

Please note that I have phoned the Franchisee who was in the store at the time of the incident. She has advised that the store was busy and she couldn’t spend the time with the customer that she would have liked to. She has however confirmed that an apology was offered and a refund given.

Can you please double check with your friend her version of events before I take this matter further.

Kind regards,

Clay Thompson
National Support Center
Spudbar Franchising Pty Ltd

My Follow up to the Epic that is SPUD

Dear Clay,

Thank you for your prompt response. I can appreciate that it is not easy to run a large organisation, and I am pleased to hear your dedication in creating a consistent brand. I am happy to accept your sign of goodwill, and continue to use Spudbar in future, but would like to know what process or action you intend put in place that will give me confidence in using the same outlet again. Though Telstra Dome is a potential resolution it unfortunately is too far for me to commute in my lunch period.

My address is:

Cameron Davidson
C/- Robert Walters
Level 29
360 Collins St
Melbourne 3000



Spudbar reply - Quick and now I owe you a drink!

Dear Cameron,

Thank you for taking the time to compose the email and bring to my attention the situation at our Collins Street store.

Your associate’s treatment by our staff member is inexcusable and deplorable.

I have committed the last 7 years of my life to developing the Spudbar concept and building a brand with substance, integrity and decency.

The difficulties with building a business that is reliant on its people is that from time to time an employee with no respect for the customer or his / her self slips through the cracks.

I can assure you that I will give this issue my immediate attention.

In an attempt to compensate you and your friend for the inconvenience caused I’d like to offer you 6 Free Spud vouchers. This gesture is not intended to mitigate what happened but does go towards apologising for the behaviour of our staff member.

If you could please provide your postal address I’ll arrange for the vouchers to be sent to you.

If the damage done is to great then we invite you to visit another one of our locations ( Spudbar Telstra Dome is the next closest one to you ).

I’m sorry and hope to see you and your friend at a Spudbar outlet soon.


Clay Thompson
Chief Executive Officer
National Support Center
Spudbar Franchising Pty Ltd

Another anchise that has lost the plot - Spudbar

To Whom It May Concern:

Let me start by saying that I have been a customer of Spudbar for around 7+ years, first being turned on to your simple and delicious menu at your St Kilda location. This is where the reminiscing ceases.

Unfortunately as a company grows, you often lose sight and control of your core values, and as you expand your empire you bring on franchisees, and they employ staff thus diluting your control even further. This is still not a good enough excuse for what happened to my friend today.

My friend bought a spud from your Equitable Place (Collins St) location. Half way through eating her lunch she came across a hair that was about 30cms long. I’m sure I don’t need to express to you how physically sick it makes me feel when food is prepared as if we lived in a third world country with no health standards.

The issue is not so bad and can be an unfortunate mistake that can happen anywhere. What brings me to write this email (on behalf of my friend) is the treatment we were given when presenting the issue back with the Collins St outlet. A simple “sorry” and refund would have sufficed, but what we got was a cold hearted and abhorrent reminder as to why big franchises often lack any customer service when it comes to difficult situations.

The complete and utter lack of interest by the employee (who’s hair it most likely was) proves that Spudbar with all it’s “earth friendly” mumbo jumbo is merely another big corporate pulling our environmental heart strings to hand over our hard earned dollar. Simply put, stop masquerading as a business that “cares”! Reality check, you do care…..purely about money.

New slogan: Spudbar – Feeds (Head Lice) Well

Monday, 6 August 2007

Complaint about a complaint about a complaint

“Please contact the office in your state should you wish to talk to someone about your Red Rooster experience.”
To whom it may concern or whoever cares, if anybody,

I would like to begin this letter by referring to the above statement that I directly cut and pasted off your website, just in case any or all of you there have forgotten about it. It would seem to me that this is there so the general public, “YOUR CUSTOMERS”, can contact you about a positive or negative experience they had at your stores. Might I begin with saying, WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP!

This is the third time I have contacted you about a particularly displeasing situation that I was subjected to and still NOTHING has been done. As I stated in my last email to you, I was pleased that I was contacted back so promptly by Ms Kim Quigley (Personal assistant to the Regional Manager & Victorian State Manager) who clearly stated that she had spoken to the area manager whose name is Simon Collard. Now, apparently, Mr Simon Collard was going to conduct an “Investigation” in the Fairfield store relating to my grievance. Ms Quigley then stated that I would be contacted by Mr Collard relating to the matter once this investigation had been completed. She then further stated that these types of complaints are taken very seriously. May I continue say, WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP!

Not only has Ms Quigley fed me a load of garbage, she and Mr Collard have chosen to completely ignore me. This, on top of a most horrendous experience at your Fairfield outlet is nothing short of a slap in the face. Your total disregard for your customers is completely and utterly detestable on an epic scale and you should hang your heads in shame. I now, cannot distinguish which treatment is more upsetting. Either the initial pathetic and horrendously rude service I received or this blatant disregard from you relating to this complaint? Maybe you could help me out?....oh that’s right, nobody is listening or nobody cares, take your pick.

In conclusion, it is clear to me that this that your professionalism, customer service and respect, or lack there of, is nothing short of deplorable. It escapes me as to how your organisation survives conducting itself in this manner. However, what it does explain is the continued closure of several of your outlets. The magnitude of your total and utter incompetence is incontestably responsible for this. To quote your slogan, “Its gotta be Red”, let me give you the hot tip, NO IT DOESN”T!!!

Feel free to disregard this as well as I will be contacting the regional and Victorian state manager directly or whoever I can until someone gets their rear deservedly kicked.

Thankyou for “not” taking the time to read or “do” anything about this. I look forward to not receiving a reply.

Colonial Geared Investments - the conclusion

This is Part 4.

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.
Part 3 is here.

I meant to post the follow up to this last week, but hey! I was on holidays, so there.

Anyway, I had given Colonial a week to respond to my complaint, and I hadn't received a response. During that time, St George Margin Lending wasted no time in sending me out the paperwork for me to complete and send in to them in order to get my new margin loan underway.

I felt that a week was enough, so I sent it in and was kinda shocked that 3 working days after mailing the paperwork to St George, I get a call from a rather nice lady by the name of Joan Berkery-Coleman from Colonial. Thinking that this was about my complaint, I geared up (bad pun) for the response.

She hadn't actually seen the complaint. Instead, she was ringing about the refinance paperwork that had landed on her desk. So I told her straight. They'd dropped the ball on the Platinum float, and their response to my interest rate query was unacceptable.

Joan took all of this well, and asked me to forward her a copy of my complaint, which I did. She took a deep breath and told me that they'd got a lot of new staff in their call centre and as a result, some of them are still learning the ropes.

She asked me if they could keep my business if they could match the rate that St George were offering. I said nice (it's less than Colonial's) but I would also like them to match St George's gearing ratios as well, which are also currently better than Colonial's.

She couldn't promise that.

Having already filed the paperwork with St George, I decided to proceed with the refinance, and told her. She said to me that if things go pear-shaped with my new margin lender, please get on to the phone to her directly, and she would arrange a special rate for me.

Rather nice, I thought.

Anyway, two days later, she sent me this:

Hi Dikkii,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me on Monday. Whilst I am extremely disappointed to lose your business, I am very grateful to you for your candid feedback.

Every organisation undergoes a period of high staff turn over and unfortunately the Relationship Management Team in our Sydney office is no different. Our team will only benefit from your feedback and we have initiated additional training support for the new team members to ensure our high service standards are maintained at all times.

Please accept my apologies for the poor level of client service you have experienced.

As we discussed, at any time in the future, if you would like to renew your relationship with Colonial Geared Investment, I will be delighted to assist. In the meantime, I wish you continued success with your gearing strategy.

Yours sincerely,


Joan Berkery-Coleman
Executive Manager
Premium Business Services

I fired this back at her - she really did put in a bit of effort, I felt:

Hi Joan,

Thank you for your email. I really do think highly of the call that you made to me on Monday, which must be an unpleasant task.

The decision to re-finance is not a decision that one makes lightly, especially in light of the mountain of paperwork that accompanies it. As I said in our discussion on Monday, I have been largely happy with Colonial Geared Investments' service. It's just that I felt that the ball had been dropped a couple of times this year, and the email from your guys below (who continue to remain nameless) just really got me looking around for something different.

And if things don't work out between me and St George Margin Lending, rest assured that now I have your email address, you will be the first person I speak to about this. May I just say that as a shareholder and a former employee of the CBA, I found you to be respectful, courteous and I consider that were there more like you responding to emails, this wouldn't be such a serious issue.

I wish you all the best.

Yours sincerely, Dikkii.

I got this back, not long after:

Thank you Dikkii,

Your comments are appreciated greatly and I do look forward to speaking with you in the future.

Kind regards,


Joan Berkery-Coleman
Executive Manager
Premium Business Services

All done - but I still haven't got a response to my @#$%ing complaint.

Disclosure: This blogger owns shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (which owns Colonial Geared Investments) and Platinum Asset Management Limited.

Standard but necessary disclaimer: This is not advice. Only a complete idiot would think that any of this constituted advice. It's not even vaguely reasonable to consider this to be advice. If you are in any doubt as to the content of this, see a good, independent financial adviser immediately. They do exist.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Flight Centre Reply - Freebies always win me over!

Dear Cameron,

I am sorry to hear you were disappointed with the service your received for your last holiday.

I would like to offer you a $50 credit in our store for use on a future holiday. For future reference, most hotels charge for parking and we do not advise on this. You should have been advised of extra fees due on your car. I suggest that next time you let your consultant know the bedding configuration you would prefer so they can take this into account when making a booking for you.

Your credit will be valid for use until 30 June 08 at Galleria Flight Centre and can be used for domestic or international travel, flights, accommodation or insurance.

Thank you for your feedback.

Kind regards,


Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Don't worry be Fatty (Not a complaint as such but I made it during a Krispy Kream session in our office)

With thick Jamaican accent.....
Here is a little song I wrote
About a Krispy Kream donut
Don't worry, be fatty.....
In every life we have some trouble
When you eat you fat will double
Don't worry, be fatty......

Ain't got no place to lay your head
Krispy Kreams equals dead
Don't worry, be fatty......
The land lord say your rent is late
Severe heart attack is fate
Don't worry, be fatty......
Look at me I am happy
Don't worry, be fatty......
Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
No matter because I’m vile
But don't worry be fatty......
Cause when you worry
Your face will frown
Eat a Krispy Kream
And you heart will drown…in fat
So don't worry, be fatty (now).....

Friday, 27 July 2007

Optus Annoying Me Agian - What a shock?!!

To Whom It May Concern:

This is now my 2nd complaint about your services in the past 2 months. 2 from 2, you certainly are doing well!

I recently signed up for a phone and internet package. The phone and internet were supposed to be connected the same week, the internet being cable. After the internet was connected, I tried calling our home number (as connecting a phone line isn’t rocket science). When calling our number the phone line rings, but unfortunately the phone in our house doesn’t (again, not a difficult issue I would have thought).

Upon finding this out I called Optus customer service and sent a query in via email. A man named Dalip called and informed me that he had received my query and to provide him with my phone number so he could check our account. I did so and he proceeded to tell me that our phone wasn’t connected (wow…I think he was Albert Einstein’s reincarnation). He then proceeded to tell me that he would get back to me with a resolution. The “resolution” he so proudly spoke of was a short email with the extract:

Firstly, I would like to apologise on behalf of Optus for any distress and inconvenience that you may have experienced in connection with this matter.

As per your enquiry, we tried to find out your account information, but unfortunately were not able to locate it.”

We have recently received our latest bill where we have still been charged the line rental and connection fee. How convenient that YOU can’t find out details but you billing system can.
This kind of negligent behaviour is typical of a company that has lost touch with its customers. If you think that customer service is sending completely useless answers, and pushing queries into the “I can’t be bothered” file, then prepare to stay an average telecommunications company forever.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Welcome to a Purple Headed Countess

KitKat has joined the blog and will be posting here sporadically.

Make her feel welcome, folks.

Flight Centre - Adelaide Stuff Up

To Whom It May Concern:

I recently booked a trip to Adelaide from your Galleria location. The process of booking the flight, accommodation and transport was more than adequate and I felt that I should firstly say that my initial experience was great. Unfortunately for me that’s where the joy ended.

The trip was merely for a weekend with my fiancé and a couple of friends, where we were to visit my fiancé’s brother-in-law for his 40th Birthday. It was supposed to be a quick trip for a low cost to help him celebrate.

The problem started as soon as we touched down at Adelaide Airport. We went to collect our car, and found out that there was a further $28 fee on top of what we had already paid. Although not a large figure, I was shocked that a company like yourselves who claim to be “unbeatable” would not make me aware of extra costs. I assume you are “unbeatable” because you “omit” information out of your prices to beat your competitors.

To top things off, when we arrived at our 4 star hotel we found that our 2 bedroom apartment was set up for 2 couples, each room containing a double bed. Which left me to ponder, did our flight centre consultant think that Ross and Shaun were more than just friends? What sort of moron would book a room with 2 double beds for 3 guys and a girl? It seemed like the cheapest room in the Hotel was booked, again relating to the “unbeatable” that you so boldly place on your shop fronts.

Finally to top things off as we went to check out the lady behind the counter tried to charge me for parking my car under the Hotel. AGAIN something that wasn’t stated when we booked. All in all I spent little more than $50 extra, but the entire weekend was down right painful.

Your company certainly is “unbeatable” in “omitting”, “deceiving” and “annoying” its customers. I thought well branded companies were ethical?? How stupid of me to assume that because you say you’re the cheapest still means I get good service. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Red Rooster follow up complaint

Att: Kim Quigley, Personal Assistant to Regional Manager & Victorian State Manager.

Dear Kim,

Recently I decided to contact you about a particularly displeasing situation that I was forced to endure at your Fairfield store. As you might recall, it was a fairly lengthy and harsh complaint that I decided to forward you, in the hope of at least the slightest little thing being done about it. 1: so no one else has to go through it, and 2: your services improve.

The first positive thing that came out of this situation was your prompt reply. I thought this was particularly good due to the fact that you must be a very busy person who has better things to do than answer complaints such as mine. Unfortunately, that is where it ended. Upon receiving your email, you stated that an investigation into the store was going to take place by your area manager Simon Collard. You further stated that once this had taken place, Simon would like to contact me via telephone to discuss the matter and would be contacting me in a “timely” manner, obviously after I replied with my contact number.

According to the dictionary, the word “timely” is stated as: Occurring at a suitable or opportune time, Early; soon. It does not seem to me that either of these definitions have occurred, or, your or Mr Collard’s definition of “timely” is completely different. Other than that, you or Mr Collard, might just as simply, not care. Either way, your reply email to me was on the 4th of July. As you know, it is now the 17th. I would have expected that this was ample time for me to be contacted by your area manager.

Ms Quigley, I do not wish to add to the burden of your working day by sending you these complaints but I do expect you and Mr Collard to follow through with your promises otherwise it wastes your and my time and makes the whole exercise frivolous. Further more; it does make me consider the fact that you had just hoped to shut me up by returning my email, assuring me that customer concerns are taken very seriously. At this point in time, it would seem to me that my concerns, as a customer, are most definitely not being taken seriously.

If I have jumped the gun and have not given you enough time to deal with this matter, I do present my apologies. However, I do not wish to be played like a fool. If yourself or Mr Collard cannot fulfil your promises and follow through with your actions it will make it clear to me that a massive lack of professionalism in your organisation is rife, which would explain the initial woeful service I was subjected to in the first place. In conclusion, having taken this much time to address the situation, I EXPECT this to be dealt with or I will be forced to pursue the matter at a higher level.

I do thank you for your time and hope this can be resolved in a mutually beneficial manner and timeframe.

Yours sincerely,

Monday, 16 July 2007

Open thread - penalty fees

The Australian Consumer Association/Choice Magazine have announced recently that they're going to start a campaign to fight penalty fees charged by banks, credit unions and building societies on the grounds that they believe that they're illegal and unfair.

This blogger supports this, and suspects that his cohorts, nice1bruva and The Hulk would also be in favour.

Banks, credit unions and building societies aren't the only guilty parties, though. Off the top of my head, I can think of other industries where penalty fees should also be abolished.

Childcare would be one - has any parent shown up to collect their children thirty seconds late and found themselves being invoiced for a late collection fee or suchlike?

Open thread - is there any other industries that should have penalty fees removed?

Leave your whinge here.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Colonial Geared Investments - part 3

This is part 3.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Yep. So I finally got around to sending a response to Colonial. All good fun stuff:

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has taken me 3 days since I received this to scrape myself up off the floor after receiving this response to my query. Please allow me to briefly contextualise the reason for this email:

1. I have (on and off) worked in customer service for 12 years
2. Six of these years was in the same bank that pays your wages
3. One more of these years was in a call centre for a master trust where one of my central duties was to respond to incoming queries and complaints that arrived by email and postal mail.

The reason I am framing this response with the above information is this: In all my time in customer service I have never seen a response to a query executed as poorly as this one.

For starters, it is usually considered a good thing to address someone with a greeting. Even the salutation "Hi" would have been acceptable. Addressing a customer of yours without a salutation is simply not on.

Your spelling and punctuation is lamentably poor, and I consider the lack of proofreading to be insulting. Your suggestion that the Reserve Bank's actions with regards to interest rates is influenced by your decisions in this area is laughable.

And your point about your cost of funds being lower than your competitors had me scratching my head. Surely this justifies lower, not higher, rates, don't you think?

A mate of mine pointed out to me that if you truly believe that increasing your rates makes you "compete with our lenders" as you so quaintly describe, then why didn't you raise your rates by 10%? That would make you the most competitive margin lender in the western world, by your logic.

By the way, it's factually inaccurate to say that your variable rate is now in line with your competitors (at least, that's what I think you're saying. You sure have a funny way of phrasing information). I've checked.

Lastly, sir, or madam, or whatever it is that I'm communicating with, why didn't you sign your email? This is so unprofessional it's not funny.

Please respond. I consider this to be a complaint.

Yours sincerely, Dikkii.

And hopefully I get a grovelling apology. But let's see.

Disclosure: This blogger owns shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which owns Colonial Geared Investments

Standard but necessary disclaimer: This is not advice. Only a complete idiot would think that any of this constituted advice. It's not even vaguely reasonable to consider this to be advice. If you are in any doubt as to the content of this, see a good, independent financial adviser immediately. They do exist.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

The Didak Dilemma - My McDonalds' response to that trash

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your prompt response. Much of what you have said I agree with, and then there are some points I strongly disagree with. I agree that Didak can not be blamed for the shootings in the city, and I duly retract that comment. I also agree that McDonalds’ connection with the club does a lot of good in developing young players and providing the community with a fantastic sporting outlet.

What I do not agree with is the simple problem of “corporate gullibility” where by Collingwood has made facts aware to the media that are simply ridiculous, and you’d have to be mentally incapable to believe them.

Have you ever been near a gun when it is discharged? Have you ever been in a car travelling at over 180km/h being chased by police for the first time? Wouldn’t you be totally awake and scared out of your mind? I know I certainly would and the simple fact is, regardless of how drunk you claim to be, there’s nothing more sobering than being in an incredibly tense situation, especially if it’s illegal.

The pathetic claim that Didak made saying he was asleep, when “the shots were fired” is total and utter baloney. Come on don’t pretend to believe such nonsense.

That’s my sole issue. The fact that corporate companies choose to swallow absolute rubbish because it’s easier on their company conscience. You should bring out a new McDidak meal, where you receive an empty paper bag, because someone “forgot” to put in a burger and fries. Ignorance is bliss…..

The Didak Dilemma - Mc Donalds' Response

Hello Cameron,

Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's regarding your concerns with the incident with Collingwood Football Club player Alan Didak.

In relation to the incident with Alan Didak, we have been very active in voicing our concerns about the incident and have raised these concerns with the Collingwood Football Club.

The Collingwood Football Club has kept McDonald's informed about the incident at all times. We are confident that Collingwood Football Club has handled the matter in a professional manner.

We are satisfied that the strict behavioural guidelines imposed on Alan Didak are an appropriate punishment.

Collingwood held a press conference as soon as the controversy came to light on the Thursday evening. The Club has been very restricted in what it is able to provide to the media because of on-going police investigations.

It is important to note that Alan Didak was at no time suspected of any crime, has been cleared by the Victoria Police of any wrong doing and was only ever interviewed as a witness.

Collingwood Football Club was technically not able to suspend Alan Didak as he is not guilty of any specific offence and has not broken any specific code of conduct.

The Club is embarrassed and very disappointed by the behaviour of Alan Didak given that he was out late at night, drinking to excess and as a result made some very stupid decisions.

As a result, the Collingwood Football Club has imposed very strict behavioural guidelines and any breach of these guidelines will result in instant termination of his contract. These are the most severe sanctions ever handed down to a player in the AFL.

It is unfair to make any connection between Alan Didak and the eventual shooting, particularly as police were already aware of the incident. The public humiliation suffered by Alan Didak is a tremendous punishment in itself. Alan has been remorseful and accepted the behavioural guidelines.

Once again thanks for taking the time to raise your concerns with us about our sponsorship with the Collingwood Football Club.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Colonial Geared Investments - the response

I got a response to my initial complaint to Colonial quite quickly:


Our descion [sic] to increase the rates had no bearing on whether the reserve bank increased the rates or not, for quite some time our interest rate was much lower that [sic] our competitors and our cost of funds was way under what our competitors [sic] rates were. We decided to increase them in line with our lenders and compete with our lenders.

"We decided to increase them in line with our lenders and compete with our lenders"???

"Our lenders"???

First of all, if their cost of funds was "way under" what their competitors rates were, why not pass the savings on to their customers?

Secondly, how does increasing their interest rates make them more competitive?

Thirdly, how the hell do they post a response with this many spelling and grammatical mistakes, and then not even have the good grace to sign off on the email?

Lastly, how in the name of sweet FSM do they think that their corporate policy has any bearing whatsoever on what the Reserve Bank chooses to do with regards to interest rates?

I will be re-financing my loan at the first possible opportunity. I'm not doing business with morons.

Disclosure: This blogger owns shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which owns Colonial Geared Investments

Standard but necessary disclaimer: This is not advice. Only a complete idiot would think that any of this constituted advice. It's not even vaguely reasonable to consider this to be advice. If you are in any doubt as to the content of this, see a good, independent financial adviser immediately. They do exist.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Colonial Geared Investments

I've got to say, I've been a little cold on this lot ever since this happened. They're normally a good bunch, but it may be time for me to shop around, given that margin loan interest can often be somewhat pricey.

Last week, for no apparent reason, they chose to raise their standard variable rate by 0.10 of a percentage point.


I have an existing margin lending facility with you guys and have been largely happy with the service provided.

I noticed that last week you took the odd step of raising your standard variable rate by 0.10 of a percentage point.

This was despite the fact that the Reserve Bank met last week and chose not to raise rates.

I rang your call centre this morning and the staffer who greeted my call was unable to say why this increase took place. Could you say why? Have you added any new features recently?

Cheers, Dikkii.

Rest assured, if the answer is unsatisfactory, I will be re-financing. I already have an alternative lender lined up.

Disclosure: This blogger owns shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which owns Colonial Geared Investments

Standard but necessary disclaimer: This is not advice. Only a complete idiot would think that any of this constituted advice. It's not even vaguely reasonable to consider this to be advice. If you are in any doubt as to the content of this, see a good, independent financial adviser immediately. They do exist.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Answer From Red Rooster!!!

I would like to apologise for any inconvenience you may have been caused. We aim to provide friendly and efficient service and a product of the highest quality at all times.
Please be assured our customer concerns are taken very seriously, as it is through such feedback that we are able to improve on our service in the future. I will be passing your comments on to Simon Collard - the Area Manager for the Fairfield Store. Simon will be in touch with you within a timely manner once he has completed his investigations at the store.
In the meantime, could you please reply with your contact number that Simon can call you on.

Kim Quigley
Personal Assistant to Regional Manager - East Coast
and Victorian State Manager

McDonalds Complaint connected to my Collingwood Complaint

This was sent because I know Collingwood won't respond - I'll hit'em from all angles!

I just wanted to say how disappointed I am with McDonald's inaction in relation the Alan Didak incident over the past few weeks. Just because you're only a sponsor doesn't mean you should just sit back and watch the McDonald's name be connected with a football club that doesn't punish plays for being a part of illegal activity that sadly resulted in the death of innocent man.

This is the perfect time for McDonalds to stand up and make Collingwood aware that you do not condone the behaviour of Didak in relation to the Hudson murder. Collingwood does not deserve your kindness and understanding in this matter. If they had of suspended Didak with the knowledge they had until the case is sorted, no worries, however Collingwood have chosen to deal with the issue at a snails pace. Too slow for corporate responsibility if you ask me. McDonalds is a family store, don't get caught being the supporter of a hypocrisy!

Stand up McDonalds, before you are looked upon as a spineless supporter.

Collingwood's poor handling of Alan Didak

Let me say how disappointed I am there is no where to discuss Didak and more to the point Eddie’s ridiculous behaviour over the last few weeks. Don’t think the fans of football are too stupid to realise that Collingwood HQ is ignoring the issue and hoping it just up and vanishes into this air.

First of all let me say that I can understand the situation Didak found himself in. Dobbing on the Hell’s Angels is a brave act, and he wasn’t to know the Hudson was going to kill someone 6 days later. Lesson learnt, next time grow some balls and confess. You could save a life.

What I do think is ridiculous is the attitude the club took after the fact. Examples have been made in the past for indiscretions at other clubs, Tarrant being the most recent. 2 weeks for a punch (which included no guns, speeding or illegalness). Suspended straight away, with no questions asked. What’s Collingwood’s response???? “This is his last chance”……….. I would hate to be around when he loses his last chance.

Couldn’t have another big name player out against the Hawks could you? No Rocca, no Didak, we could lose thought Eddie. I think I’m going to take a risk and play Didak and then think about his punishment next week. NOT good enough.

This type of action makes me sick. If there’s ever a time to hate Collingwood it’s now! Booooooooo Collingwood, Boooooooooo

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Fox8 and it's pot calling kettle black. Sent Today!

I was happily watching your channel on Sunday afternoon when in between shows I caught a snippet of Ian Thorpe’s new show “Fish out of water”. Although the show offers some great insight into keeping our environment safe and creating awareness to a growing issue, I found it hard to swallow any advise from someone who has only just started to care now that he is unemployed.

The issue Thorpey was tackling was of the growing demand for new clothes by young people trying to keep up with fashion, and its direct connection with harming our precious environment. The topic was very interesting apart from an alarming fact.

How can I be seriously expected to swallow information about not buying new clothing from someone who quite blatantly claims to be a fashion spokesperson. Who I have seen several times hosting fashion events, wearing fashion from all over the world, traipsing round pretending he’s Georgio Armani???? It was like watching a show with Saddam Hussain as host talking about the love of a democratic society. Seriously the host couldn’t have been further away from the topic!

If the environmental topics are ever going to be taken seriously can we a least have someone who cares, and isn’t just in it because he’s got nothing better to do with his time?? Rarely does it work when a movie star becomes a singer and visa versa, so Thorpey, go back to swimming and leave the TV to the big people!

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Gary's Car Radio

Recently, my significant other and myself made the decision to get a new car stereo put in. We had also been thinking of replacing the alarm in the car with an immobiliser, and so Ms Dikkii traipsed off to Gary's Car Radio in Heidelberg to get the job done.

What a disaster that was...

Dear "Gary",

This is a complaint. Not your usual, "We're not happy," complaint.

Oh no. This is a, "We're screaming blue murder and you're damn lucky we're not violent," style complaint.

A couple of months ago, my wife and I made the decision to get our car alarm replaced with an immobiliser.

After initial discussions with the guy in your Heidelberg shop, we thought that you'd provided a favourable quote. My wife asked about car stereos - because we were looking at a new one - and your guy in the shop - who's name is also Gary - provided us with a favourable quote for the whole thing.

The quote provided to us included a new stereo head unit and speakers. Gary mentioned to my wife that this would be for a Eurovox or Clarion head unit, and we felt happy with that.

Our car was booked in for the job, and it came back with a shiny new stereo, speakers and an immobiliser.

This was where it all started going wrong.

First of all, the frame around the old Kenwood head unit had been cracked during removal, making it impossible to be used again.

Secondly, the new head unit was of the brand AXIS and was different to the ones that my wife had been shown during the initial consultation.

Lastly, there was a hum coming from one of the new speakers that shouldn't have been there.

My wife had to take the car back immediately for fixing the speaker, as this was simply unacceptable.

We felt initially a bit awkward about the different stereo that was installed, but we thought we'd give it a go. The first thing I'd noticed was that your staff had not seen fit to provide us with a user's manual for the new unit. How in the name of Frank does anyone expect to operate a car stereo with a CD player and USB port with no user's manual?

My wife returned to the shop and got one, but by this stage, I was far from happy with the unit provided.

The unit had several design and build flaws:

  • Decals on buttons didn't line up
  • The backlit display screen was too dim to read during the day if the sun was out; and
  • Some buttons were lit so you could see what and where they were at night. Others weren't

On top of this, there was a fairly major problem that the stereo kept re-setting itself, and losing the memory of sound settings, radio station pre-sets etc.

Now if we'd got the stereo we initially requested, as discussed, this wouldn't be a problem. Instead, we had a very poorly designed and made unit that simply wasn't good enough.

We brought our car back to talk about getting the problem with the memory fixed and I mentioned to Gary about the problems we'd had to date. Gary assured us that we could book our car in to have the memory problem fixed. I asked about having the unit replaced with one we'd initally requested, and he told us that we'd have to buy a new unit at full price. He asked what was wrong with the unit that was installed, and when I told him about the build and design problems, he seemed very uninterested.

Shocked beyond belief, we walked out and swore never to return. We drove down the street to JB Hi-Fi and bought another unit (a Sony, this time) that did the job perfectly. In fact, they were able to install it on the spot.

My wife and I went off for a soothing cup of tea while the installation was being done. When we came back, the auto-electrician who was installing the new unit was not happy.

"Who did the wiring for this?" he asked.

We told him.

"I would sack my own son if he did a wiring job as crap as this."

Gary, this was absolutely the last straw. We should be pursuing you with a claim for the extra stereo we had to buy and the amount of time we've had to do without the car while you guys installed and fixed stuff.

You'd better pray that the immobiliser you guys installed was done properly, otherwise it'll be a visit to Consumer Affairs for you. Think yourself lucky that all we're telling our friends is to not use Gary's Car Radio in Heidelberg under any circumstances.

Not happy at all,


Ms Dikkii has requested that I do not send this letter to Gary's Car radio. A pity, this.

Friday, 29 June 2007

My follow up Red Rooter Complaint. Ouch!

To Clearly No One Cares,

I am writing you this complaint after a recent experience I had at your Alphington/Fairfield outlet. I need not go into the entire scenario again as a fellow dinner (or lack there of) has put his complaint forward also.

I’m a firm believer that without customer feedback you can never really know how you are positioned within the market. Let me tell you, right now after that woeful experience I would rate Red Rooster lower than a microwave dinner. At least at home I don’t have to put up with incompetent, blatantly annoying and clearly shocking customer service.

Why would one work in hospitality if they have no customer service?? You don’t see Pauline Hanson working in a Chinese take-away do you??? Seriously, just because you food is cheaper than a restaurant doesn’t mean you can cut corners with staff. The manager that I faced on that day was nothing short of inept.

I not one of those people who is hung up on body size, but one must look respectable. I put this to you that if you were to go to a dentist with crooked, yellow teeth, or a hairdresser with a wig, would you trust them? Simply put (at not at all trying to be harsh), the manager of your store was obese. Her clothes were dishevelled and dirty, and she was enormous.

Sadly if you are to continue down this path, you are going to end up being the next Pizza Hut. A forgotten, greasy taste on the back of people’s tongues, never to raise your pathetic heads again.

Red Rooster should be Red Faced!

This is the reply email from the useless Optus giant. UNSATISFACTORY!

Dear Mr Davidson

RE: Optus Telephone Account

Thank you for your letter dated 19/06/2007 regarding your Optus Telephone Account.

Firstly, I would like to apologise on behalf of Optus for any distress and inconvenience that you may have experienced in connection with this matter.

As per your enquiry, we tried to find out your account information, but unfortunately were not able to locate it. We would appreciate if you provide us the Account number for your internet connection or Pre-activation number of your home phone. Once we receive this information, we will be more that happy to help you in context to your queries.

Should you have any further queries or wish to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact Optus Customer Service on 1300300693.

Thanks & Regards


Red Rooster Whinge

To whom it may concern,

On Saturday the 24th June at around 11.30am, myself and two friends decided we would pull in to you Alphington store drivethru. This was the beginning of terrible experience of epic proportions.

Upon entering the drivethru and ordering our meal, the girl was struggling from the onset. It seems she had great difficulty in putting together an order consisting of a quarter chicken and chips, a Flaava and a Portuguese chicken meal. Now, for someone who is “trained” to do this job, I wouldn’t have thought that would be too difficult a task. I was wrong. Once we managed to get over that little hurdle, we proceeded to sit there waiting for our meal for nearly fifteen minutes. Without being unfair, I do understand that a little waiting time may be required, but for a fast food outlet, that was absolutely RIDICULOUS!

Finally when our food had been fed, grown, plucked, cooked and served to us without even the slightest apology from your booth operator, we went on our way. About 3km down the road when I had gotten everything out of the bag, I realised that my order was incorrect. I found this most surprising really, considering the amount of time it took to order. You would think they would have had time to double and triple check it. Nevertheless, we proceeded to do a u-turn and head back to the store in a less than pleased manner, as you would imagine. Here is where the experience takes a nasty down slope.

As I approached the young lady who served us and presented her with our dilemma, anyone would have thought that I had just told her that her dog had died. The look of bewilderment on her face was second to none. Upon asking for our order to be rectified and having her stare blankly at us, the manager poked her head out from the back and most abruptly asked, or should I say stated, “What’s the problem?” After explaining what had occurred and not even the littlest skerrick of customer service, I was forced to ask where my Portuguese chicken was. The answer I received was nothing short of amazing. The manager’s reply, and I quote, “Its still cooking”. Firstly, I found that particularly hard to believe due to the fact it had been over 20 minutes by then and what I found even harder to swallow, was that fact I had ALREADY LEFT THE STORE!! If that was not shocking enough, your manager proceeded to turn around and say, in an excessively rude tone, and I quote once again, “Well, do you want it or not?”

After all of this, I thought it can’t possibly get any worse. I was wrong once again. All I wanted was the order I had asked for, so I posed the question of how long it would be. The reply I received left me flabbergasted. Your extremely bad mannered, un-customer service orientated manager told me it would be another 10 MINUTES!!! If she was intentionally trying to piss me off, she succeeded, with honours. I was left with no alternative but to ask for my money to be returned and promptly left the store, hungry and need I say, horrendously annoyed.

Since you have provided a forum for your customers to contact you about their experiences, I have clearly chosen to do so. I feel I have been subjected to a most harrowing experience at your store, one of which I should not have been presented with in the first place, and one that no other should have to go through. If this is the way you are going to conduct yourselves, regardless of my annoyance, it is clear to me that you will not survive for much longer. I would like to have said that the experience had left nothing but a bad taste in my mouth but unfortunately I did not get to put anything in there, due to the fact that it seemed impossible to actually get served any food in a REASONABLE amount of time and in a REASONABLE manner. In conclusion, Saturday the 24th of June was the last time I will have entered your Alphington store. To be totally honest, I would rather spend an afternoon, sticking needles in my eyes than be subjected to that kind of torture again. Never have I been on the end of such a displeasing set of circumstances when ordering fast food.

Some sort of a reply to this would be appreciated, if it’s not too much trouble.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

The Bunnings complaint

This one is scathing……

I recently emailed you in this form about a particularly horrible experience I was subjected to upon visiting your Northland store. The service or " lack of service " your store provided was so excruciating that the person I was with made a complaint about the same issue due to them being even more displeased than myself, if that is even possible. The only thing that I found even remotely pleasing about this experience was that there was a forum where I could vent my frustrations with the hope that just maybe it would be worthwhile. This is obviously not the case. Having taken the time to provide some feedback, according to you, I was supposed to be contacted in relation to this matter within a couple of business days. As you would imagine this did not occur. It seems incompetence and excessively poor customer service is rife throughout your organisation. The slightest shred, if there was any, of Bunnings keeping me as a customer has now completely diminished. I feel nothing short of foolish to think that by taking the time to try and communicate with you, you would even show me the smallest amount of courtesy and reply. Lowest prices are just the beginning? You're not mistaken about that. It was the beginning of a most horrendous experience in customer service and total disregard for any professional courtesy, one that has done little more than left a bad taste in my mouth. If you feel it unnecessary to reply to this feedback this time, do not stress yourselves. Enlightened now by your conduct, I would rather contract chicken pox than deal with your company again in any way shape or form. At least that would be less irritating.

Complaint about a complaint to Connex

I think this is a cracker……

Over a week ago now I emailed you about a complaint that I felt was worthy of letting you know about. It was in regards to being squashed in like a sardine on your trains due to their being not enough carriages. I was particularly displeased at the time due to it making my trip to work nothing short of painful, to say the very least. The next day however, it was made apparent that you had problems with some of the train's brakes within the fleet. I understand that this may have had something to do with it but it was not the first time even so. Having taken that into account, I assumed that would give you a valid reason to reply to me with, for that particular instance anyway. This was not the case. Not only did you not reply with that, you have not replied at all! According to the automatic reply that was sent, you would be contacting me within 7 days. This kind of customer service is totally unacceptable. Obviously customer service does not seem to be a high priority in your organisation which is clearly reflected in the way you run your sub-standard rail service. I do not see the point in providing an avenue for customer feedback where you state that you will respond and do not. It not only wastes my time, it makes the entire exercise frivolous. Further more it really does accentuate how incompetent Connex really is and how little you care about your customers. If I can take the time to provide some feedback for you to take on board, surely you can at least humour me with some type of response at the very least. If not, I have a suggestion for you. Do not provide a platform for this to occur, or any other platform for that matter. It will make no difference because if you continue to run your organisation the way you are at present you will not be around for much longer anyway. Maybe then I will not be travelling on and trying to communicate with a totally incompetent and sub-standard rail company.

This is the 2nd Compliant I just sent to Optus. You'll get the drift.

Replying to a complaint should primarily be about solving the issue/s at hand and finding a solution that is equally beneficial to both parties, NOT call me up whilst I’m at work apologise for something you know nothing about and find no resolution to the problem, but proceed to inform me of facts I already am aware of. The words I would use for this type of response are: useless, ineffective, hopeless, pathetic, incompetent, inept and all round rubbish.

I didn’t leave feedback so one more person could get on the phone and tell me to tell my tale of woe again. I left the complaint to get a resolution. After speaking with the complaints person, his excuse for “a resolution” was to tell me that my phone line was not connected (that’s amazing... Because I told you that already, are you a psychic??), and that he would meet with the people I spoke with to convey my disgust (even though he had no idea of which call centre they worked in).

To my disgust Optus has failed to provide me with any real reason to use them at all. A simple complaint about a phone line and a rude staff member has materialised into nothing. What a shock. I’m sure Optus will pick up the ball eventually, when they realise that money isn’t everything, customers are or when hell freezes over, or world peace breaks out or when Osama Bin Laden becomes a Christian.

Grow up Optus, grow up.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

The ABC responds to Dikkii

Here's the response I got back from the ABC:

Dear Dikkii

Thank you for your email regarding Psychic Investigators. I apologise for the delay in responding to you.

The ABC regrets that you are unhappy about the decision to broadcast this series. Psychic Investigators is a series in which police involved in investigating crimes, in the absence of evidence indicating the guilt of a particular perpetrator, have called upon the services of psychics as a possible way of achieving a breakthrough in a case. These are actual documented police investigations and the police involved are interviewed in the series, along with the psychic employed. Many of the police involved state that they were initially sceptical that a psychic would be of any help and that they were astounded by the information they learned. The cases covered in the series took place in the UK and North America and cover a range of crimes.

As the national broadcaster, the ABC has an obligation to appeal to a diverse range of tastes. Nonetheless, your comments about this series are noted and have been conveyed to ABC Television.

I have noted and forwarded your comments about the way that people are attributed on Catalyst programs. I noticed in the transcripts for Catalyst programs that people appear to be referred to by first name then surname. If they are a Doctor, they are referred to as Dr. first name then surname.

Thank you for taking the time to contact the ABC.

Yours sincerely

Laura Whelan
ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs

As far as I'm concerned, Whelan didn't give me a good reason to not complain to the Minister. All of this reads as PR from the programme with none of it factual. However, I notice that they're not showing this programme at the moment, so I'll hold off complaining.

Regarding the other part, it's now been a while since I received this response, and I still have no response from the Catalyst production team as to why they persist with this elitist claptrap, so it looks like I'll be escalating this one. Back to the ABC it will go.

And if I get nothing then, it'll be on to Media Watch.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Where Dikkii complains to the ABC

For those of you who read Dikkii's Diatribe, you'll know that I have a real problem with woo. I also have a bit of a problem with academic snobbery.

Here's a little email I punched off to Auntie not so long ago:

G'day all you good folk at the ABC.

Love your work, mostly. And lots too.

I have two questions for you:

1. Whenever you put the names of people up with PhDs on Catalyst, you put their names as Dr XXX, but when you put people on without PhDs, you don't put their names as Mr/Ms YYY, you just put YYY. This is normally considered either inconsistent or incorrect. Possibly even academically snobby, although I wouldn't go that far. What's the ABC's style guide say about this?

2. I've seen some rubbish on the commercial channels in my life, but most of them would have the good sense to steer well clear of a show called "Psychic Investigators". Can you provide one good reason why I shouldn't complain to the federal communications minister about this brain shrinking waste of taxpayers money?

Cheers, Dikkii.

On the subject of what I would consider "academically snobby", I certainly would consider the ABC's use of the "Dr" honorific to be both that and an appeal to authority. I just wanted to get it in there for them to see.

Psychic Investigators on the other hand, don't get me started.

I did get a response back.