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 fiancĂ© and a couple of friends, where we were to visit my fiancĂ©’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.