Friday, January 11, 2008

Crackling Anyone?

Our phone has been playing up for around two months. It has a evil gremlin in there that likes to scrunch cellophane ..... sometimes softly, and sometimes VERY LOUDLY. The noise can be so overwhelming that your nerves are jumping, and you want to blow up the entire uncaring Telstra monstrosity.

It began when we had a heavy deluge of rain, or at least, that's when we think it began. My memory banks have registered that it had happened before, and needed a technician/repair man to come up and take the top off our wiring thingie on our fence line and fiddle with that.

I thought I might give it time to correct itself, but that didn't happen. The noise became so loud that we had to ask our callers to speak up, or we would end up having to terminate the call before we all had a breakdown.

My temper began to fray, so I got onto AAPT, our service provider. We had transfered over to them two years ago because the savings were quite considerable. I do remember contacting Telstra for a refund after they had made a mistake, and the frosty call centre chick reminded me we were 'no longer customers' (they finally did refund after I got determined and threatened the ombudsman!).

Back to AAPT. After passing through that intensely frustrating process of automatic choices, it refused to recognise my answer because of the crackling, rudely hanging up on me twice.

I finally got through that process and waited half an hour on the music queue trying to tune out the static monster sent to torment me. Eventually a human got on the line, and I mumbled desperately to the patient girl about our distress. She contacted Telstra, the phone line provider, who promised it would be fixed by the fourth of January. Relief!

We struggled on until the fourth came and went, and no Telstra repairman.

I got back on the mobile and got hung up on twice by the automated answering system, I think because the faulty number I registered was on their 'don't talk to her' radar.

Trying to outwit them, for the next call, I registered my mobile number, and the mindless robot 'put me through' into a queue that stretched for over three quarters of an hour! I began to worry about my mobile phone bill.

Finally I was put through to a nice Scottish lady who tested the line, contacted Telstra and made more promises for a repairman by next Monday. She noted down a refund for my burgeoning mobile bill and wished me luck. She thanked me for 'being nice' as the last gentleman had been very rude. I replied that customers shouldn't have to wait so long for assistance.

They don't care! It's Saturday already and we haven't spotted the Telstra man. Our phone sounds terminally ill when it rings and the dial tone is like our gremlin has hiccups. The crackling ..... well, don't remind me! Chinese water torture has nothing on this. I reflected at one stage that if I was plugged into this noise for too long, I would be ready for the insane asylum........

I'm going to investigate VOIP. I read on a forum that we can have a Telstra line for incomings @ $19.95 a month, and a VOIP for outgoings at a much cheaper rate. Telstra might love us again and fix this freakin' line.

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."
...John Quincy Adams

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