I am in the midst of assisting my lovely mum relocate into a Retirement Village. After her stroke last year she has decided it might be a good idea to live in closer community with others. I think it’s a great idea as I have lived with the constant nagging worry of her having a fall since she moved back into her home in February.
As part of the move I offered to sort out the new phone connection and to arrange the power to be connected. Simple stuff I thought, I mean I didn’t offer to run the cables for either just to make a couple of telephone calls.
TelstraClear have been abysmal. Truly abysmal. I telephoned them (as mum’s incumbent supplier) to give them the first crack at the deal. After 15 minutes of being assured my call was important, having first negotiated the voice recognition service which I find extremely patronising “I think you said patronising”… I gave up and called Telecom. After a very brief hold I spoke to Annette and the whole thing was sorted, new number, broadband, free wireless router and we’re away. Two different Telstra people have rung mum since despite my clear instructions not to do so (I have a full power of attorney and she doesn’t need the bother with everything else going on).
Then it was time to connect the power. Mum’s with Contact and so armed with every account number and ICP number known to mankind I confidently approached their online ‘moving home’ form… after another 15 minutes of attempting varying combinations of names, numbers, dates of birth and ancient runes I gave up. A full email (with just a smidgeon of emotion) was sent instead.
The message here (if in fact there has to be one) is that for all the technology, menus and tools I wasn’t able to to the simple things I set out to do. It is no wonder that places that put ‘people before technology’ do so bloody well.