Saturday, 25 October 2008

The phoney options

My mobile phone ('cell phone' for any North Americans who have strayed onto this site) sort of died on Thursday night aged two years. This is the second mobile phone in succession to die on me.

Well, it may not have been dead but the on/off button no longer on'ed or off'ed. This might not have been a problem if the phone had been on at the time I noticed the malfunction but as the phone was off there was the not inconsiderable problem that I couldn't get it going again.

Now, I use the mobile phone in fits and starts but I need one active at all times in case my Mum's nursing home needs to contact me in an emergency. So there was no option but for me to seek a replacement first thing on Friday morning.

My service provider is Telstra. I can sense Australian readers gnashing their teeth immediately at the mention of that organisation. As I had to be in the city for lunch on Friday I thought I would go to Telstra's King Street store. On arrival there I found there was a plentiful number of service attendants or whatever they call themselves. None was actually attending to any customers. They were too busy at their computer screens or on the phone, to attend to the four or five customers standing around in expectation of receiving attention. They also all looked about 13 years of age. Has Telstra usurped McDonalds in the child recruitment stakes?

Eventually 'Mark' noticed that I was decomposing in the store and evidently thought he better do something about it by asking if he could assist me. Whilst decomposing there I had taken the opportunity to look around the store and found there were numerous Nokia phones (my preference) on display so I was confident that I could select one from that range as a replacement handset.

I explained my situation to Mark and once he had checked my details and plan and customer history on his computer he informed me there was one model I could obtain.

One! Just one! Out of all those dozens of models on display, my (apparently) cheapskate plan entitled me only to one model out of them all.

And here it is.

Forty-five minutes after agreeing to select the one model I was offered, 'Mark' had completed the paperwork and transferred my contact list onto the new phone. For better or worse this is the new handset I will live with for the next two years or until, of course, it decides to die.


  1. I think it's a vowel thing. You aussies likely say "mobile" so it rhymes with "tile." We yanks say it so it rhymes with "bull." Our pronunciation doesn't lend itself to using the word as a noun, so cell phone it is.

    In France, it's call a "portable."

  2. wcs - yes, mobile/tile it is. I hadn't heard about 'portable' before.

  3. I've found it helps if you have a contact within the monolith that is Telstra, it makes me cringe to stay with them, however their coverage is superior and I did help to set up the next G network in Melbourne and Sydney so I may as well utilise it. I managed to get a handset upgrade for my contract, however this offer only now matches those available from other providers. Consider me a fool.

  4. All you had to do was threaten to take your service elsewhere and they would have given you the phone you wanted. Always works for me.

  5. Yes isn't it crazy that it could take so long just to do the paperwork for a new handset !

  6. My own experience has been very similar to yours in that I am also on a contract with Telstra and prefer Nokia phones.
    It is always amazing to me that when I have a 24 month contract, the phones dies shortly thereafter, not giving me the opportunity to switch to a cheaper plan now the phone is paid for.
    I was only offered one Nokia when my last phone gave up the ghost but I nagged the salesperson long enough that they acceded to my demand (without approaching a manager for permission) for a better phone I had my eye on.
    The paperwork for the purchase of my last car took less time than the paperwork and sim-swapping did for my new phone.