Telstra – dealing with 5

One of this morning’s headlines:-

Why would their customers have “taken to social media to report problems?” Probably because, knowing Telstra, they wouldn’t have any ordinary email addresses or email forms to enable customers to quickly and easily report their problems directly to Telstra.

We’re reminded of these Dilbert cartoons.

If any of our readers ever comes across a half decent response from Telstra, please send us a copy – we’d be more than happy to give it all the publicity we could.

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Telstra – dealing with 4

An account of some dealings with Telstra put together with one of our readers.

In our busy lives these days we need to be dealing with organisations that have ordinary email addresses readily available, and when these ordinary email addresses are used to send them letters, we get replies that are helpful, upfront and honest, reasonably promptly. For Telstra to be ever at all like this seems like a million miles away.

The reason we place so much emphasis on ordinary email addresses and ordinary emails is that they make it so easy for the top management in organisations to be made aware of how people and other organisations are getting on in dealing with their organisation. But, of course, have any of our readers ever got the slightest indication that anyone in the top management of Telstra is interested in this sort of thing, even if it was put right in front of them? Ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! Let us know, anybody, if we’re wrong.

Of course, if anyone can ever provide us with an ordinary email address we can use to send their top management a copy of this post and our other posts on Telstra, for their information and comment, we would be more than happy to do so. So far we haven’t been able to find one, despite a lot of searching.

And, of course, everything depends on the competition – whether there are others that are better than Telstra for what we need. We certainly think so!

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How to Install and configure Akismet. HOW TO 1

This Google search result explains what Akismet is:-

If you click on this link, you will be taken to an article, part of which is a section headed, “How to install and configure Akismet.” Although we are yet to check it out fully, our first impressions are that it’s one of the best guides as to how to carry out a technology task we’ve ever come across. Amongst other things it has lots of screens shots of what it’s talking about – something that is missing in most such guides. It’s perfect for what we are always talking about – printing it out and following it’s instructions step by step.

As we’ve often said, “We have a dream,” and that dream is for a world in which, whenever we want to carry out a technology task, there’s a guide like this one to help us – a world which we think is a million miles away at present.

A 19 May 2018 update: Of course, if the person or organisation you want to deal with has an ordinary email address, and and when you use it to send letters and you get good replies, you seldom need guides like the ones described above. This seems to be the case with Akismet. We have very limited experience with them – but they have an ordinary email address – support@akismet.com – and when we have used it to send them 2 letters we have got 2 more than satisfactory replies.

We would be interested in what experiences any of our readers have had with them.

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Getting answers to our technology questions over the internet 2

We’ve started putting together a list of people who can provide us with answers to our technology questions – so that when we come up against a technology problem or have a technology question, we can pay someone to provide us with the answer, as an alternative to us trying to search out the answer ourselves.

But we’re finding difficulty in locating people who are used to helping people in the ways we mostly want to be helped. They are used to helping people (1) in face to face consultations, or, (2) over the telephone, or, (3) with TeamViewer and other similar ways.

But when we have a question like, “How to create a Google Account?” we don’t want to go to the length of having a face to face consultation, if that was physically possible, which it usually isn’t; we don’t want to be talking over the telephone; we don’t want to be working with anyone with TeamViewer or anything like that; we want to get an email like this which we can print out and follow.

This is how we feel. Do any of our readers feel the same?

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Connecting with the internet – iiNet 8

Forty years ago we were given this piece of advice which has proved invaluable over the years – “If you want to know what someone is like, get them to write something down, and/or get them to take part in a group discussion.” And forty years later we have emails which make both of these things incredibly easy.

As an example, we sent an email, which only took a few minutes to put together, to iiNet, twenty seven days ago, (see this post,) and almost immediately got back an email from Craig Levy, it’s Chief Operating Officer, assuring us that, “We aim to respond to emails within one business day,” – but since then, nothing!!!

So now we know what iiNet and Craig Levy are like, EXACTLY.

The next question, as it’s always been, is what is done about it. Obviously Craig Levy expects that people will just keep on signing up with iiNet for their internet connections, regardless. Are people really that stupid?

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Telstra – dealing with 3

A recent headline.

See more in this article. It makes us laugh that the conduct for which Telstra has been fined is described as a “billing blunder.” It wouldn’t have been a “billing blunder” at all – it would have been a quite deliberate scheme to increase profits.

Of course we don’t have to wait for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to get around to telling us what the Telstras of this world are like – that they are capable of charging customers for digital content they do not want and can’t sign out of easily. We can just send them an email about any problems we might encounter in dealing with them and see how we get on – except that with Telstra, we’ve never been able to find an ordinary email address we could use to send them anything!!! If you click on https://www.telstra.com.au/support can anyone make sense of what comes up?

As we keep saying, “By their emails ye shall know them.”

One of our readers tells us that he’s been dealing with Telstra since the the 1970s, and that  in those days, if you wanted more phone lines etc. you had to bribe people, something that his company did a number of times, that’s how it was. Of course, in the 1970s there weren’t the different options that are available these days.

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Connecting with the internet – iiNet 7

An email sent to iiNet at Wed 25 Apr 2018 at 7.58 pm.

Part of an automated response received 1 minute later.

If we EVER get a reply we’ll let you know.

A 22 May 2018 update: (27 days later.) No response yet.

We are always on the lookout for people and organisations who come over as have highly trained people in their employ whose job it is to provide helpful responses to reasonable emails from customers or potential customers who may have any problems or questions. Is iiNet like that? Not that we’ve experienced. But readers don’t have to take our word for it – they can email them themselves.

What is worse? That with the iiNets of this world, emails like ours never get to their top management people, or, they do, but their top management people never do anything about the issues raised.

Perhaps they find that having websites with lots of BIG sexy pictures on them and slogans like:-

and ratings like this:-

are good enough.

Sucked in, guys!

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Getting answers to our technology questions over the internet 1

If we have a technology question to which we don’t know the answer, we have 3 alternatives:-

  1. To spend time researching out the answer to the question ourselves.
  2. To do nothing and fall further behind in our use of technology.
  3. To pay someone else to research out the answer to the question for us, or to provide us with the answer if they already know it.

We have put together a list of 39 people or organisations, which we’re adding to all the time, who may be able to help us if we wish to take the third alternative. You can view this list by using this link.

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Applying technology to our work and personal lives 1

As an aspect of working on blogs and websites over a number of years, we’re always getting emails, sometimes 2 or 3 a week, mainly from India, offering us all sorts of services – this is an example:-

We’ve had a saying for a number of years that, “What you’ve got to do is get something up an running, and then ‘chip away’ at making it better,” – that’s the way we like to work. And so we send a reply to these emails along the lines of, “What we’re looking for is someone who will look into our website and from this tell us what they think is the number one thing we should do next to make it better,” – and we’ve sent this reply to at least 20 of these  emails, and we are yet to get one response, we never hear from them again!

As another example of this sort of thing,

Two or three years ago we signed up to receive daily email updates from OSX 10 Daily, an organisation which claims to provide:-

As a result, we have at least a thousand of their daily news and tips, because what we do when we get them is file them away for future reference – BUT, we never refer to them again because there’s no way, when we’ve got a question or a problem that they may have published some help on, that we are going to go through thousands of their entries looking for it.

And now we’ve come across another example of this sort of thing.

First we came across this as a news item.

This lead us to do a Google search which located this result:-

And when we opened up this website, it seemed to us that it indeed set out details, quite professionally, of 75 apps that could be applied to small businesses. But which one or ones are the best to be applied to our particular business.

Our point is that there is so much on the internet about things which have the potential to make our work and personal lives so much better, so much more efficient and effective, so much more pleasurable – but we need help in finding them and applying them and surely there must be a place for people to go into the business of providing this help.

Surely there must be a place for someone in India to respond to our requests for advice as to how to get more people visiting our blogs and website – but there doesn’t seem to be.

Surely there must be tips that would help us be far more efficient and effective with our Apple devices on websites such as OSX 10 Daily, but if it’s just up to us, we’re never going to find them.

And we’re just never going to familiarise ourselves with 75 apps to the point that we know which ones are the best to apply to our business.

There could be people out there who could help us with these things – they could be anywhere in the world as modern technology enables us to find them, deal with them, and pay for their services as an alternative to use doing research ourselves, wherever they are. Perhaps there already are!

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We have a dream 5

In the last 10 days or so we’ve written about one of our friends who claims to have spent 12 hours on the phone with iiNet seeking help with technology problems, and the article referred to in this post, in which a journalist claims to have spent 10 hours on the phone with Telstra also seeking help with technology problems.

As far as we’re concerned, as soon as we find out that an organisation we’re dealing with expects us to to deal with it on the telephone, especially one as important as the one we’re using to connect us to the internet, we know that the top management of that organisation doesn’t care about how we get on. Because, to start with, how do we prove to them how we got on, how we spent 10 or 12 hours on the phone etc. etc.

To us, the organisations we’re looking for have ordinary email addresses readily  available which we can use to send them letters outlining our problems, and then just wait for things to happen. If phone calls are the way to go, they can ring us.

The closest thing we’ve found to this is with Vodafone  – we’ve used support@vodafone.com.au a few times, and while a couple of times we’ve got back automated messages saying things like, “Oh dear, you’ve used an email address that isn’t monitored,” on other occasions we’ve got helpful responses reasonably promptly.

Of course everything depends on the competition, but if competition emerges that’s at all like that in our dream world, (and perhaps it already exists – it’s just that not enough people know about it,) organisations like iiNet and Telstra, as they are now, just won’t survive.

Of course nobody and nothing is perfect, but there are people and organisations that are better than others – some MUCH better!

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