Struggling with Optus customer service

Recently I noticed that my contact details with Optus were incorrect and after trying to unsuccessfully resolving this myself through their self service portal, I contacted customer service. What follows is a copy of my conversation with customer service for your amusement.

I started with their chat bot who just directed me to self service. That was throwing a (non-descriptive) error, hence my need to chat.

I somehow managed to connect with another Jared. “This will be easy” I thought, “given he should be familiar with the correct spelling of his own name”.

So here there was a little bit of genuine confusion and miscommunication. This was quickly resolved.

And this is where the silliness begins. What’s the purpose of having a distinct login email address and a contact email address if your contact email address must be unique?

I figure if they would like a unique email address, I’ll give them one.

Now I understand, any expression of dissatisfaction is a complaint, and any complaint should be managed by a specialist team. But this was just a case of the consultant bailing from the conversation.

The least you can do is pass me on to the right team!

Kathryn was quite pleasant (and I made sure to leave her positive feedback when I was asked). She was quite verbose though.

I see. So my wife and I can’t have our bills sent to the same email address. Given that I handle all the bills for our household, that seems silly. Better let them know how I feel.

Take 2?

It worked! Although I did sense the lack of trust that it will actually be received on my end. Funny that I can set up an entirely new mailbox faster than it takes them to update my email address!

Let’s also not forget that they had updated my contact phone number to be wrong too. Who has been messing on my account? Funny given their security settings are so strong.

She asks as it my contact phone number has ever been a 1300 number. I wonder if they ever called themselves asking for me?

And the end result is one of the best emails that I have ever received …

Thanks Kathryn. You’re a champion.

What a way to end 2020.

Project: Investment Property Analysis Toolkit

Vision

Build a set of cloud based tools that assist with the complex financial decision making involved when investing in property.

Goals

  • Australian focus: catering for Australia’s specific tax rules and financial regime
  • Calculation engine: run entirely in browser with no need to ever touch a spreadsheet
  • Targeted reports: catering for different audiences (e.g. investors, financiers, accountants, advisers)
    • including narrative blocks, graphics and tabular data as appropriate
    • provide key ratios with discussion
  • Loan calculator: tools to analyse various loan options
  • Portfolio approach: consider an investors total property portfolio rather than a single, stand-alone property approach
  • Entity support: allow selection of individual, company, trust or SMSF for analysis
  • SaaS licensing: individual subscription and site licenses available
    • site licenses to provide accountants/advisers access to conduct financial modelling on behalf of clients with white label reports

I am ineligible

Completely out of the blue, facebook has decided that I am ineligible to hold an account on their service. After more than 10 years of holding an account, they have deemed me unworthy, with no rhyme or reason. Like Judge Judy, their rulings are final.

This means all my facebook connections are gone, any photos of me are untagged, my activity history, pretty much my facebook life is erased. As I hadn’t really used the service in many years, I’m not that disappointed but it has been an inconvenience to stay in touch with important people who I contacted through messenger.

You can still stay in touch with me via my new messenger. You can comment on here and include your email address in the form and I can reach out to you that way. You can add me on Snapchat. Or send a carrier pigeon. I’m cool with whatever.

Rise of the crate

With supermarkets finally removing single use plastic bags, I have rethought my approach to grocery transport.

For years now, I’ve used reusable bags for our grocery shopping with the backup of single use bags if the checkout operator was inefficient in packing our things or if we had a big shop. These bags have been trusty and reliable but are starting to wear, are quite expensive and rely too heavily on the checkout operator to pack them correctly. So time for a re-think.

After some research in to the alternatives, I found some collapsible solid plastic crates that have now become my main transport option. As they pack flat, I store them in the trolley (at the end which has an inbuilt divider) and proceed with my shopping as normal. Once my items are on the conveyor, I unfurl the first crate in the trolley and as items are scanned I pack them directly in to the crate. Once full, the second is quickly unfurled and we repeat. A standard trolley could fit three crates stacked on top of one another but given there are only two of us, two crates is more than sufficient.

It turns out this is faster than my old solution since it reduces double handling and the checkout operator doesn’t need to think as much (or struggle with flexible, loose bags). It also makes loading to/from the car simple as well as stopping the items floating around the boot while driving.

As people begin to adapt to the new world of having to reuse their bags, I hope the crate concept catches on. If for no other reason than trolleys/crates are built to better accommodate each other.