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.

New Year Resolutions

It’s been 10 days since the start of 2018. How are your resolutions tracking?

I’ve never really been the type of person who makes resolutions in the new year partly because they don’t work and partly because I don’t think you need an arbitrary date on a calendar to bring about meaningful change in your life. And yet I still sometimes get caught in the tradition.

Thinking about resolutions this year I came to the conclusion that the reason resolutions often fail is that they are simply fads followed as part of the rigmarole of celebrations. So in order to try to get some changes to stick this year, I am not thinking of them as resolutions but positive habits. I am taking steps to form them in to true habits.

Firstly, I am linking new behaviours to old, ingrained behaviours. For example, everyone has a ritual they follow before bed and so by piggy backing on that ritual I can include an additional step which then makes it much easier to stick with since it is built in to that routine.

Next, I’m doing what I can to further automate my chores/regular activities. By automating repetitive tasks, it means I can spend energy focusing on new habits to help embed them. Hopefully this will help fight my urges to be lazy and avoid certain chores. Let’s see!

I’m also gamifying the chores that I normally avoid. This is by no means an original idea but by increasing the reward response then that should reinforce positive behaviours. There’s a joke in here about Pavlov and his dogs.

Finally, I am deliberately taking on far more than I can possibly hope to achieve in terms of meaningful changes. Rather than picking one hard task and failing at it (then feeling bad) I’m determined to make half a dozen changes all at once. If one or two fall through the cracks then I’ve still accomplished heaps. And if only one thing sticks, then I’ve still succeeded where others normally fail.

I have absolutely no idea if this strategy will help these changes stick for the long term but so far so good. The next hurdle will be when I’ve returned to work after summer holidays and seeing how I can fit it all in. Maybe I should count the hours in the day and see if I have enough! Wish me luck.

My non-resolutions

  1. Better maintain household chores
  2. Keep a regular bed time and wake up time
  3. Run for at least 30 mins per day
  4. Do some weights training at least 3 times a week
  5. Read for at least one hour each day
  6. Keep up with date night once a week

What’s going on with Facebook?

As some people have noticed, I haven’t been active on Facebook for some time now. I thought I would explain my reasons for no longer using this service and offer a means for people to keep in touch and up to date with my goings on.

I used to update my status occasionally but check other people’s updates regularly throughout the day. Facebook would often be my destination in the morning and I would browse through my friends updates over my breakfast. I would also follow various news sites and groups/pages sharing opinions and debates on various issues. In an attempt to keep my views balanced (and limit the risk of being exposed to fake news) I followed a range of outlets often with wildly different opinions to my own.

Over time, the posts I engaged with the most were these controversial posts and not updates from my friends and family which Facebook picked up on. Progressively, I was fed more and more controversial opinions which was leading me down a path of getting riled up first thing in the morning – setting up my day on a pretty horrible trajectory.

I also felt like the platform was actually making myself and my friends more disconnected. Rather than catching up and talking, we would just read each others quick status updates. I can’t count the number of times when someone (often who I barely knew) would come up to me at a party or event and spoke to me like they knew how my life was going simply based on a Facebook post.

I persevered for a long time in full knowledge of these facts as my morning Facebook ritual and mid-day time sink had become ritualistic until one morning when I was speaking with a friend about the 2017 same sex marriage plebiscite. Being both on the same side of the issue, we were discussing a meme that frustrated us both and got us talking about the politics of it all. Hearing how frustrated my friend became was like looking in to a mirror. I offered her some advice that she should stop reading social media first thing in the morning as it was more aggravating than anything else and had become a distraction to her having a happy, productive day. A split second later, realising I was a massive hypocrite, I made the commitment to stop using Facebook.

Honestly, I haven’t looked back since. I don’t miss the mindless updates, unnecessary outrage and endless stream of disagreement. I’ve also managed to cut out a distraction from my day and free up valuable time so I can be more productive – goodbye to endless scrolling looking for something interesting. On the downside, I have to be more active in my own social life and consciously engage with friends more. Scheduling is also made a little more difficult since most of my peers continue to use Facebook events to organise things.

Keeping in touch

Firstly, I plan to write on here when I have something to say. Instead of status updates (which were increasingly becoming essays) I will write longer form blog posts on here. These will be cross posted to Facebook automatically but I won’t see any comments or likes from there. Feel free to have discussions but I won’t see them. It might be easier to follow the rss feed if you also are reducing social media.

I still use Facebook messenger (it’s more personal, convenient and universal than other chat apps) so feel free to contact me directly on there.

You can also always email me or maybe even have a conversation in person!

Finally, I will avoid posting finance/money related topics here as I have a separate site dedicated to my professional side. Feel free to come and visit over there and follow that page separately if you like my thoughts on finance and money.