Good old unreliable Telstra

Last Wednesday 11 April, a Telstra chap called to discuss my telephone account. I happened to be at a client’s office so couldn’t talk, but told him Friday would be good to call because I’d be at my desk all day. That was last Friday. He hasn’t called. Which is a shame. Because I was wanting to tell him that Telstra’s crappy service and support was why I’d already moved my mobile phone to Vodafone and I’ll be moving my landlines away from Telstra as soon as I’d figured out how to do that and retain my phone numbers.

A flawed 3G Wonderland

OK folks, an update on my continuing saga to join the wonderful Digital 3G Wonderland… now that I’ve overcome my indecision about network choice, my fears about the Nokia N80’s battery life, my frustration with poorly-chosen web addresses and the annoyance at Vodafone’s crappy telephone etiquette.

I have finally bought a Nokia N80 outright, and plugged it into Vodafone‘s network. Here’s my thoughts so far — after a couple bottles of sauvignon blanc over dinner and a random play with the technology.

  • I am very happy with the friendly service of Computer World, where I bought the phone.
  • I am thoroughly pissed off that — despite being bought from an independent vendor — the N80 is pre-loaded with Telstra BigPond settings. Now I’m spending two hours removing the BigPond configuration and connecting it back to Vodafone. Not pleased. Even the “Music” button takes me to BigPond Music!
  • The case feels a little flimsy — will this phone cope with day-to-day wear and tear?
  • The high-resolution screen is very nice.

Vodafone only half-useful

Yesterday I couldn’t find Vodafone’s website because for some inexplicable reason I got the spelling wrong. Who knows, maybe it’s because in English the word is “phone” so I went to The stupid thing is, Vodafone had already gone half-way to solving the problem, but left me hanging.

Now I won’t get into the whole “Let’s convince customers we’re cool by using funky spelling” thing, except to say I think it’s a complete wank. As soon as you try to be cool, you’ve failed.

What’s daft is that Vodafone had in fact already licensed the Internet domain…

posen:~ contour$ whois
Domain Name:
Last Modified: 16-Nov-2002 06:04:14 UTC
Registrar ID: R00010-AR
Registrar Name: Melbourne IT
Status: OK

Registrant: Vodafone Pacific Limited
Registrant ID: OTHER 056 161 043

Registrant ROID: C0754342-AR
Registrant Contact Name: THE MANAGER
Registrant Email:

… but done nothing with it. So, for anyone who knows how to spell and goes to, nothing happens. The resulting marketing message is “We’re offline. We’re unreliable”.

Yet with less than an hour’s work, the message could have been “Hey, our name is actually Vodafone. We’ll now take you to”

And if they did that, they’d even know how many website visitors they’d been losing this way.

The lesson for businesses: Where are your customers looking for you? When they go there, will they find you?