29 June 2012

Laurence chains himself to the Optus service desk

| johnboy
Join the conversation
47
laurence and the optus help desk

Laurence Kain is a pretty good guy and a recent interview subject.

So we’re a little surprised to hear the HonkyTonks co-owner has been chaining himself to the Optus help desk.

laurence and security

Join the conversation

47
All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Latest

Protest Update:

My problem was fixed in 5 minutes confirmed with a call from Optus management in Australia, someone from Australia actually called me!

Further to this I received a call from the manager of Customer Complaints in Australia at Optus, this issue was escalated to the Director of Optus Australia, they credited my phone bill for 3 months and are apparently reviewing their systems to ensure it never happens again.

A successful protest IMO.

Archer said :

Kimjongill said :

thehutch said :

Or you could be an adult and complain to the TIO…

If I don’t like the service at Honkytonks and make a few complaints to the manager (who probably won’t fix it) should I then go and chain myself to the Honkytonks bar?

Unfortunately you can only complain to the TIO if you business turns under $3 million PA, unfortunately in this case I do not fall into that category but thanks for the suggestion.

Actually anyone is able to go to the TIO. That is the point of the TIO, to represent everyone.

The TIO can help small businesses but there are limits.

http://www.tio.com.au/consumers/who-can-complain

So no, not quite everyone.

I think anyone who has had the misfortune of dealing with Optus (or Telstra for that matter) has considered drastic measures to get simple tasks done. Congratulations to Laurence for taking the least violent option.

Having to wait over 40 minutes on hold for “customer service” is just not acceptable.

ChrisinTurner said :

I don’t think Optus management have any idea how hard it is to deal with their customer support people in the Phillipines.

I don’t think Optus management care, they care purely about end of month figures, that’s it. All the while the end of month figures continue heading in the right direction (up where they need to go up, down where they need to go down, and deleted off the paper when they have no affect on the bottom line) they don’t care, because all the telco’s are as bad as each other.

Due to the time and expense of setting up a new telco (not just reselling existing services), the current telcos have little to fear, they can continue to act as an effective protected monopoly.

Laurence, I applaud your stance- if only more folk were to follow your lead then maybe Optus would get the hint. My current service provider (Vodaphone) is lucky that I don’t wander into one of their shopfronts and punch 5 shades of shite through the first person wearing the bright red uniform that I see..I have about a 50% success rate in sending text messages and I live in the geographical heart of our capital city…Also,you have done well with Honkytonks.

tim_tam_twinky7:37 pm 30 Jun 12

good luck Laurence!! πŸ™‚

Good on him.

Service these days from so called service providers is virtually non existant.

Well I am impressed. We begrudgingly accept bad service too often and this guy has said “enough”. He hasn’t hurt anyone and made his point in his own way. Congratulations to Laurence.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd4:24 pm 30 Jun 12

Kimjongill said :

thehutch said :

Or you could be an adult and complain to the TIO…

If I don’t like the service at Honkytonks and make a few complaints to the manager (who probably won’t fix it) should I then go and chain myself to the Honkytonks bar?

If you don’t like the service go right ahead and chain yourself up, then you can have 3 x 150kg + security guards come over and hasstle you out just like I did + the police.

I just really don’t think you have the balls to do something like that if you did you might show more respect to someone who does instead you hide behind the convenient veil of an internet forum and post negative comments.

This protest was not just about me getting my account sorted out it was about showing big companies that consumers are not ok with them taking our cash and not providing after sales service.

You realise your security cannot legally do anything to anyone besides ask them to leave? Also being 150 kilos means nothing besides they would be incredibly easy to take down if needed. Don’t talk like that, it’s incredibly gross and also ridiculous.

Having said that, I applaud you. I wish there was more to be done about incompetent telecoms. But from my experience the peeps in the shop can’t do anything besides ring the higher ups, who generally refuse to do anything besides tell the customer to suck eggs.
Your stunt, while did nothing to help your case ATM, will hopefully bring attention to Optus as a crap service and cause higher up to act. Good luck.

For those critisizing Laurence for doing this, you all should get a life. It’s good that he made a stand to show companies like this that its not acceptable that their levels of service these days are sh*t. I had problems with optus before as well (not to the extent as this case) where transferring a personal mobile to a business name where I was the sole director/shareholder was too much hassle for them.

I also must say that in a previous role I’ve dealt with Laurence and his staff at one of his previous employers, and his team always did everything they could to ensure their customers were treated well and had a good time, … its a pity that all businesses these days dont have that attitude

I had a similar experience with optus (not the chaining myself to the desk bit though). I had ordered a new phone, got confirmation and was given an order number. After a week of nothing, I thought i’d ask “where is it?” After speaking with 9 people, and after 4 hours of solid talking to optus people. I finally found out that the initial order never went through and the order number I got was for someone else of the same name in a different state that ordered a phone last year.

For those that care, I’ve upped the webchats which are only really a slice of the whole drama.

*Names removed to protect the innocent.

http://pastebin.com/qqSC1RP4

thehutch said :

Or you could be an adult and complain to the TIO…

If I don’t like the service at Honkytonks and make a few complaints to the manager (who probably won’t fix it) should I then go and chain myself to the Honkytonks bar?

If you don’t like the service go right ahead and chain yourself up, then you can have 3 x 150kg + security guards come over and hasstle you out just like I did + the police.

I just really don’t think you have the balls to do something like that if you did you might show more respect to someone who does instead you hide behind the convenient veil of an internet forum and post negative comments.

This protest was not just about me getting my account sorted out it was about showing big companies that consumers are not ok with them taking our cash and not providing after sales service.

ChrisinTurner10:19 am 30 Jun 12

I don’t think Optus management have any idea how hard it is to deal with their customer support people in the Phillipines. I formally complained and was only told that my comments would be passed back to the call-centre, not to Optus management in Australia.

Awesome! Laurence Kain is my favourite person today!

I had a business account with Optus and spent two and a half years dealing with their pathetic excuse for customer service over a number of different issues. The longest of these took eighteen months to resolve. While trying to deal with the last of them, I found out about the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (ombudsman is such a stupid word!) and it was resolved within three weeks.

One of my favourite interactions with Optus was the day when they rang me asking how my service was after I had already decided to terminate our service with them when our contracts expired (three months away). I told them this and they asked what the problem was, so I told them, and they put me through to someone else saying “I’ll let them know what the issue has been so you don’t have to explain again”. When they put me through, the person I got had no idea what the problem was, so I still had to explain again. Then they said “oh, you’re a personal customer and you’ve got the business section, so I’ll transfer you. I’ll explain what the problem is, so you don’t have to go over it again”. And the same thing happened. Almost. The difference was they said I’m a business customer and transferred me back. Then I had the same conversation a third time and they tried to transfer me again, but no one answered. So I had a good laugh. Glad to be rid of them!

ROFL! Awesome!!

Lookout Smithers3:46 am 30 Jun 12

I’m guessing the camera crew was to suggest a media frenzy might follow giving Optus bad press? Did it work? I am surprised that a chown form to get filled out and submitted took so long. Pretty usual delay on them to go through Optus internal QA but three months means something on that form wasn’t filled out or the franchise owner is f***ing bereft of their obligations in being a premium dealer for them. Its a really simple thing to get done and I know being a former employee of them in Melbourne office. Shocking.

In my experience Optus shops are useless, the staff can’t seem to do anything beyond selling you a phone. As soon as you want to port a number, change your details etc they tell you to ring the call centre as they can’t do it in their stores. (though, they will let you use their phone call the call centre…) And now I am no longer with them πŸ™‚

“photos and videos of the protest are attached to this email”

Come on JB, where is the video?

Still waiting for the video!

That security guard is totally checking out your package.

Hahaha top work Laurence!

Kimjongill said :

thehutch said :

Or you could be an adult and complain to the TIO…

If I don’t like the service at Honkytonks and make a few complaints to the manager (who probably won’t fix it) should I then go and chain myself to the Honkytonks bar?

Bad service at honkytonks does not cost you 5 hours time on hold to a off shore call centre while you bill gets sent to the wrong address under the wrong name and your service gets cut off not to mention 3 months of frustration. If you don’t like the service at Honkytonks I invite you to go to the bar down the road.

So Optus breached their contract with you – sue them. With the 3million turnover each year you can afford it… or, if you dont like, take your phone business to one of the other phone companies down the road.

In either case, solve problems like an adult.

The repetition of the word knob brought home something to me that I’d never noticed before. Nob means a person of high status or someone’s head. Knob is the opposite, almost. Totally irrelevant to the thread, of course, but interesting.

Normal service can resume now. When we last met Optimus Prime had defected to the Decepticons…

I like this approach. Can I please have an invite to the next event? I’d like to take along some popcorn and a video camera. I’ve been having my own issues with a mobile provider of late. I think I might head off to Bunnings myself soon.

Kimjongill said :

Yes I am a total knob, it is one of my personal attributes I pride myself on. Thanks for picking up on that, my wardrobe this morning was carefully selected to make me look as much like a knob as possible. I think I achieved the desired effect.

…sounds like a knob, too. πŸ˜€

My dealings with Optus

1) Had Optus home phone at our address for 3 years before going on 2 year overseas posting. When we returned and rang Optus up to have the home phone reconnected, it took them 3 weeks and $427 worth of mobile calls – all for them to tell us the problem was our address. It didn’t exist in their system, apparently. Even though we had Optus without a problem at the same address 5 years ago.

2) Moved house to another newish suburb in the same area. Optus did not have this suburb listed in their system so the helpful overseas call centre girl suggested I choose another suburb with the same postcode as my address. I thought it was so hilarious that I suggested she pick the suburb. She chose “Ginnindera Village”. My postie was furious, as every Optus bill he delivered always had big red texta saying “THIS STREET IS NOT IN GINNINDERA VILLAGE” (Capitals by Postie)

Needless to say I won’t touch Optus again

Kimjongill said :

thehutch said :

Or you could be an adult and complain to the TIO…

If I don’t like the service at Honkytonks and make a few complaints to the manager (who probably won’t fix it) should I then go and chain myself to the Honkytonks bar?

Unfortunately you can only complain to the TIO if you business turns under $3 million PA, unfortunately in this case I do not fall into that category but thanks for the suggestion.

Actually anyone is able to go to the TIO. That is the point of the TIO, to represent everyone.

Best service? Surprisingly Vodafone. Been with so many Telcos over the years and Vodafone honestly is the best I have ever been with. Would really recommend them and the improvements in their network (finally) are amazing. I have seen a decent improvement over the last 3 months to the point where I will renew when my contract comes up. Wasn’t planning on it but the customer service and the improved network are leading me to that decision. Worst would be Telstra, without a doubt, even their TIO department was horrendous to deal with.

DrKoresh said :

Free publicity! And the telecommunications industry in this country is a total rip-off anyway. They’ve managed to form a stable oligarchy where price-gouging is as pervasive as terrible, terrible, shitty service.

This fella looks like a bit of a knob to me, but I totally support giving TelCo companies as much grief as possible, they deserve nothing less.

Yes I am a total knob, it is one of my personal attributes I pride myself on. Thanks for picking up on that, my wardrobe this morning was carefully selected to make me look as much like a knob as possible. I think I achieved the desired effect.

tnpf said :

He’s so cool, I want to drink at his bar now. That’s the point right?

My bar is plenty busy enough, thanks for the thought but I just wanted my account that I pay for sorted out.

thehutch said :

Or you could be an adult and complain to the TIO…

If I don’t like the service at Honkytonks and make a few complaints to the manager (who probably won’t fix it) should I then go and chain myself to the Honkytonks bar?

Unfortunately you can only complain to the TIO if you business turns under $3 million PA, unfortunately in this case I do not fall into that category but thanks for the suggestion.

XO_VSOP said :

Smug , a simple call to the Optus business direct team the local canberra optus business team would have solved all. Kain is now a businessman and must act as such. 6280 8755

I did that 3 times, sent the same paperwork 3 times. then the chain came out. as a businessman I place a value on my time. 5 hours on hold over around 6 calls to optus comes at a cost.

Hey they are all mad – recently I was helping out an elderly lady with her phone account – she wanted to change the details and get some information about the account. They wouldn’t do it because her husband was the authorised account holder – even though she was also named on the account. Problem – her husband had passed away. She had taken in a certified copy of the death certificate into the shopfront 3 times before I got involved. Needless to say she was very distressed. The Ombuds staff were wonderful – however, sadly they weren’t surprised about the problems.

thehutch said :

Or you could be an adult and complain to the TIO…

If I don’t like the service at Honkytonks and make a few complaints to the manager (who probably won’t fix it) should I then go and chain myself to the Honkytonks bar?

Bad service at honkytonks does not cost you 5 hours time on hold to a off shore call centre while you bill gets sent to the wrong address under the wrong name and your service gets cut off not to mention 3 months of frustration. If you don’t like the service at Honkytonks I invite you to go to the bar down the road.

The chain around his neck looks too loose.

Free publicity! And the telecommunications industry in this country is a total rip-off anyway. They’ve managed to form a stable oligarchy where price-gouging is as pervasive as terrible, terrible, shitty service.

This fella looks like a bit of a knob to me, but I totally support giving TelCo companies as much grief as possible, they deserve nothing less.

Elizabethany4:58 pm 29 Jun 12

We left Optus when they couldn’t add me as an authorised representative on my husbands account (for our home phone). Instead, EVERY time I called (and considering their internet reliability issues, that was too often), they would call him (using the number I gave, great security there) to make sure they were really allowed to talk to me. The TIO were unhelpful, as they would fix the connection issues when the account holder called, and since I wasn’t the account holder, I had no rights under the TIO’s rules.

It really shouldn’t be that hard for basic admin fixes like the ones in this thread.

He’s so cool, I want to drink at his bar now. That’s the point right?

Smug , a simple call to the Optus business direct team the local canberra optus business team would have solved all. Kain is now a businessman and must act as such. 6280 8755

Every day: complain ? that Australia is a nanny state.

And then first advice at the first sign of problems: contact the TIO.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme. Where evil government coerces funding and involvement from free enterprise as part of the Telecommunications Nanny Private Individuals Can’t Look After Themselves Act 1999. http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Series/C2004A00441

Holden Caulfield3:36 pm 29 Jun 12

Reminds me of the time I was trying to change the address for my bank statement from my street address to my PO Box. I started by calling the bank’s helpline.

Me: I’d like to change my postal address please.
Them: You have to go into a branch to do that.

Next day, in the branch.

Me: I’d like to change my postal address please.
Them: We can’t do that here, call this number.

Later that day.

Me: I’d like to change my postal address please.
Them: Sure, what are the details.
Me: But yesterday… never mind.

A few weeks later the statement turns up to the incorrect address. So I call the previous number.

Me: I changed my postal address a few weeks back, but the statement is still being delivered to the wrong address.
Them: You can’t change your address on the phone, you have to go into the branch.
Me: But last time… never mind.

Later that day, at the branch.

Me: I’d like to change my postal address please.
Them: Sure, what are the details.

A few weeks later the statement turns up to the incorrect address. So I go back to the branch, with the statement in my hand.

Me: I changed my postal address a few weeks back, but the statement is still being delivered to the wrong address.
Them: Can I check the details please.
(I reconfirm my postal address.)
Them: Yes, the address is correct and was changed successfully last time.
Me (showing the statement): So how come this happened?
Them: I don’t know.

Awesome!

c_c said :

Off topic but does anyone think the set of keys on the guard’s belt is just for show? I mean he couldn’t possible know what every one of them is for.

And since when is the Canberra Center polices by British bobbies?

nov865 said :

I had similar appalling service from this Optus franchise about 18 months ago. After months of fruitless interaction with the store, who washed their hands of the problem of their making and Optus Customer (No) Care, a single call to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman saw the problem resolved in hours!

+1 – Optus and the big telcos have a TIO section that resolve these issues quick smart. I’ve heard rumours that just threatening to go to the TIO can resolve disputes.

For those communication-challenged:
http://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint

Off topic but does anyone think the set of keys on the guard’s belt is just for show? I mean he couldn’t possible know what every one of them is for.

It’s crazy that people are driven to these lengths to get some simple changes done on an account, and it’s not just optus, they are all this bad. I for one have given up trying to change my account details with 3, as far as I’m concerned every person I’ve ever spoken to in their OS call center is an idiot.

Good luck Laurence…

I had similar appalling service from this Optus franchise about 18 months ago. After months of fruitless interaction with the store, who washed their hands of the problem of their making and Optus Customer (No) Care, a single call to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman saw the problem resolved in hours!

Or you could be an adult and complain to the TIO…

If I don’t like the service at Honkytonks and make a few complaints to the manager (who probably won’t fix it) should I then go and chain myself to the Honkytonks bar?

It really should be a simple admin task to change the ownership – especially if he’s changing ownership from his personal account to his business one (assuming he’s the signatory for both accounts). I’d be really surprised if Optus didn’t take this one very seriously now.

Hopefully it wasn’t all for naught.

Good luck, Laurence.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.