Tuesday, 29 September 2009


This just in....

Our communications roundsman, Telephone Prawn, has finally cooled down long enough to record his experiences for readers.

Seems Telephone is a phone fanatic and lives with his trusty cellphone. But he is old, and quite slow, and can’t really tote a telephone directory (and they get wet.)

So, he uses (endlessly) the telecom 018 assistance service.

It was a great marriage. He “paid 50 cents, plus any applicable telecom call charges” and got straight to his target.

But that changed!

Some months ago he phoned for: Parliament Buildings, Wellington. A polite Eastern lady told him that there was no such number in the Wellington directory. He insisted that she check again and she replied: “Here it is, do you mean Paramatta Building Supplies?

He then phoned a direct line to a Minister’s office and got the number.

Last week he phoned for: “The Wellington office of Lion Nathan.” An equally polite woman said there is no such listing!

Then last night: “A Paraparaumu number for G. and M. Duncan. Miss Polite gave some examples – nothing like the request! Telephone Prawn lost his cool and after a one sided screaming match, Miss Polite put him through……..through to another exchange with English being the main language. The call went straight through.

We believe Telecom has a bloody lot of questions to answer:

  • Are they running a key service from offshore;
  • If they aren’t why not get a foolproof computer system to search;
  • Don’t we have a government-imposed employment target for NZ residents;
  • How angry must a caller get before he gets a “native” resident;
  • Has the service run down through the patently poor service?

And if you think thats bad, Lambcut rang 018 to find the number for a restaurant for a very important tussock jumper who was looking for a flash nosebag joint while visiting Wellington recently...

She suggested the Whitehouse on Oriental Parade
He said book it..

She rings 018 - and asks for the WhiteHouse Oriental Parade Wellington..
The call centre bunny ,after a lengthy search, says there is no such joint.
Lambcut very slowly says I want the Whitehouse - Oriental Parade -Wellington

Ohh says the eager Call centre Bunny again - THE WHITEHOUSE in Washington USA???

At that point Lambcut gave up...


Madeleine said...

Sounds like my experience phoning the helpdesk for Hewlit Packard when I wanted to return my printer which was faulty.

All was going smoothly, after a couple of questions they agreed there was a problem worthy of a replacement printer they asked for my address. I gave them my then address in Dunedin. He then said he could arrange for me to pick a new one up at the nearest store. I thought cool, sorted. He then asked me if it was more convenient to drive to Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch?

As I was going, 'where did this idiot go to school?' it dawned on me that despite the NZ phone number I had dialled I was not speaking to someone in New Zealand.

As I was trying to explain things like the Cook Strait, the closest option being a 5 hour drive away I was going 'clearly HP do not want to sell many printers in NZ.'

It got resolved to my satisfaction eventually but not before I resolved to never buy an HP product again.

Michael said...

You can't blame Telecom for this one. 018 is part of 'Yellow' (Yellow Pages, White Pages) which they sold off ages ago.
Agree that 018 accuracy has taken a hit since moving offshore though.