The Optus iPhone advertisement page
The Optus iPhone advertisement page

It seems I've been doing a lot of these real world experience type of posts over the last few days. Eventually I'll have a positive one to report on!

Given I'm going to Singapore on Friday, I've been going through a check list of things to do. One of these things was to find out whether my iPhone was locked to Optus (my mobile phone company) and if so whether or not it was possible to unlock it before I left so I could swapin my SingTel SIM card when I get there.

The first thing I did was venture to an Optus store this morning and ask the above questions while I was in the city. I was told Optus does lock its handsets (crap) but fortunately because I'm on a post-paid plan it's free to unlock for the first six months. When I asked them to it for me though, the assistant hurried away and came back with a scrap of paper and a phone number. For some reason though they couldn't do it for me at the shop, I had to call this number and have it arranged. I was going to ask why they couldn't just do it at the shop, but I remembered the golden rule with dealing with phone companies: common sense isn't allowed to enter into your reasoning!

So this afternoon I got back home, sat down and called the number she had labelled as "Post Paid Customer support". I was presented not with a simple "Dial 1 for us to pretend to give a crap, Dial 2 for lip service" menu system or even a human being, but rather one of these new voice recognition systems. This is called "Progress"

Optus Please say in a few words what you’re calling about.
Me Unlocking a handset
Optus You’re enquiring about a PIN Number. Is this correct?
Me No
Optus Please say in a few words what you’re calling about.
Me Unlocking a mobile phone
Optus You’re enquiring about a PIN Number. Is this correct?
Me No
Optus [Lip service … condescending instructions on how to talk]
Me Cancel cancel cancel grilled cheese sandwich
Optus Are you calling about a mobile, landline or internet service?
Me MOBILE!
Optus You are calling about a mobile, is that correct?
Me Yes, that is what I said!
Optus Are you an existing customer or a new customer?
Me EXISTING! If I were a new customer, you would have lost my business already with this stupid…
Optus I’m sorry I didn’t understand that. Are you an existing customer or a new customer?
Me EXISTING!
Optus Are you post paid or pre paid?
Me POST PAID! (how long is this ordeal going to last?)
Optus Are you calling from the line you’re inquiring about?
Me Unfortunately for me, yes
Optus And what are you calling about? [presents 800 different options which you have to listen through]
Me Technical support!
Optus Please hold…
Me Yeah, you’d like that wouldn’t you

When I was finally put through to a human being, he was very friendly and pushed my paperwork through to get my handset unlocked so I could use it overseas. What I want to know is why I had to go through an electronic Mr Ed first. The number was also clearly not "Post Paid Customer Support", otherwise I wouldn't have been asked any of these questions in the first place!

Lift your game Optus. When you're in such a low position to start off with, it shouldn't be too hard to improve.