Telstra offers more than you bargain for…

…but I don’t think I like it.

SO yesterday I answered a “No Caller ID” call on my mobile phone and was greeted by a salesman for Telstra. This is not unusual, various phone companies are always calling trying to entice me to upgrade my phone, choose a better plan or change service providers. I don’t usually mind these calls because, let’s face it, I want to get the cheapest phone deal I can. So, as Mr Telstra Representative talked me through the deals I listened, compared plans and bargained.

The first offer I received was to swap service providers, commit to a $49.00/ month plan and receive unlimited calls to any number between 8pm and 7am daily as well as obtaining a pink phone – why doesn’t anyone tell those mobile phone dealers that pink phones are not necessarily a draw card! Just cause I’m a girl and speak sweetly does not mean I want a pink phone! Ever! No matter how good a deal you offer! Needless to say, more negotiating was required.

After 11 minutes I had negotiated a new phone, two months free service, unlimited 15c sms’, 50x 20c-for-the-first-10-minutes calls to any number/month, all on a $49.00 plan with a two year contract. Now, I thought this not a particularly good deal since the call rate and flagfall was still more than that which I am currently paying and the phone was inferior to that which I already had. So then this lovely sales rep offered me 6 months free service as well as what we had already negotiated so that I could keep my phone or put that money towards purchasing a new phone as my current one would not work on their network.

He sounded a little desperate to make a sale, reminded me of the 10 day cooling off period and said perhaps he should just send a phone out. Anyway, I still wasn’t convinced that Telstra could actually better the deal I already had and was about to wind up the conversation when Telstra rep guy changes tack and says:

“How old are you?”

[silence] Then I think, Oh, he probably just has to ask for legal reasons so that he can sell me a phone.

“You are over 18 aren’t you?”

“Yes, I’m over 18”

“Are you 21?”

“I’m older than 21”

“No! Really, you sound so young!”

Now I’m used to the buttering up factor that is sometimes encountered when people are trying to sell me things so I let it slide.

“Well, I am older than 21.”

“You must be 25…?”

Okay, think I, this is so going beyond buttery…”No.”

“So, where do you live?”

[uncomfortable silence]

“I mean, so we can post this phone out to you. Are you in Sydney?”

Somehow I still think he’s trying to sell me a phone and stupid, stupidly answer,”Oh, yes, [I state the suburb]”

“Oh wow! I live right near you. I live in [states neighbouring suburb]. I probably know you! What’s your name?”

At this point I’m wary but still thinking this could be a new sales tactic and am wondering how this is going to convince me to buy a phone because I am sure that I don’t know this guy but Mr Telstra Man is becoming creepy and I’m thinking I need to get out of this conversation quickly…

“[states name – stupidly! and says] I’m sure you don’t know me and I really have to go. Sorry, I don’t think you can offer me a better deal than what I already have.”

“Okay then. Well, ah…I might just keep your number anyway and ah…”

Might just… no way! When did this become part of the deal? The pink phone was a way better offer! I mutter something about being uninterested until Telstra reduce their call costs and hang up.

Who does that? Apparently Mr Telstra does.

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8 Responses to “Telstra offers more than you bargain for…”

  1. candyinsierras Says:

    Way weird!!!

  2. Paul Says:

    Well, men have many faults, but might it be a virtue that they are wildly opportunistic and wildly optimistic?

    At least some times?

    Um, maybe not. I quite often try and explain to MOS (particularly those younger and less well-versed in men) that even if you say to a bloke, “I am not interested in you. I would not even be interested in you if you were the only person in the world. I never want to see you again,” he will like as not say to himself, “Hey! I think she really likes me!”

  3. Paul Says:

    … and (I hasten to add) by “less well-versed in men”, I only meant generally lacking in understanding about what men are like.

  4. Rebecca Says:

    That is so creepy.
    But also: you apparently have a very attractive phone voice.

  5. missmellifluous Says:

    Candy, I know!

    Yes, Paul, I suppose it could be a virtue sometimes. In fact, I’m sure it could be an endearing quality. It just wasn’t this time because it was kind of inappropriate and scary. It’s fine for men to be optimistic and opportunistic if they do it in a nice way that does not frighten the woman involved. Do men have to be told that: Do not FRIGHTEN women you approach! Sheeesh!

    Rebecca, it is possible that I have an attractive phone voice but what is more likely is that I sound young and stupid and naive and like someone who likes pink. What’s worse is it could be true! I am not answering my phone today.

  6. Steve Grose Says:

    Ha! I got rung up by a Telstra girl a few minutes after reading your blog. My voice seems to attract a different sort. I thanked her for calling, but asked why she was ringing on my mobile when she wanted me to change my home phone (which is under a different name WITH TELSTRA!, but I didn’t tell her that) She became aggressive and rude! (I always bring this out in some). I gently and directly said to her “I am unhappy with your attitude and must warn you that I would have no hesitation in carrying through a complaint about your beligerent attitude.” She hung up!
    ( I gotta remember that line)~!
    It must be Telstra Blitz day!
    At least she was not from a sub continent somewhere or other…
    Why don’t lady telstra workers ask me for my address? Its so unfair! 😦

  7. Paul Says:

    Mell: Indeed. And to be serious, I would consider getting in touch with the company and commenting about inappropriate content of phone calls – even if you want to make it an anonymous complaint. It would be nice to think that the line manager would, in some briefing, say, “We’ve had complaints from people who say that there’s more than selling going on in our calls. Please remember that it’s our company that you are representing.”

    In the UK, we have OFTEL and OFCOM, which are supposed to regulate what is acceptable in soliciting phone calls and so on. Is there a similar body in Oz?

  8. missmellifluous Says:

    We have a telecommunications ombudsman or the phone company itself. If I had thought of it at the time I would have asked for Mr Telstra’s supervisor. I could write a letter or make a call…

    Thanks for your concern.

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