My ongoing war with Telstra resulted in the above Overdue notice last month (after extended phone calls, and numerous ‘Our records are definitely correct sir!’† exhortations, revealed that a recent $700 bill was – surprise – their error). It smacks so much of petulance that one wonders whether or not they have a ‘Was SO Your Mistake!’ Department.

I was tempted to send them one of Peter Popoff’s pennies just to see what eventuated.

Further entertainment was provided by the Telstra Fembot during this time:

Fembot: Remember you can interrupt me at any time, if you…

Me: [interrupting] Oh yes, don’t you worry, I will.

Fembot: …[confused pause]… I’m having trouble understanding you. I’ll get a Customer Service representative.

After I discovered that particular loophole, I happily interrupted ‘her’ every time.


*A friend of mine relates the following story: at a party, making polite chat, she kept wondering why an acquaintance seemed to be having trouble with another friend’s religious leanings. The conversation had gone like this:

So, how’re things?

Oh, you know, it’s been a rough few months. My wife lost her job, we’ve just enrolled little Eva in private school, my contract’s almost finished and there’s nothing on the horizon, Bill’s a Jew. I’m not sure how we’re going to get through this next year….

(Unfortunately this amusing anecdote probably won’t translate that well for American readers since you pronounce ‘due’ as ‘do’. You need to understand that here, a lazy pronunciation of ‘due’ is ‘djoo’).

†I was completely taken-aback by the insistence by the operators that Telstra could simply not have made the error, since they continue to make egregious mistakes on my cell phone bill. So far, the Blunder Count is Me: 0, Telstra 7