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Regular readers of this site will be aware that my old Mum and Dad – pensioners the pair of them – have been in the wars lately, and ain’t in the best of health, not by a long shot.
In fact, they’re more crook than things in Tullarook, what with Dad having had open-heart double bypass surgery just a fortnight ago and bed-bound, and Mum having had a mild stroke that’s left her 9/10’s an invalid reliant upon mobility aids and devices and a 1-2-3 up! from the Bead Twirler just to get out of the specially designed chair and go to the dunny, and both of them advanced stage terminal cancer patients.
It will come as no surprise then that both are registered for, and listed on, the Optus medical priority register, known by the Singaporean owned mob as the Optus Special Assistance Service . This service has been grudgingly implemented by the company at the behest of the Government, under the terms of the Priority Assistance for Life Threatening Medical Conditions Industry Code for players in the telecommunications industry.
Given the Barry Crocker of a state of the oldies health, and the clearly life-threatening nature of their various medical conditions, you’d reckon that if their phone line went down the pair of lifelong hard-workers – who’ve never spent a day of the combined 150 years on the dole or put their hand out for a government sling, and both of whose fathers and grandfathers fought for our country in World Wars One and Two, each being wounded and one dying in a cursed far-flung French field after taking a Hun’s bullet or three in the head – would be treated with the respect and care that as good and proud elderly Australians they’ve goddamn bloody earned, and have it fixed faster than Black Caviar used to run down the Flemington straight, wouldn’t you?
Or, at the very least, within the timeframes Optus have committed to in the Priority Assistance code. After all, if the old man had another heart attack, or the old chook suffered another stroke, the ability to pick up the dog and bone and call an ambulance would be pretty vital to their chances of continuing to draw breath on this earth, and that no-one can possibly deny.
So why then, after spending more than 3 hours on the dog and bone to Optus today – 2 and 3/4 of it simply waiting on hold, the second time after never receiving the call back that they were cross my heart and hope to die promised by the deceptively named customer service agent – have the elderly long-time company’s customers been told it will take at least 36 hours to fix their goddamn bloody phone?
Do Optus want their customers to die? Is this some form of exit from the industry strategy? Or are they simply an absolute bunch of Singaporean c*nts who don’t give a flying f*ck about the descendants of the blokes who saved their sh*tty little litter-free island in WW2 after their own troops couldn’t hold it against the Japanese for longer than a single heartbeat?
I favour the latter explanation, and reckon that the company that’s real name is SingTel Optus Pty Ltd – they drop the SingTel in case in turns off potential Aussie customers – couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss whether my poor old parents lived or died. After all, they’re just rank and file pay your bill religiously before the due date types, not the high yield business clients that the company prostrates themselves before and kowtows to in order to get their high turnover custom.
Well f*ck that I thought. I’m not going to place my much-loved oldies in danger just because the company that’s supposed to make sure they have a working phone doesn’t give a f*ck.
So using my highly developed and rather crash-hot research skills I did a quick bit of digging and promptly came up with the name, address and home phone number of a bloke named Murray King, a Director of the company and its Chief Operating Officer – the man in charge of the money so to speak.
At last count Muzza owned 322 000 odd shares in the outfit, or more than $1.4 million worth, admittedly a mil or so less than what his flash Mosman pad is valued at, but enough for a mug punter to think that he might be interested in saving the business of a couple of good customers, if not in actually saving their lives.
So I gave Muzza a ring, but like the low-paid offshore based folk who provide customer service to Optus subscribers keen to talk to the outfit that they fork over their hard-earned to every month, the Money Man wasn’t home, and I copped his answering machine, which funnily enough isn’t even set up with a personalised message and runs to the standard ‘We can’t take your call at the moment, please leave a message’ recorded in a whiny Yank accent.
I left him a message though, telling him the oldies problem, and asking how he’d feel if they died in the next 36 hours because they didn’t have a phone line on which to call the outstanding folk of the Qld Ambulance Service who save so many lives.
Muzza’s probably out and about at a swanky fundraising dinner for his Tour de Cure cancer charity, raising funds to fight cancer, so he can get all these sick b*astards like my Mum and Dad off the priority service list, and save Optus a few bucks and a whole lot of hassle from pig-headed people like me who reckon older Australians deserve to be treated decently, and don’t believe that no should be accepted as an answer when people’s lives are at risk simply because a multi-national can’t be bothered and don’t give a rats arse.
Don’t worry though, being a night owl I’m usually up until the sun breaks over the horizon, so between now and then I’ll give Muzza a call every 20 minutes, on the minute, and see if we can’t get this problem fixed.
If you want to lend us a hand you can by giving him a bell at home too.
Just don’t forget to tell him Archie sent you.