Scene – at my local Telstra shop.
Me: “I’m not sure what to do, I’ve smashed the screen of my iPhone, but I believe I have insurance…”
Them: “The best thing to do is to call Telstra, find out if you have Stay Connected and take it from there – if you have Stay Connected, you get two gigabytes of free data, and they will replace the phone.”
Me: “Really? That sounds simple…I was thinking of just getting the screen replaced in the shopping centre…”
Them: (Sternly.) “If you do that Madam, you will null and void your warranty and any problem you have with your phone will not be covered. Would you like to wait in the queue? Our waiting time is only four hours at the moment.”
Me: “Oh. No, I’ll go home and call Telstra.”
* * * * *
Them: “I already have your year of birth so please tell me the day and month or enter it on your telephone keypad…”
Me: “May 15.”
Them: “Is that…the 25th of October?”
Them: “Please tell me the day and month of your birth or enter it on your telephone keypad…”
Them: “How may I direct your enquiry? Blah, blah, blah or blah, or other?”
Them: “Sorry I didn’t quite catch that…”
Them: “So that would be telephone sales?”
Me: (Sighs.) “Yes.”
Them: “So you’re interested in purchasing a new phone.”
Me: (Patiently.) “No. I dropped my iPhone and smashed the screen, and I believe I have insurance. I was told at the Telstra shop that you provide a replacement phone, and that with Stay Connected I can back-up two gigabytes of data.”
Them: “I’m sorry, that’s not my department. But I’ll put you through immediately to Stay Connected. Is there anything further I can help you with?”
Me: (Politely.) “Thank you, but no thank you.”
Me: ”Oh hello! Yes, I’m ringing about my iPhone, I dropped it and smashed the screen and I was told…”
Them: “Yes, that’s right. All you have to do is download the Stay Connected app, then you follow the instructions and you can back-up all your data. When you get your new phone simply follow the prompts and ALL your data will be restored…”
Me: “Really? That’s fantastic! Thank you.”
Them: “Perhaps you would like to stay on the line and complete a short survey?”
Me: “Sure.” (Thinks – In your dreams.)
A few days later, new phone arrives. Download Stay Connected App onto old phone (which is still working held together by sticky tape and Gladwrap). Instruction tells me I can’t download data, because I have too much on the phone. Start to delete. Keeps telling me I have too much. I get below ONE gigabyte, still tells me too much.
Them: “…I already have your year of birth so please tell me the day and month…”
_________________Readers fill in the blanks.
Them: “Hi there, I’m Cherie from Stay Connected. How can I be of service?”
Me: “Well, the thing is I smashed my iPhone….I’m trying to use the Stay Connected App. I was told it took two gigabytes of data and I’m way below now.”
Them: “Oh, well, I’m sorry but the App is down at the moment. It’s being redesigned, and in fact you have FIVE gigabytes of FREE data on it.” (Said in tones of great excitement.)
Me: (With just a touch of sarcasm.) “So I’ve just deleted most of the photos and videos on my phone to get it below the two gigabytes I thought I had, and in fact your App is not working, but if it was I would have five gigabytes, which means I’ve completely unnecessarily cleared my phone out?”
Them: “That is unfortunately the case. However, have you ever backed up your phone through iTunes?”
Me. “Yes, I have.”
Them: “Well, due to our App currently being redesigned, perhaps the best idea would be to back up your old phone to iTunes and then insert your new phone, and instead of clicking up setting up new phone, click restore phone…”
Me: “Good idea. I’ll do it that way. Thanks for your help.”
Them: “Thank you and perhaps you would like to stay on the line to complete a short survey?”
Me: “Fine.” Thinks – in your dreams.
Back up old phone to iTunes. All G, as they say. Insert new phone. Message. Your phone cannot be connected to iTunes because your iTunes needs updating. Hmmm. Update iTunes. Your update cannot be installed because your operating system needs updating. Hmmmm. Update operating system. Your operating system cannot be updated because you don’t have enough free space. (Also although they don’t say this, someone out there is going, PLUS your stupid MacBook is way too old, Loser, and you ain’t never going to have El Capitaine on that thing…and if you can’t afford a new laptop you don’t deserve to back up your phone anyway…)
Them: “So I can direct your enquiry to the right place….”
Me: (Screaming) STAY CONNECTED STAY CONNECTED STAY CONNECTED.
Them: That would be, moving house?
Me: NO. You idiot. I am not effing moving house.
Them: “I’ll put you through now.”
(I’m pretty sure she said it in huffy tones – they probably have a huffy robot tone…)
One hour later.
Them: “What seems to be the problem?”
Me: (Sobbing quietly.) “I smashed my iPhone…”
Them: “I can hear you’re having some problems. Have you tried
downloading your data to the cloud – have you done that yet?”
Me: (Deep sigh.) “I tried once but it seemed to take a long time.”
Them: “The first time does take a while but I’m sure that will solve your problem, and it’s very easy, you just……………”
SIX hours later – you know the drill. “Welcome to Telstra. I already have…”
Me: (Finally talking to a person.) “Look, I’m having some troubles downloading my data to the cloud – it’s been six hours so far and it doesn’t seem to have finished yet…”
Them: “Let’s see if there’s a problem.” Goes away. Dum-de-dum-dum-de-dum.
Them: (In an accusatory voice.) “Your internet is working very slowly…”
Me: “Yes, that’s something I’ve been meaning to mention…the Telstra shop told me that I could get NBN where I live, I’m thinking it would be a good idea.”
Them: “Let me see.” (Pause.) “Unfortunately you can’t get NBN where you live. Have you tried backing your phone up to iTunes?”
Me: (Frothing at the mouth.) “Sorry, I have to go, I have an emergency…”
Them: “Perhaps you’d have time to complete a short survey?”
Me: “Sure.” Thinks – In. Your. Dreams.
THE NEXT MORNING – phone STILL downloading to the cloud. But at 4.00 am I had a bright idea. I have a Mac Book Air belonging to the company for which I do some social media work, and I have my own user profile on it.
I download iTunes, log in, and back up my old phone to it. I plug in the new phone – and Yippee!!!! It works. Data restored.
It’s only taken 36 hours, and I’m – oh yes – SO connected.
Perhaps I’ll wait until tomorrow to talk to Telstra about the NBN.
Candida Baker’s latest book is Belinda the Ninja Ballerina published by Ford Street. You can purchase the book here: fordstreetpublishing