I’ve had an Optus Fusion bundle for 3 years now (they made me start a new 2 year contract last year to upgrade one of my services) and every month I have to call them to get them to explain to me why there is an additional $10 or $15 on top of my so called “Cap”.
First I have to call Optus Mobile to explain the additional charges on my 2 mobiles, then I have to call Optus Fixed Line to explain the additional charges on my ADSL and home phone.
Every month, the mobile part of the bill will carry extra charges (never the same amount), but which are usually, but not always, all credited back in a big credit total on the front page that includes credits from other sources. There is no explanation what these credits are for, I have to work it out from my plan and ultimately have to assume that’s what they are for.
So every month for the last 3 years, my bill summary typically shows charges over my cap for at least 2 of 3 services, but this is usually totally bogus because they give me back the excess (most of the time) in the credits. I waste incredible amounts of time thinking I’m over my limit when I’m not. I can’t assume this is always the case because I’ve caught them out on a couple of occasions incorrectly applying (usually small) charges to my mobile services, or sometimes I incur extra usage charges myself that I accept.
I’ve had refunds for $15 here, or $3 there every so often, and got them to refund late fees because of their unintelligible bill but all this wastes hours and hours of my time and I have now reached breaking point. I hate Optus, and I want out of this insane company. Not because the service is bad, but because their bills are a work of obfuscation bastardry cooked up by their mad marketing section.
In January they hit me for $102 of unexpected data charges. Well after 3 more hours I got that refunded, but that was the last straw. I’ve been looking around to see what I can do about it and noticed that the ACMA has struck a TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONSUMER PROTECTIONS CODE (TCP Code) with the industry that has apparently come into effect in July 2012.
So! Look what I found !…
5.2.5 Presentation and Format: A Supplier must lay out and format Bills so that a Customer may easily read and understand its Bill.
Well I would have thought that was pretty self-evident, but of course Optus Billing is run by Machiavellian madmen. They need this sort of kindergarten stuff spelled out to them.
And here’s the thing. If it’s not enough that I…
1. have to call two different Optus sections to explain the same Optus bill
2. have to spend 2-3 hours every month getting Optus to explain the bill
3. keep getting hit with late payment fees (I demand they refund them) because I don’t always have 2-3 hours to spend every month talking to Optus about the bill
4. keep getting my service cut off because I forgot to call Optus again about the bill just so I could understand it, so I could then pay it;
…if all that isn’t enough, they have the nerve to CHARGE ME $0.31 for each call to the 133343 Help number on their bill, in flagrant breach of the TCP Code, 5.2.8, to wit:
5.2.8 Cost of Billing Enquiry: A Supplier which provides access to its Billing Enquiry point by telephone (including calls from a mobile phone) must provide such access at Untimed Call rates, unless agreed otherwise with the Customer.
And no I didnt agree. On average this insanity costs me an additional 3 calls a month to Optus.
Then there’s the fiasco that, until just a month or two ago, the Bill falsely stated that this number is available 8:30am-6:00pm in your local time. But in Western Australia, you had to call them before 6pm EASTERN TIME or all you’ll get is their recorded message. And yes I got billed for all those 133343 calls I made before 6pmWST that told me I should call back during office hours!
Now Optus probably only corrected this incompetence because I bothered to tell whoever I spoke to at Optus whenever I could, to escalate the issue about the 13343 number not working in WA after 3pm Perth time.
So I’m quite prepared to give credit where it’s due – namely to me – that this problem is now fixed for everyone in WA, NT, and SA.
I’m unapolagetic about my Christian views, however this doesnt mean I subscribe to the “infallability” of the Bible. Quite the contrary - the Bible is full of problems, and the Christian’s challenge is to understand meaning within context.
Recently, blog posts have appeared concerning the topic in the Book of Revelation of the “hidden manner”, “white stone” and a “new name”, prompting me to post the following reply under the name Sandgroper:
I’m glad this part of Revelation is getting a little more exposure. There are some important things to beware of regarding the “hidden manner”, “white stone”, “new name” and the Book of Revelation itself.
1. Book of Revelation is generally considered by scholars to be of dubious credibility.
2. Revelation was originally declared spurious or heretical by the Council of Laodicea in 363-364 and evidently only found its way into the Protestant New Testament by democratic vote, but notably, Luther opposed its inclusion.
3. We now know that Revelation has had several authors/editors over time(up to 3), not just one, and the edits have created logical absurdities and inconsistencies.
4. Revelation contains views that strongly disagree with the Gospels, most obviously, its attempt to give a time frame to the End Times. This is by far its most contentious claim, as it directly contradicts Chist’s warning not to believe anyone who claims to know when these things will occur, but to look to the signs.
5. The reference to “hidden manner” is by definition, a literally occult (as “occult” means “hidden”) symbolism, once again in direct conflict with basic Christian principles.
6. The reference to a “white stone” in the same context as “hidden” manna, is a disturbingly close association with the concept of the occult “philosophers stone” - which is supposed to be able to transduce all base metals into gold. This occult reference in Revelation creates a bridge between Chistianity and, shall we say, the “dark side”, that has no place in canonical Gospel based Christian thinking whatsoever. This part of Revelation shares much the same space occupied by the likes of Nostradamus - a false prophet conman par excellance!
7. Many examples exist of Revelation being used to lend credibility to fundamentalist Christian groups that have uttery lost their grip on reality.
8. I could go on.
While Revelation does not abandon Christian principles so incredulously and recklesly as the so called “Gnostic” Gospels, Revelation has been described by many credible sources as dangerous, and should be taken with very large doeses of salt (figuratively, of course!). It is at best a quasi-christian religious fantasy offering encouragement, hope and moral support in a time of persecution. In spite of its pretentions, it is very hard to consider Revelation anything other than early Christian propaganda written out of desperation to protect the Church under attack. Who knows - if not for Revelation Christianity may have been snuffed out! This does not alter the fact that Revelation is itself perhaps the greatest “false prophecy” of all time. The hope it offers in rewards of “hidden manna”, “white stones” (etc) is carrot in front of the donkey stuff, and nothing in Revelation is necessary for your Salvation. If you never read Revelation you would lose nothing in Christ. Sorry if all this comes as a shock.
As an aside, my carefully considered view on the “Gnostic” Gospels is that they are probably forgeries created by educated/literate religious fraudsters in the first few centuries AD for the purpose of being sold back to the Christian Church for large sums of money, or to discredit the Church.
Please feel free to disagree with me and post your own research/opinions, I am happy to be corrected/persuaded to other views. However the above is based on my personal interest over the last 30 years, and is all evidence based opinion.
And why wouldn’t I be. After 4 decades watching Bill Gates fleece billions from his customers since hypocritically accusing the shareware community of “stealing” his software only to promptly flog Tim Patterson’s unoriginal “rip-off” of Gary Kildall’s CP/M to IBM as PC-DOS, Microsoft still refuses to reinvest that money into fixing its bug ridden products. Instead they expect customers to fork out yet more cash to upgrade to a new version with a whole new set of bugs. And they let their customers find these bugs for them, effectively using them to test their software. To paraphrase Bill Gates himself,
One thing [Microsoft does] do is prevent good software being written.
Sharepoint has been particularly notorious for bugs and gotcha’s that have wasted incredible amounts of time for early up takers. I recall spending over 6 months in 2002 trying to get Microsoft to admit that 3rd party software vendors were locked out of using the Sharepoint 2001 object model to develop 3rd party add-ons. The admission came at a Technet talk fest where a C++ developer actually working on the Sharepoint project provided the frustrated acknowledgement that “We tell the marketing guys all the time - do not claim SP2001 supports 3rd party add-ons - but they keep on selling this lie”.
My latest beef? SharePoint 2007 had a Site Directory which provided a directory of sites created, but this feature was dropped in SharePoint 2010. Most likely this was in line with Microsoft’s written undertaking to customers to ensure Microsoft software performs “…substantially as described…”, which is to say only “…substantially as described…”.
Site Directory must have performed exactly as described, and was also both necessary and very useful. It was therefore dropped in Sharepoint 2010.
Fortunately, a Codeplex member (albeit Microsoft Consulting Services UK) has come to the rescue with a solution to fill this gap in SharePoint 2010. The solution “…follows the same basic principle of the Site Directory in SharePoint 2007 but adds some commonly requested features”. Well - almost.
The Codeplex Site Directory potentially fills a HUGE omission (and I really do mean HUGE) by Microsoft in Sharepoint 2010, but is about one line of code away from achieving that. It doesn’t hold the human readable Parent URL that would allow a presentable tree view of the site directory. Changing the view to group by Parent Site ID gives unintelligible GUIDS. All it needs is to just include a human readable Parent Site URL. This completely solves the whole tree view issue by treating Site List as a tree structure and handling the data type properly and completely.
Just one line of code short of perfect. It’s hard to understand why such a potentially great solution could be let own by 1 line of code. It’s probably already there in code memory when the Parent Site ID column is written. Even if you need to create a subroutine and call to fetch Site URL for the Parent Site ID, why wouldn’t you ? It just doesn’t make sense. (Except perhaps that a Microsoft consultant wrote it ?)
I needed this to work properly so I have solved it myself with a simple 1 line Sharepoint 2010 workflow. Details below. Set the WF to run for new items and changes. To manually load (or reload) the Parent Site URL column, just view the list in Data Grid mode, put an X in the first cell then fill down to the end of the column. This triggers the WF to run on all items in the list.
Comments, questions –> http://spsitedirectory2010.codeplex.com/discussions/364824
Its 31 May and I’m almost out of time for my May post.
Its therefore timely to talk about the 2008 BBC Horizon documentary “Do You Know What Time It Is” that has been aired locally recently, presented by particle physicist Brian Cox. While I accept Cox tries to make a difficult topic intelligible, his treatment of Time goes too much into the world of science fantasy.
Cox talks about Time in the quantum physical world, which is all very well, but the point I let go is when he talks about “bending” space and time, a popular theme in quantum mechanics and gravitational effects on light, but which is taken too literally.
For me, Time is really an artefact of human memory. Time doesn’t exist in the physical world. Its a dimension first invented by primitive man to understand movement, fundamentally the regular (apparent) movement of sun and moon around the earth, seasons, tides, and human ageing. We have evolved Time as a scientific concept to describe something that really only exists in our minds. Because we have memory of “past” we use our mind to project predictions into the “future”. We use these flawed facets of the Time dimension to understand motion, and it works well to a point. But Time fails us in the quantum world. So we try to redefine it without first understanding what we actually mean by Time.
Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying conventional Time is a waste of time. However, another approach to Time is the Australian Aborigines understanding in the context of the “ever present now”. There is no past, no future, just “now”. This is their “Dreamtime” model of Time. In Western philosophy its known as “presentism”. This idea also exists in computing. Conventional “Real Time” computing is inadequate for some engineering applications, so a time agnostic approach has evolved called “Data Flow”. In this paradigm, processes are not activated in a chronological sequence, but only when predefined prerequisite conditions are met.
These two different models of Time (or execution sequencing) are in some ways analogous to the rectangular (x,y,z) versus spherical (a,r,r) co-ordinate models of 3D space. The are just different models of the same reality.
All this reminds me of a scene out of The Matrix. To paraphrase: Then you’ll see, that it is not space time that bends, it is only yourself.
Nothing happened this month. Or in March for that matter.
No. Just kidding. Really something did happen somewhere I’m sure, its just that I havent had time to post anything for April.
I’ll catch up later.
BTW, if you used Contact Me to post a comment, the mailer doesnt seem to be working. Looking into it….