Is it time to kill the Dodo?

21 11 2008

just got a cold-call from Dodo, trying to upgrade my dial-up internet connection (actually used by my parents interstate, not me, i just pay for it ;) to a wireless broadband thingy.

mum n dad have been talking about getting a faster pipe to the internets – frankly i don’t know how they’ve coped without broadband all this time, my life would collapse without it!  so i listened to what Dodo had to offer.  it was a ‘3G’ based system leveraging Optus’ 3G/HSDPA network.  oh boy… (see previous post!)

they’ve already tried a Virgin Mobile Broadband + HomePhone thingy earlier this year, and there wasn’t enough coverage for the box to even register their asserted presence in the area; so that box got returned and the service cancelled at no cost.  Dodo, like Virgin, are also resellers of Optus’s 3G network, so when Dodo came calling, i was more than sceptical at the salesman’s assertion that they had “full coverage” in their postcode, and i said as much.

not to be deterred, he directed me to their website where i could plug in their postcode and see in big bright friendly green letters that they did indeed have coverage there.  what was the point of that?  yeah, you’re right, i s’pose i shouldn’t be surprised that there’s such a mistrust of phone/mobile/broadband telemarketers and their predilection for misrepresentation that the average customer needs to pull the same answer from the same database as the telemarketer does…

he went over the details of the plan, 3.5Mbps (when i asked what the upstream speed is, he said it’s the same – yeah like hell it will be!), 70MB/month, excess charged at $0.17 (or was it .18?)/MB, capped at something like $25/month on a 2 year contract, same $9.90 i’m paying for the dial-up, we just pay $20something for delivery of the modem.  if it doesn’t work, a full refund & contract cancellation.  sounds ok as an introductory offer, right?

well yeah, but blind freddy can see this is only a drawcard plan.  almost everyone who moves from dial-up to broadband significantly (if not drastically) increases their consumption because it’s faster & much more tollerable than dial-up, so you ‘do more stuff’.  a realistic plan is gonna double that cost.  but that’s still ok.

what prompted this post is not only that this kid spoke so fast and slurred that i had to ask him to repeat himself several times, not only that he had a unmistakably cocky “i’ve got this sale in the bag” (despite the fact that the product probably won’t work in the location) tone to his sales pitch, but when i said “ok, i’ll have a think about it and discuss it with my parents” (and do a little more research, of course), he was totally flummoxed that i wasn’t ready to sign up there and then, seriously incredulously asking twice “what’s there to think about?”.  When i became a little terse toward his offensive sales tactic and asked “is it too much to ask that I discuss the matter with my parents?” he said “ok, bye” and hung up!

indeed, what is there to think about when it comes to navigating the snake pits of broadband plans and the half-truths and high-pressure or just plain offensive tactics used to sell them?

Dodo, you can go forth and multiply, or go extinct, i don’t really care which, but those are the only two choices you have left with me.





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