Dodo wins, godammit! :-(

17 12 2008

All of a sudden, for no apparent reason, on a PC that’s had no new software installed on it, no recent reconfiguration, or any observable signs of malware infection, mum & dad’s Dodo dial-up account stopped working last week – authentication issues _after_ a successful initial PPP connection.  And this isn’t the first time this’s happened…

Mum spent 4 hours on the phone to Dodo tech-support, except this time they weren’t able to resolve the problem.  Exhausted and beaten, she caved and said “OK, give me ADSL”. :-(    She’ll soon be on 256/64kbps, 500MB(peak)+500MB(off-peak) for $25/month.

I nearly flipped (as you can imagine from my earlier posts re Dodo!), but a quick run through confirms that Dodo’s $25/month ADSL (without bundled voice services) is about as cheap as entry-level ADSL gets, and that’s about as much as she wanted to pay.

Given Dodo’s ferocious telemarketing campaign to get their dial-up cusomters onto more modern services, people more cynical/paranoid than me might wonder if there really was a technical problem at all…

Touche Dodo, you won this one.

* Update:  i setup a new dial-up connection with somewhere else as a stop-gap until the Dodo ADSL kicks in.  it worked first time, further proving that there was no technical issue at the client end.  i feel myself becoming cynical/paranoid…

* Update2:  when i called up to cancel the dial-up account (i never used it, just mum & dad), the chook could see that i’d had technical problems, and offered to escalate the issue to *level 3* tech-support.  i wonder how many more hours they’d expect mum to spend on the phone trying to sort out their borked system?  (all the while she’d be running up & down stairs dozens of times because there’s no mobile (GSM) reception in their basement where the PC is).  thanks for the offer Dodo, but you’d already won, this particular chook just didn’t know it so had to run the pleading script past me…


the bird just won’t take no for an answer!

29 11 2008

regular readers (do i even have any?!?) will recall my recent dummy-spit with Dodo when the 19yo idiot telemarketer found it inconceivable that i wasn’t prepared to sign up for a wireless broadband service right there and then that’s based on Optus 3G infrastructure when I (my parents) had already tried an ostensibly identical Virgin (aka Optus 3G) offering earlier this year but had zero coverage.

not content with my final statement (“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.”), i received not one, but TWO more calls from Dodo.

it’s not clear whether they’d received and were acting upon my complaint letter; when i asked “did you not receive my letter of complaint last week?” he said “oh, this is just a follow-up call”.  ah, right.  the conversation descended rapidly from there, him pleading to explain, and me saying i wasn’t interested, and eventually having to hang up on him.

the second call was even shorter.  i quickly discovered that they have a ‘do not call list’, and i’m now on it.

we *were* going to upgrade to ADSL on Dodo, but i can think of plenty of ISPs to whom i’d rather that money go now.


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.