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(Sydney Morning Herald)   Phone company cancels mobile phone of dying woman because it's easier to settle the bill while she's still alive   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
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5131 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Feb 2002 at 1:12 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

50 Comments     (+0 »)
2002-02-19 01:14:01 AM  
well, it's tough being in the telecom business these days, but jeez.
2002-02-19 01:14:12 AM  
but are they calling her names?
2002-02-19 01:16:01 AM  
Dead people tell no tales (on the phone anyways)
2002-02-19 01:16:22 AM  
either way, what does it matter to her if she'll be dead soon? its not like she can take the 338 dollars with her...
2002-02-19 01:16:54 AM  
"(The supervisor) said the notation on her file was she had cancer."

WTF? How do they know?
2002-02-19 01:17:01 AM  
thats nothing. I know Kung Fu.
2002-02-19 01:19:46 AM  
They know all
2002-02-19 01:21:55 AM  
The phone company is SO evil.
2002-02-19 01:23:25 AM  
I heard that cell phone companys can even tell when you pee. That might just be something someone told me though..
2002-02-19 01:25:31 AM  
I'd say something about the phone company but they're watching me right now....
*Sniper takes out Not_Enginerd*
2002-02-19 01:34:50 AM  
If it was BellSouth, they would have kept her account active and billed her grandchildren for 30 years of late charges. The bastards.
2002-02-19 01:39:27 AM  
typical australians
2002-02-19 01:40:56 AM  
I will make a "Psychic Prediction!!:"
NosferaDrew will have a posting on this page.
This posting will be at precisely 01:14:19 PM

God, am I good, or what?
2002-02-19 01:43:48 AM  
Greek LOL!
You could be Mr. Cleo.... Just work up on that Jamaician accent.
2002-02-19 01:51:56 AM  
And I thought NEXTEL was bad....or wait, they are.....

And Greek and/or NosferaDrew, ok, I saw this in the other thread with Fred Flinstone, will someone PLEASE tell me how you are doing this.......PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
2002-02-19 01:56:54 AM  
Man that is the worst. Some business executives are so ridiculously stupid. The lost revenue from bad publicity will surely exceed the few dollars they wish to save.
2002-02-19 01:57:44 AM  
This is what happens when someone tries to, uh, be the first peson to get a posting up. If they type the words "Fzizrzszt Pzozszt (remove the "z's) and their post happens to be the first one, then the magic words get changed to something else, and they get booted ahead by 12 hours, so that they are NOT first, and we can laugh at them.
Incidentally, In case you didn't know, have you ever noticed people saying things like "In my Boobies, I said...?"
This is what happens whenever you type the magic words listed above with the z's in it. Part of the wonderful Fark Filter™!
2002-02-19 02:03:21 AM  
These guys are all going to hell.
2002-02-19 02:08:04 AM  
they say using a mobile fries your brain...

Telco's obviously employ a lot of mobile phone users
2002-02-19 02:15:53 AM  
Hang on, if she received a bill after she'd been in horse pistol for three months, during which time the service had been suspended, doesn't that mean that she's 90 days past due?
The extra money she's being asked to cough up is for the telephone she was able to buy at a reduced price, n'est pas?

I'm sorry the woman has cancer, but this isn't the Make a Wish foundation.

Before we target the eevil capitalist pigs let's not forget who gets first crack at a deceased estate - the taxation office.
2002-02-19 02:21:23 AM  
typical Telstra
2002-02-19 02:21:34 AM  
2002-02-19 02:22:17 AM  
Hee hee hee, thanks Greek......that made me laugh.....;-)
2002-02-19 02:28:17 AM  
She was cut-off before her time.
2002-02-19 02:28:22 AM  
Did you read the whole article? Look at these 2 quotes:

"The (Telstra) supervisor said it was an unofficial policy to call in any contract on any service ... to any person they know is in bad ill-health because it's easier to get money from living people than their estates," Judy told Melbourne radio 3AW.

"Judy said she had routinely contacted Telstra when her daughter went into hospital, asking them to put a hold on the account and saying they would settle accounts when she returned home."

It's not like the woman/ her mother were ignoring Telstra. They obviously were in contact. The problem here was not the suspended service. It was the contract cancellation for no real reason. The woman was not in default on her contract. Look at the first quote, about the "unofficial policy."
No, Telstra is not Make a Wish. But they don't have the right to do a vegas line on whether their customers are going to kick the bucket or not. Suspending service= fine- the woman's mother even asked them to do so. Cancelling contract because they think she's going to die, and THEN charging for the cancellation? Very bad.
2002-02-19 02:31:26 AM  
You're welcome, Mytwocents!
I like your Boobies.

2002-02-19 02:51:34 AM  
"I told them they could go jump in the lake."

2002-02-19 02:52:28 AM  
"I told them they could go jump in the lake."

Damned Good
2002-02-19 02:58:48 AM  
typical telstra, i just felt obliged to post because im Australian
2002-02-19 03:44:23 AM  
Just the article I needed to have me walk around pissed off today...
2002-02-19 03:58:17 AM  
I work in Telecom. I know what your cat's name is.
2002-02-19 05:26:26 AM  
That's business for you. You don't pay, you don't get service. Simple.

She advocated it. What's the problem?
2002-02-19 05:41:58 AM  
Yeah, they didn't really emphasize the "way, WAY past due" part of Telstra's story. It's disturbing that anyone would actually *SAY* that it was because of her ill health, though. That a kid died because of lack of service sounds pretty devastating, but the service had been out for ten days. That ain't pickin' up the phone and going "Oh my G_d, it stopped working RIGHT NOW!" Calling up a business and telling them to put your account on hold is well and good, but it doesn't mean that you get to keep using it until you decide to start paying. As has been previously said, this isn't the Make A Wish foundation. This is a nicely slanted story.
2002-02-19 06:53:24 AM  
Greek: Yeah, I did read the whole thing but with considerable scepticism. This was meant to have taken place some time ago. Is it any coincidence that it came no light on a radio station after this death in Vic last week?

My uncle died last year after a similar battle with cancer and Telstra didn't axe his mobile - but he had someone dealing with his bills during his hospitalisation.

Your point is taken though, and I look forward to seeing Telstra's justification. I think there is more to this than meets the eye.

2002-02-19 08:07:00 AM  
Words fail me. Something about fiery painful deaths and telecom companies....
2002-02-19 08:14:16 AM  
Ahhhhh bless those little Aussie hearts
2002-02-19 08:22:09 AM  
Mmetheos, it will cost them millions of dollars of damage.

Their slogan should be - "Just like Enron except one person at a time."
2002-02-19 08:41:03 AM  
For all the absurb and abusive lawsuits that have graced these pages, cases like these are why there is a tort system. And why lawyers should be able to work based on a percentage of the final result, this family is obviously in no position to pay for a lawyer to get their rights protected.

I'm a Reagan Republican, I'm a strong believer in capitalism, but when a company screws over their customers, there must be a check to repair the damage done and to put fear in businessmen would might cheat others.
2002-02-19 08:59:05 AM  
I tend to be a pretty conservative guy, especially when it comes to capitalism. Obviously, we haven't heard Testra's side of the story. That said, I think Telstra made a bad move. If nothing else, there's enough here to lead reasonable people to think that Telstra is the "evil corporation". While I'm an advocate of free enterprise, I believe there's much to be said for the public holding companies responsible for providing the type of service they want. From that perspective, there's always a time for any business to swallow a little profit for public image and customer goodwill. This may be one of those times.

It's the fine line of capitalism -- the freedom to try and dominate the market, but the freedom of the customer to tell you to piss up a rope.
2002-02-19 09:06:15 AM  
Mytwocents:Here's a little Nextel for ya:
I call in my bill and pay by debit card. Next month bill shows up with past due amount that I payed previously by debit card. I call Nextel. Guy answers, and says
"Oh! I know what the problem is, we switched to a new accounting system. I've been getting calls like this all day." I give him my account number, and he says he fixed it and I am current now. Next month, past due amount shows up again. I call Nextel. Woman answers, I tell my story. She says "I don't know what you are talking about we have not switched to a new accounting system. Did you get a case number?" "No" I replied, "He said he fixed it, so we saw no need for it." "Well I can't help you then" she retorted. I hang up. I call again, next day, and get someone who knows whats going on, and indeed confirms that they did switch to a new accounting system. They assign me a case number, and say they will fix it. 4 more bills roll in each with the disputed amount past due. I ignore the past due and just pay current charges. Getting sick of seeing this past due amount on my bill, I give them another call, and the person who answers tells me they are "Working on it".Next month another bill rolls in still with the past due amount showing . I call again, I say, "Look, how about I fax you my bank statement that proves I payed you." "Oh", she says, "That might help!" I fax the statement in, and they fix it the next day, plus give me a $35 credit on my bill, for my troubles. Previous to Nextel, I had SprintPCS, Alltel, and Verizon. Verizon is the only company that I never had billing problems with. But we use the Direct Connect more than the phone portion, so I guess I will stay with Nextel.
2002-02-19 09:23:21 AM  
This is sort of like that 'bastard' phone charge from the other day.
2002-02-19 09:27:40 AM  
Past due or not, hounding someone who is in intensive care is just plain evil. They didn't need her $300-odd dollars that badly.
2002-02-19 09:57:40 AM  
It is sad to see that Australia's corporations and pol's are every bit as bad as they are here in the US.

We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company.
- Lilly Tomlin, as Ernestine the Operator
2002-02-19 09:59:17 AM  
Telstra have become extremely money hungry over the last few years, for very large parts of the telcom market in Australia they are a monopoly so they just do whatever they farkign want. A year ago I signed up for a 12 month contract for unlimited usage ADSL (subject to you more or less not using it for illegal shyte), they sent emails saying if you haven't been sent warnings for usage just keep using it how you have been, I used 38GB that month. It now costs the same amount for 3GB a month, it is shortly about to go up $5 and just as I am about to get a $5 discount for staying with them they have said they are scraping it. The thing is they own the exchanges so everyone has to play by their rules... That is more or less their attitude to everything. Another quick example, they said SMS usage had increased over 1000% so they needed to increase the cost... Telstra, nuf said
2002-02-19 11:49:47 AM  
Telestra, hunh?

I thought it would be AT&T for sure.

I know you've all heard the new "MLife" commercials, well the reason AT&T is using the name "MLife" is because their own name has become so tarnished from pulling un-loveable stuff like this for years. AT&T, home of pathetic service, even worse customer support, and Billing Department Nazis would like to present a new sister corp., Telestra....
2002-02-19 12:38:56 PM  
I deal with these clowns for business services in Australia. They're hosers.
2002-02-19 01:14:19 PM  
f p ?
2002-02-19 02:06:08 PM  
You can get your money when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers.....
2002-02-19 02:45:11 PM  
Without the phone company you would all be so fuct. Pay your damn bills and stop biatching.
2002-02-19 07:08:42 PM  
as a past AT&T rep I can says that they don't care and will shut of your service for looking the wrong way at the repair guy.

Never underestimate the power of greed.

I personally would like this to go to court, just to see them twitch over that "unofficail policy" she might get money to pay her hospital bills
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