All posts by Olivier Mehani

Europcar Car Rental Cork Airport: Disappointment, Promises, and More Disappointment

On a trip to Ireland in October, we had to rent a car to see ourselves around. We booked the car online from a website called “Irish car rentals”, but it turns out to be a front for europcar.ie.

We had been warned about hidden charges for additional collision insurances (Collision Damage Waiver, CDW), and that one way to avoid those charges was to pay with a credit card offering some sort of coverage.

So we had this covered, but the pain did not stop here.

Continue reading Europcar Car Rental Cork Airport: Disappointment, Promises, and More Disappointment

Australia Post’s consistent performance

A few hours ago, I had to look up the details of an Australia Post outlet, on my phone. Fortunately, Australia Post has a rather slick and to-the-point mobile website.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work…

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Australia Post: Different Outlet, Same Service

After another mind-numbing Australia Post experience, I noticed that the receipts were saying, in friendly capital letters:

PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON TODAY’S VISIT AT AUSPOST.COM.AU/MYVISIT

So I did.

There was also a free-text entry for me to explain why, on a scale from 0 to 10, I marked my likelihood to recommend AustPost to friend, family or colleague to be 0. I’m not even sure I’d recommend it to somebody I disliked.

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On Australia Post’s unreliable mail redirection

Having moved houses recently, we needed mail to be redirected for some time, to give us the opportunity to catch accounts where the address hadn’t been updated yet. It worked well with Australia Post in the past. This time, it ended up being a symphony, or rather, a cacophony, of failures.

Continue reading On Australia Post’s unreliable mail redirection

Leaving AGL, again

Somehow after having left AGL for the more decent looking Australia Power and Gas, the latter got bought by the former. We were back with the very company we didn’t want to buy power from to start with. After yet another hefty bill, though we were under the impression, from prior communication, that rates would remain the same, we decided to go away, again.

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Tides resort in Koh Samui, Thailand: Scam or not scam?

There are quite a few complaints about the time-share selling tactics of the Tides Resort being built on Koh Samui, in Thailand. We got to experience them first-hand recently. It’s as bad as it sounds.

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Woolworths: Fishy, but Promptly Corrected

Dear sir or madam,

Please check your “fresh” fish.

At the end of a long day, and having the rest of the needed ingredients, I decided that I fancied home-made sushi. All that was missing was a couple of nice salmon fillets.

I went to the fresh seafood section of my local Woolworths, at Wolli Creek, and was served by a very amiable clerk who selected for me two fillets of what appeared to be the best salmon on display (or at least, the most expensive).

Back home, as I was readying the fillets to be assembled into tasty bite-sized rice delicacies, I noticed an unusually strong fishy smell emanating from the freshly-bought fish. A further taste-test confirmed my suspicions: both fillets, though labelled as fresh in the store, were clearly past their due date.

Beyond the $12.99 paid for the 400-odd grams of fish, I let you imagine my deception, contemplating a fish-less sushi meal, which was only saved with a random steak and a quickly created teriaki sauce.

A reply email came the next day.

Dear O.

At Woolworths Supermarkets we have a huge selection of brands you know and trust.

The quality and integrity of our products is of utmost importance to us and if you are not completely satisfied, we will cheerfully refund the purchase price and exchange the item as part of our Fresh and Free Guarantee.

Please take your item packaging back Salmon Portions Sknd Boned Fresh x2 which you purchased for $12.99 to your local store and the customer service team will be more than happy to look after you. This way we can investigate the batch for future reference, If you have any further queries please feel free to contact Juliana the store manager on (02) 8035 9281 to discuss the matter further.

If you no longer have your receipt of purchase, please take this letter with you as proof of purchase.

We appreciate your feedback and we thank you for shopping at Woolworths.

Yours faithfully,

Werner
Woolworths Customer Service Team

And indeed, next time I went to Woolworths, the attendant happily offered a refund. The easiest was to add this as a discount on other purchases, so I bought a few needed items. They also offered to replace the fish itself at no cost, but the sushi opportunity was past, so I didn’t get it.

I’d hope to see such very decent customer service more often.

CommonWealth Bank: Not So Helpful

I recently realised that I had been paying fees on my CommonWealth Bank Account that I shouldn’t have. When enquiring about why I hadn’t been informed about this, and left paying them, I was told that the information had been given to me through advertisements (Why not a personal message? I wonder…). Additionaly, my consent was needed for the fees to be waived, though it surfaced that my consent wasn’t so needed for the fees to be applied in the first place. In light of this extensive information and due process (not!), the bank refused to refund these undue fees.

Continue reading CommonWealth Bank: Not So Helpful

Not sure about StarTrack couriers’ service quality

Today, I got an “Attempted Delivery Advice” from StarTrack couriers in the post. Somebody must have been impatiently waiting for a parcel. Problem is that the parcel is not addressed to anybody living here. The advice has not been delivered to the right address.

Looking on the conveniently advertised website, I could see that the parcel was dropped at my local post office, and labelled as “Delivered”. So my understanding is that StarTrack considers they have done their job. But they haven’t.

The actual recipient of this parcel does not know that it has arrived. There is no information on the notice nor on their website for me to track the recipient and inform them. There is no obvious point of contact mentioned anywhere for me to even inform StarTrack that something went wrong.

In a week, the post office will return the parcel to the sender and the recipient will not have what they ordered. Yet, according to StarTrack’s books, they will say they did their job properly when delivering it.

They didn’t. They got the wrong address and offer no way to correct the problem. Their motto seems to be “When Service Matters”. Well, when it does, indeed matter, I will choose another courier than StarTrack.

Now, I will try some more to find who the recipient might be. I should probably charge it back to the couriers…

Internode’s customer service is a breath of fresh air

In short, I had troubles calling some numbers (13xxxx; Australian local rate) from my Internode-provided VoIP line.
I opened an issue about this on a Sunday, in late afternoon.

Less than half an hour later, they called me directly to run some tests, but I missed that. When I ringed them back, seeing I was calling from my mobile, they offered to call back.

After a couple of tests, they identified the problem, and tracked the cause down to a misconfiguration (some numbers were prefixed to the dialled ones; my fault, I’m afraid) in my router (a Fritz!Box, almost certainly the best piece of home network gear I’ve ever had), and guided me through the process of fixing it (deactivating “Adjust Number Format” features in “Telephony/Own Telephone Numbers”).

Problem fixed in less than an hour, on a Sunday evening. Internode’s customer service is great. This is a very refreshing change as compared to the others usually described here in less than flattering terms.