Australians will already know how bad this story is when I invoke the name Telstra (our biggest phone carrier here).
Now, when you have a cellular data plan with Telstra, you are supposed to get a text message when you are approachimg, and or over your limit. I got one in five months. Not a big problem, I usually stay under my download limit. This month, I went over. Cue $75.18 in usage charges I wouldn't have ended up with if I had known I was my limit. I would have just stopped using data on my phone for the month.
So I call up the billing support line at 3:30pm (business hours). Firstly, I get a message telling me they have a "high volume of calls, try again later or hold if you like etc". No worries, I light a cigarette and chill for 5-6 minutes. I come off hold to a busy tone. I call back immediatly (this shit does happen now and then, no big deal, still annoying), same high volume spiel, wait for 5 minutes on hold, same busy tone.
"F#$k this", I say, and I call their faults number to report a problem with their IVR/on hold system. Get through to faults pretty quickly.
Me: Yeah I'm trying to get through to 132200 but I keep coming off hold to a busy signal. I have a billing problem I need fixed today because I'm flying out of the country next week. Can you find out what's wrong or patch me through?
Rep: So.. are you reporting a fault with a phone number?
Me: Yes. I am reporting a fault with your IVR system as it is hanging up on me.
Rep: Let me put you on hold, I'll call through myself and put you at the top of the queue.
Me: That'd be great, thanks.
(I'm on hold about 6 maybe 7 minutes. Top of the queue? Hmmm.)
Rep: Thanks for holding. Billing is closed for the day. It's open to 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Me: But it's 3:40pm.
Rep: 5pm Eastern Time.
Me: So even though business hours here are 8:30 - 5:30pm where I am, I have to call billing before 3pm?
Rep: Yes. That's the recorded message I got when I called through.
(After six minutes on hold?)
Me: I got no such message. So I've called three times, on hold three times, hung up on twice, and only now you're telling me that the center was closed the whole time?
Me: This is ridiculous. Can you take a complaint or can I speak to the complaints department?
Rep: The complaints department is also closed after 5pm eastern time.
Me: So I've wasted half an hour on the phone for nothing.
Rep: Yes. I do apologise (etc etc etc)
To be fair, the rep was really polite and trying to be helpful, but.. WHAT THE HELL.