What is it with Australian telecoms companies at the moment? They seem to be very unpopular.
The exchange below was submitted by one of Dear Customer Relations’ new Antipodean friends, Rich Wisken. Rich received an email in May 2013 from his mobile phone service provider, Kogan Mobile, informing him that he was no longer welcome to use their service:
This is his reply…
Dear Bryan from Kogan Mobile,
You spell your name the same way as Bryan Adams. I hate that guy. Anyway, that’s not important. I’m actually writing in response to the email you sent, informing me that my Kogan Mobile contract has been terminated due to “unreasonable use.”
Let me share a story from my childhood with you.
Every Sunday when I was eight, I’d buy a choc top from Mr. Whippy.1 As soon I heard Greensleeves, I’d exuberantly sprint towards the pink and white van to exchange my money for an ice cream at an agreed price.
On one occasion, I was enjoying my choc top, when the driver jumped out of the van, yanked the ice cream from my hand and declared that I could never purchase frozen dairy products from him again. Apparently, eating the ice cream that I paid for was considered “unreasonable use”. As you can imagine, I was very upset. Nowadays, when I hear Greensleeves, I curl up into the foetal position and shake like Michael J. Fox in an earthquake.
Guess what Bryan? That never happened.
Wouldn’t it suck to pay for goods or services that are swiftly ripped from your hands by a chubby, spectacle-wearing Belarusian dickhead? Isn’t it a coincidence that the driver in my fictional narrative hails from the same country as your boss?2
When I first read the term “unreasonable use”, I immediately assumed it related to the extraordinary number of visits to a certain type of website that I frequent. Anyway, when I read that it had nothing to do with my online tastes, but because I used the 6GB of data allocated to me, you can imagine that I was just as upset as when the Mr. Whippy from Belarus destroyed my imaginary childhood.
In case you were wondering, the driver’s name was Ruslan.3
I understand there are terms and conditions, but here’s an idea for you. How about when you advertise your 6GB/month data plan, you write in big, bold letters next to it: “If you actually use the 6GB in the stated period, we’ll terminate your contract and send you a boring, generic email from a guy named Bryan.” You’re welcome to use my idea free of charge.
Thanks for reading Bryan, I would call, but last time I rang Kogan I was on hold for half an hour before the line went dead; this happened twice in the same day. The upside to this is that I now know all the lyrics to Hall & Oates’ ‘Maneater’ – a very apt on-hold song choice for your company. When you decide to change your tune, I recommend the song ‘Asshole’, by Dennis Leary. Again, you’re welcome to use my idea free of charge.
Who knows Bryan, perhaps one day we could put this all behind us. Maybe we could go to the movies or something. Iron Man 3 is supposed to be really good, but I just hope we won’t be thrown out halfway through for watching an “unreasonable” amount.
Oh, and no choc tops…
Rich also posted his email on his blog ( http://richwiskendrinks.blogspot.com.au/) which Kogan spotted and so contacted him on Twitter. Rich however, wanted Bryan:
This letter has been lightly edited. The original was slightly more ‘colourful’.
Watch out for more of Rich’s letters in the coming weeks. His exchange with Jetstar Airways is not to be missed!
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For our American readers: I believe Mr. Whippy never made it the USA. Basically, it’s exactly the same as Mr. Softee except the van is pink and white instead of blue and white. It serves the same soft serve ice cream which, contrary to popular UK folklore, was not invented by our late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when she worked as a chemist for J Lyons & Co in the late 1940s but was in fact invented on your side of the pond by Tom Carvel, in 1934 ↩
The founder of Kogan Technolgies is one Ruslan Kogan. Kogan was born in Belarus and migrated to Australia in 1989. He went on to become the richest man under 30 in Australia. Coincidentally, he also wears glasses ↩
Another coincidence, obviously ↩