In Summary: I admit defeat and am researching wireless internet companies.
In not so Summary but not so long that it will make me angry again: EDIT: although turns out it did:
- I moved in to a shiny apartment about 2 or 3 years old in the middle of busy Brunswick in Melbourne, an inner-north city Suburb (15-25 minute tram ride into city depending on traffic)
- There are phone points in both bedrooms and the kitchen
- Signed up with Telstra to get a phone number which will then get disconnected so I can get Naked DSL with iiNet - NOTE: ALWAYS test the phone line once Telstra says it has been connected, probably would have saved some hassles.
- Signed up with iiNet, could not get service working, they sent out a Vision Stream technician.
- Technician was really cool and pointed out to me that only one pair of phone lines (one cable) was coming into the building from the street. Temporarily nicked one and proved that cabling up to apartment was fine - just no cables coming in from street
- iiNet had Telstra technician come out and he showed me the cables curled up in a roll in the hole in the street about 10 metres from the MDF in the garage of the building - he could not bring the cable through for me and said it would be a big job
- Spoke with real estate agent (who has been FANTASTIC throughout the whole ordeal - quite bonkable as well, but that's beside the point (isn't it always?)) who spoke with owner of apartment who also happens to be guy that built the building and builds lots of buildings and ordinarily has great relationship with Telstra 'cause he gives them lots of work
- I go on holidays for a month but still check in with estate agent, still no luck though owner says he PAID Telstra to put in 30 lines (15 cables) when the building was built and was not aware that only one pair had been pulled through
- Telstra eventually tells landlord that if I apply for a new phone line to be installed, Telstra will charge me $300 for it
- Landlord agrees to this and says he will re-imburse me by lowering rent for a month by that amount
- Two days ago I call Telstra to organise phone line to be installed, I am UNDENIABLY CLEAR about what needs to happen, that a technician is needed and he needs to pull cables in from the street - they tell me all is fine and to be home between 8am and 12pm today (Thursday)
- Come 10:30 today I am getting worried and not a little suspicious, so I call up Telstra to check that they do actually have someone coming out today - erm, sorry sir, there is no record of that... WTF!!!???!!! They put me through to a guy who will organise a site visit by a technician as YESTERDAY it was "discovered" that I would need a technician (obviously they didn't listen to me the first time) and they neglected to tell me that the appointment had been cancelled
- I fume and swear and get pissed off but realise I am getting pissed off at people who have no control over what has happened and are trying to fix it, I agree to a technician coming out next Tuesday
- I decide to call Telstra after the 30 minute call earlier to complain because God damn it I TOLD them what needed to happen - I was just repeating what THEIR technician told me! But more importantly, they never contacted me about the cancelled appointment and I have wasted half a day of leave that I really did not want to waste.
- I get through to complaints and rather tersely but eloquently explain the problem - again I realise this guy is not at fault, he's just taking my complaint down and trying to sort out the issue, so I am civil but he knows I'm frustrated - trust me, I may raise my voice a little but I do not yell at these people, in the end shit happens and they are just doing their job (some of them not doing it very well)
- He "officially" organises for a Telstra technician to come out on Tuesday to install the line, the way he's talking he knows what he's doing and he even says he has worked there for many years so understands the situation
- Before hanging up, just in case, I ask him to state to me clearly on the phone that the technician on Tuesday will be pulling the cable in from the street, connecting it to the MDF and getting me a frickin' phone line... "Oh no sir, the technician is not qualified to do that, you'd have to talk to our Contract Liaison Area, here's their number and here's your order number"
- "Ah, Ok. That's cool, glad I asked - just in case, these guys will still just charge me the $300 to have the line installed yes?"
- "Oh no sir, it could cost up to thousands to bring the cable through and they may need to add new external cabling or even an MDF to the building, actually you should probably have the owner of the building contact them instead."
- At this point I almost chuck a fit 'cause I've been telling this guy my sob story as a RENTER for the last 30 minutes and also how the owner already contacted Telstra and they said all I needed to do was yadda yadda yadda...
- He says sorry mate but there's nothing I can do, you'll just have to give the details to the owner and hope for the best. I admit he was friendly and sympathetic and actually knew what he was doing, but man he heard some muttering on the end of the line then. I thanked him, and hung up.
- So I've given the details to the real estate agent who will pass them on to the owner
- I then sat back and cried for a minute or two, curled up in a ball and sucked my thumb
- Tonight I am knocking on neighbours' doors and asking them if they have tried getting lines installed before.
- I called iiNet and asked for cancellation and refund, at first they were not going to refund the initial $453 install, setup, modem and first month's fees but I asked to talk to a supervisor and we negotiated that I would get a refund for everything except initial setup cost ($79.95) and whatever the difference is to make up the $150 early disconnection fee from the 24 month contract - so essentially $150 is down the drain. I'm not happy but I'll accept it as iiNet have been ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC throughout this whole process with great staff on the phone and in person and I told them that in their feedback survey thing - I recommend them to ANYONE who is looking for a company with exemplary customer service.
- So now I start looking for wireless internet providers and give up on the dream of lightning fast download speeds
You know the thing that still makes me wonder is the fact that there are 5 other apartments in this building with no phone lines and they've apparently never tried to get them connected... God I'd laugh if the apartment that does have a line connected isn't using theirs...
And how hard can it be to pull a cable through? There's already one physically there so couldn't they do the old disconnect original cable, attach a string to it, pull it back into the street and then pull the whole lot through? Why didn't someone do that THE FIRST FUCKING TIME!!!???
God I need some beer...