BLUESCREEN | Telstra to sue Optus for providing crappy service, devious pricing with hidden catches and poor network quality. Telstra claiming exclusive rights.
Bluescreen is APC's irregular satire of the tech industry, peering deep into the dirtiest crevices of its kernel failures.
Bluescreen comes from a large extended family, and the other day, we got to chatting with a cousin of ours, who for reasons of anonymity, we'll call Paul. Paul's an AV outfitter, specialising in the kinds of high-cost, high-margin AV gear that the very rich like to use to show off their status. As such, he's a good bloke to talk to if you want a $10,000 wooden knob designed to "improve audio acoustics for the extreme audiophile experience"
, or, as he more succinctly puts it "remove notes from the wallets of rich knobs"
Anyway, Paul's recently managed to get himself the gig replacing all the speaker wires in a certain prominent Telstra employee's Beach Villa. Our lawyers have advised us not to name names, so again, for the sake of anonymity, we'll call him Solomon. Oh, hang on, that's his actual name. Mr T. Yeah, that could be anybody.
Anyway, while he was installing wiring in the study/jacuzzi (a terminology Paul tells Bluescreen allows Mr T to claim it as a tax write-off, as long as he's wearing a tie while splashing about), he accidentally wired the sound system into a communications panel that somehow sent all of the audio from that room straight to Bluescreen's mobile phone. It's amazing how these tiny little accidents happen, isn't it?
Anyway, despite leaving it tuned in for weeks and weeks, and hearing nothing beyond a plaintive wailing -- something to do with the phrase "Where can we hide the <EXPLETIVE> NBN documents where Terria can't find them?"
-- Bluescreen had little to report until yesterday.
For yesterday -- presumably wearing his tie, and hopefully for Bluescreen's sanity, a little more than that besides -- Mr T had a phone conference call with a Mr O'Sullivan. At first, being a pop culture tragic, Bluescreen thought that the head of Telstra was chatting to the guy out of Man About The House
, until we realised that he was chatting --- through the bubbles and intermittent water-based feedback -- to the CEO of Optus, Paul O'Sullivan. And, from what Bluescreen could gather, Mr T. wasn't happy.
It seems that what he's most unhappy about isn't for example, the government, or the suggestion that the NBN should undergo structural separation, but simply because it appears to him that Telstra might be in danger of becoming only the second most hated telco in the land, behind Optus.
Here's the snippets of what we could hear, bearing in mind that we could only catch one side of the argument."You think you're so smart"
<some kind of splashing noise>
"But for all your devilish tricks, we've been there before. Sudden hidden price hikes for data in wireless plans? We wrote the book on those!"
<someone else is giggling in a high-pitched tone>
"Claiming huge quantities of coverage even though rural folk would be better off with two tin cans and a piece of string? Been there, done that. Heck, we've been there and done that twice, once with CDMA and then again with Next G. We even managed to get the suckers to lay out extra cash for "Blue Tick" phones, not realising that the Blue Tick in this case is the one on our revenue charts for most profitable phones flogged."
<The sound of a can ringpull opening. From Bluescreen's extensive experience, it sounded like a can of Old Milwaukee Light, but we could be wrong>
"It's not good enough. We've worked damn hard to be hated, and it's tough at the top, let me tell ya."
<The squeaking sound, possibly of a rubber duck>
"We even went so far as to hire the guy out of Bros to head up our broadband TV campaign. Sure, he hasn't aged well, but people loathe those ads.. or they used to. Now they're all caught up hating you, just because you keep under-delivering..."
"We'll get the lawyers onto this one, smartish."
The audio got very bad at this point, so we're working with incomplete data here, but as far as we can guess, Mr T. then went on to proclaim that, unless Telstra was given free reign to act in a much worse fashion, and Optus simply went back to the "stupid animals and three letter slogan approach"
, he'd have to launch a stringent, NowWeAreTalking campaign to point out how unfair it was that the regulators "allow this sort of thing to go on
", with hints as to "job losses"
and "the Australian Economy"
thrown in for good measure.
The phone call got even more vitriolic, with Mr T using a term we're not quite familiar with. Still, we've got to guess that being called a "Jackson Hole
TruckMucker" (at least we think that's what we heard) isn't a compliment.
Bluescreen understands that, following lengthy consultation with its lawyers, Optus had a carefully worded response to send to Mr T, but owing to a communications outage on the Gold Coast and subsequent overload of its 3G network
, they were unable to send a reply. Optus representatives were last seen running around the company's North Sydney headquarters trying to catch pigeons to act as impromptu messengers.Alex Kidman gazes deeply into the inane world of big tech for APC. Sometimes it gazes back. In other words, it's satire... we take no responsibility for your kernel crashing.