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426 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 109052 11-Sep-2012 16:44
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Telco Blues

Upgrading time. After years of no mobile coverage, ongoing bouncing email issues between Xtra and TCL, fear of a set-top recorder with 100 forum pages of issues, and some truly dreadful help-desk experiences, the time has finally time to untangle my seemingly lifetime relationship with Saturn/Telstra Clear’s wonderful fibre broadband service. Some days researching the forums and a path forward seems clear. Move the email to our own domain. Change the broadband to Vodafone ASDL and get the Sure Signal femtocell, move the Sky to satellite with a MySky HDi, port the landline numbers over to Vodafone, ditch the XT mobiles and treat ourselves to new Vodafone handsets. Should be a piece of cake! Into the 21st century!

Realising that this little exercise would be with a sales rep rather than a help desk CSR I sat back with pleasant anticipation and called Vodafone. Sure enough in little more than five minutes a delightful young lady had worked out the plan and, to my surprise, offerred a very worthwhile monthly saving compared to my TCL plan. Better yet, apart from $52 to extricate my landline numbers from TCL’s clutches the up-front costs would be nil. Great!

“Oh and I’d like your Sure Signal device too.”
“Of course, no problem. Do you have a 3G signal at your house?”
“No, that’s why I need the Sure Signal. I guess there’s no point asking if I can have it on my Telstra clear service.”
“That’s right.  But I’m sorry, the Sure Signal needs a 3G signal to work.”
“Huh? Are you sure? I thought it used RF to the phone, and ASDL to do the rest. Why does it need to talk to a cell site?”
“It works by boosting a weak signal – if you don’t have a weak 3G signal it can’t boost it.”
“That wasn’t my understanding - do you have a techie there who can confirm that?"
“Yes certainly, hold the line please…”

(a pleasantly short delay…..)

“I’ve spoken to my supervisor, it definitely needs a weak 3G signal to work. How may bars do you get at your place?”
“Well occasionally just one, but usually zero bars.”
“That will be enough, it’ll work fine.”
“It needs zero bars to work, otherwise it won’t?  Are you sure about this?”
“No need to worry, if there’s a problem well give you a full refund.”
“You’re saying if I pay Telstra to get my landline phone numbers back, ditch the cable connection, install the Sky dish and decoder, get rid of the XT mobiles and get the new Vodofone ones going, run the new phone cabling, install the ASDL modem and the Sure Signal thing, and if it doesn’t work you’ll give me my money back and I can go back to how I was. Is that what you're saying?”
“Yes of course. But tell me, why are you running new phone cabling?”
“Well I don’t have a phone jack at my router and media stuff – it all comes on cable at the moment. So I figure I’ll need to wire a new phone jack for the ASDL modem and the decoder.”
“I see. Can you hold the line please while I talk to my supervisor again.”

(another delightfully short delay…..)

“I’ve spoken to my supervisor. We would like to suggest you wait and connect to our new fibre service.” “Fibre service?  I wasn’t aware of that. Sounds good!”
“Yes it will be starting up in your area soon.”
“Really – I’ve not seen anyone installing stuff in our area. How soon?”
“Very soon. We’ll put you on the list to record your interest in the service.”
“I was really hoping for a service that works now.”
“The thing is, we realise now that you may not have copper into your house. That means we might have to run new copper and send out a technician and it gets much more complicated. We suggest you wait for the fibre.”
“Copper and technicians – I’m comfortable with that. Worked in the old days. Let’s do that.”
“We really think it would be better for you to wait.”
“What with the copper problem and the Sure Signal thing I’m starting to feel a bit uneasy about this.”
“If you like I’ll talk to my supervisor again. Give me your number and I’ll call you back.”

(Sadly a much longer delay this time – still waiting. Have I been here before……)



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  # 684492 11-Sep-2012 17:10
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Sure signal needs a vodafone broadband connection, it will not work with other ISP, it does not need any kind of cell signal as it makes one for your cell to use and connects to the cell network via your broadband connection

19282 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 684917 12-Sep-2012 13:00
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Hi mclean

Sure Signal does not require a 3G signal to work as Greg has pointed out only a Vodafone fixed line broadband connection, Can you please PM contact details for you so I can follow-up on this with the rep



6434 posts

Uber Geek

  # 684975 12-Sep-2012 14:25
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pretty odd that they can be so utterly wrong about the sure signal, even after asking a supervisor.

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