Friday, August 31, 2007

I love this stuff

I've had a dialup account with a major aussie ISP for the past few years, just as an emergency backup, and despite a couple of half-hearted attempts I've never been able to cancel it. Their automated phone system is the source of several jokes in the Spacejock books, and their website is worse. Example: To cancel my account online they wanted me to register for their feedback system and then give them my credit card so they could charge me for a consultant to process my request.

Anyway, my credit card was compromised a few weeks back so the bank issued a new one. Cue outraged squawk from ISP when they couldn't put through the regular monthly charge.

I emailed back to say I wasn't giving them the new number, and to cancel the account.

I got an email back inviting me to upgrade to broadband. (Something they used to phone me about regularly, even though I have a business broadband account with another supplier.)

I emailed back to say I wanted to cancel the account.

They asked for my credit card to facilitate the cancellation.

I said no.

They said they'd have to send me a bill for the used portion of the month.

I said fine by me. The charge was only $5.95 a month anyway, so how much could a portion be?

I received a nice printed bill for $0.99. (Cost to post bill, $0.50)

I decided to pay using BPAY (online banking) but got an error message: This company has a minimum payment of $1.00

Knowing exactly what would happen next, I debated whether to post them a cheque for $0.99. Then I thought stuff it, they started this and paid their $1 through BPAY. (Cost of processing a BPAY payment, for the recipient, is around $0.80. Cost to me - nothing.)

Today I got a letter from the ISP with a credit for $0.01 (Cost to post the letter, $0.50)

Now I'm wondering whether to ring up and demand a cheque.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


Mary Paddock said...

I'd be sorely tempted to ask for it back. You know as well as I do that if it was their money, they'd demand it from you.

Gabriele C. said...

They must be related to Telecom Germany. :)