To follow up on yesterday’s note, I motored out to Altona Gate this Sunday morning – this was my third visit to fix a problem Telstra had created by its own incompetence and discourtesy. I timed the run to get there just after opening time this fine morning. I had just started reading Kim for the fifth time – what a delight and relief from the horrors of today – and took it along in case we had to ring Telstra – from Telstra – and wait for an hour or two.
The shop was shut. (Geschslossen, or something like that, may be the German word. I saw it on the Gemaldegalerie in Dresden after I had spent forty hours getting there to view the putti on the Sistine Madonna.)
There are three problems for Telstra about this failure.
First, the phone is for many, and particularly those with my health problems, an essential service. It is not good to flirt with public safety by being capricious in how you provide such a service.
Secondly, there was no sign on the premises of the hours of opening. And of course, there was no apology. The word ‘sorry’ is banned from the lips of our politicians and captains of industry.
Thirdly, their website says that this store opens at 11 am on Sundays. I checked it before I left. It follows that Telstra has in trade or commerce, and in breach of the law, engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. Our law says that the business of a company is to be managed by or under the direction of the directors. For reasons I have given, the directors of Telstra have failed properly to manage its business. In my view the directors were involved in the contravention of the law and are personally liable to compensate people damaged by the breach. The directors can delegate their powers – but not their responsibility..
So, back home I go, and try the phone again. I got the usual flak – from the flak-catchers, and I perservered. And, Lo! They were shut, too.
Well, this is all very fine in the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup, or Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, but not when people are being insulted and abused by the agents of a colossus corrupted by power and greed – and I find myself on the brink of denying half a century of experience and suing the ratbags as a matter of principle.
Finally, I omitted to say yesterday that in light of my complaints about the conduct of Telstra and Rio, I had sold my shares in both. If they could do that to others, they could do it to me.
May I commend that course to you?
Telstra – misleading conduct – liability of directors