Today Is The Day ... Telecom

I got my last bill from Telecom today, after switching my Homeline rental to Orcon, who have my broadband business.

Which hereby endeth my 20+ year relationship with Telecom.

Yes Virginia, I'm old enough to remember when they were a monopoly and you had to apply for a phoneline. When they'd ask for parental guarantees even though you were 24 years old and call you to say they didn't care if your flatmates had absconded leaving you with a $200 bill for toll calls - they were going to cut off the phone and send your name to Baycorp and you'd never get any sort of credit again, ever!

Ah, those were the days.

Anyhow, the bill proudly declared it was my 'Final Bill' and that I 'didn't have to pay anything'. That's right, I owed them nothing! so there would be 'no Direct Debit this month'. Which is nice. It also showed that I had a credit balance of $35.12¢, meaning they owed me $35.12¢.

Oddly enough the bill said nothing about how they were going to return my $35.12¢ to me, just that it was my 'Final Bill'. Perhaps they were thinking/hoping/wishing/praying that I would let them keep the $35.12¢? I thought about that for about a second, thinking of my dear old Dad who bought Telecom shares at $5.40 when he retired and has held on them ever since and now they're worth (last time I looked) $2.30¢. Even though my brother and I repeatedly told him over the years that the monopoly was gone and he should sell his shares because they would continue to decline in value. Which they have as every other Telco grabs a slice of the pie.

But that's Old Folks. They have a blind faith in 'established companies' and think that if they were worth that price once they'll be worth it again one day ... if you just wait long enough (ironic, considering they are 'Old Folks') . "Investing is a long term thing" they'll say, oblivious to the fact that since the 80s the market has been taken over by Day Traders looking for a quick buck.

But that's a whole other blog (I could rave at length about Eric Watson and Hanover). The point of this blog is that today I asked Telecom for a cheque to refund the $35.12¢ credit I had with them. I sent this request to them via the wonderful prepaid re-usable reply envelope they sent their (non)bill in.

I wonder how long before I get a reply? I'll keep you posted...

UPDATE: I got paid my refund on 16/2/09. Thank you Telecom!

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