Unfiltered Story #184525

, | Unfiltered | February 1, 2020

I was working in a Telco Call Center at the time, we were actually an internet chat center where you use a text based chat system online to communicate with us as opposed to calling up on the phone. This is back when chat support was very new in Oz.

Cust: Hi, I’d like you to get me connected up to my new address.
Me: Hi, my name is [name], I’d be happy to help you out today, I’ll need to ask you some questions to best assist getting you connected up. First of all what are you looking to get connected up? Landline? Internet? Pay TV?
Cust: Just landline and internet thanks.
Me: No worries, if you can confirm the address for me, I’ll check what services and technology are available there for you, then we can talk plans and connection times.

[this is super important as we handle connection requests for all of Australia across multiple technology types and network configurations. This then determines timeframes for connection, cost, everything.]

Cust: Sure, I live at [number and name of street] Canterbury 7XXX.

[In Australia, our postcode system is a 4 number system, the first digit tells me what state you are in, 4 for Queensland, 6 for Western Australia, 3 for Victoria. In this case 7 means that little island off our southern coast, Tasmania. I promptly start loading the given address into our addressing and service qualification systems.These systems have a very good fuzzy search on them. However local councils have this great little habit of changing locality names without telling utility providers, or developers arbitrarily selling new developments with non-approved names. It has gotten to the point where we have been using a combination of various mapping and database tools to determine a customers actual location and we’re very good at it. Suffice to say sometimes in a new estate, sometimes the address just does not exist in our data base, in which case we check with the customer. This is one of those cases where I could find nothing.]

Me: I’m having a little trouble finding your address today, I’d just quickly like to make sure I have everything correct. Such as making sure that Canterbury doesn’t have any other local names or if it is a new development or anything.
Cust: Sure, no Canterbury is definitely right, it’s an older area.
Me: So that is [repeats street number and name], Canterbury, Tasmania, 7XXX?
Cust: No, not Tasmania…
Me: I’m sorry, NOT Tasmania? What do you mean? Tasmania is the only state in Australia with a 7XXX post code.
Cust: No, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Me: I see, I’m sorry, I cannot help you connect up there I am afraid. You’ll need to contact a New Zealand telco, I am an Australian one.