Rescued from $300.00 bill.

The story so far:

A year or two ago our former member Roger Thornton kindly donated an HP laptop and printer to an Eritrean family living in immigrant flats at Ascot Vale, so they could talk on Skype to their family who are living in Khartoum.

This was all successful.

 But, as told to our reporter by our intrepid traveller and helper of people around Ascot Vale [also noted for helping Rhino helpers and listening to Ombudsman talks];

"A fortnight ago we got a call from Amira (the mother) to say they had got an excess usage charge from Optus of $300, because they had exceeded their 7 gig per month plan in July by 2 gigs. They couldn’t believe this bill was correct.

Their laptop by now was doubtless full of viruses as they had not kept up their anti-virus protection. For this or other reasons, the laptop was crushingly slow and took about 1 minute to load just one page of the internet, so we knew there was no way they could have used up 9 gigs (9000MB) in a month.

On checking their usage history, we found the whole 9 gigs had been run up in 3 days in early July. Their normal usage is about 1 gig or less per month (largely emailing).

We called Optus (Mumbai call-centre) and after prolonged negotiation, got their bill cut to $150 but no further.  We then aired the topic on-line with  our computer user group and were advised to push the fight further to the Telecom's Ombudsman, which we did.

Today we got the happy news from the Eritreans that Optus had called them to say the bill would now be cancelled altogether, ie zero excess usage charge.


 And that's not all;

 Meanwhile we had appealed to the user group to find someone with an unwanted iMac computer. In no time someone had offered one and we also got further offers of a wireless router and a printer. The iMac is now installed at their flat and is a 1000% improvement on the old laptop.

Despite much labour, we didn’t succeed in getting the wireless router set up correctly but the iMac is running happily on ADSL wiring.

We are delighted to have ‘made a difference’ in this way to two hard-working and ambitious Eritreans. All they need now is a 3-bedroom house if any RCCMS has one to donate"

 Editor's note. We have respected our bashful  'Knight in silver hair'  request for anonymity.

Photo. One happy Amira and son Yamen.