Australian credit humour

Yesterday I called up Optus to get a phone and DSL service for our new place. After speaking to them for about 15 mins (and passing a credit check which they did while I was on the phone), my phone ran out of time. I have a pay-as-you-go account from Virgin, so I called them up to give them my credit card number and buy some more time.

The guy on the other end of the phone wanted to do a credit check on me (not sure why he needed to do a credit check to let me pay for something with a credit card). He asked me how long I had lived at the current address – I told him “1 day”. Nope, that wouldn’t work. Then he asked me for a driving license number – I gave him my Canadian one – nope. Then a passport number – a surprise, surprise my UK passport wouldn’t work either (they needed an Aussie one). So he said he could not take my credit card payment over the phone since I had to live in Australia for 2 YEARS to pass the credit check (even though I had just passed one 5 mins earlier with Optus).

Here’s the great thing – he suggested I go to a corner store to buy a “top-up” card – basically a set amount of time ($30) for my phone. And the best thing: I did this, and paid for it with my CREDIT CARD!!!

This is the first of what we expect to be a whole slew of these kind of problems – Australia is renowned for this kind of thing… (although so far, everything has worked out ok for us).

In other news, we moved into our new place and have rented a fridge, washing machine and tv. Our phone should be hooked up next monday, and DSL should be up and running a week later (Broadband here is extremely expensive – I am paying over $100/month for 1500K down/256K up, limited to 12GB/month)

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