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Scammed by Weaver Net and Oak Towers

 

To get internet at the Oak Festival Towers, whose website implies that it is a luxury hotel and includes web access for its guests, you must pay for it.  You sign up and for $200 dollars, you will be allowed to use 2 Mbs of upload/download data.  Your “broadband” hookup will operate about like dial up and if you stay on too long, Weaver Net will slow your baud rate even more.  They will also send you a nasty note about not being fair to others who want to use the internet.

Lord, I hope Dani is reading this.  She might be able to tell me what really happened.

Steve did this before I arrived knowing I would want plenty of internet time to stay in touch with everyone.  I had a fit when I found out what it cost, but he wanted me to have it.  End of story?  Not even close.

I got on the web yesterday and spent a long time locating things and trying to get bus routes and maps.  I also downloaded a copy of Cristi Brockway’s awesome new sock pattern.  Check ravelry for Breaking Hearts Socks or go to her website  http://turtlegirl76.com.

Now why wouldn’t I find that Ravelry link for you?  Because I didn’t have internet service.  Last night, 14 hours after I arrived, we were told that I had used all of my 2 Mbs of internet and owned a futher $70 in overage charges.  What???????????????  They said my computer had been on for the 14 hours and I had used it all.

I always leave my computer on at home.  I never thought and still am unsure about that part of the story.  Steve was furious talking to the Weaver Net guy who was not nice—a rarity in Oz.  By the time he returned to the desk downstairs, the Weaver Net guy had called to warn them.  They knocked a bit off the price, but not enough.  But even that isn’t the worst part.  The man on the desk told Steve that he should go to one of the cell phone companies because their services were much cheaper.  Who is making the profit here?

At home I pay about $60 a month for my internet access.  I use it a lot—about 30 times more than I used it Saturday.  Today we went to Optus and Chris set me up with wireless service.  I bought the flash drive and the sim card and 6 Mbs of usage for $129.00.  Steeper than home, but not as bad as the Weaver person.  Chris also set up the account for me, gave me some tips about saving the time, showed me how I could buy more if I wanted it and just shook his head at my story.

I am still reeling.  Steve was angry, but I was destroyed.  All I could think of was the family who couldn’t contact me and would wonder why we weren’t answering email.  The feeling of wasting all that money, money I shouldn’t have had to spend at the rates the company must be paying for this place, and the horrible feeling of isolation from everyone I knew just did me in.  I cried all night.  (Yes, my face is already round and today it looks a bit like Charley Brown.) The last emails I read asked me to continue to blog about the trip and I didn’t think I could.

Today I feel better—poorer, but better.  I’ve given some thought to perhaps not spending so much time on the web.  Maybe.  But when I want to know something, like every 90 seconds, I just google it.  It’s so easy.

So, if you come to Australia, don’t expect fast internet or free internet —except at this one McDonalds nearby.  They are an experimental program for McDonalds and you don’t even have to buy food to use their web service.  I was able to send Meghan an email there from my iPad because she had sent me several and was getting worried.

Finally, if you come to Australia, don’t stay with the Oaks Tower folks or have any dealings with Weaver Net.  Even if I were to blame somehow for this situation—their whole deal is a ripoff.

Now because you have been so nice, some pictures from Oz.

Saturday we walked around the city and saw some awesome public art.

Aborigine-statue in a park

Traditional sculpture

On a financial building

But these were my favorites.

My first kangaroo

He's not as cuddly as Jake.

Charlotte did a public art project some year’s ago and the city was covered in rocking chairs painted by many groups.  Athens, Georgia, home of the University of and their Dawgs, have these fiberclass bulldogs all over town.  Brisbane has painted the big electrical boxes all over town.  This was the first I saw and, of course, the best.

Sheep!!

and more sheep!

We went to West End, a funky place,

A vintage clothing store with a big internet presence


to The Bicycle Revolution to try to find a used bike for Steve.  The owner is German and very nice.  The store started as a non-profit where he rebuilt old bikes and made them available to folks who needed them, much like DSIL Paul does in Athens, Ga.

Steve and Jens discuss bikes

We went back to the city on the City Cat which is part of the public transportation system. Beautiful way to travel.

Coming to pick us up


View from the boat.


Didn’t get a bike, but the city of Brisbane has just started a new City Bike program like in Copenhagen.  The bikes are great, but they are for transport not racing.  They are shiny new and I haven’t seen any on the street yet.  Steve plans to try one.

There are a bunch of these birds walking around everywhere.  We don’t know what they are.  I don’t want to use internet time to look for them when Steve can ask someone at work.  (I think I am in trouble here; I hope they have good shrinks.)

Tomorrow I get my nails done and hope to get to the yarn shop.  Priorities you know.

More later–

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7 Responses

  1. Hi, I’ve been a follower of your blog for some time now, but I’ve never commented before. I’m afraid that your Internet woes in Australia are not uncommon, even for the people who live there. I am a technical writer, and one of the other blogs I read (CyberText Newsletter: http://cybertext.wordpress.com/) is written by a technical writer who lives in Australia. Earlier this year, she wrote an entry about Internet access you might want to read http://cybertext.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/internet-speeds/

    Sorry for all your troubles, and I hope that your stay gets better soon. (Visiting a yarn store should improve things a bit, I’m sure.)

  2. Australian White Ibis from here http://thewebsiteofeverything.com/animals/birds/Ciconiiformes/Threskiornithidae/Threskiornis-molucca
    Sorry about the internet thing. The only thing that helps with my addiction is knitting. So thanks.

  3. As someone raised by frugal people, i understand your pain. But considering how much you use the net and need to use it during this time to stay in touch with family, it’s time to consider value rather than just price. I’m sorry that you had to figure things out the hard way this time. I guess comparison shopping applies to all things.

    Thanks for the photos. Love that you’re somewhere with water taxis.

  4. Oh, Hades. Internet and travel – when will the hotels figure out that wifi/internet is an AMENITY that isn’t even expensive to provide?
    Next time I get irate over a $14.95/day charge at a hotel I will take a deep breath and think of you so sad that night. : (
    The real world is always good, though – I love that you found a German bike fella in Oz with my brother’s (very unusual and Scandinavian!) name!
    We miss you on this continent, but are loving hearing about your adventures! Post when you can – we’ll be here to read voraciously.

  5. Jean, Thanks for reading the blog. This article really helped me understand what is going on. I’m still trying to juggle email accounts and which I can send from and I probably have sent the same message over and over, but I will get it together soon.

  6. Just a quick note. The statue you describe as a an ‘aborigine statue’ is not. The statue stands in Anzac Square, which is Brisbane’s war memorial. During the second world war Australian and American soldiers fought the Japanese in Papua New Guinea, along the Kokoda track. During this fighting the allied troops were supported by New Guinean medics, porters and stretcher bearers, who on account of their curly hair became known as ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy angels’. Patronising I know but kinda endearing. The statue is in remembrance and thanks to the Fuzzy Wuzzies and shows a native stretcher bearer assisting a wounded soldier. Enjoy your time in Brisbane.

  7. Matt, I stand corrected and am grateful you took the time to do so. I took the picture on my first venture out and was just snapping and not reading. I hate to give bad info. I am surrounded by WW2 exhibits and will take the time to learn more about Australia’s role in the war. Not taught in the states, so pleading great ignorance. Thanks again

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