So there were 112,518 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in the past year (Lucy Cormack's piece, 17 Nov). I'm not surprised. One of them was mine.
This morning the TIO advised me that in Australian consumer law, I cannot require Vodafone to continue to provide the service that we contracted to. It is apparently all right for the provider unilaterally to reduce the benefits of my contract (specifically withdrawing my ability to share my overseas call allowance with another plan on my account), as long as they offer to release me from the contract without penalty, which they did. But I don't want out of the contract, I want Vodafone to perform the services I signed up for.
So long as a provider isn't obligated to honour the terms of a contract, the TIO will continue to receive complaints, and plenty of them.
There aren't too many ways available for venting one's anger or frustration at some of the things happening in the world around us. One such escape valve is the good old Letter to the Editor, even if only a small proportion of them gets published. It is often well-nigh impossible to keep the discussion short enough for the newspapers. So rather that have them expire in some Editor's Trash bin, we'll preserve them for posterity here. Inevitably, though, some nuances will be lost for those unfamiliar with the background or the letter or article to which we are responding. But each is undoubtedly a miniature literary masterpiece, though you may find the themes become somewhat repetitive.