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Accusations of Bribery? Ridiculous, I Paid Plenty To Make Them Go Away…

Ok, this has nothing to do with anybody who may have been accused of bribery in the news, so the title is a little misleading.

And by a little, I mean, completely.

But you should be really impressed with me because I’m being so upfront and honest. Just like the Abbott Government who apparently have put themselves right back on track according to the latest opinion polls which now show that – unlike the ones in the early part of the year – Tony Abbott is actually more popular than syphillus…

Yep, I was particularly impressed by an interview with some nameless Abbott minister in charge of somethingorother – I mean, she was a woman, so I’ve never heard of her before. Apparently there was an audit into Centrelink which found that a large number of calls are going unanswered, and that the wait time was a lot longer than the sixteen minutes that the government claimed.

This woman’s – sorry, that may seem sexist, I’ll start again.

This suddenly thrust into the limelight female minister’s explanation was that it was a legacy problem. From that, I presumed that she wasn’t trying to accuse that organisation that collects on Rememberance Day, but rather, it was her way of saying “Blame Labor”, which is now not just something that they do, but their latest three word slogan. (“Stuck in traffic? Blame Labor.”) Ok, pedants may point out that it’s only two words, but I’m happy to stand by my mistake. I’m not sure whether Tony was just having one of those days or presuming that he’d be thrown out in 2017 when he said that there was a lot of a bad government in those days between 2017 and 2013. (I’d post a link but surely there must be a video that’s going viral by now, and if not, I blame Bill Shorten! And surely someone will post a link to it in the comments section, even if it’s one of the Labor frontbenchers trying to demonstrate their loyalty to Shorten.)

However, when she pointed out that many Centrelink “customers” were now using apps and the like, so phone calls were less important than they once were. And the KPIs – that’s Key Perfomance Indicators, for the unwashed masses who don’t understand business lingo – showed that sixteen minutes was the average wait time.

Mm, sixteen minutes.

Mm, sixteen minutes.

Mm, sixteen minutes.

Mm, sixteen minutes.

Mm, sixteen minutes.

Mm, sixteen minutes.

Mm, sixteen minutes…

MM, SIXTEEN MINUTES.

MM, SIXTEEN MINUTES.

MMM, SIXTEEN MINUTES….

MMM, SIXTEEN F*CKING MINUTES….

SIXTEEN F*CKING MINUTES, GOD WILL THIS WRITER JUST GET TO THE POINT AND STOP WASTING MY TIME.

SIXTEEN MINUTES.

COME ON, GEEZZ…

sixteen minutes.

sixteen minutes – oh shit, I think I’ll just ditch my wheelchair, stop being old and get a job paying so much that my tax will be the disincentive to me working harder…

Oh, that’s an average by the way. So, if you found the previous sixteen sentences tedious and a waste of your time imagine if you were waiting for something really important. And remember that the average will be brought down by those calls early in the morning that get through straight away.

Customers, yeah, sure. Customers can take their business elsewhere.

 

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44 comments

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  1. DanDark

    I was on hold for 3 hours the other week to Centrelink by the time I spoke to someone, I said “my phonebattery is about to go flat because I have been on hold for 3 hours”, all she got out was “sorry and quick give me”…….. the phone went dead,
    So I rang them the next day, I got a call back they called me back after 2 hours and then friggin put me on hold for another 84 minutes , geeezuz by the time I spoke too someone after 2 days I’d had enough, I said “why ring people back to put them on friggin hold for 84 bloody minutes”, she was not aware this was happening apparently, so I asked “for the complaints number”
    she gave it to me and I rang it and put a formal complaint in, the lady was shocked herself that it took 2 days and many hours, and being put on hold for 84 minutes when they give you a Call Back was going unnoticed, she said “if that happened to you”, I cut her off and said “yeah how bout all the other thousands of people on hold for hours days even” She said she would forward my complaint blah blah blah”…..
    It used to be bad but now its just ridiculous and no sign of improvement under Phony Tony and the rest of his merry bandits….

  2. halsaul

    I particularly liked the “woman minister in question” telling the audience that she sometimes rang in to Centrelink herself, because it’s part of her job to do that. She gave up after about half an hour. Usual time is more like 1 hour and you may not get through at all….for days. Fortunately for her her income would not be stopped because of her failure to have her question answered. This is not the case for poor old “welfare recipients”. That point seemed to escape the ladys’ concern, even though it is her job to ensure welfare of Centrelink users. I thought she was the epitome of Liberal Party front benchers…sad to say.

  3. Jammy March

    When begging, patience is a laudable virtue to cultivate.

  4. rossleighbrisbane

    Thank you for your wonderful insights, Jammy. Are you paid for them or do you just spread your thoughts for free?

  5. The AIM Network

    DanDark, I think we’ve all had a gut full of Jammy.

  6. DanDark

    Well if he dosnt go I will because its just past funny, well he never was funny
    But geeeez if we cant comment without being called beggars or whatever he wants to attack on,
    without knowing why one might be calling centrelink, there is something seriously wrong AIMN…. 🙁

  7. The AIM Network

    You stay right where you are!

    You’re a valuable (and liked) contributor. He is neither.

  8. rossleighbrisbane

    It’s hard to express this in a simple comment, but I suspect that there are obviously supporters of all insides of politics that have personality disorders. It’s just that recently the Liberals seem proud of theirs and are promoting them to the very top positions.

  9. corvus boreus

    In Jammy, I see the behavioral traits of an attention seeking child, yelling pointless obscenities and finding some sick validation in eliciting angry reactions.
    A bit pop-psych, I know, but it is the kindest assessment I can make for such a patently benthic creature, who enthuses over war and fantasises about committing slaughter/murder.
    Good riddance.
    Ps, DD, ignore the trolls ;).

  10. rossleighbrisbane

    As for begging, I suspect Jammy is either of two sorts of people – a paid troll. Or someone who has no idea what a pathetic little cog he is in the whole Liberal machine.

    Whatever, I’m prepared to crowdufund a support group to get him help. He doesn’t even need to beg.

    How about it, Jammy?

  11. rossleighbrisbane

    Oh, I suspect he’s not going to reply and just pretend that he was banned…

  12. rossleighbrisbane

    Oh there you are.
    And there we have it.
    March into Centrelink, tell them that they’re slaves and demand the good service…

    Wait, what were you doing taking my taxes you pathetic beggar.

  13. The AIM Network

    Oh, I suspect he’s not going to reply and just pretend that he was banned…

    Let’s not pretend. :mrgreen:

  14. DanDark

    LOL I think Jammy just fell off the edge of the flat earth he walks on, if he hasn’t we can only live in hope he soon does……

  15. rossleighbrisbane

    Good night all, unlike Jammy, I’m not paid to do this past ten

  16. The AIM Network

    Good night all, unlike Jammy, I’m not paid to do this past ten

    The Liberal Party has more money than us. 🙁

  17. DanDark

    Oh just get on ya bike Jammy and take a ride with ya mate Phony Tony,
    ride off into the sunset together forever, a truly happy ending for all of Australia that will be 🙂

  18. Annie B

    You ? Jammy ? – apolitical ? …. Ya gotta be joking. ROFLMBO.

    Here’s a link that will satisfy your every ( abnormal ) need.

    https://www.facebook.com/TonyAbbottMP?fref=ts

    Go argue or agree, on that, and leave decent people who like to debate properly, to their own good intentions.

    Ooops … you don’t really know what good intentions are, do you ? Sad … I almost feel sorry for you,

    however – – –

    Get lost – skidaddle – take a long walk off a short pier – do your thing elsewhere. … And see how FAR you get advocating Pickering for PM ? …. We have the worst now in Government, guess we could get lower in considering Pickering as a PM ? …. if you want to go lower – then that’s your business.

    Don’t bother to come back at me, …. I will NOT retaliate again.

    So – Jammy – GO FOR IT …. see how far you REALLY get. ??? …. You fool, you.

  19. Phi

    The regime has intentionally set up Centrelink to be exactly what it is – difficult, time absorbing, frustrating, agonising, punishing, confusing…you get my drift….and then when the ‘customer’ gets finally so sick of the bastard organisation, the ‘customer’ drops out and walks away. BINGO, regime job done – one less citizen for the privileged to have to consider as a human. I hate this government and this government hates me.

  20. Delia Lord

    I have spent the last three years dealing with Centrelink on behalf of my daughter who is a 3rd year University student. I can’t count the number of times after waiting on hold for hours to have the phone go dead. To ring again and wait and wait and wait. Because if I didn’t she would have her payments cancelled. My daughter juggles working full time with full time Uni Monday to Friday. Centrelink hours. Not possible under these circumstances for her to wait for hours on end to get through. I feel sorry for anyone who hasn’t got someone able to do this for them. The on line option was so full of problems it was useless. Guess what you have to ring to sort out the latest problems with it. Hours and hours and hours later guess what.????????????

  21. Hotspringer

    A neighbour, about eighty years old, gave up and drove good 80 km (each way) to their nearest office to speak to them in person. But then I realise living in the country is a lifestyle choice. There seem to be no way of replying to them on-line, either.

  22. stephentardrew

    Makes ya wanna puke Ross.

    Meanwhile please give pajama child the boot.

    No time for loons.

  23. Clean livin

    You think being asked to hold by Centre.ink is a problem. Try the incontinence Hot Line! 6277 7700.

  24. Paul

    I used to work in a service industry and Centrelink was one of the places I serviced. At the time it was a huge space full of desks and workers with a small area just inside the door for customers to queue.
    Now I am retired and I have the “privilege” of having a healthcare card. Tha’ts all I am entirely self funded, just eating and paying our bills through our savings. Every six months I have to take a huge pile of paperwork, details about bank accounts, value of cars, all that sort of stuff into centrelink just in case I now have a fortune and they can take the healthcare card off me.
    What I notice about the Centrelink office now is that it is completely reversed, about two thirds of the desks are gone, the huge space available for centrelink workers is now occupied by huge queues and various waiting areas.
    Its so time wasting, so infuriatingly unnecessary, when I hand them my bank account details they check them against my bank account details that they have access to from the ATO, why the hell do I need to bother, they have all the information and its only for a healthcare card, its not as if they are handing over a fortune.

  25. Lyle Upson.

    for those interested in knowing how to respond to this nonsense, here is a cut down version of an email i wrote to my local federal MP … shortly after for which the problem went away
    ___________

    Hello Mark Butler (MP),

    There is a second matter for which I am also requesting assistance in relation to my own Centrelink affairs. The rent assistance applicable to my circumstances appears to be fluctuating.

    On 4th December the rent assistance was $127.60 applicable to the previous tenancy accommodation. On 18 December the rent assistance was $109.39 applicable to the new tenancy accommodation. However, on 30 December the rent assistance changed to $106.35. Now my Centrelink account is showing rent assistance for the coming payment on 15 January as $53.18.

    On Friday last (9 January), I attended Centrelink to determine what is happening to the rent assistance. I was referred to a phone number which I called using the Centrelink phone for such purposes as to resolve this problem. After waiting on the phone for well over half an hour, I began suffering anxiety, at which time I departed without an outcome to this concern. As it would be inappropriate to repeat the experience due to the health condition I am encumbered with, I am seeking your assistance on this matter in order to ensure I have a consistent payment each pension day. My Centrelink account is ### ### ### and my permission to enquire is provided. My rent in the new accommodation is $255.00 per fortnight and can be verified by contacting my landlord on the above mentioned phone number if necessary.

    For accuracy, record keeping and personal protection, can you please note I action all correspondence by email. Your assistance on these two matters will be appreciated.

    Regards,

    Lyle Upson.
    (16 Jan 2015)

  26. Lyle Upson.

    oh yes, as a former software tester, i also discovered a flaw in the Centrepay recurring payments system, for which i wrote a detailed report accordingly. I think i stunned the MPs i have been in contact with over the tenancy difficulties when they read the defect report

    a new payment recipient needs someone in Centrelink to force through the first payment record. I have seen such software architecture in very early database developments, but that was a very long time ago. I note within days of my detailed defect report, there was an announcement in the news about the need for a billions dollar size upgrade of the Centrelink databases … it can all be a lot of fun so long as there is no duress circling about while setting up certain services

  27. DragonboneTor

    I phoned centrelink for information about my daughter’s status as an independent. I gave up after a 90 minute wait the first time. Then I emailed them via their web site. It took a week to get a phone call back. The person who phoned me tried to transfer me to the relevant section and cut me off instead. She didn’t phone back. So, I sent another message via the website and waited another week for a reply. I ended up having to take time off work to visit the local office before the question was answered satisfactorily.

  28. Harquebus

    16 minutes! I have never been that lucky and no longer bother.
    It’s quicker to bus it to my local office and wait in line which, is what I do.

  29. Florence nee Fedup

    Abbott’s make holding and kissing a child look like hard work.

  30. Florence nee Fedup

    Fifty precent calls not answered. That is official.

  31. Florence nee Fedup

    Jammy could be correct. With this government, one is reduced to begging to survive. One is expected to fall to ones knees, showing suitable thanks for what is handed out. No one, especially those at the bottom have entitlement to anything.

  32. diannaart

    PTSD

    again

    Try contacting Centrelink while working as a temp and liable to be dismissed on a whim, but failure to contact Centrelink results in very bad things happening to such beggars as myself…

    Anyone, who has ever had to contact Centrelink has a story to tell – but remember it ain’t the fault of the workers (even the little hitlers) it is the idiot policies put out by governments of all stripes that Centrelink workers, somehow, have to implement.

    As noted above – the Centrelink we have to deal with is deliberately created by our overlords – it is our own fault if we fall ill, are in an accident, have to take time to care for others – anything that removes us from our allotted place on the treadmill… we only have ourselves to blame.. apparently.

    It is the same philosophy as applied to refugee seekers – make life difficult enough and these upstart ‘beggars’ will just go away.

  33. Kong

    I remember working at centrelink when this bloke walked in all cocky like calling us servants,talk about laugh he also tried pretending he wasnt a Torie Troll which had us all in stitches whilst the phone lines rang hot

  34. Deidre Zanker

    How can anyone with a mobile phone afford to stay on hold; it uses up loads of credit as well as flattening battery. It’s inconvenient but cheaper to visit office and line up for an hour instead of two hours waitingbon phone.

  35. John Kelly

    Prior to travelling overseas recently and because I am an aged pensioner, I needed to advise Centrelink that both my wife and I would be out of the country blah, blah blah. I tried several times to ring them and each time was advised the waiting time was over one hour. I decided to travel to their nearby Ringwood office and wait in that queue instead. There were about 20 in the queue but it moved fast enough for me to return home well inside the hour.

  36. Stoo1970

    My last contact with centrelink over the phone wasn’t too bad in regards to waiting and getting an outcome, however hearing “in a few word, please tell me what you are calling about” almost made me hang up. Trying to get through that was painful. Give me a series of options with a number to press, please!

    I had a bit of a grumble about it with the woman I was eventually able to speak with and she said;

    “You could try our apps”

    “My phone doesn’t do apps”

    “You could get one that does”

    Seriously? I’m on Newstart, and I lose fifty bucks of it a fortnight cos I’m fortunate enough to be able to work five hours a week.

    I can barely afford to top up my call credits every few months. how am I supposed to cough up the money for a smart phone, or whatever they’re called. I’ll replace my old Nokia, if I can, when it dies, not cos it’s outdated.

    That centerlink employee’s reality disconnect aside, I have had nothing but good face to face service with other staff. The people aren’t the problem, it’s the system.

  37. Adrian

    As a part disability support pensioner who is physically unable to work over 25 hours per week and thus reliant on at least partial assistance (which is about to become full assistance due to redundancy in the only organisation within 5 years of applying for work that was prepared to give me a go), I can only laugh (as opposed to crying, which is the only other alternative) that the government let these figures get out. I’m neither surprised nor concerned by these figures as they have been comically bad for years. My only attempt to get in contact with them was ringing the relevant 13 number from my mobile. On my mobile, I got offered the option of a callback within 10 minutes of being on hold, with an ETA of 75 minutes (ended up being 2.5 hours), whereas calling the same 13 number from the landline right next to me at the time resulted in me being in call centre limbo for over an hour prior to reverting to the mobile. If you ring from a mobile and then get stuck in the queue for more than a few minutes, ring back.

  38. king1394

    Yes, I thought 16 minutes was a very short hold time. When I have to phone centrelink either for myself or as nominee for a mentally ill person, I set myself up comfortably with drinks and a good book or similar. Occasionally a ‘call back’ option will be suggested, which is great if it happens.
    You can’t always go to the Centrelink office to carry out business, there are a number of processes that can only be done by phone, for example the initial contact to claim unemployment assistance..
    I always find it particularly irritating that I have to go to the office in person to present documentation, waiting a long time for a momentary face-to-face contact when somebody takes a photocopy.
    Likewise, if there is a problem with an appointment time, you may have to wait hours on the phone to make a change – as a nominee I can’t use some of the computerised notification system.
    Another really strange matter came up when my son was homeless for a time – he was not able to use the computer for anything, but had to present himself at the office every time he was required to report.

  39. Win jeavons

    Whenever my family has had a CL problem , we contact our local federal MP (Labor) and have got results. However I am told it is MUCH worse getting help from CL these days. probably deliberate?

  40. Möbius Ecko

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CFrTPl_VEAAIkL1.jpg:large

    This photo and another in Tassie showing the bashed up knuckles is doing the rounds in social media. A legitimate question is being asked that when Rudd has a shaving cut the media went ape shit for weeks over it, so how come they are silent on these cuts?

    Only posted it here because of the Abbott with baby photo.

  41. Florence nee Fedup

    Must be something in those knuckle stories. Might have flattened Hockey for daring to have words with Peta during the budget.

  42. diannaart

    Maybe Tones was just doing a little gardening.. forgot his gloves… nah, I don’t believe that either… wall punching is a difficult habit to break, even when there are no walls handy.

  43. Annie B

    That photograph is revolting. …. mainly because it shows the face of a person who could well be called up to feature in a re-make of a Bela Lugosi movie – the scarred knuckles just adds to it. !!!

    Evil look there. ……. Nothing would surprise me. …. maybe he punched out his ( not often to be seen these days ) chief of staff.

    Little wonder the child reacted the way he/she obviously did. …. Kids have an innate sense of
    who’s who and what’s what.

    ??

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