Opinion: That’s T[life]

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Opinion: That’s T[life]

It seems that every vendor has to have its own store these days.

Despite the hoopla surrounding Apple’s new glass-fronted mega-shop in Sydney, the same architect who designed Apple’s New York retail therapy clinic was responsible for the Telstra T[life] shop just across the road, which opened last November.

This week Telstra has opened another T[life] shop down in Melbourne. According to the telco, the shops are just what customers have been demanding, and are designed to give you a hands-on preview of exactly what life will be like with one of their phones. Oh really?

Sure, they have sections for [my]business and [my]place and even [my]network to entice punters with the possibilities of perfection in phones. But is this reality? There are several departments missing from this store.

First off, where is the [my]rural section? That’s where you can’t get a signal no matter what you do, but there would be ladders and ledges for you to climb on while you try and get connected, and several people trapped under a tractor.

Another desperately needed department is [my]invoice. This would let customers know what it’s likely to cost them when they choose to sign on the dotted line, and how many body parts they’ll need to sell in order to pay the outrageous bill.

Right alongside would be [my]callcentre. In this department, nobody would speak the same language as you do, and this would be truly global. If you happened to only speak Urdu then you’d be connected with English-speaking call centre staff instead.

In the far corner of the store would be [my]technicians. Parked there would be a T[life] van, with several techs eating sandwiches, having a smoke and talking to their mates on their company-provided mobile phones. If you go over and ask them for assistance they’ll ask you to call [my]callcentre first to make an appointment.

Then they’ll return to eating, smoking and chatting amongst themselves. Alongside them would be [my]backhoe with a tangle of fibre-optic cables drooling from its bucket.

Nobody in the shop would be able to help you with your questions, but an army of annoying drones would [my]phone you at random to offer you things you don’t want or need. You’d also get [my]SMS messages inviting you to participate in fabulous giveaway contests for tickets to last year’s grand finals.

Now that’s what I call a reality T[life] store.

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