A few years after my mobile phone experience, I was working in my first programming job. Broadband was pretty new, especially in Tasmania. I'd held off for a year or so, but in the end, I decided I had to bite the bullet, swallow my pride, and get a Telstra service. They were my only option at the time ( you'll see this is a recurring theme ). So, I called them and booked for them to set it up. I got a message to call them urgently. I called, they asked for my password. I said 'what password ?'. They said they needed to know my password to know what was wrong with my application, or they could not help me. I said I didn't need their help, I didn't have a problem, barring that I wanted broadband. I thought hard and remembered my old password was 'coffee'. They proceeded to tell me they could not connect me to broadband until I paid the $500+ I owed on my old phone account ( the one where they billed me after I disconnected ). I explained to her that it was all a lie, and I thought they had given up on it. They said no, in fact, they had a private investigator trying to find me after I did not appear for my court date. Remember how I moved house, and they didn't set my fax up right ? Well, it appears they have no records kept of when I told them I moved, and so when they got to the point of sending a summons, they sent it not to my PO Box, but to the house I no longer lived in.
Here's where it gets weird. I said to the woman, we are the only Graus family in Tasmania. They print the phone book. How can they claim they needed a PI, and how could both Telstra and the PI be so worthless as to not think of looking in the phone book to find me ?
Anyhow, I explained why I was not paying, and the woman responded to tell me that I could pay at any post office. I mostly just laughed at this point. I did some investigating, and the statute of limitations on a bill like this is 5 years. It was four years old at the time, so I just waited for that time to pass. I've since paid bills at Telstra offices and seen that the bill in question still shows up on their system, maybe that's why they treat me so badly, because obviously almost anyone who sees that will have no idea what happened, and will just assume I am a deadbeat. $500 is not a lot of money to me nowadays, but I could have had my work pay for it back then, it's not really the point. The principle is that they lied, they tried to steal from me, and I refused to be intimidated.
I stuck with dial up and about 6 months later got an Internode ADSL connection. Internode are awesome, I love them, I'd be with them today if I had the option.