1. When you have a problem you can ring Country Road. And they answer the phone. On the 3rd ring. And the person on the other end can fix the problem. On the spot. When you ring Telstra, a machine answers the phone. Eventually you get through to a person. Who is often not the right person. So they transfer you. To someone else who is often not the right person. Eventually you get someone who tries to help. At any point in this process you can be spontaneously disconnected. Which means you go back to the beginning.
2. Country Road Online post things via Australian Air Express. To your PO Box. Which is the only postal address you have when you live on a farm. You have to spend some time persuading the Telstra person that Australia Post will deliver to a PO Box. After a lengthy discussion about how Australia Post own the PO Boxes and hence they are an acceptable postal address, the Telstra person will capitulate and put your PO Box into the computer as an address. And it accepts it. Amazing isn't it?
3. If you order on Friday 4th February, Country Road dispatch it on the same day. You receive your order on Weds 9th February. Even though you don't live in a capital city and do live in another state. If you order something from Telstra on the 1st of February, they don't even manage to put the order through correctly. If you ring again a week later they "guarantee" delivery by the 15th February. Because you don't live in a capital city and do live in another state.
4. Country Road sends you gorgeous things. Like this black silk jumpsuit. (Which you love because it has just the faintest whiff of "mutton dressed as lamb" about it.)
Telstra don't send you anything. Especially not your new micro sim card so your flash new iphone 4 will work. You think this may be because you can't seem to get past the order process.
5. You pay Country Road and get good service. You pay Telstra and would be happy for any service. At all...
Addit: For all my international readers: Telstra is our main telecommunication provider. Country Road is a chain of retailers.