So many companies desperately try to cultivate loyalty with loyalty card schemes like Fly Buys, Everyday Rewards, Frequent Flyer, Velocity etc., but when you actually show genuine loyalty to a company, you are treated with contempt. Perhaps big business has a "treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen" mentality. Perhaps big business is run by a bunch of wife-beating drunks.

If you are a loyal customer, they've already got you, so they're not interested in you any more. Optus, it would seem, are so desperate to get new customers, and nail them down to a 24month contract, they don't have the time or patience to deal with the customers they do have.

I have decided, when my current agreement with Optus ends (at the end of next month), that I will sever my ties with an organisation to whom I have been loyal for more than a decade. I have never gotten any of the exciting benefits offered to new customers on glossy flyers in my local paper. I have never had anything but abominable customer service from people whose only skills are apologising for any wrongdoing, people incapable of rectifying a situation.

The sad thing is, Optus have lost me as a customer (and a vocal one at that) because they got too greedy. They were clearly not happy with getting handfuls of cash out of me every month for my home phone and internet - they wanted my mobile phone money too. Now, I am tied up with another mobile provider until August, but it is a provider who has never done wrong by me. I am very happy to be a Vodafone customer, even if my contract was up, I wouldn't want to leave. I told that to the telemarketer who called me from Optus last Monday. I tried to tell it to the woman who called me on Tuesday. I didn't feel the need to tell the woman who called me last night, because it was falling on deaf ears. I rang the main customer service line yesterday, and they assured me I would be taken off their telemarketing database. Last night, as I have already told you, they called again. They called me on a silent number. A silent number that has been registered with the Do Not Call register for over a year.

So, Optus, your nuisance phone calls have lost you a customer of ten years. Was that bird in the hand really worth the two about to fly off into the bush?