After an incident regarding poor business ethics on the part of telecommunications magnate Telstra, local Bathurstian man Gedda Cignalle has gone on a data strike, attracting national media coverage.
In an exclusive interview with the Eastern Advocate, Mr Cignalle revealed what sparked the outrage. “Basically, Telstra were charging me $59.99 a month to give me Optus-level coverage.” As most locals are well aware, Optus coverage in regional areas is about as useful as an aluminium antenna attached to a lemon. However, this tension between Mr Cignalle and Telstra was heightened when he discovered that Telstra were charging him ‘consultancy fees’ whenever he sent a text message. When asked about this unusual fee structure, Telstra commented, “You know those little text messages you get when you’re almost out of data and you’re only eight days into your month? Yeah, well that’s consulting, ain’t it?”
As a response to this, Mr Cignalle declared himself on ‘data strike’, attracting attention from people across the nation. As part of the protest, Mr Cignalle refuses to utilise a cellular connection in any form, and can only access Wi-Fi from his home and the local McDonald’s. “I just think he’s sooo, like, brave,” local teenager Samantha Sam crooned. “I couldn’t last, like, much time at all without my phone.”
The movement has been picked up in social media circles, and is now referred to as the #vodafoneisbetter campaign, even though everyone knows it isn’t. Vodafone reached out to Eastern Advocate to comment on the positive publicity this has generated for them: “We haven’t had this much publicity since we paid Cricket Australia to put our logo on the MCG. And this time we don’t have to put up with Mitchell Johnson delivering wides onto it.”
Mr Cignalle is currently on day 23 of his data strike, although there are reports of him being caught streaming popular Spotify playlist, “Australia Viral 50,” using a cellular connection.