Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Call Is Very Important To Them

I've told you about my internet service provider Spiretech before. You call them up and someone answers on the first ringy-dingy. They fix what's wrong. Twice they even had me bring in my computer--they're right in town--and decontaminated it for free and got its vaccinations up to date.

But the best they can do for me is DSL through the phone company, and not the fast kind, either. It's way better than dial-up of course but there are problems. More and more my computer acts like it's taken in a bolus of data and it can't swallow. I really need an internet service with a bigger esophagus.

So I was ripe for the picking when I got a cold call from the phone company offering me super duper fiber based speed-of-light internet service, and if I signed up today they'd throw in extra fiber, and vitamins and minerals and TV. And candy through the mail slot. I signed up. I hated to do it. Poor old Spiretech. They've been so good to me. And now I'd have to change my email address and probably about a thousand usernames. On the plus side, I'd be able to send Comcast packing for my TV connection. Everybody hates Comcast.

We shook over the phone, the salesman and I, and he promised to send an installer by on October 16th and email me a raft of information about what I'd agreed to, and that was that. And that was two weeks ago. And no email. I did scrawl a confirmation number on an envelope I managed to not recycle. So today I called up and asked for my information. Well!

The hold music was peppy. There was a boogie-woogie element to it that I approved of. I waited only a couple minutes and then got a guy who knew a guy and I got put on hold again so he could connect me to the guy he knew.

That guy was popular, all right. He didn't come to the phone for another ten minutes, during which time I was able to ascertain that the boogie-woogie element was but one segment in a medley that included a Europop offering that got old quick. "Logan," once he showed up, had a nice voice that appeared to originate in this country. So that was innovative. We talked. He had to put me on hold to check my status.

And that status was that I hadn't gotten an email because someone (else) put my order in wrong, and he wasn't sure if anyone was really coming out on October 16th or not. Did I remember what I'd signed up for? Well, I thought it was the whole works. Did I remember how much I was supposed to pay? Not really. All that was supposed to be in the confirmation email. Logan didn't know what I was getting, or when I was getting it. He suggested we start over. Fine! But before he could start over, he needed to make sure my other order was not merely dead but really most sincerely dead, so that my orders wouldn't trip over each other on the way to my house. He put me on hold.

Really, the boogie-woogie element wasn't that great. I mean, all boogie-woogie is just fine, but the bridge was lame, and the refrain was totally derivative. The segue was a complete rip-off from the Doobie Brothers. They should sue.

Logan checked in periodically to see if I was still there, and I was. Because my cell phone keeps track of such things, I noted that I had now been on the phone for 64 minutes. You don't give up. It's the Vietnam War syndrome. We've already lost 50,000 of our boys, and it would be a dishonor to their memory if we didn't sacrifice a few more platoons.

Logan came back on. "Mary? Are you there?" I'm here! I shouted into the phone, like a trapped coal miner. Can you hear me?

Apparently not. The hold music was off, and I heard random clicking from his keyboard, and also the entire conversation of the woman working next to him. She just had her toenails done. I know! But sometime you just got to do things just for you own self, am I right?

Logan came back on every two minutes or so to see if I was still there, but he didn't answer when I bellowed back. It was clear he could not hear me. I began to consider hanging up. I thought back: was this phone call being recorded for quality purposes? I sincerely hoped so. I didn't remember. That would have been--check the phone--79 minutes ago. Then the phone went dead.

A few seconds later my land line rang. It was Logan, clever dude. He was pretty sure he'd gotten to the bottom of the problem. So we were going to start over. Next Tuesday.

"Is that when you're sending someone out to hook me up?"

No. He'd call me next Tuesday to place the order. I didn't ask why we couldn't do it now. I was too happy we weren't going to do it now. I'm going to send Logan a Christmas fruitcake, I'm so grateful we aren't doing it now.

41 comments:

  1. I cannot leave an intelligent answer so I'll just tell you the message I want to put on our ansafone-thingy: If your call is important, please leave your name, number and message.If I think it's important I'll call you back.
    I think they are up to "P" in the phone book again because I've had three of the blighters this week...

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    1. My sympathies. Around here, they're still hovering around the beginning of the alphabet.

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  2. I would NOT go with that company. If you have a problem with them, you will have to go through all this each time. The fact that so many things went wrong with your order tells you something about their quality.

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    1. Yeah, I'm a little worried. I hate making decisions. Feels like I made one and now I hate to unmake it.

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    2. Murr. Run for your life. If they treat you like that *before* they have you signed up, what kind of service do you think you'll get after they've got you hooked?

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  3. I had CenturyLink once. It was a huge nightmare. Comcast is actually an improvement. I don't know what your options are where you live, but if Spiretech wants to stay in business long-term, they'll eventually offer something faster than DSL. Might be worth keeping an eye on them just in case.

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    1. Did you have the super duper fiber optic thingy? Because that's new. They're the only alternative to Comcast now, here.

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    2. Can't remember what they called it. I'm no expert on computer thingy-ology. What I do remember is that I suffered intermittent loss of connectivity for a month, and that their guy was round any number of times fiddling with my computer and the modem to no avail, and the problem was eventually traced to some corroded wires in a box down the street that was a central service point for the whole area. Other people must have been having similar problems, but it took them a month to figure out where the issue was. Comcast is grossly overpriced but I've never had a problem like that.

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  4. My company is pretty good and so is their customer service. I will not name them for fear of jinxing it.

    Your Vietnam Syndrome was painful and accurate. I apologize for laughing but in retrospect it is funny in a WTF were we thinking kind of way.

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    1. I've used that analogy a lot. It seems to come up with alarming frequency.

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  5. You stubborn, lovable woman. I've been on hold long enough to begin shouting, something I stop, of course, the minute they get back on the line. "Oh, no problem," I'm heard to mutter.

    I say that, of course. But yes. It usually is a problem.

    Pearl

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    1. I don't know what got into me. After a while, it just started to seem funny. An hour in, I was pretty sure it was blog post worthy.

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  6. I'll bet Lance had multiple calls going at once, and most of what he was doing while you were on hold had nothing to do with your account at all. I'd say cut your losses (which, after all, are offset by the blog fodder you gained), and stick with the devil you know for now.

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  7. We do live in a third world country. Sounds exactly like Comcast to me...are you sure you want to switch?

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    1. Oh hell no, I'm not sure at all. And I really hate having to change my email address. But pages won't load...

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  8. We don't even live in the same country, but my experience with fiber optic was poor and I am just jumping to tell one more person how awful it was ... We had been bombarded by offers for about a year and finally received one that made financial sense. When the tech came to install the lines it turned out the house was going to look like it had been hit by a TP-er. Alarm bells started ringing and I decided to cancel the installation. The tech agreed to call the company and cancel the order. Fast forward to our next telephone bill (it was our telephone company who was providing the fiber optic service). We had been auto-debited the new amount on our bill. When I called, the company said they could not issue a refund but would use it as a credit against our next telephone bill. Then we got another call asking when we would like a technician to come install our fiber optic. What?? (As an aside, our neighbour who had proceeded with a similar installation had to call back twice (= 3 service calls in all) to get their internet working.)

    Unfortunately, customer service seems to be very scarce these days. I've had similar snafus with our local paper delivery. And not one hint of apology or regret on the part of any person working for the businesses. When something is bothering a client at my place of work, you'd better bet we do what we can to make it right and make them happy, including an apology for their trouble, even if it was not our fault. I agree with Infidel that your current company will eventually offer what you need PLUS you'll still have your good service people. But I'm not sitting in your chair watching your connection choke and unable to provide the Heimlich ... so ... all I ask is that you keep writing about the horrible fallout as it happens. Insert happy face here.

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  9. Apparently I was on a rant today. Sorry!

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  10. Even as a modern a-go-go guy I am still suspicious of change when it involves electronic signals I don't understand. If it works reasonably well I am leery of "upgrading" my service. The hours on the phone just add to the frustration.

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    1. You know, a real modern go-go guy would probably not ever say "modern go-go guy." Just pointing that out.

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    2. I was hoping you would appreciate that.

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  11. I got the Centurlinkand it did take them two visits to get it right. But it hasnt given me any trouble since. Unlike this reply which is wonky.

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    1. Oh Katie, I cannot tell you how glad I am to hear it. We'll tawk.

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  12. So glad you got Pootie to 'sit' for your illustrations on this one. LOL'd each time I scrolled down to a new one...really!

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    1. Pootie has a built-in sense of humor right down to his capacious butt.

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  13. Funny thing about Comcast.......when we first went from DSL (phone company) to high-speed Comcast, their service was abysmal. It seemed like everyone on our block's list-serv was constantly complaining about missed appointments, chaotic service, and random outages. Then a couple of years ago, the phone company started installing their fiber-optic cables in the immediate neighborhood. Lo and behold, the Comcast outages stopped, and service techs arrive as scheduled for appointments. If this sounds too paranoid, I should point out that the whole city experienced a very aggressive sales campaign to convert to fiber optic/phone company service. And our phone company (now known as "Verizon") is one of those monsters that has gobbled up all the local companies and now serves much of the East Coast. So I guess when Comcast realized that they had *serious* competition, they cleaned up their act. As a matter of fact, they are slowly transitioning their name to "Xfinity",and do a lot of advertising to show that they are happy and responsive.......I guess my whole point is that things can and will get better when there is real competition. And in the meantime, why can't Spiretech just start offering something faster than DSL? DSL is so, well, 20th century.....

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    1. Yes, the CenturyLink represents the first competition Comcast has had around here. Maybe I should check with Comcast to see if they'll offer me a better deal. Bleah. And I sure wish Spiretech would, but they can't. I don't remember why.

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  14. Sigh. All too familiar.
    Your call is important to us. Well show it. Quickly. Or I, being very mature, will start chanting 'liar, liar pants on fire...'

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  15. 79 minutes and you still have to wait until next Tuesday??
    I'd be wanting it done and over with asap.
    I think these companies are in cahoots with the phone people, more minutes on hold equals bigger phone bills.

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    1. These folks ARE the phone people! I'm doomed! Doomed, I say!

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  16. Just when I was starting to think I have all my ducks in a row! I'm moving next week; super organized, all packed, addresses changed, etc. And now you remind me: I have to change my internet service provider, web host, etc. Nooooooo!
    I'm with Pootie; head under the sofa cushions.

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    1. We should both just get gmail addresses and be done with it. Now I need to find out from someone what I just said and see if it makes sense.

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  17. I've got gmail. At least that's ok. But my old internet connection has been hosting a website, and I need to transfer that. But where? And I'll need an internet connection, too.
    Life was simpler once upon a time ...

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    1. Yeah. We didn't know anything, and we didn't care.

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  18. Augh! That is so frustrating. I hate it especially when I get someone who is in India and I have such difficulty understanding what they are saying. I especially hate when they are supposed to help me with a computer problem. I had one guy tell me after an hour that the problem was not them, it was my computer and I should buy a new one. Then, after ranting and raging and writing the head of Comcast (I know...) I was called and told a man would come to my house to solve my problem. He had it fixed in 5 minutes and said the on-line help is not very helpful.

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    1. I've had some good dealings with the people who actually come out and poke around with the wires. I'm going to cross my fingers that I get one with a brain this time, too.

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  19. ...and mayhap you will stay with Comcast after all?

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    1. Naah...actually, I don't know how that works. Do I fire them as soon as the new stuff goes in? Will they duke it out for supremacy? Supposedly I'll be getting internet, TV, and a land line for less (a lot less) than I'm getting TV from Comcast now.

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