Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Life's Funny Like That Inspired Post

Debby posted a little of her frustration in dealing with her internet service provider--who wasn't exactly providing internet service. While reading and responding to her post I was reminded of the multitude of hours (read: many uncounted hours of frustration, anger, incredulity, blank stares, confusion--let's see, how many other descriptive words come to mind to somehow represent the gamut of issues I've felt in that/those situation(s)?) I've spent/wasted in the pursuit of happiness, I mean, internet service that actually serves my needs/wants. You get the picture.

Feel free at any time to add your own experiences with this phenomenom of meekly (Ha, ha! Right.) seeking the service we're paying for and not getting.

After the provider's tech service number is dialed this is kinda how it goes:
1. A smooth, yet distastefully phoney voice says, "Thank you for calling ____________. You have reached _________ high-speed internet technical support. This call may be recorded for training purposes."
2. "Please listen carefully and choose one of the following options."
3. "For billing, please press 1. For interrupted phone service, please press 2. If you'd like to begin internet service, press 3. For a copy of your most recent bill, please press 4. If you'd like to order new services, please press 5 to speak to our customer services operator. For technical assistance, please press 6. For instructions on how to dance the polka, please refer to your user's guide. If you don't like any of the previous choices, please hang up and try later."
4. After pressing 6, as Debby mentioned, you get--eventually--to music. Then something like this, "Due to high caller volume, we estimate that your call will be answered in 5 to 10 minutes. Please be patient while we answer calls in the order in which they were received."
5. Then after 5 to 50 minutes in the "queue" you somehow get shunted back to the original electronically generated "operator" who states: "For billing, please press 1. For interrupted phone or internet service, please press 2. For technical support, please press 9. We may be unable to help you at this time due to excessive caller volume. If you'd like to leave a message and have a technician respond to your call, please press 47 and record your message. We'll return your call as soon as possible."
6. Don't ever do that! So you don't. You press 3 again. Or you keep your finger on "0" (that's zero) until you get some other kind of response. (I probably won't record what that one sounds like!)
7. You hang up in frustration and call later.
8. When you call back you get the similar greeting, but they've sent you somewhere else. The options become more bizzare.
9. "If you'd like to order pizza, please press 7 and have your credit card handy. If you'd like to speak to the president of the company, ha, ha, ha, oooooooh, ha, ha, ha, yeah! Get a life! Seriously! If you want to talk to a tech, press 9. Hi. If you want to speak to a technical assistant, press 9. Again. Yes, really! We do appreciate you call. Oh, and just for good measure, press 4. Someone might care and, hey, if we feel like it, we MIGHT actually answer your call. So, go ahead. Press any other number and see what happens!"
10. After fuming around the house using your very angry voice and getting stares from those family members that may be in close proximity, you mumble threatenings and other unintelligible mumblings.
11. You then fix yourself some kind of comfort food--mine would be chocolate related, or a potato something, like a baked potatoes with butter, sour cream, cheese, chopped scallions, real freshly fried bacon crumbles and don't forget: salt and pepper. Or something crunchy like crisp, crunchy bagle chips.
12. Then, having forgotten all the misery recently experienced at the hands (do electronic voice mail operators--or whatever they actually are have hands?) of the vile internet tech services phone number folks--who or whatever they are, you attempt to get back on the internet. You have banking issues to resolve. Besides, you want to see pictures of your grandchildren, send/receive emails from your children, siblings, friends who live far from home. That's when your spouse gives you a look like "You've lost your mind. Again." And to be sure, I have. Again. So I call.
13. Miracle of miracles, after having survived the gauntlet of multiple choices--again--most of which have nothing to do with why I'm calling, I actually connect with a real live person. In India, or the Phillipines, or Panama or elsewhere.

Then, as Debby mentioned, the script is often repeated. "May I have the pleasure of knowing the name of the person to whom I am speaking, please? Thank you. May I have the phone number associated with this account? Thank you. Is this also a good call-back number if we happen to be disconnected? (What?!!! Disconnected! No. No. Tell me it ain't possible!) Thank you. Now, Ms. __________, what may I do to assiste you today? Have you checked this or that. Why don't you do that for me now. Please then, unplug this and the other. Okay, now, what do you see? Okay, thank you. Now, may I put you on hold for just a moment while I check on that problem, please?" Ten or fifteen minutes later. "Thank you so much for holding. I apologize for the wait, but I needed to check with my supervisor. May I put you back on hold for a moment? Thank you."

By this time, your stomach is once again in need of nourishment and you stick the cordless phone on "speaker" and treck back to the kitchen and fix another snack/meal and try to enjoy it while to wait for the help essential to the functioning of you internet once more. Or still. Yes. Still. It is still. Not functioning. Still as in quiet. Except for the muzak wafting from the cordless phone set on hold.

Have you ever wondered how much it costs to be put on hold while connected to India? Like for an hour, besides the actual time you speak to that person? I wonder about that. How much do they pay techs to answer phones and try to assist you in fixing problems that most often are their own equipment problems? Are my internet servers' computers located in India? Hmmmmmmmmm. I do wonder. And then, there is always the cat lurking beneath someone's computer making a chewy toy of the inherent wiring essential to computering, internet or no--as depicted in Debby's post.

I'm so tired and worn out now. I may have to go take a nap. Yawn. Oh, did we ever get the internet back up? And running? Hmmmm I don't remember!


jeanie said...

Oh I so know those moments. Even more wondrous are those spent on your mobile phone trying to figure out whatever happened to your landline AND internet combined.

And why do children always want something NOW when your options are offered? Because there is also a telepathic line in place that means the electronic offerings will be switched and jumbled just when you missed an option to answer "not now darling" in response to whatever whine is available.

debby said...

OOOOOHHHH! PW I never thought of comfort food. Yes! Comfort food. That's the ticket.