Saturday, April 6, 2013

LIFE OFFLINE

Yesterday my phone and broadband went out.
Thank goodness it hadn’t happened the day before when I was doing my taxes online or I would have had a heart attack. As it was, I had to drive to the nearest Time/Warner store where, fortunately, there was no line and ask the slovenly, sullen woman behind the counter to get me back online. She yawned and said nastily: “You should have called us so we could have run diagnostics.”
    “My phone is out.”
    This got a suspicious look. What, how dare you not have a cell phone? You must be some kind of pervert. Sulkily, she asked me for my personal data and called someone.
    “A technician will come in five days,” she informed me with a smirk. WTF?
    “Five days without a phone, no way.”
    Her look said You-are-an-ungrateful-wretch as she wrote down a phone number on a scrap of paper.
    “Call customer support at this number and ask for an earlier date.”
    “But aren’t you customer support?”
    “There’s a phone at the end of the counter, under the television. You can call them from there.”
    Seeing this person was not going to communicate with me in any other way than to let me know I was bothering her, I made my way to the end of the counter to a germ-infested, old fashioned dial phone in hideous, spit-smeared gold. This is what Time/Warner offers in the way of service for high tech products.
As the television blared, I dialed the number with my finger in my other ear. An hysterical voice in the earpiece informed me that, Yay! I had won some kind of competition and only had to answer five questions to get something or other.
I hung up and dialed again.
    By this time, the room had filled with a couple of dozen chattering people, one of whom came and stood right next to me to stare at the TV and listen with interest to all the personal information I was required to provide to the second
supporter of customers. After going through my personal data again and placing me on hold while she checked something, she informed me that, yes, my phone and broadband were out of order. While I silently fumed, a security guard came and stood behind me to stare out the door.
    I was passed to a third customer supporter who  went through all my personal data
yet again but seemed to actually grasp what the problem was. He was helpful and speedy and set up an appointment with the obligatory four-hour window for today. But the technician didn’t show up and when I contacted Time/Warner by wi-fi, they said the technician had come but had not been able to contact me by phone. Duh!
    So, here I am using my wi-fi to order a cell phone and looking forward to telling Time/Warner what they can do with their far too-expensive digital phone service and unnecessary broadband.                                         *
PS - It was TimeWarner on TWITTER that finally got the problem solved. Unfortunately too late as I'd already ordered my new phone.

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