Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tech support

Yesterday, I woke (like I typically do) and after taking care of the necessary first thing bidness, fired up the old laptop.

I do this to make sure the world is still turning, along with checking out my fantasy baseball team, emails and maybe write a blog if my brain is working.

Holy Internet Explorer! What in the name of Bill Gates is going on, I wondered. No internet! That ain’t right! I do the typical unplug, restart drill some 10 times, but I have no internet.

At first I thought the internet was getting revenge for my lame Waiting on the Cable Guy lyrics from the previous day’s blog.

But wait, that can’t be right. Pardon me while I point out that, yes, I have an “ain’t right” and a “can’t be right” in the last three paragraphs. Anyway, the internet probably thought that was a waste of resources and it might be right, but if it can host a Lifetime web site, I’m not at the bottom of the barrel. Yes, I did look the site up so I could link to it, but didn't spend enough time there to get sick.

Then, I figured it out. Stupid Craig! Bad Craig! Okay, I have internet through my local phone provider, which is Windstream (which used to be Alltel, but now Alltel is strictly for cell service. If you figure this out, please tell somebody else). The previous day, I called my friendly Windstream call center (and actually talked to what sounded like an American who spoke English) and told the rep to get rid of the bundle service and my Dish.

On the bundle, I had long-distance calling, call waiting, call forwarding (like I ever did that), back scratching, caller ID, something called call block which never seemed to work since I always got calls that I didn’t want, along with several other features I can’t describe or remember.

Earlier, I called Dish to cancel, but with the problems I have had with my bill, decided to double team that baby.

Notice, in my conversation I never mentioned TURNING OFF MY INTERNET! Did I? Nope.

So, naturally, no internet yesterday morning. I call the broadband support and try to understand a rep who can speak English about as well as my two-year old niece. All I could make out from him was call billing. Sorry, billing won’t be available until 8 a.m, he added after repeating himself several times.

Drats. I wait and call billing at just after 8. I actually speak to an American, who says there isn’t a problem with my bill. She puts me on hold and apparently has outpatient surgery in the meantime.

I wait approximately 20 minutes before hanging up. I can just see her and a few choice coworkers sitting around the cubicle betting on how long I will stay on hold. Maybe, they even had a pool going on! "I say he waits thirteen minutes!" says one.

Sadly, I hang up. Still no internet and the issue HAS NOT BEEN RESOLVED! AAARGH.

I do a few things and call back later. The person in billing says my internet has not been cancelled and I should have service. Huh? She transfers me to the help desk. Another English-speaking challenged rep answers.

Please allow me to take a break and ask why we can’t get English-speaking people in the support area if it involves computers? It would greatly reduce the time I spend on the phone saying "huh?", "what?" and "can you repeat that in English?"

Okay, back to the blog. He says there is a problem with my bill and attempts to transfer me back. Hold on, I say, I am looking at my bill and it isn’t due until May 13.

But I am transferred back to billing, which is where I started this phone call and learned there WAS NOT a problem.

The person is helpful and says, no, there isn’t a problem with your service and…(that is a pause BTW). I knew then, there was a problem. He asks to research the problem, which means he just discovered somebody on his end probably screwed up.

I wait a few minutes, and then some more! Finally, he is back. No, there isn’t a problem with my bill. They made a mistake. No ----, Sherlock, I want to say but since I don’t curse, I let it slide.

Finally, I am promised my internet service will be started again. I am expecting like a free upgrade to Super High Speed DSL, movie tickets or a pack of double-ply toilet paper for my troubles, but soon find out I am out of luck. Maybe I should have asked! But I didn’t. I just (pardon me while I mist up here) wanted my internet to work.

I give it some time, like 2 minutes and 43 seconds, before I check to see if the internet works. It doesn’t. More like two hours and some change, but the magic Yahoo home page bursts bright and clear back on my computer.

Internet is back. Aside from wasting time that will never be recovered, life is good once again.

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