Thursday, November 3, 2011

You can’t get good help desk these days….



The reason I prefer automated tech support staff to an actual person is that I can expect an IVR to behave like a robot.  Just now the robot that told me about a repaired outage in my area actually ended her sentence with the word  "dot."  Oops.

To Verizon's credit (and not many sentences begin that way)they do employ actual people and they do answer the phone quickly.  After that, it's all slacker millennial accents, overuse of "ma'am" in a not-at-all-deferential way, and pre-scribed steps toward a lasting solution, by which I mean it lasts for the life of the phone call.   Indian-call-centers

Hannibal.  And Dorry.  Yes, I am calling them out, ma'am, because, ma'am, you can not use that diagnostic software application they talked you into, ma'am, unless you are already connected to the InTernet (hard T on that Internet)

So I picked a bad month to get back into blogging, it seems. 

Not just because we had a power outage the weekend before NaBloPoMo MoDEMbegan, when I could have been banking posts for when I am out of town  (don't act shocked - you would too).  The real failure seems to be in the modem (a silly word that makes me think of Modess -- a sillier word -- and when you put Modem together with a word like iPad, milk comes out of my nose.

For the past 3 days I have had halting connectivity, and I am a little alarmed to discover how dependent I am on it.  (Dependent apparently = addicted.)  I sort of sit and stare, waiting for things to connect.  Sunday, when I had no electricity at all, I  was content until the batteries on everything were used up -- everything except my awesome LED camping lantern.  I was sort of OK reading a book from 5pm - 11, though I felt a little anxious that I ought to be doing something more constructive.  (like playing the mahjong I just discovered in my games folder while waiting on hold for Hannibal to exhale?)  mahjong

What grand world scheme did I think I was going to hatch if only I could get connected??  I was just disconnected while writing that sentence.  In fact, earlier tonight, I was disconnected from Verizon's phone line.  The robot said, "we're sorry.  There is no answer.  This call is being disconnected."

Enter Sayid, who talked like an adult, and did provide a better level of information, though it still seemed a little bogus to me.  When I opened with "I'd like verizon to replace my modem," he had a lot of other suggestions in mind.  Once Verizon service told me to reverse the ends on my ethernet cord.  I said, "you realize how nonsensical that is."

Tonight it was Sayid telling me I should  filter the phone in the same room as the modem, even though they use different phone lines.  In my heart, I suspect this is one more thing I can blame ADT Alarms for. 

I said, "It's never had a filter on it,"  and Sayid says, "It may work fine for a while that way, but sooner or later you will have trouble."

"Six years?" I said.  "That is later."
"Well, all we need ma'am is a filter for that phone."

I say to him as I dramatically open drawers that are only immediately within reach, "You seem to know your business, I just find that very hard to----"   And damned if there wasn't a phone filter in the drawer of this very desk.  Seriously?

Sayid offers to call me back in one minute, ma'am, and I scramble around the furniture trying to figure out which wire is which until the phone rings again. 

Now, the line has gone to red again just now, as I was about to say something nice about Sayid.  It’s not his fault, I guess, if you don’t get to read this until much later tomorrow.  Or ever.  Or if I snap on the lantern and go back to a simpler time. 


  1. After the hurricane here this summer, I learned that a friend of mine in preparation for the event hda been to the library and uploaded books on her kindle. After the event, when her batteries needed charging, she would go to a local coffee house and plug in to their system. My question to her was "Why not just check out books and read as long as you have light?" We both laughed at that because she knows that's what I would do not be as technological as she is. About 4 years ago, I got rid of my modem and got hi-speed internet from my provider who also has provided HD TV. Big difference!! Of course when the power is out -- that's a different story. M

  2. And another thing: I am so grateful for the Month of November even if you do write ahead of time -- at least you are writing. M

  3. I spent the better part of last spring convincing CenturyLink that I needed a new modem. To their credit, I got a real person each time I called and some of them even had useful information - such as Win 7's tendency to reset my default gateway. The tech came out to the house a few times and "fixed" what he could on the outside. We replaced all the filters, again. Finally, finally they replaced the modem and lo and behold the internet works again, sometimes it even works when it's raining. Best of luck to you! I'm seriously considering buying my own modem. There must be something better out there than the stuff the isp sends out.

    Found you, btw, through NaBloPoMo. I hope to read more!

  4. I think M just called me out! Guilty as charged! Glad to see you're doing the November challenge - whose name I cannot remember. Always enjoy your November production! Good luck.

  5. My cell provider has hired a voiceover actress that offers to "hook me up" with the latest tunes while I sit on hold and informs me they may record the conversation to make sure their specialists are treating me "reeeeeeeeeal nice." Frankly, I think I almost prefer the disembodied voice that couldn't possibly be human.

    Found you through the NaBloPoMo blogroll. Nice to "meet" you! :)


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