Thursday, July 10, 2008

Eternal Qwest

Okay, bad customer service from huge utility companies is one thing. It's not a good thing, but we generally learn to live with it, if not actually expect it.

However, nearly 3 hours on the phone, 2 technician visits after both of which we were told our DSL problems were "fixed," and a replacement modem all spell essentially the same thing: continued frequent outages of our internet connection and speculative searching for a new provider. When are these outages, you ask? When it gets hot out, roughly from noon to 9 pm or so. As in wicked hawt. As in 115F or so. Why? The cables and insulation at our hub were installed in the 1950s. Haven't been upgraded since. Like everything else around here, no one actually seems to have engineered for the heat...a regularly repeated climatological phenomenon about which there is a full century and a half of accurately recorded data.

How do I know we need a bucket truck and some telephone pole attention? The first technician who visited, bless his heart, said as much. "Yeah, your neighbor kept calling with the same problem. I think they finally had to redo the insulation or something. I don't know. Maybe he has cable internet now."

Funny, funny good good times: being walked through the ridiculous modem power reset/phone wire/phone filter drill by every single customer service rep we've contacted. The last time the rep tried to get me to do the pointless dance again I started yelling at him and he hung up on me. The next rep tried it too, but (significantly more calm) I simply said, "No, I'm not going to do any of that." She paused and said "I'm sorry sir?" and I said "Sorry, we've done that several times now...I'm not going to do it again." "Ah, I can hear the disappointment in your voice sir." "Yes, I suppose you can." After which she offered to send a replacement modem. Which of course has not solved jack shit.

Finishing up here as it warms up outside. Much more interesting posts to come, I promise. But first, I'm off to Roswell New Mexico until Monday, July 21, to do a Santa Fe Opera project with my buddy Charles Gamble and a gaggle of Roswell's talented kinder.

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