Saturday, April 04, 2009

Friday the Third(eenth)


I had a big day, as happens in life I went from "needing a little extra work" a week ago to "Oh My everything happening at once".

So I decided to start early, and at 5.30 was tootling away at the 'puter - which was dandy until between 6.30 and 7.00 when my internet speed went to 0.

I rang Bigpond, and after an interminable conversation with a computer got to speak to a lovely young lady from the sub-continent who, after asking me about the lights on my modem advised me that it appeared the whole of the network in Queensland was out and would be until 1pm - maybe 11.

After I got off that call, my blood boiled at the 'not good enough'-ness and called Bigpond back.

My conversation with the computer was a little terser this time, and Mohammed advised me that I had told the previous lady the wrong information about my lights and therefore the problem was with my modem and me and there was nothing wrong with their network, and to be a good girl and call the manufacturer of my modem/router and get them to fix my problem.

I had to wait until 8am to call Netgear, and they took me through various tests and told me to get back to Bigpond armed with the right jargon words needed to assure Bigpond that the problem did not lay with their product.

The good news was that the computer in Bigpond now recognised my phone number and put me directly through to the person line.

The lovely Rosetta, a supervisor, advised me there might be a problem with my modem that those jargon words would not cover, and so I should test the system by turning it all off for 20 minutes and then reset it all, and if it still didn't work to call back and they would escalate my issue.

I did as I was told (because I had no alternate plan) and of course the results of the test were that I should call them back to escalate the claim.

The Bigpond automated routing service obviously REALLY knew my number by then, because twice they sent me into the purgatory of dead-phone tone before giving me lovely hold music interspersed with marketing.

I on hold music when a call waiting signal came through - as I had only waited 7 minutes at this point, I was willing to throw it away if someone wanted to call me. It was my mother - and I had a "short" conversation with her.

I then got hold music and marketing for 27 more minutes - one of the lovely messages was "have you spoken to your mother lately? How long since the last time? I bet she knows. Why not call her?" - can you believe it...

Finally, I got a warm body at the end of the phone - and Justin had an Aussie accent.

It was the only comforting thing in the phone call, as after telling me that it wasn't them and I wasn't told that and it couldn't be, he suddenly noticed that there was another query from my area and maybe that could be interesting and - oh, would you look at that, it seems that the whole region has a problem!

I agreed that was quaint and perhaps had a slightly heightened tone when he advised he would escalate the problem to one that actually had a technician looking at it, and there should be some answer by the close of business...

That was just my morning - the afternoon I spent in a beautiful heritage listed building formatting documents and fixing databases and then I had a 3.5 hour drive in the dark over country roads - it was only 200km, but when your high beam = 20 metres visibility and nice nature has a habit of hovering in the middle of roads oblivious your approach (so do the toads) and the roads have a habit of becoming bulldust without warning.

Ah - nothing like a whinge to purge it from your system.

So - how do you deal with life when it throws you lemons? (Besides blog, that is!!)


Crazed Nitwit said...

Computer issues do not come under the category of making lemonades out of lemmons. It's in its own private hell. At least you didn't beat anything to death........

Mary O. Paddock said...

This sounds terribly familiar (without all the cool accents of course). Our last round of this amounted to some technician blaming our disconnect on the fact on the modem we were using, as it wasn't actually the piece of garbage they'd sent us. I pointed out that it had been in use for six months, but this fell on deaf ears and he asked us to hook up their modem anyway. When that didn't work either, he sent out a repair ticket, still insisting that it was us and very likely something we'd "accidentally" reset. Two hours later one of the local guys (who I know pretty well) called me and explained that someone had cut a fiber optic line out our way.

Tracey said...

I hate ISP helpdesks. Love the way they always try to initially blame it on your gear, when you KNOW that you haven't changed a thing at your end, it has been working perfectly for x years... GRRRRR. (So I empathise and sympathise, and encourage you to whinge away and get it off your chest. I would!!)

Mistress B said...

I keep repeating "real person, real person" when talking to telstra's computer.

And when I'm really shitty with being stuffed around by them in exchange for paying through the nose for my 'premium service' I ask the real people if they actually know what they are talking about before I get into my problme because I'm sick of wasting my time.

Pencil Writer said...

Universal agreement: Help lines help NO ONE, particularly when the entity answering has nothing but a hardwired capability of ignoring real conversation/problem solving--excuse me--problem identifying.

It's all by design, as I'm sure everyone knows by know. The plan is to frustrate you so deeply and for such an extended amount of time that you give up. AND when you finally get a warm body--they're only trained to "read the screen in front of them" for the most part and they aren't trained in how to actually troubleshoot problems. And their mantra is always: The problem is YOUR equipment. NOT ours. Tenacity. That's the only thing that gets results, if results are to be had.

Sorry you had such a trial. Glad you were exonherated in the end. There is satisfaction in that!

Then, go to the refrigerator, take out the lemons and make some delicious lemonade to cool off with and smile with the satisfaction that THEY did NOT beat you down into submission. (Sorry if I sound a bit cynical. Too many of those experiences in my life. Where are those lemons . . . ?

Gotta love my WV: pulopoke. That's what I'm saying!

Pencil Writer said...

exonherated? Where's my brain this morning? (At the HELP desk, no doubt!) Let's try exonerated! 'Scuse me!

Melody said...

One reason I *still* haven't cancelled my Aussie Mobile. Seems like too much trouble to be put from one person to another.

Debby said...

Arg. I hate lemonade. I'd be more inclined to make iced tea, unsweetened with lemon. Or maybe broil fish. Yes. That's what I'd do if life handed me lemons.

All joking aside, those service calls annoy the heck out of me. I'm pretty good with accents. Last month I had to call about my cell phone. I seriously could not understand her.

One other note. The third(teenth) jokish sort of title. I went for radiation, and the receptionist said, "Well, we'll see you this afternoon then..." I said, "REALLY? What for?!!!" She said I had an appointment. I said, "I have one on the 13th. I just double checked yesterday. She looked and said, "No. It's the third..." I went home and put my glasses on and re-read my little appointment card. It said, "Apr(very tiny i)l 3. I read it as Apr 13. It was actually April 3. Your heading kind of worked for me.

Lydia said...

A friend recently told me:

When life gives you lemons, throw them at whoever annoys you.

Jayne said...

If I start to hear the run-around patter I demand to speak to their supervisor and ask them to spell their name so I can note it down ;)

Anonymous said...

Ye gads. Talk about a system deliberately designed to drive people batty! Having had numerous friends working in bigpond's tech support area, I know too well how they work. 'It's your system' is the company line when something goes wrong at their end, and 'i want to speak to your supervisor!' typically gets you another support person of the exact same level pretending to care a little more.


Woman in a Window said...

I either eat
or defiantly not eat
depending on the day.