Miss Imperial is now a done deal.
Here are the entries
you might have missed over the past year.
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try The Memory Aid.

06 April 2007

"Everyone must have a machine."

Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA, 08-Oct-06

"They say it's going to
make life easier."


Part I:

Two Thursdays ago -- on March 29 -- our Internet service went down. Figuring it was a temporary lapse, we left it alone for the night. When we found ourselves without service the next day, we checked our connections; we unplugged and replugged the power cord, the Ethernet cable, and the phone line; we turned the modem off, waited a minute, then turned the modem back on. Still nothing.

On Friday evening, PF called our service provider and was asked a series of questions to determine the problem, with no luck. The technician on the phone transferred PF to a senior level technician, who eventually decided that the issue would have to be passed to their Test Centre, who would have an answer for us within 24-66 hours. (I know; why 66?) The delay wouldn't be a problem for us as we were going to be out of town for the weekend.

By Monday evening, more than 66 hours later, there was still no response from our service provider; the Internet service was still down. I phoned the company again to find out what was happening and was immediately linked to an overseas call center, where the technician on the line had no idea about our case. Thus, I was led through the same series of questions PF faced a few days earlier, with the same result: no answer. I was told that a senior level technician would look into the matter and call us back within the hour.

A little over an hour later, PF phoned the company to see where we were at, and was greeted by a local representative who knew exactly what was happening. Apparently, on Saturday, the Test Centre had decided that a technician should be dispatched to our home to solve the problem. The rep claimed that someone from the company had attempted to call us on Saturday to schedule an appointment, but we weren't home. (Unfortunately, they didn't leave a message to notify us of this next step.) PF thanked the rep for his help and scheduled a technical appointment for Wednesday evening, almost one whole week after our service was initially lost.

Part II:

On Wednesday evening, the technician arrived (on time, which we very much appreciated) and immediately set about his task: figuring out the source of our service interruption. It wasn't our fault; nor the fault of our modem; it wasn't even the fault of our phone line. Within half an hour, after a trip to the phone room in the building's basement, he knew what was wrong: one of the service provider's other technicians had fucked up.

Evidently, on the 28th, someone who had just moved into the building, or who was just about to move into the building, had an appointment to have a phone line installed. (Makes sense, right? Most renters switch apartments at the end of the month.) The technician handling this new tenant's case, instead of taking the time to locate the new tenant's actual phone port, simply yanked out our line and stuffed it into another port. Since the number assigned to this new port didn't match our actual number -- the number associated with our account -- our service was swiftly lost. The technician then installed the new tenant's line precisely where our line was once connected. Later on, at the other end of the line, at one of the service provider's hubs, our connection was removed yet again, sealing the (non-)deal.

That's right: IT WAS ALL THE COMPANY'S FAULT. Our technician apologized profusely and literally cursed his fellow technician's carelessness. We thanked our friendly technician for restoring our service, but were left with a couple of questions. One, was it worth our time to report the bad technician's error? Two, if we did report this error, was it worth our time and effort to demand some sort of compensation for the week we spent without Internet access? It feels like we would be overreacting to do so, as we never really needed to go online while the service was down, and the company probably won't give us any sort of refund. To their credit, they never blamed us for the problem. On the other hand, the company handled our case quite sloppily. As great as our technician turned out to be, it was the company that was ultimately at fault, so why shouldn't we say something?

Part III:

We are torn.


TRACK LISTING: Newcleus, "Computer Age (Push the Button)"

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