Tuesday, June 19, 2007


So my sprinkler system is being put in when the yard guys cut the phone/DSL line. SBC has become AT&T, and if I understand the new commercials right, is now Comcast (Update: Nope, that would be my suck-bag cable company. See below).

Whoever owns the cursed phone company gave me twenty minutes of automated prompts before sending my phone call somewhere else. When I finally got a live human being I was steamed. To add insult to injury, the line was fuzzy and I could barely understand my potential helper. His mumbling and apathetic attitude did little to lighten my mood so I let him know my displeasure (after he wrote the repair order, that is).

He ends the call this way: "Well, I hope you have been happy with the service AT&T gave you today". Did he hear what I just said?

Wondering how I'm on the internet while typing away on my laptop at home? I could tell you, but I'd have to shoot you.

UPDATE: Well, I'm not the only one suffering in information services HELL (no sign of the AT&T people, looks like it will be a full 48 hours before they can get here to connect the line--still enjoying the lack of phone calls, except that it's my son's birthday and no one can get through, ARGHHH!). Brendan Loy laments Comcast and Glenn Reynolds is doing the same. Brendan says:

Oh yeah, and 8) even to this day, after two visits from techs, numerous phone calls, and a whole lot of independent effort on my part, the digital cable signal still isn’t working properly. Long story, not worth explaining in detail here, but basically, although we can watch TV, it’s not working the way it’s supposed to, and our TiVo experience is suffering as a result. I haven’t yet summoned the energy to call Comcast (which is always an adventure) yet again, and try to get it fixed, because frankly I have better things to do with my time than deal with their incompetence. But that doesn’t mean I’m not annoyed about it.
Don't get me started on cable. I bought during a TiVo promotion thing where a digital recorder was included with the rental agreement for a year. I put in the order for Steve's birthday in February--guess what? No digital recorder. It's June.

I hate the phone company.
I hate the electric company.
I hate the cable company.
I hate all utilities companies.

They all suck. That tells me there is not enough competition in the market-place. They're acting like the U.S. Mail Service or DMV. Bureaucratic hell.

And we can "blame evil Comcast" for not having the pleasure of reading Betsy's Page over the weekend.

Will bloggers' voices be heard and help revolutionize the bloated companies or will bloggers end up being blamed (ala Trent Lott and the Senate) for having the nerve to high-light the problems.

UPDATED AGAIN: I swear it's in the air. Seth Godin shares his frustration with AT&T's online support--the support that the phone service was so intent on me using instead of a live person. Bad customer service by design? I think so, yes.


David said...

Verizon did one better: after an equally unpleasant call with them, the woman asked me: "Did we delight you with our service today?"

"Delight" should be banned in all business contexts not involving the circus or similar enterprises.

Melissa Clouthier said...


There is an upside! No phone calls for 48 hours. I'm enjoying a little slice of auditory heaven.

I've written before that I miss the days of the Pony Express--you really had to want to say something meaningful to send a message. For the life of me, I don't get people (and one of my best friends is one of these people) who have a cell phone glued to their ears non-stop.

The peace, oh the bliss, of no phone calls. No implied obligation. No inane messages, "Melissa, please call, I have something important to tell you." Really? Then why not leave the important message? I really don't like talking on the phone. The politics of getting off the phone with a blabbermouth. The worry that you're the blabbermouth taking someone else's time. Phone talking is fraught.

Emails and blogs? I like much better.

carol said...

Ugh, my sympathies. Nothing gets my blood pressure going like dealing with phone, cable and other ISPs like MSN.

The obligatory support call to Bangalore is the worst, as they mechanically reel off their phony pleasantries and work through their flow chart. Once in a blue moon, you get someone stateside who knows what they're doing, senses your sophistication level and cuts to the chase. But that has become more and more rare.

It's a preview of our future dystopian hell.