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What we have here, is a failure to communicate!


February 23, 2012

The past week has been an exercise in futility, to say the least. Last Thursday, we had a little snow. Didn’t amount to much; in fact I don’t think it was more than three inches. Even though it was just a dusting, the flakes were wet and dense, sticking to the trees and making the walkways slippery-—especially for me, since I’m still having difficulty navigating around the house, relearning how to use my abdominal muscles and overwhelmed with cabin fever. Then, booting up the computer on Friday morning, I couldn’t get an Internet connection and blamed it on snow, cursing the sensitive wiring, which seems to fail constantly here in the mountains.

After a few hours of it melting I tried again, to no avail. Looking outside, it was difficult to believe that such a tiny amount of snow could (IMHO) really cause a communications failure, so I picked up the phone to call my internet service provider (ISP). Adding insult to injury, there was no dial tone on the cordless, and I shook my head, making sure the battery was fully charged and checking the connection to the wall jack. Perplexed, I powered up the cell and called the help line, since both phone and Internet services were provided by the same company, who shall remain nameless. After being on hold for more than 20 minutes, I reached someone at a call center in Elmira, NY, who checked my account and announced that I had requested cancellation of both services. Still confused, but not yet fully enraged, I calmly explained that this was not the case and patiently answered all of the questions directed at me, including requests for my mother’s maiden name and the street I grew up on. “Oops, it looks like we made a mistake,” said the young lady assisting me. “I can’t imagine how that happened,” she declared just before the line went dead.

I redialed and reached a different tech support center, located in Peoria, IL. After going through the entire process again, this time giving the guy on the other end the name of my first pet, along with my SSN, I was told that the errant disconnection order was “still in the computer” and that my service would not be restored until the next day. I made it clear that I was “slightly annoyed” and requested a free month of service for my trouble. “No problem,” said Peoria. “After all, it was our error.”