Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 186 A severe test of my equanimity

Yesterday, I spent an inordinate amount of time dealing with Century Link, my phone company. I'm considering stepping into the modern world with a smart phone and wanted to find out about call forwarding from my land line and some other issues. Monday when I called, the young woman I reached after 40 minutes on hold was most pleasant and helpful and then offered to sell me additional speed on my Internet service. While my phone service has been in the Dark Ages, my Internet speed has been in the 18th century and I'd gotten tired of having Ted Talks stop after 3 minutes so I said yes. She assured me it was easy, no one needed to come here, they'd just make a simple adjustment and I'd be all set. Fool that I am, I believed her.

Yesterday morning when I turned on the computer at 7 am, instead of faster Internet, I had no Internet at all. All the appropriate lights were on on the modem and I confirmed that with Eric, the friendly Century Link technician. "Must be a problem with your ISP," he said cheerfully and wished me well. I'm still calm, still cheerful and I call SpiritOne, my local Internet Service provider, a small company I've been with for 16 years.

"They disconnected us," says Patrick. "They do it when you make a service change."

"But I didn't ask them to," I say.

"As if that matters," Patrick replies. "You'll have to call them and ask for a reconnect."

This time it took me 35 minutes on hold before I reached a representative, a very young woman by the sound of her voice, and one who could only play by the rules in front of her. She kept me on hold about 20 more minutes, said the order had gone in and I'd have Internet service by 5 pm (8 hours hence).

Trusting soul that I am, I took her at her word and went on through my day, only occasionally annoyed that I still had no Internet and that something obviously simple couldn't just happen. Finally at 4:40, I called SpiritOne. Nope, no reconnect order.

So I called Century Link back. It took me 6 tries (got part way through the annoying computer voice only to get cut off 5 different times). It all began to feel very personal and my cheerfulness was sorely tested. Finally, I got through and I got someone who knew what she was doing. Although she put me on hold several times, she actually asked for SpiritOne's number and called them and got it sorted out, and I had Internet by the time I hung up with her.

It didn't help that it was about 85 degrees in here all afternoon (we had 96 yesterday, one of the hottest of the summer) and that my phone battery died (received to charge) somewhere in that process and I had to use my ancient emergency tracphone (pay as you go) to make all these calls. But it's all sorted out and I only lost my temper once when I found out it would be all day before I had service even though they were at fault, which they never admitted). But before I've had been furious all day and instead I was just annoyed and then just okay.

PS I now know why they call it Century Link. It takes a century to get a link.

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