Monday, February 27, 2006

Bastard of the Day

I have been having trouble with my DSL connection all day. It's been going down once or twice an hour with no rhyme or reason. And of course whatever I'm downloading when it crashes is lost. Plus I have to close and reopen my browser. I curse a blue streak and throw a bunch of stuff around my office, but so far that hasn't fixed the problem. The Bastard of the Day award goes to EarthLink tech support. I was on the telephone for 107 minutes while they tried to figure out what was wrong. Actually, at least 40 of those minutes were spent on hold for two people as I got passed from one level to the next. If I ever get to design a tech support system, I'm going to have nine levels, and I'll call them circles.

Tech support people seem to think every person with a problem is some newbie who can't connect because his telephone is plugged into his DSL router. I wish there was a secret codeword that techies (I can still call myself one, given my computer science degree) could use to cut through the crap in cases like this. These guys asked me every stupid question, even as I answered one step ahead of them. No, the router hasn't been moved in months. No, I haven't moved anything close to the router in weeks. Blah blah blah. And of course these guys were foreigners. I'm not xenophobic, but I'm really lousy with accents. Surely things would have gone more smoothly/quickly if I hadn't had to ask the tech support guys to repeat every statement.

I followed their instructions like a good little monkey, unplugging this and plugging in that. I even obeyed when they sent me outside to the gray telephone box. Fortunately, this was a mild day for a Chicago winter. Unfortunately, there's a freaking padlock on my gray box, and I don't have the key. Okay, never mind. So I go back inside, try this, try that, yadda yadda yadda... and I missed the TV show I wanted to see. There have been two stinking weeks of repeats on CBS thanks to the Olympics that I didn't watch on NBC, and now finally there was a new episode on, and I missed it. At this point some smart aleck is saying "Tivo." Bullsh*t. I called tech support 1-1/2 hours before my show started. They damn well should have solved my problems and kissed me goodnight in that amount of time.

And the best part is that the longwinded bastards didn't even fix my problem. My DSL connection still fails randomly once or twice an hour. Can someone tell me why I pay a premium price for this kind of treatment? (That was a rhetorical question!)

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