Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dear Hawaiiantel: Suck it.

****this post has been edited because - shockingly - my local phone company found it and responded. Which I appreciate. It was very kind of them to contact me. They were very kind throughout the order/install process, except for the installer who was a little grumpy - but dude it was like a hurricane outside so I don't blame him, really. And it made for a good story! Anyway, they have been lovely people, I don't envy them for having to deal with disgruntled customers like me. I did try to respond to the email they sent - but sadly, their email address - the one connected to the phone company - bounced back. I guess they are having issues with their email service. Hm. So regardless, I took out the bad words in case thier work email doesn't let them read things that have profanity in them. You're welcome, phone company employees. Hope your email gets fixed soon. Sincerely, I do.****

A few years ago, I cancelled our phone and internet with the local phone company.

Because the bill was ALWAYS wrong. And the service would go on and off with no warning, rhyme or reason. And it was just a hassle dealing with them.

So I got cable internet and phone. Which was great. Except when it wasn't. And then they started jacking up the prices. Higher and higher my bill went. And I wasn't even getting any cable TV. If you are gonna jack up my prices and not even give me some Big Love for my trouble, well...... screw you, buddy.

When I got the flyer from the phone company, the one that was all "baby I've missed you please come back I'll do you right this time etc. etc. and I'll give you 6 months of free intenet because you were the best thing that ever happened to me I can't believe I let you go" well, what can I say? I'm an easy mark. A softy. I like it when you talk sweet to me. So I caved. I called and sold my soul to the the form of a one-year contract with the phone company.

There was a caveat. They needed to send someone out to the house to switch over the service from the cable company to the phone company. And that "someone" wasn't available for a week.

No big deal, our install was scheduled for the following Friday. Only, Friday didn't so much "dawn" as "rise from the gloom and the muck" - after 4 days of solid, torrential, landslide instigating rain the backyard was one big mud puddle. The gutters were overflowing. The dog was racing around the yard like a basket case because he hadn't had a good run for a while. The wind was gusting, thrumming against the windows with all of the energy that was being sucked out of us slowly during the days spent inside in the relative dark, bitching and moaning. (Remember, this is Hawaii. We don't do days and days of rain very well.)

And my appointment window was "sometime between 8 and 5". I laughed when they told me that. "Are you serious? I have to sit here for 9 hours waiting for someone to show up? Are you sure we can't just do this ourselves?" But no, I was informed solemnly. A professional needed to handle this transfer of service. Sometime between 8 and 5.

So I settled in for a day of waiting for the phone company. And as I looked out through the sheets of rain I thought "It's good to have professionals to handle this sort of thing." I ws very pleased with myself, and with my phone company's excellent service.

Only, the guy who showed up was not pleased. Nor was he particularly professional. He didn't like our wires. He didn't lke the location of our jack. He hadn't brought a modem because "no one told him he needed one". He was itching to drill a hole in the side of my house for a cable he wanted to run.

I refused. There were plenty of holes in our house already. Find one and make it work.

He got snotty. My signal was weak, the connection was all static, we needed to rewire, he didn't have what he needed, and had I noticed that it was raining outside?

As his complaints grew, so too did the volume of his voice, until he was practically shouting. And I was not pleased. "Listen, man, I didn't want you to come here to begin with. I told them we would do this ourselves. It's not my fault you don't have what you need, and it's not my fault the wire you chose is not the right one and it certainly isn't my fault that it's RAINING outside. If you can't do this install, then you can go ahead and leave. I'll figure it out myself."

So he stomped out mumbling, shovd his feet into his velcro sneakers, straightened his tool belt, and sauntered off down the stairs, secure in the knowledge that we needed him and would be calling him back shortly.

And I got on the phone about 20 minutes later, to be sure. But not to call him. To call the phone company. Because while they sent the installer without the proper equipment, and had not been able to complete the install order, I suddenly remebered that they had managed to cancel our cable service, leaving me internet-less at any moment.

"I need internet" I hollered into the phone after being transferred for the 4th time. "I don't care who my providor is, but I must have my internet. And tell me, why would you cancel my cable service before you had the phone service connected? So now I have no phone or internet? I can't believe this."

It was the typical lament you hear from girls who take back their ex amid the pleas and promises of how "it's gonna be different this time". Because the only way it was different, is that it was worse. I was only 5 hours into my commitment with the phone company and already completely livid.

They offered to bring the modem to us, but said they would have to drill a hole in my wall to connect it.
There was nothing they could do about the cable being turned off. There were also shades of talking to me like I was stupid, which never EVER flies with me. Conveniently, I am married to a Department of Defense telcom contractor. (You didn't expect that, did you?)

So I put the phone company's customer service department on speaker, and let my husband, who had been patiently trying to help their installer all morning, explain what the problem was. The problem was, we had no modem. Because they were supposed to bring it and install it for free. The problem was, their employee was unwilling to use an existing hole. Because it was easier to just drill another hole. The problem was, THEY SUCK BIG HAIRY DONKEY BALLS.

He didn't say that last bit. (****I was gonna delete it for the phone company employees - HI GUYS! - but it makes me giggle, and it's not a swear, so I won't.)

So I took the next reasonable step.
"Just cancel everything" I proclaimed dramatically.
"Excuse me ma'am?"
"Just cancel the whole thing. I'm sorry I ever fell for this."
"Well, but....."
"No, I don't want to talk about this any more. I"m over it. Just cancel the whole thing."
"Would you reconsider if I gave you two months of free internet?"

And that was it for me. I am not playing games. I am not going to fall for your sweet talking bullshit ANYMORE. I took a deep breath.

"If you would allow us to install your service, we'll give you two months of free internet."

And I have to admit, I felt kind of bad, because I just let loose on that poor, unsuspecting woman.

And then, suddenly, my cable internet hadn't been turned off at all. Oh, no, they never told me that. I still had cable. They had no control over when that got turned off. Why, it could take up to 3 weeks for them to turn it off, maybe never! They might just forget to turn it off at all! I might still have cable next year! FREE! HAHAHAHA they were JUST KIDDING about turning my cable off already.

(This is where my head exploded. 6 hours of my life.....wasted.)

So I still have cable internet.....for now. My darling husband went and picked up a modem from the phone company just in case my cable does somehow get disconnected - because if I wake up without internet I will definitely fall apart. But it was "just in case". Because next week, I will get wireless internet from an independent kiosk at the mall which is what I wanted to begin with. And then I will bring the phone company their modem. And the drillbit their installer left in my den. I'm sure he's going to need it.

1 comment:

Commuter said...

Thanks for sharing.