Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh Hawaiiantel, you make it so hard to be nice

You may or may not remember this post. I switched our phone and internet from cable back to the telephone company a few weeks ago, and regretted my decision while the installation was taking place. I was flooded with emails from friends, family, and total strangers, regaling me with tales of their hideous experiences with the phone company, and their suspicions that they had dealt with the same miserable install technician. EVEN THE PHONE COMPANY EMAILED ME. And I promised the phone company that I would follow up on my post and let you all know if I decided to give them another chance. But I had to think about it. I was really mad, and after hearing all of the horror stories, and being reminded of the hours and hours and HOURS I spent on hold with the phone company straightening out billing issues and trying to get my service to work the last time I was their customer......I just didn't know if I could do it again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me, right? So needless to say, the equipment has been sitting in a sealed box on my kitchen counter ever since that night. I didn't want to deal with it. The whole thing was just so annoying. Plus, my cable internet still works. Because in Hawaii, we do things AWESOME.

Fast forward to tonight - I reorganized my office. Disconnected every power cord and wire, cleaned and relocated every piece of electronic and computer equipment, and started to put everything back together again with cords untangled and everything arranged neatly. Sounds great, and very type-A of me, doesn't it? In reality, it was a terrible idea. I was covered in dust and dirt, I disconnected all of the power cords from the back of whatever it was they were powering, and then had no fucking idea which power cord went to which device, and I ended up with a bunch of wires that - I guess? - were just behind my desk and not connected to anything at all. At least, that is what I am telling myself.

During all of this, I decided to go ahead and hook up the modem from the phone company. The one that was still sitting in the sealed box Sam brought back from the phone company last week.

So I hooked that shit up. Hooked it up real good. Read the manual and everything.
And it didn't work.

I pulled all of the wires out, and started over again.
Nope. Still nothing.
The phone worked, so I knew the jack was working and I knew we had service.......but no internet.
Went to the troubleshooting page of the manual.
Still nothing.
Called the phone number for 24/7 service.
It disconnected me.
Four times.
Then, an automated voice referred me to their website for assistance. Except, I was calling the number to report problems with my internet connectivity. Chances are, people who call that line CAN'T GO TO THE FUCKING WEBSITE.
(this is not rocket science)
I called back, 3 more times. And finally after pressing a random series of numbers, the # and the * buttons, and shouting "operator" and "customer service" into the phone repeatedly, I got a real, live human being. I use the word "live" very loosely - the dude sounded like he was 85. He was doing the old man mouth breathing into the phone, and "tsk"ing and "you don't say"ing and it was like having my great grandfather helping me hook up a wireless modem with all of those "doohickeys" and "thingamabobs".
"Is the light blinking fast and then slow?" he asked.
"No, it's just blinking steadily."
"Hmph. That's not good."
"Yeah, soooooo......"
"Here's what I need you to do" he said. "I need you to hang up, and unplug the phone, and plug the modem into this same jack and leave it for FOUR minutes. And then I want you to plug the phone back in and I will call you back."
"Um, okay."
"So plug it back in at 8:10."
Since my kitchen clock said 8:11, I decided to just set the timer and hope for the best.
And he did call me back about 6 minutes later.
"Sorry I am so late calling you back (breathe breathe breathe) I was checking the line."
"No problem, I was jus-"
"There is a problem with the service. I have scheduled a technician to come out and make the repair. You don't eed to be at home or anything. It should be fixed by Wednesday."
"By Wednesday."
"Yes. (breathe breathe breathe)."
"Okay then. Thanks so much for your help!" I said brightly, as I started unplugging all of the phone company equipment and throwing the wires and cords and plastic bags back into the box.
"Thank YOU for being a Hawaiiantel customer. Is there anything else I can do for you tonight?"
"Oh no (yank) I'm good (tug) Thanks for your help (crash) Have a great night!"
And with that, I plugged my cable modem back into the wall, and fired up that internet connection that the phone company had turned off two weeks ago. Thank god they are so on top of it.

No comments: