Friday, July 29, 2011

Homeward Bound

I'm trapped in my house today, much as I was yesterday, waiting for Suddenlink.

Our Suddenlink internet and phones went out yesterday morning, right in the middle of an email I was composing. I saw all the lights on the cable modem drop out, then the rightmost three came back on and blinked at me for 20 minutes. I phoned Suddenlink up, expecting to hear an automated message that they were down, but no. Not in our part of the state. So I waited until I got through to someone in the high speed internet department and explained the situation.

Trouble is, I can't really use my cell phone in the office where the computer is located, as we really only get reception on the north side of the house or out on the deck. So I had to keep putting the phone down to go back and try the reboot instructions dude told me. Apparently all the reboot instructions I'd been given in the past for cable modems are incorrect. Instead of unplugging it for a minute and removing the backup battery, there's now a little reset button in a hole in the back of the modem which you have to use a pen or pencil to press. Only when I jabbed one in the hole, I could feel no button at all.

Frustrated with process of running back and forth to the living room to explain all this, I finally risked taking the phone back to the office at which point the call was dropped. I phoned Suddenlink back, waited on hold for a while and got through to someone else. Between us, we could not restore the connection, so she suggested a service call was in order. And, lucky me, there was an open slot sometime in the afternoon between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Would I be around? I hadn't planned to be, but I said sure and gave her my cell phone number so the tech could call me back. The rep then asked if I wanted to go over my bill to make sure I was saving as much money with them as I could. I declined, as I had already done that during a previous call to them.

"Well, I would like to point out that we do offer phone service in your area that can provide you with free long distance for a low monthly fee," she said.

"Yes, I know," I said. "I already have phone service through Suddenlink." Only then did she notice that it already said that on her screen.

The afternoon stretched on with no call from Suddenlink. Finally I decided to have another go at making sure everything was hooked up right with the modem. I checked the phone wire connection from the wall to the modem, then from the modem to the router, then checked the coaxial cable from the wall to the modem. All seemed solid enough, but I decided to unscrew the coax and then plug it back in just to see what happened. Lo and behold, all the lights on the modem lit up and the whole thing reset and began running properly within a minute. Awesome.

I phoned Suddenlink back to alert them to my good fortune and to let them know that they could cancel the service call. According to them, though, the modem still wasn't firing on all cylinders, so the lady suggested I go ahead and take the service call. "I see we already have it scheduled for tomorrow between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m."

Sonofa-- REALLY? Tomorrow?! So I'd been trapped in my house all day with no hope of a service call?

Oh, but it got even better. She next asked if the cell number I'd listed during my earlier call would be a good one for the service tech to use to contact me. And she repeated it back to me, but instead of the first three digits ending in a 1, she listed them ending in a 2. Ahhhhhh, so there was even LESS hope of being contacted by Suddenlink AT ALL.

So now, here I sit, internet seemingly functioning at full capacity, awaiting that blessed call. And I'm pretty sure there's no way in hell they're actually going to call, unless I decide to do something foolish, like go run an errand. Perhaps I'll test the theory.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Actual Telephone Conversations Heard at My House #10


I look at the caller ID and see it is a number from Utah. I suspect it might be a telemarketer, but I also have a client who I think is from Utah, or maybe New Mexico, so I decide to answer against my best judgment.

ME-- Hello?

CALLER-- Hi this is Erica with Dish Services. We’re just calling today to let you know about a special Dish Network promotion.

ME-- All right.

CALLER-- Do you have DirecTV or another satellite service?

ME-- Actually, I have Dish Network.


CALLER-- Uh… okay. Well… Thank you for being a loyal customer, then.

ME-- You’re welcome.

CALLER-- Have a nice day.

ME-- You too.