Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Can't Catch a Break

Today has just been one thing after another. You're about to read a post about epic frustration, particularly of the sort that originates with gigantic corporations that maintain abysmally low standards of accountability.

Before we left for the backpacking trip, we moved. Before I get ahead of myself, I apologize - I still haven't put up pics of the new place or nice ones of the backpacking trip because right now my only Internet access is via my iPad, which makes it kind of hard to upload the pictures since my data plan is limited.

After we moved, I cancelled our DSL at the old place and arranged to have a new modem shipped to the new place for the AT&T Uverse Internet that we would be getting here. The plan was to have the new router arrive while we were gone and get left at the door, and to have the new service be activated today so I could start working on med school secondaries in earnest. The router wasn't here when we got back last night, so I called ATT to see what was up.

After 35 minutes on hold, I spoke with a human who told me that they had accidentally neglected to include the apartment number on the router shipment. Ironically, they had remembered it on the "estimated bill statement" that they sent me which estimated my bill at $185.11 instead of the $75.00 that I was supposed to owe. The customer care rep assure me that I could ignore that paper; it is automatically generated and has no bearing on reality because it doesn't reflect your promotional rates and discounts. When I asked her why they send it if that is the case, she answered, "Oh, I don't know, that is just the way we have been doing it for ten years."


Back to the router thing. They said that the router was being held at the UPS distribution facility in Grand Rapids, about a 45 minute drive for me one-way. They told me that I would have to call and update the address information with UPS because they couldn't do it. Armed with my tracking number, I called UPS and was promptly told that the shipper would have to update the address, or I could drive there and pick it up. After arguing my way to a supervisor, I was told that actually, they could have a person from the distribution facility call me within one hour to update the shipping information. Great! I thought, that will work out well and no driving to GR for me.

Wrong. The hour came and went with no call. When I called UPS again, they had no record of ever having spoken to me, and no request had gone through to have anyone contact me to update any shipping information. They. Also said it was impossible for anyone at a distribution facility to make an outgoing call like that. Rather than argue more, I just drove to Grand Rapids and picked it up.

After running some other errands (including shipping out our defective 4-month-old Dyson vacuum cleaner, which I won't get into right now other than to say that it began seeping acrid smoke for no reason), I got back" went grocery shopping with Nicole, at dinner and hooked up the new modem. What do you think - did it work?

That would be a big fat NO. After forty minutes of staring at a blinking red connection light, I called ATT and waited on hold for forty minutes before talking to anyone. They then had me try to install it in multiple rooms before telling me that my issue occurs with approximately one out of every hundred people, it is a known issue, and that the only way to fix it is to have a technician come out, plug in another modem, then plug my modem back in. The earliest that they can get another technician here is between noon and 4pm tomorrow. When I work at 1pm. They told me that there is a 90% chance that the technician will call before he or she arrives, but that they don't always call, so I may just not hear from them, and if I happen to already be at work, I am out of luck. So, here's hoping that they will come during the first hour of my window, which they never do.

That was my ending point at around 11:30pm. To vent some of my frustration, I just wanted to build something that works. Part of my errands earlier today included buying some pulleys and hardware to make a retractible clothesline for Nicole so that she could hang laundry in the loft, then raise it up near the ceiling out of the way to dry. I had everyone measured out and ready to go, found the studs in my ceiling with the stud finder, and got to drilling only to find that all those studs that I had found were metal girders, not wooden two by fours, even though they were the right size and spacing.

So that is it. Today was one huge flop from beginning to end, and I have yet to get going on my secondaries, fourteen fifteenths for which I still have yet to read the essay prompts. I'll be getting up nice and early to take my laptop in to the library for some free Internet access to get cracking on these things. Thanks for reading all the way if you got here without cheating. Wish me luck!


Joshua said...

Yep, dealing with phone and internet companies is always a pain in the butt. Good luck on your essays.

Susan said...

I know the feeling of getting no where fast! They sound like they're consistently horrible in the customer service dept. Sorry for all the frustration....

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