Monday, May 3, 2010

Technical Difficulties – Update

As I reported Saturday night, I’ve lost my telephone service at home, which also means that my DSL is in and out. For instance, yesterday morning I was able to get on-line long enough to post the usual Sunday Reading, but that was it. By mid-morning the internet was pretty much gone and has remained so to the point that I’m using another computer with a more reliable connection to post this.

I contacted AT&T Residential Customer Service, and after patiently going through their rigmarole about how to report a problem, I finally got to talk to a live person to tell them that not only was my phone service going out, it had placed a 9-1-1 call to the Palmetto Bay Police. They were very sympathetic, but when I asked them when I could expect restoration of service, they said that it would be completed “no later than 7 p.m. on Monday, May 3.” I asked them if they could be more specific, but was politely told no, that’s the best they can do; sorry. I called them back a couple of times — always receiving polite service — but still the answer was basically you’re SOL until Monday at the earliest.

I think I have this figured out. AT&T says they have customer service 24/7, but if you’re a residential customer, you can forget about getting a repair job done on the weekend. They talk very nicely about doing tests and such, but what I think is that they dial your number and if they get a busy signal or nothing, they write it down and wait until the crews show up on Monday.

So in spite of the break-up of Ma Bell thirty years ago and all the innovations in technology since then, it still comes down to the simple fact that AT&T can do whatever the hell they want to because they’re still The Phone Company.

Photo: Lily Tomlin as Ernestine the Operator.