Saturday, October 20, 2007

1976-2007 - The same phone company 

Here at the Phone Company we handle eighty-four billion calls a year. Serving everyone from presidents and kings to scum of the earth. We realize that every so often you can't get an operator, for no apparent reason your phone goes out of order [plucks plug out of switchboard], or perhaps you get charged for a call you didn't make.

We don't care.

Watch this - [bangs on a switch panel like a cheap piano] just lost Peoria.

You see, this phone system consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space-age technology that is so sophisticated, even we can't handle it. But that's your problem, isn't it ? Next time you complain about your phone service, why don't you try using two Dixie cups with a string.

[loud, booming "Liquid Plummer" voice-over] We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company.

I have thought of Lily Tomlin's character, Ernestine, many times over the last few weeks. I may recount the bureaucratic hell I have experienced dealing with AT&T in a later post. The quick summation - describing the problem, retelling the history, verifying who I am, getting transferred to another representative who will make me repeat the process, yadda yadda yadda...

We have reached the point in our business that operating ONLY with a cellphone is not working. We asked for a land-line to be installed. Since we have/had Cingular (now AT&T) cell phones, we had the option to bundle our cell phones with our land-line for a much lower rate. And then the hell began.

On Monday, we will hopefully receive SIM cards for our cell phones and have new phone numbers. If this "fix" actually fixes the issues we have been having, I will be shocked beyond belief.

In our area, there are no options. You cannot switch to another service provider as there are no other service providers. As a child, I remember the break-up of Ma Bell. I am beginning to see the wisdom of that event and am longing for another go-around.

My customers may receive a package in the mail this week. It will be a Dixie Cup and a spool of string. Anyone wishing to tie into our network is free to do so.

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