Friday, June 01, 2007

The Horror! The Pain!

The total lack of internet for hours upon hours upon hours!

I missed Peoria Illinoisian totally cracking me up here and here (mom, you'll like that second one), Jonathan Ahl's big exciting news, and assorted other blogospheric excitement. Plus I was cut off from my umbilical cord of e-mail for hours. HOURS!

After doing all my home diagnostics and repair attempts, I called AT&T, and went through their entire spiel with the voice that wants me to answer and apparently thinks I have a speech impediment: "I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that. Please tell me your 10-digit telephone number now." "I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that." (You are not sorry, you're a MACHINE! You do not feel sorrow! Even Data didn't get his emotion chip until 2371. I watch TV! I know how robots work!)

Finally I got to a real person, who ran me through their diagnostic rigamarole (but, thank goodness, did not make me reboot my computer over and over; he took me at my word that I'd already done that part). After a good 15 minutes on the line with the real person (who took about 10 minutes to get to), he asks, "What state are you in?"

"Illinois."

"What city?"

"Peoria."

"Oh. There's a regional outage there. You won't have internet until 1:30 this afternoon." (Lies. It didn't come back on until 2:15.) "You had a big storm there and apparently it did something to the lines." (That's just weird; I don't recall a major storm between 10 p.m. yesterday and 7 a.m. today, which is the time period during which the DSL failed, but whatever. Perhaps I was briefly in an alternate universe.)

But here's my question: I wasted nearly half an hour of my time on the phone to tech support. AT&T wasted 15 minutes of paid phone-answering-guy time talking to me. Almost the very first thing the automated system asks you is your phone number. THE very first thing the live dude asks you is your phone number.

So when my area code came up as 309, wouldn't it have made sense for either the automated voice or the dude's computer to tell us, "There are widespread outages in area code 309" to follow up that possibility first? Given that no other diagnostics or tech support would work if I was in the outage area?

3 comments:

Chef Kevin said...

That is the EXACT same thing that happened to me the last time ATT DSL went down. Seems like it would be easier to find out where you are calling from first.

But as a computer guru friend of mine told me afterwards, if you shut off the computer, then the modem, wait 5 minutes, turn on the modem, wait a few minutes, re-boot computer and the DSL doesn't work, more than likely it is an ATT problem. And that has proved to be true.

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend moving away from ATT. I find the 3rd party companies that lease AT&T's lines and provide you the SAME service for usually less money have a much better idea of what is going on. Out here I use dslextreme (dslextreme dot com) Try checking out dslreports dot com and find some lesser corporate evil to give your money to.

-b

Brick said...

I hate that automated AT&T voice thing. What is so difficult about manually entering the numbers on your phone? Instead, in the name of progress for the sake of progress, they've replaced a simple process with somthing more difficult. I usually have to repeat myself two or three times.