Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Internet Access

Some 18 days ago, I set up a contract with ATT to get internet access at home. Now, finally, it works. The level of incompetence that ATT demonstrated during this process makes me very happy --- if they ever decide to cut jobs starting with the least competent people in the company, it will be a long while before my research job is threatened.

The main issue was that they sent me a non-working modem, in the most basic sense: the power led didn't come on when I plugged it in (you get an idea of how much quality control is being done). To fix this, I had to assure a lady that I did check several power plugs before waiting on the phone for half an hour to talk to somebody, and then we counted together 30 seconds while I was holding the reset button pressed. When she was finally convinced the thing was broken, she told me the "replacements department" was closed at that hour, and I had to call the next day. (Some operators need to be specially trained to fill out the replacement form?)

After I went through the same routine the second day, the replacement department assured me that they would mail a replacement with overnight delivery. And that's exactly what they did, 3 days later. (I eventually got a tracking number from them, which tells me exactly when the mailing happened.) Somebody should explain that they could probably save money and time by sending things via regular mail, just promptly.

And then comes the most unbelievable part: the package had the wrong address! Yes, I mean the package from the phone company, which should know my address pretty damn well in order to activate my line and bill me. And yes, the package from the same company that had already sent me a modem at the correct address. I just can't believe that the guy at the "replacement department" has to type in my address manually, again!

Of course, the original delivery date had to be on a Friday, so I couldn't pick up the package from UPS until Monday... Hence the whole issue was only resolved today.

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