Thursday, 3 December 2009

Two steps forward...

No sooner do I find my way back to the blog than British Telecom decides to pull the plug on me!

Yesterday afternoon my Internet connection just stopped working. The line itself was fine - I could get a dial tone - but the broadband had disappeared.

Here at the unfashionable end of the communication network this isn't an infrequent occurrence. My house happens to be right next to an exchange box, and often the problem is simply that an engineer working on it has thrown the wrong switch. On occasions, I have been able to rush outside and say something to the effect of, "Excuse me my good man, would you mind awfully giving me my broadband back", which generally has the desired effect.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to do this yesterday and as the job I am currently doing requires me to work on a remote server, and no Internet = no work, this could only mean one thing....
I would have to ring BT Customer Services.

Cue the Hammer House of Horror scream!

These phone calls go something like this:
Me: Hello, I think there is a fault on my line.
Customer Services: Oh I'm sorry to hear that, shall I test the line for you, Madam?
Me: You won't find a fault. I am ringing on the line. It is simply that my broadband has been switched off.
CS: I'll test it any way....[Tests line]... No Madam. Your line appears to be working fine.
Me: Yes, I know it's fine. But someone has switched off the broadband part.
CS: Oh, then you have come through to the wrong department, if it's a BT Broadband problem, you need to speak to them.
Me: No, I'm not a BT Broadband customer. You have just switched off the ADSL part of the service.
CS: If you're not a BT Broadband customer, then you really need to speak to your own Internet service provider.
Me: [Losing will to live] But the problem is with the line...

At one point in his career, R had worked on a help desk so he seemed to know the magic words or secret handshake that you need to move from the person in the call centre reading a script to the real techie person who can actually do something about your problem. Sadly he didn't get round to sharing it with me before he died, and I had a conversation along the lines of the one above last night.

By that time I was tired and exhausted from banging my head frustratedly against the wall and simply went to bed.

This morning I had a phone call from a neighbour who told me that everyone in the village had lost their broadband and that BT were working on it down at the exchange, but it would take another few hours to get it back.

So what did I do in those few hours?
I drove to Shrewsbury and bought myself a mobile dongle thingy so that next time it happens I can simply plug it in and keep working. So there, Mr BT. Who needs your silly part-time land line?


A propos of very little, as I was driving through town towards Shrewsbury this morning, I saw no few than 5 older gentlemen with large (natural) white bushy beards.
Do you think they might have been interviewing for a certain job...?

1 comment:

  1. tee hee, I loved your description of the helpline dialogue. We have those at work too, and I always tend to put it on them, saying something to the effect of "what are YOU going to do about it" ... LOL (they don't like that!)

    perhaps, J, perhaps ... I'm not bah humbug enough to deprive children (only good ones mind you) of Santa ;-)