Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fun Morning on the Phone

Well, we FINALLY have the high speed internet up and running at church.

Last summer, we got high speed at home and canceled our dial-up service. I had been using a piggy-back version of my home dial-up service to access internet at while working at church. When I canceled our home service, that left me with no access at church. So I found a dial-up service where I could pre-pay for a year and get service.

Last night, I'm looking at how to cancel it and I discover dozens of people who have had trouble canceling. The company I was using seems to have a reputation for making it difficult to cancel. The one piece of advice was to make sure I got a cancellation confirmation number.

So I called at 9:00 AM this morning, because that was when their customer service department opened. At 9:01 AM, after I had navigated through several series of menus, I got a message that "due to the high volume of calls, all agents were busy with other callers. Please call gain later." This is one minute after they opened. Rather than calling 'later' I stayed on hold.

At 9:37 AM - thirty-seven minutes later, I finally reached a live person ... who wasn't particularly fluent in English. I told her what I wanted, and she started asking me all kinds of security questions to make sure it was actually me and not some other lunatic wanting to cancel my dial-up service.

The lady then asked me in broken English, "Why do you want to cancel your service?" I told her that I now had access to high speed internet everywhere I needed internet access, and that I had no further need of dial-up service. She then informed me that I may need to keep a back-up service in case of a power outage. It probably never occurred to her that if a storm is bad enough to knock out power to the internet, it probably will knock out power to the computers as well. I was then informed that I would be given two months service free. I politely declined and told her all I needed was to cancel my service and get my cancellation number. She then offered me three months free to an upgraded service. Again, I politely, but firmly told her I wanted to cancel and I needed a cancellation number. "OK," she finally agreed, with a great deal of reluctance. "I will make the necessary changes and be right back with a cancellation number." I was then put on hold. I glanced at the clock. It was now 9:42 AM.

At 9:51 AM, she finally comes back on and gives me the cancellation number. I made her repeat it to me three times and I repeated it back to her three times. And so, as of about 9:55 AM this morning, my dial up service is canceled ... I think.

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