July 21, 2010

Party On

First of all - let me put in a plug for Chris Muir and Day by Day.  Chris is doing his annual fund raiser to keep Day by Day going.  I've been an avid fan for years now.  If you have a few extra dollars, consider donating a little bit to him. Help keep the laughter going.  Thanks.

Well I bit the bullet and called Charter today.  Got the new modem up and running.  Of course it was not without its little bit of drama. 

Remember the nice woman I told you about yesterday?  The one who went to all the trouble to check that my records were correct and to ensure my PIN was in place?  Well, she might as well not have bothered. 

The guy I talked to today - couldn't figure out the entire PIN thing.  He asked for the last four digits of my SSN.  I told him I had switched to a PIN.  He asked for the PIN.  When I told him, he said, "that's not what I have here". 

*sigh*

We ended up with me reading my account number to him. 

In any case - the modem is working. My husband, who rarely comments on the workings of the internet in the house said  he was glad it was back because it's MUCH faster than the old one.

Let's hope that's the last of the problems with equipment for a while.  Between Charter and some of the work stuff going on, I may have buy a heavy bag so I have something to hit. heh.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 10:46 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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July 20, 2010

New Modem Has Arrived

I have to say I'm delighted with Amazon's customer service.  I was a few days over the 30 day return time for the first modem - but they are still going to exchange it.  Fast courteous wonderful service.  Who knew it still existed.

The new modem came today.  I waited for it so I could be sure I had all the correct pieces from the first modem to send back.  Didn't want to send it back incomplete.

That's right, over night delivery! 

I'm almost afraid to call Charter to see if I can get the new modem up and going.  Of course if I get hold of someone like the very last woman I talked to yesterday - the one who was able to put my old modem back online, I will be good.  Out of everyone I dealt with during this entire ordeal, she was the most gracious and the only person who seemed to actually want to help.

She not only got the modem entered into their system, she checked my records to be sure they were all correct.  Then told me that Charter is moving to a system where every customer has a pin number rather than using any part of their SSN as an identifier - that made me happy.  It also explains why I suddenly started getting paper bills again after I had gone paperless (no point adding malicious joy to the day of the "mail lady who hates me" no paper bills means no deliveries to the wrong address).

She was also from this area.  I thought she deserved a bit of a post that was not part of the previous annoyed posts.  And a special thank you for doing a great job!

I bet the guy from India I talked to on Saturday was looking at the pin rather than the partial SSN and either didn't remember they changed it or didn't know.  That would be why the 2 numbers didn't match.

I'm waiting until tomorrow and regular business hours to call and switch to the new modem. I don't want to start it today since it's the end of the day.  I know that if I do, something that should take 5 minutes will end up taking several days.  

We shall see.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 04:47 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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July 18, 2010

Has Anyone Seen the Internet Around Here?

My internet is down.  It went down in a wide area outage on Friday night and never came back.  I have a mifi that is far enough away from the cell towers to give me sketchy service so I can get online, albeit with a slow connection.

I have called Charter multiple times.  At first I got the computer messages about the area having internet issues.  Then that message disappeared when I called, but my internet was still not back. At which point I was sent to computerized support hell.  Once the computer decided I was going to be a PITA and that I was not going to rethink whether or not I’d bent the pin on my cable connection, and I insisted I was all powered up and plugged in, and the modem lights WERE all on except for the online light which was blinking…  I was finally shunted to a person…

Of course I got  “Take Supporb”  - an Indian guy who I’m not sure even had my correct information.  I’ll be calling the offices tomorrow to be sure they have the actual correct data for my account.  Ho-hum.  He insisted on sticking with his script and going step by step through EVERY friggin’ thing I had just done with the computer support.  He even wanted to walk me through opening a Command prompt.  I think it annoyed him when I told him I already had a Command Prompt up and I had already done an ipconfig to check my IP address. (I didn’t tell him I was trying to ping things - it would’ve been too overwhelming for him)  I don’t think he wanted to hear that you don’t have to do an “ipconfig /all”  just to get an IP address a plain old ipconfig works just fine.  I also don’t think he wanted to hear that I had done a “/release and then /renew” to try and pull in a new IP address… from a connection that isn’t working.

As we got to the end of the call and I was mightily irritated, he had the utter gall to tell me, “I see you don’t have our full package of television, internet and phone.  You know you can save money with the entire package.”  At which point I rather lost my temper and said, “If I had your phone service, we would NOT be having this conversation because I would NOT have a phone right now.  I’d be 2 miles away calling you from a place where I could get a cell phone signal. I wouldn't be able to jump through all these stupid hoops to see if you could get my service back up because I'd have NO PHONE!  So NO I do NOT want your package, I just want to get my internet connection working again.”

It was at that point he decided he was done helping me. Then he asked me for the usual identifier of the last 4 digits of my SSN (why he wanted that when we had already established my account and address, I don’t know).  He said… “Are you sure?  This is not the number I have”.  OMG!!!!  I am betting 100% that he had the wrong account info up.  He then quickly  told me there was “still an area outage” and he would send me out to the voice mail hell system so it would call me back when the outage was fixed.  Of course what happened was - the computer system (which had no outage listed) told me “I’m sorry I can’t access your account right now - please call back later.  Good bye”. 

ARG!!!!!! 

I gave it up - I was too angry to call them back right then.  I waited until today when I was still angry, but not wanting to scream at them.

The chick I talked to today, a “Take Supporb” person with better English skilz, walked through a few things, but finally decided she had to send a technician… tomorrow.  It could possibly be my modem or it could be they screwed up the lines when they were “fixing” them yesterday or they screwed up my modem when they fixed things. Hard to say.  I saw the truck on the road doing repairs so I know they were out here messing about with the wires.  I asked if she could re-add my modem as a new modem and we could start again.   “No, we have to send a technician to get the modem back on the system”.  Since I didn’t need a technician to add the modem in the first place - this is demonstrably ridiculous and simply wreaks of a method to get more money out of me. But so it is. We’ll see what the morning brings.  He’s supposed to get here between 8 and 10am.  This means I’ll need to go get my Starbucks very early or I’ll end up not seeing him at my house until 5pm… it would be just my luck. 

Here’s a few hints for you people at Charter…

1.  If I’m having internet trouble, have no internet connection, AND you have not been able to immediately resolve the problem when I call without me having to jump through 100 hoops in your standard “let’s fix the internet for dummies” book - this would NOT be the time to try and up-sell me on your internet phone service. 

2.  If I call and your computer asks me “please tell me the problem” and I say “Internet trouble”, while I’m waiting for you to connect me to a person, it would not be a good time to run an ad telling me I can find the answers I want if I go to www.Charter.com… 

3.  Considering the amount of money I pay per month for television and internet, I should get superb customer service when I call with a problem.  Especially as I have only called 2 times in nearly 5 years for any actual service.

4.  I am seriously considering switching to Verizon FiOS.  

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 07:12 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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