Longtime love affair disconnectsThe summer of ’13 will be recorded in the annals of my personal history as the Opus of Phone-Us Interruptus: A Tale of Love Lost.
By: Judith Liebaert, Superior Telegram
The summer of ’13 will be recorded in the annals of my personal history as the Opus of Phone-Us Interruptus: A Tale of Love Lost.
My star-crossed and short-lived love affair with an irreparably damaged smart phone carried me through the first warm days of summer. Now an attempt to renew my relationship with my once reliable, steadfast home phone is heating up the dog days of August.
Yes, I am one of those rare breeds still clinging to my landline. I’m just not ready to give up on a relationship that began when I was a young girl, excited by the illicit act of tying up the line with whispered exchanges that went long into the night.
In the last six months, I’ve found myself repeating such long conversations with my service provider (cough, cough, cough). Yet, sadly, these encounters are not nearly as exciting and disappointingly unsatisfactory.
The long list of idiotic things they’ve done of late is more than enough reason to hang up on this relationship once and for all. It begins with the time we were away from home for an extended period and our call forwarding would not work. Their solution, unbeknownst to us, was to assign a new line and set up the forwarding on said new line.
Not knowing about the new number, I could not tell anybody to use that number. Even if I had known, was I really going to call everybody I could think of who might possibly be trying to get in touch with us and tell them about the new number?
I was the last to know about this dalliance with a new line, finding out only when our first bill arrived after our return home — for twice the usual amount. We were billed for new installation, a second line and service calls.
More recently, after signing on for a threesome of long distance, internet service and voice-mail, (against my better judgment and my husband’s misgivings), I was quite shocked to find out that our newly acquired voicemail was being routed to some other customer’s system.
Sorry Frank and Joan, whoever you are, for involving you in this triangle.
I’ve begun to think that the very human sounding voices of the customer service reps are in fact an illusion and the whole department is being run by a rouge band of wild monkeys, pushing relay buttons at random and laughing their wild monkey laughs.
All I know for sure is that each time I call I have to navigate through the auto-menu that collects all my customer identification information. When I finally get a live voice (or is it?), I have to repeat the same information. Then I tell them my story (problem).
They provide what I think is the solution, but as soon as I hang up and follow the instructions I’ve carefully written down, it all goes haywire. So I call and start the process again.
I have repeated this series of escalating engagements as many as three times in one day, yet it almost never results in even the slightest satisfaction. When, in utter frustration, I begin to tell them exactly what I think of their customer service, I am told, “Calm down, Ma’am. I’m doing everything I can to solve your problem.”
My problem is being involved in a one-sided exclusive relationship with an indifferent, incompetent player that refuses to acknowledge the frequent and obvious shortcomings suffered upon me.
Remember the good old days, when the most attention and time your home phone demanded was the decision to have a wall or desk model, and if you preferred black or beige? When, on the very rare occasion you called customer service, you were treated so well you could almost believe you were their one and only customer?
What wouldn’t I give for just one more, satisfying spin ‘round with that rotary dial, just once more to feel the heft of a full-sized receiver in my hand? How I long for the days when I knew that the equipment could perform to expectation and the service would always be satisfactory.
I guess a girl never gets over her first love.
Judith Liebaert was raised in Superior and now lives in rural Douglas County. She blogs on-line as the Mad Goddess™. Send your comments or story ideas to judith_ann@