Wednesday, September 12, 2007

September's here, where am I?

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So, it's been September for nigh unto two weeks, and there's been nary a peep from me. Well, that's because BellSouth can't seem to figure out where my phone number went. Or, rather, they know exactly where it is, but, for some reason that is completely unfathomable to me, my spouse, and nearly anyone else I tell about it, they seem loathe to reconnect it. You'd think I hadn't paid my bill on time faithfully for the last ten years or something. (That was sarcasm. I've only been late on a bill twice that I can remember: once as a result of vacation, and once as a result of being in college, and I wired them money immediately. And those weren't even to BellSouth.) Anyway, no phone, no DSL. No DSL, no blogging. Or, very, very limited blogging.

Here's the story, as short as I can make it (In other words, you might want to grab a cup of your favorite relaxing beverage at this point and take a seat.) I have a longstanding grudge against AT&T. So since BellSouth is now part of "the new AT&T", I was chomping at the bit to switch my phone service over to Earthlink (who was providing my DSL). I called Earthlink before I moved. I told them I wanted to move my number to them, but that I was physically moving, and I wanted the old number at the new place, with DSL. This was too much for them to handle, even though I was only moving 100 feet. So, I said I would call them back after BellSouth moved the number. BellSouth had trouble with the move, because our architects are morons and didn't carry the phone wire outside the loft. The poor tech burned out three drill batteries, a drill motor, and sprained his wrist trying to drill through our brick walls, but he eventually got it done. Meanwhile, I've placed the order with Earthlink to switch the number to them. Since DSL takes "7-10 days" to switch, I had them disconnect it August 15th. It's now August 20th. I am not going to go into the blow-by-blow of Earthlink's abysmal customer service at this point, because I don't want to raise my blood pressure that high again, but let's just say that for a week, I got emails saying my address did not match, and it was because they had left out a hyphen. And they had my billing address correct, but could not see that the service address was one character different. I can't begin to explain the special kind of stupid they are. Add to this the fact that I was repeatedly lied to, and their most annoying habit of parrotting back your last comment to "demonstrate their understanding" of your issue. And the fact that even though "disconnection" of the old DSL takes 3-4 days, and the whole switching process takes 7-10 days, once they straightened out the address issue, connecting the new DSL was still going to take "7-10 days". This must be that "New Math" I've heard about. Wait, lied to, you say? Why yes, I say! Here's an example:

Me: I'd like to speak to someone in Atlanta, please. Earthlink world headquarters is one mile from me. I could walk down there.

Rep: Sure, hold on and I will get you someone from Atlanta.

[Pachelbel's Canon in D, which I fear I will now twitch whenever I hear, plays incessantly]

Rep 2: Hello, how may I help you?

Me: Where are you?

Rep 2: The Phillippines.

Me: I was supposed to be transferred to a representative in Atlanta.

Rep 2: I'm so sorry you were told that, but we have no customer service reps in Atlanta. They are all in the Phillippines or India. Maybe I can help you?

Me: That is highly unlikely....

I eventually (August 27th) decide that even though I've now figured out their address conundrum, and I'm due to be switched over on September 4th, with swanky DSL 8.0 to follow, that I hate them more than AT&T and I don't want anything more to do with these morons. Imagine if my phone line (which would be some bastardized VOIP) goes out. I'd have to talk to the passel of fools again! So, I called Earthlink and cancelled the phone service order. Here's how the DSL conversation went:

Me: So, my previous service was $49.95/month, correct? And what was my speed then?

Rep: That's right, and your speed was 1.5 Mbps.

Me: Well, I'd like to sign up for 6.0.

Rep: Let me check...that's not available in your area.
(NOTE: BellSouth can give me 6.0. Why can't Earthlink?? And, I do understand why I could get 8.0 with home phone has to do with line provisioning...I won't bore you.)

Me: OK, what can I get?

Rep: 3.0 or 1.5.

Me: And how much is 3.0?

Rep: $49.95 a month.

Me: ... And how much is 1.5?

Rep: $39.95 a month.

Me: But I'd have to sign a year contract, right?

Rep: Yes.

Me: Keep me at my current 1.5 for $49.95/month, no contract.

I've since downgraded to email only, and, if you've visited my web site, that's why some of it is hosed right now. I'm planning to register my own domain and host it there, but I digress. So I look at the calendar, and realize, OH NO! September 4th is the day after Labor Day!! What are the chances Earthlink screws this up? Ridiculously good, it turns out. Even though I had a confirmation number for the cancellation, and called them three more times over the next few days, AND I called BellSouth and told them not to disconnect the number, on September 4th, it was disconnected. I've talked to BellSouth at least twice a day since then. They still haven't fixed it. Oh, today, I actually got a dial tone, but it was the wrong number. BellSouth has now lied to me WAY more times than Earthlink. These lies have been of the "your number will be working by midnight tonight" variety. And, I am starting to suspect the rep that told me BellSouth loved me was lying, too. I've spent about $40 in cell phone minutes trying to straighten the whole mess out. And now I'm terrified I won't have DSL before Halo 3 comes out. They currently have me down for October 8th!!! That's two weeks too late, people! I'm going to bring all kinds of hurt on them once I actually have a phone line. They will give me DSL before September 25th.

On a positive note, I have done some stitching, and it's even related to this month's theme. I've been stitching on the Quaker Needlecase, and I finished the pocket! I'm actually close to finishing the scissors holder now. Then I "only" have the needlebook (it's almost as much stitching as the pocket, which felt like it took forever), the lining, and the outside wool florentine to finish. I'm working on that in the car on the way to work.

I also had a nice knitting milestone; I finished my first sleeve ever! It's "just" Tubey, but as I modeled one sleeve with some stockinette hanging off it, DH told me I was cool, anyway. =)

Of course, I can't show you pictures of any of this...maybe I'll have to do something scary with a scanner, new computer and thumb drive this weekend....

I've been stitching. Knitting, even. But I can't show you pictures because Earthlink, and, to a lesser extent, BellSouth, stink. Stink, stink, stink. I'm surprised you can't smell them from there.


TeresaB said...

I'm only somewhat stunned by all the DSL/Earthlink/BellSouth(or AT&T or whatever they really are) incidents. I can only say, this is why I don't have DSL. Those people scare me.

Anonymous said...

Heather I think I can help. I will be glad to give you two empty tin cans (well, I guess they aren't tin anymore)and some string. You have that new rooftop patio, you can send smoke signals. I think stitching is a good thing for you now!

Jean in Georgia said...


No, this whole experience is wretched beyond words and deserves more hugs.


HRL sends gentle, calming kisses.

Susan @ Real Girl Designs said...

That totally sucks!

I love the JiffNotes!!

Studio Refuge Photography Blog said...

Man I love JiffNotes. That was a long one. JuNotes: Earthlink Sucks.

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