Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Techno-Hell Revisited

Warning: excessive ranting (and excessive use of italics) to follow.

Wednesday, I broke off a nine-year relationship. It was time. I’d had a new relationship going for three months. Breaking up, however, is hard to do. Here’s what happened (Note: vowel has been removed to disguise provider's identity):

Trying to cancel E*rthlink service is a kind of hell. For a while, I let my E*rthlink dial-up and my new DSL service from another provider overlap. (Note: The devoted readers of this blog—yes, both of you!—might remember my post about the E*rthlink problems I had dealing with half the population of India when I lost Internet access last fall and thus might know my reason for switching providers.)

I decided I really liked the DSL. Therefore, I would cancel E*rthlink. The problem—how? I searched the E*rthlink website for over an hour in an attempt to find an easy way to cancel. While E*rthlink makes it easy to sign up for a plethora of services. it’s nigh impossible to find a way to cancel. I found E*rthlink’s home address, so I guess I could go to Georgia and cancel in person, but that didn’t seem practical. And they'd probably still direct me to India. Finally I found two phone numbers to contact.

I called one and got the message that everyone was busy and it would take a while and why didn’t I go online, etc., (Same message as last fall when I couldn’t go online and called to see why not and the message suggested I go online, which was impossible. . . ) so I figured I’d better hold.

When a recorded voice asked me to state the purpose of the call, I said, “Cancel service,” which their electronic doo-dads must have translated to “Can you tell me about every service you’ve got and supersize it?” Also, the recorded voice told me they’d been sending me an e-mail survey to get my opinion of how things went. (How will they do this? I didn’t give them my new e-mail!)

Eventually, after a brief stint of obnoxious music in my left ear—the one with the chronic ache—that the doctor earlier Wednesday pretty much chose to ignore after the drops she’d prescribed a week earlier had not only not helped but made my ear itch, and she prefers to only deal with only one health problem at a time and the ear had already had its turn—Oh, right! I’m getting off topic here. But no more so than E*rthlink does when you try to call them.

Anyhow, after the really annoying music—but between other mildly annoying music—was a whole series of recorded announcements by some gal with a really perky voice. (E*rthlink apparently has even more services than I thought.) This went on for more than ten minutes, causing me to conclude that E*rthlink ain’t gonna connect you to a live voice until they’ve forced you to listen to the whole spiel.

Finally Miss Perky was replaced by a non-perky guy with an accent so heavy that I could barely understand his “Gud ehv-ning. Thess es (couldn’t understand his name). Ha me ah hep yu?” even when I switched the phone to my good ear.

It took at least another ten minutes for him to pull up my file, get my information, listen to my reasons for discontinuing before he left me for at least five minutes while he joined a loud party of happy-sounding people laughing and babbling to each other in a foreign language before he returned to ask more questions.

Eventually my service was terminated with a click and a “Hef uh gud deh.” (I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for the follow-up e-mail. I’ll let them figure out why their e-mail bounced.)

So, if you’re trying to e-mail me with the old infionline addy, it ain’t gonna work. It’s history. And so are most of my in-box files. Everything infionline e-mail I’d saved or sent from 2002 (when I got the eMac) until Wednesday night is gone. All the mementos of the service have been returned to E*rthlink.

So—if you’re trying to contact me, here’s what you do: Go my blogger profile where you will see a clickable link which will take you to my website where, if you scroll enough, another link leads to my e-mail. Yeah, it’s complicated. I learned about complicated from E*rthlink.

And hef uh gud deh.



Blogger Amy Tate said...

I had this problem when we cancelled our cell phone service with Sprint. They told me that the only way to cancel was to go online and download the proper form. Problem - I never set up an online account. How can I access something that I'm denied? Long story short, I simply decided that I wouldn't pay the bill. That worked. They called and I cancelled.

4:32 PM  

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