Monday, May 02, 2016

New frontiers in non-communication

Dear whoever might be listening out there at Frontier Communications:
Two years ago when a car flipped into our creek in the middle of the night, we were the only people who heard the crash. I dialed 911 and, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the place was crawling with first responders within minutes.

If that happened today, I wouldn't be able to dial 911. In fact, I wouldn't be able to call anyone. Our landline has been out of service since April 22, and since there is no cell-phone access in our rural area, I have had to either contact you via live chat or call you from my work phone, which is difficult to do when you keep telling me that I have to stay home from work to wait for a service technician. Over the course of the past week and a half, various representatives (Hi, Amber! Hi, Chris!) have conveyed to me the following messages:

1.  We will have a service technician out there April 29. Someone will need to be home between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

2. No, we didn't send someone out to fix the line on April 29 because our records show that it was fixed on April 26. 

3. No, we didn't inform you that you would not need to stay home on April 29 because we assumed you would figure that out when you saw that the phone was fixed.

4. What do you mean it's not fixed? Our records show that it was repaired on April 26.

5. We will expedite this ticket and have someone out there April 30. Someone will need to be home between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

6.  We have no record that anyone was scheduled to come out on April 30, but our records show that someone will be there on May 2 or maybe May 3. Someone will need to be home between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

7. You'll need to provide a phone number where we can reach you at home.

I am now spending a third full day sitting at home waiting for my phone to be fixed, and it looks as if I'll be doing the same thing for the foreseeable future. (It's easy work, but the salary stinks.) I don't know where your service technician went on April 26 when he claimed to be at my house fixing my phone line, but he didn't come here. While I stay home waiting for the service technician, here are some things I can't do:

1. Call my father to get an update about my mother, who was admitted to the hospital yesterday.

2. Call my daughter to check on the progress of the new grandbaby due to be delivered in a few weeks.

3. Receive calls from anyone, anywhere.

4. Attend the employee service awards ceremony to congratulate my colleagues who are retiring and receive my 15-year service award.

5. Get my annual mammogram.

6. Attend important meetings on campus. 

I have plenty of time, however, to file a complaint with the Public Utilities Service of Ohio. (Another complaint. Because this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened.)

If this were the first time we've had trouble getting service, I would not be quite so upset, but prior experience suggests that Frontier considers landlines outmoded and would be very happy if landline customers would just give up and switch over to cell phones. But what about those of us who can't get cell-phone coverage? Do you expect us to live without a phone entirely?

It's pretty quiet out here in the woods and I confess that I don't miss all those political robo-calls, but if the quiet should be interrupted by another crash from down by the creek, who will dial 911? Will you?

All I know is it surely won't be me.


Anonymous said...

Dayum, that's some terrible service there! Sounds quite Kafkaesque.

Bev said...

And it's fixed! Better call quickly, though, because who knows how long this fix will last?