Tuesday, June 19 – Stone Age Communication

Sunday was Father’s Day. Happy belated “Day” to all you dads out there. I spoke with my lone remaining male elder (maternal grandfather) on Saturday due to his plans to be sitting in front of a slot machine in Tampa all day Sunday.

On Sunday, my own phone never rang which seemed a bit odd to me. Until yesterday. Sunday Mary Ann and I took a drive into Cody, Wyoming for supplies. More on that in another blog. We were out pretty much all day and when we returned to Yellowstone around 6 PM the RV park was experiencing another of our frequent power failures. Power was restored around 8:30 Sunday night but that was long enough to render our cordless phone and answering machine useless during the time people were actually trying to call me. This I found out Monday afternoon.

Monday we went hiking and sightseeing with Jim and Betty (our Florida neighbors who invited us here). When we returned to the trailer late Monday afternoon our phone was out. Oh, we had electricity – the behemoth generator that resides just outside the RV park was noisily cranking out abundant power. No, the phone simply had no dial tone. Neither of our lines (one for voice and one for dialup internet service) had a dial tone.

Plans were to go with Jim and Betty to Shoshone Lodge, 5 miles outside the east gate, for dinner. We walked to their RV to meet up with them, but first planned to use their phone call CenturyLink to report our outage. Their phone had a dial tone but several attempts to call out resulted in nothing happening. On our way out of the park we would drive by Steamboat Point, our nearest cellular hotspot, so we brought our cell phone in order to contact CenturyLink.

As soon as I took the phone off airplane mode, a phone mail message popped up. Thanks, Jim, for the father’s day wishes. Now you know why you couldn’t reach us.

Next I called CenturyLink. CenturyLink, I absolutely LOVE the way you handled my call, by making it impossible to reach a human being. And it is phenomenal that it took me at least twice as long as it should have to report this outage because the automated system kept telling me it couldn’t understand what I was telling it and didn’t “hear” the touch tones when I pressed a key on my phone. And the condescending nature of the message delivered by your perky, upbeat mechanical man: awesome! I have never taken such delight in being told I’m an idiot for using a cordless phone and not checking it first. I did make note that I should call back to cancel the service request if the line came up before your technician arrives. I’ll get right on that. Certainly wouldn’t want YOU to waste YOUR time.

But the best was yet to come. When we returned after dinner the phone was working. Soon the mysterious, random, one-ring phone calls began and they continue to this moment. I quickly began to suspect it was your system testing our line. I held off until this morning to cancel the service request, just in case our line suffered a relapse. Tuesday morning the line was still working AND the one-ring calls persisted. I called your 800 number to cancel the service request but your robot told me there were no open service tickets on my account. I thought we were good to go until a half hour later when Gigantor called to tell me you’ve been testing our line and have found no problem. And that our service ticket will remain open for 24 hours.

I won’t call to cancel a second time. I know I won’t talk to anyone human. I’m an unwilling participant in your unstoppable march toward superiority in customer disservice. Your company is every bit as incompetent here in the mountains as it was in Florida where I was all too anxious to sever relations with you. I guess one day you will gobble up all the smaller “local” phone companies in the US by saving money providing bad service and charging too much. Bravo!

Note to CenturyLink: thanks for nothing.

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One Response to Tuesday, June 19 – Stone Age Communication

  1. Terry says:

    Oh good, I’m glad you enjoyed all my one-ring phone calls.