Back years ago, if you called Bell repair to report a problem with your line, you actually got a smart person who listened to what you said and responded appropriately. Now it seems that Bell is having their tech support handled by Rogerbils.
On thursday, we noticed that our Call Display had stopped working. Neither of our call boxes said anything when people phoned. We waited until we’d had a few calls to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, and then, when it wasn’t, we phoned to ask what had happened. I mean, we pay for the service, I want to make sure it’s on.
The first person who picked up the bell repair line didn’t know how to use a phone and promptly hung up on me without even saying hello. I did, however, catch snippets of someone having a big conversation about what happened in her social life recently.
So after being hung up on, I called back and got another. She would have been ok if she had understood the words caller ID box and “I can’t see.” Seriously. I said the Call Display wasn’t working. She asked me what was showing up on the screen of the phone. I said we don’t have phones that are caller ID-capable, but we have caller ID boxes. “Caller ID box?” she said back to me. I tried to explain that you hook the box up to the phone jack an the phone into the box and then when someone calls, the caller ID info goes to the box and the call goes to the phone. She didn’t seem to understand. After checking to make sure that we in fact did have Caller ID enabled and it hadn’t been turned off, she came back and asked me what it said on the box’s screen when we get a call. I told her that I can’t see, so all I could tell her is that it was working last night, and then it stopped, and when the phone rings, the box isn’t talking anymore. She responded with “Well look at the screen! what does it say?” After taking a deep breath, I made things simpler for her. thankfully, she understood the word “blind.” Otherwise, I’d be worried about everybody’s ability to get their phones fixed. But then, she had to go through the spluttering of “Oh I just thought you, er, weren’t looking at the box, er, um. Uh, hmmm.” After her heart returned to a regular rhythm, she said she wanted me to make sure it wasn’t our equipment. No, that wasn’t how she phrased it. It was more like “The problem isn’t on our end, so it must be your equipment. Unplug it and plug it back in.” I tried to explain to her that the two call boxes are in separate rooms, on different fuses, and we hadn’t had a power outage or surge because we have other devices hooked up to both fuses and they’re all on and fully operational. then she said I should check the batteries, right after I just talked about electrical and she told me to unplug them. Gaaa!
But I understand tech support people needing to make sure the solution isn’t forehead-slappingly stupid, so I said I would check, but I asked her if I could have a reference number or ticket number or something because I was 99 percent sure I would be calling back. She didn’t like that one bit, and told me everything would be tied to my phone number, but I’d probably have to repeat myself anyway. Fine system ya have there.
So, we unplugged each damn box and plugged it back in, with no success, and then I remembered that our chordless phone can do caller ID. So now I had to get a set of eyeballs to come over so they could read the screen and tell me what I already knew, that it wasn’t receiving any caller ID info. When my neighbour was finally available to do that, she told me the magic words that I wanted to hear, “No data.” So, with this new info on hand, I called back.
I tried to be as efficient as possible. I mean, if I was going to have to repeat my shit, I might as well just start off and explain things and not wait to get asked dumb questions. So I phoned up, and got another lady. After stating my phone number, address, postal code, name, the primary person’s name on the account, and satisfying her that I was authorized to call them and talk about phone stuff even though I wasn’t the primary person, I started to talk. I said something like “hi. I phoned earlier to report that my Call Display was broken. the woman I spoke to told me that the service was in fact activated, and to check my equipment. I have, and there is nothing wrong with my equipment, and when someone calls, the words ‘No data’ show up on the screen. I need you to do a little more digging.” there was a pause, a long pause. She then asked me if my phones were caller ID-capable. Here we go again. I said I had call boxes and one chordless phone that could do caller ID. then she started quoting phone models sold by bell. I told her I didn’t buy my phones from Bell. She put me on hold and beeped me to see if my caller ID would work. Of course, it didn’t. then she quoted more phone models, and I told her I didn’t have those. She put me on hold, and after returning, she said she checked and everything was on, so it must be my equipment! Raaarg!
It was then that I lost it. I said that I had told her all of this at the beginning of the call, and if she’d listened to me, she would know the reason I was calling was because I had just finished checking my equipment and it was fine, so she needed to do something else, maybe send someone. Then she started plodding away about how they don’t send someone because if they do, there will be a service charge. I told her that I had bought Wire Care and Phone Care, the maintenance plans that are designed for just that purpose. but did she listen? Nope. She just kept telling me that there would be a service charge, someone would be sent tomorrow, and hung up on me before I had a chance to know when they were coming.
So, I called back a fourth time. Good god, and this was for something simple. thankfully, I got someone who was using her ears, was smart, and treated me like a human being, not a toolchest who doesn’t understand the words “plug it in.” whenI told her the stuff I had gone through, she was pretty appalled too, and surprised I was still laughing. I said the only reason I was laughing was because she was smart and listening and doing what I had hoped for from the beginning. She said that they would try and fix it remotely first, and if that didn’t work, they would send someone. If they were able to fix it remotely, we would get a call from the phone tech saying it was done. She also assured me that there would be no service charge.
A couple of hours later, holy crap, it was working! Not only was it working, but some other glitches we had been having with other services were suddenly gone. I waited for a call from a tech, but no call came.
then the next morning, I got a call from a tech who was completely prepared to come over and check things out asking if we’re still having the problem. I told him that it appeared to have been resolved, and surprise, nobody had notified him either. I quickly relayed to him what I had gone through, and said that was why I hadn’t called back in to say it had been resolved, since maybe if I said that, they would break it again while trying to fix it. He laughed.
Sheesh! all of that back and forth was what happened because Call Display was on the fritz. I’d hate to go through having an actual problem with the line.Oh yeah, I already have.