Monday, November 26, 2007
Hell: The Business Model
Posting has been light for a number of reasons, most prominent among them a nightmarish passage through the seventh ring of Hell, otherwise known as French internet service providers. Actually, anytime you've got the words "French" and "service" in the same sentence, you know you're in for major headaches, but this is the second time I've added an internet account to an existing line in this country, and it's the second time that I've come dangerously close to stalking a call center with murderous thoughts in my heart. The last time it happened, I began referring to Wanadoo, my service provider, as Botswanadoo.
This time I was led back and forth, from France Telecom/Orange's customer service to tech support and back again, at least five or six times over the course of two weeks, with a good part of each call spent on endless hold. (Keep in mind that in France, you get charged by the minute for a service call.) It's pretty much incontrovertible at this point that at least two "customer service reps" basically told me whatever it took to get me off the line without actually doing a thing to resolve the problem, and another told me he'd done what actually needed to be done but didn't actually do it. All of them told me they had no way of communicating between the two services, which turned out to be patently untrue. So now, almost three weeks after requesting the account, two weeks after my wifi line was installed and configured, and two sets of access codes later, my account still has not been activated to allow me to connect to the server.
It was supposed to have been taken care of by the end of the afternoon today, but here we are, going on 7:30 pm Paris time and I'm still working off a spotty public access wifi connection that comes and goes and bumps me every time someone else logs on, meaning that only one out of every five clicks actually goes anywhere. If this is what the internet is going to be like once bandwidth dries up, I can only say that I hope there are still working printing presses around when it happens. Because I, for one, will be going back to the old paper and ink edition.
To be continued...