Monday, November 15, 2010

Answer the following and stay sane!

I didn't post last night because I couldn't get an internet connection until 11:00 pm and I was too ticked off to write.

Something happened to my router. Or maybe it was my ADSL. Or something. Anyway, I couldn't get online. I learned something about myself when I couldn't get online. I have an addiction. When I couldn't log on, I started hyperventilating, freaking out that I was missing ...I don't even know what I was missing, but I was sure I was missing SOMETHING! Something big and important and terribly exciting! My heart was beating 200 times a minute and I started twitching. I, the person who used to say that computers were evil, was going through withdrawal because I couldn't connect to the cyber world. Aparna will identify with me here..shes been through this lots of times!

Anyway, that wasn't even the frustrating part. The mind-numbing, maddening, irritating, aggravating, annoying, exasperating, infuriating, riling, troubling, trying, vexatious (thank you part of my little extravaganza tonight was the two hours I spent on the phone in a maze of voice menus. TWO HOURS!

Welcome to Omantel
For English blah blah blah number one
I see you're calling from xxx-xxx-xxxx. Is that the phone number listed on your Omantel account?

ME: Yes.

Thanks. I'll just look that up. Now, in a few words please say the purpose of your call. You can say things like "I want to pay my bill", or "I want new phone service." To speak to a service representative, say "agent".

ME: I can't get online.

It sounds like you'd like to make a payment. Is that correct?

ME: Umm no. Duh. I have internet problems.

Lets try this another way. If you're calling about payments, say "payments".

ME: NO! Not payments. Internet service!

OK which service needs repair, phone, internet, tv, or none of those?


I think you said you're calling to repair your dial up service. If this is correct, say "yes".


My mistake. Please say one of the following: phone, internet, tv...

ME: INTERNET! It's always been internet. It's still internet!

To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?

ME: Yeah.

I think you said, "phone services." If this is correct, say "Yes".


To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?


Just a moment while I look up your account.

ME: You do that. @@

I'm sorry, I do not understand. Let's try this another way.
To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?


Main menu: please say the option that best describes the issue you're calling about. For set up, password or connectivity issues, please say "tech. support". For billing questions or account services, say "billing". To hear these options again, you can say "repeat".

ME: GRRRRRRRR!!! You've got to be kidding me!

I'm sorry. I did not understand. If you're having problems with your high speed internet and would like tech support, say "yes".

ME: I'm having problems with this stupid voice menu! Can I talk to an actual person? Do you have any of those there???

It sounds like you want to pay your bill. Is this correct?

At this point, I whipped the phone across the room and grabbed a beer.

I tried calling the customer service line for my router, thinking that maybe someone there could help me. I was on hold for 42 minutes. That's not an exaggeration. FORTY-TWO MINUTES! I heard Rhapsody in Blue, Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven's Fifth, Barcarolle, William Tell Overature, and Danse Macabre. I started comparing the pieces to the way my kids play them. I never did talk to anyone there.

I tried two more times and each time, after navigating their system for several minutes, I finally got through to an actual person. Of course, when I finally got a person on the phone, they didn't speak English! I guess they might technically have been speaking English, but it was so broken that it might as well have been Arabic, Greek or Ubbi Dubbi. Why? Why is this? And why do these people act so annoyed that you're bothering them with your obviously stupid questions? Where's the customer service? From the cashier at the grocery store, to the floor help at the clothing store, to the customer service rep. on the other end of the phone, more often than not I encounter someone rude, annoyed, or seemingly bored. What, can no one smile? Can nobody be helpful? Can't anyone at least pretend to care about your needs?

It's so rare to find a person who will not only help you with a smile, but who will go out of their way to give excellent customer service. Whenever I encounter such a person, I make sure to let them know how much I appreciate their help. I also try to find a manager so I can praise the employee that took the time and effort to give great service.

Anyway, at 8:30, I completely gave up, ran out to the City Centre, hoping to get there before they closed, and bought a new router. Voila! Problem fixed. I got back online at 11:00 pm.

It's been a fun two days here. I also learned that my youngest hasn't turned in numerous assignments at school. He's grounded until the second coming. Today the youngest of my neighbour's kids, who has been totally potty trained for over a year, decided to poop in the garbage can. Why? Why do they do things like this? For the love of all that is Holy, WHY??? I made her dump it out into a garbage bag. Then, apparently offended by the stench of her own poop, she figured she'd spray some air freshener around. Unfortunately she grabbed a can of lemon-fresh Pledge instead. She sprayed furniture polish into the air and it landed in a waxy coat on the floors. They are now more slippery than the ice skating rink.

Speaking of kids they have holidays for a week starting today. What are the chances they'll let peace reign? What are the chances I'll stay sane if they don't?


Aparna said...

I see you are completely enjoying your life currently. Aren't kids great? The potty in garbage bin part was brilliant, totally cool, I mean, who would have thought? She could have done it on your sofa you know. Now that's another kind of sticky altogether.
Computers are totally useless. What would be do without them?

RGB said...

Jeez, can't believe you managed to keep your sanity after all that. It certainly is annoying - the automated voice menu. I always prefer to speak to a customer service assistant who can at least respond (positive / negative) to your queries.

My husband has been trying to un-debar one of his phone connections (in vain!), speaking to many assistants who promised to fix it in 24 hours and it's the 6th day now!

ROFL of the potty trained girl who pooped in the bin (yucky & sticky issue, huh?)!

Kids have a week off? Turn a blind eye to some of their insanities to keep your sanity, is all I can say!

indranil said...

now you are wiser. you can go on buying routers and keep shifting service providers if you are not happy with their tom and jerry games.

i wish Bond comes up with innovative ideas to make life exciting at home. happy eid to u all. i am off to Persia to say Hi to Nader Shah...

ZB said...

calling up customer care could easily be the nastiest thing on the planet.Once i tried and tried and tried for 45 minutes and still no agent.Here Zain telecom is the worst and i happen to sign a deal for 24 months for free device and connection. But these days there are good-perhaps due to competition. But good that finally you realized the glitch and sorted out. Internet addiction leaves strong withdrawal symptoms. Latest addict is my wife. She finds it more interesting than her husband.TC

ZB said...

And my daughter is 1.8 years old and finds potty disgusting. She poops wherever she finds it suitable, and my wife and she often fight over it. Is it normal for a 1year and 8 months girl to poop outside the potty? Do her mother be as hell bend on potty training the toddler? Please advice.

Shivi said...

Di, another irritating/irrelevant comment - I am that visitor from Ranchi Jharkhand, visible in your live feed. ho ho ho

KParthasarathi said...

I don't how irritated you were but it was hilarious stuff reading your post.All soaked in humour i should say.

radha said...

I am like that too. No internet can drive me mad. It was only this weekend that I just did not touch my laptop, and I was beginning to wonder if I was ill!
Kids holidays. They are fun, even if tiring.

Balachandran V said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R. Ramesh said...

Annoying is a light word for automated voice menu..computers can v ever live without them ever?

Sonu said...

That must be a horrible experience..!!!...
U would've selected the option Called 'Agent' i guess.

"To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?


Just a moment while I look up your account.

ME: You do that. @@

I'm sorry, I do not understand. Let's try this another way.
To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?


that was the funniest part...

Nikita Banerjee said...

I have been a victim of such calls too. Very very annoying!

anilkurup said...

The whole episode cannot be drowned with a can of beer , you had all the right polish of a bottle of lively single malt.

Nona said...

Voice menus are tricky! Next time, grab the "agent" option. That might help. They are supposed to route you to an agent.

Even the number menus are tricky! They wouldn't let you go to a person directly. It is hidden in the third and fourth levels.

When you get to a live person after keying in a lot of information, the agent asks you to repeat all these!

sujata said...

@Aparna 'Enjoying' is underestimating it! I am doing the mad hatter wutterfaken dance here!I had completely forgotten how to deal with poop, its been years now..and then walks in a 2 year old!

@RGB I thought that the customer service reps would have left, but later on I did get to some one and that agent was equally maddening.

@Indranil Enjoy the land of Persia, what doi you intend buying this time? rugs?

@ZB When my kids were small we didnt have the diaper system as much as it is now. The diapers were treated like ornaments and came out of wardrobes only when we took the kids out to socialise. So we were extremely careful in rushing the kid to the poop tin the moment the kid made a familiar face. There were many indicators, time being the first one and then typical we knew it was rush before it drops time. Gradually the kid learnt that when its time you have to rush to the poop tin!!

sujata said...

@Shivi Hi! How have you been?Good to see your smile on my page, Its lit up because of you.

@KPartha Thanks for the lovely comment.

@Radha ditto!!

@Bala like our friend Bluebird says, the most anguishing and horrifying moments in life make for the most funny posts later!

@Ramesh what plans for eid?

@Sonu thanks so much.

@Nikita Banerjee ditto!! When is the big day girl?

@AnilKurup I stay away from hard drinks just a beer and a glass of wine is good for me!

@Nona I thought the 'agents' would have long gone by the time I made the call. But later on one did come up and take charge and it was equally frustrating!

deeps said...

That’s a litany of trouble you had to face before you had the grin on ur face…
But maybe it s an occasion to face different situations in life and come out smiling and scribble a post :D

Balachandran V said...

This is a riot! I thought such things happened only in India!I positively HATE the automated customer service.It is the price we have to pay for modernity. I fluctuated between frustration and rising BP on one hand and chuckling on the other. Outright funny read!

Gymnast said...

LOl...very familiar sounding absolutely hilarious episode..

And about that kid..yuck!

Cant even imagine such thing..

A said...


Customer Support=Customer Annoyance these days

I don't bother calling them.

Interesting read for sure.

Destiny's child... said...

OMG...You deserve a week off or something after that horrendous automated conversation!
And that kid's episode..yuck!

dr.antony said...

I enjoyed the exaggeration and the fun.Never had such interesting responses any time I complained.

Bikramjit said...

I can write a thesis on the customer support .. they are there to annoy us thats ther whole job...

how you kept your cool i dont know so hats off to you.. I would have given them a choice punjabi words :)


Anonymous said...

Voice Menus? I am glad I haven't encountered one till now. Its always pressing a digit on the phone and that is quite irritating in itself. I had a similar experience when I shifted here, it took me three calls to actually get to the right person.I posted about it too.

How does a beer exactly help here? Can someone blog about it! :)

I agree with your reply to ZB. Diapers were an ornament back then and we looked for changes in facial expressions. Sheesh..we were totally jobless no? he he

I repeat myself again....Om Shanti Shanti...

PURN!MA said...

aaah, Sujata. I can totally understand your "conversation" and frustration. I had to face the same problem while fixing our ghar ka Dish network problems. and guess what! I was talking to an actual human being and still I had to talk into the receiver for hours on end. Finally, when my BP hit the high I started screaming into the phone and the CC fellow tells me "Screaming will not help you, maam!" can u imagine? i wanted to jump off from the sixth floor!

hopefully u won't encounter any more of such situations. :D

Debopam Chaudhuri said...

Ha ha ha!!!

Sorry for the reaction, but I was just being honest.

First of all, congratulations for keeping your sanity after your experience! Then having stability to recreate it so well here. I could have killed somebody, really!

Sumandebray said...

hmmm... Frustrating indeed!
More so when one thinks of the kind of remuneration the software people gets fore creating these torture devices.... And people complain about waterboarding!

sujata said...

@deeps litany indeed, hope the post was not a litany to the readers!

@Gymnast very soon you will not only have to imagine but deal with sticky issues of the kind mentioned here!

@A Thanks

@Destiny's child I deserve a holiday in the bahamas I think!

@dr Antony thanks

@Bikramjit punjabi gallis were coming to mind, but what do you say toa recorded voice!!

@Jyothi Beer was what was available, I am sure poison would have been no not to drink but to pour some into the phone!!

@Purnima ahha so doing ghar ka kaam and all now hmmm the pretty gal becomes a good wife! nowwait till you have poyyt tottering kids!!

@Debopam good to see you here again. Yah I could have killed too, but who?

@SDR wow I didnt think of the software guy's that point!