information: withdrawal

As I mentioned earlier, my cable and internet are out at home and have been since around Thursday morning. Oddly there was a brief return of service from about 6:12 am to 9:26 pm* on Friday and after that–nada. If anyone noticed the lack of my online presence over the weekend, that’d be why.

logo: RCN connect to something more

Of course I called up RCN Technical Support, first on Thursday to ask about the internet outage (also mentioning the cable outage) and then again on Saturday to ask about the cable outage (also mentioning the internet outage).** I went through their steps, unplugged this, restarted that and the Tech Support rep gave the same answer they always have in the past, “I’m not seeing a problem from here, let’s set up a service call.” When I called on Thursday, the next available appointment was for the following Tuesday. I asked the support representative, “I’m going to have no service for at least 5 days, and that’s the best you can do?” The response came back, we’ve all heard it before, “I apologize for the inconvenience.”

When I worked in customer service for a credit card company, I loathed that phrase. This was in the days before outsourcing. We still had scripts and phrases we weren’t supposed to say like, “Never say what you can’t do for the customer, focus on what you can do.” When they offered up the inconvenience line as a possible response, employees commented that when a customer is unable to use their credit card and is calling us about it, the last thing they’re going to think (or want to hear) is that it’s an inconvenience. And really the same holds true for any service industry, including public utilities.***

So I was still able to watch movies and play video games, and my iPhone is ok when it comes to being online but a poor substitute for a proper computer. I’m not a fan of coffeehouse hopping, so I just went without. I’m usually one to sulk when I can’t get online and there was a bit of that, but much like last December’s Sex vs. Internet survey, being connected is just integrated into my daily life. I get up, check the weather, update my podcasts and I’m out the door. I get home, read my news sites, chat with friends, play games on Facebook, update the blog, edit phots on flickr, pay bills (which was one of the planned chores this weekend) and a number of other things. I won’t say whether it’s better or worse that I chat online with my friends more often than talking to them on the phone, but that’s just the way it is.

I also noticed that without cable tv, my sense of time is all skewed. I’m used to certain shows being on at certain times. I was able to watch movies and saved shows, but the day seemed a lot longer without tv. I’m still undecided as to whether this is a good or a bad thing.

In any case, being back at the office lets me catch up on things, but I don’t want to be that guy that just does all his personal business at work. I came in a little early to get stuff done, and when it’s time for me to leave I’ll have to decide whether to stick around a little while to get my internet fix or just head home. 🙂

The only lingering worry I have is that when the service tech comes out for a visit, they won’t be able to fix anything or worse won’t have access to parts of the building they need. The tech support reps had no idea why I had the random off then on then off service on Friday, but I suspect the problem isn’t in my unit but the cable in the building or area. Ah well, for now it’s time to catch up, pump some Sweet Lady Information into my brain and get back to work.

* I’m not that much of a geek or technopath, those are the times my TiVo started and then stopped recording shows before going back to a blank screen.

** Their phone support has an option to report internet outage, cable tv outage, phone outage, but no option if all of your RCN services are non-functioning.

*** It’s kinda hard to say whether cable and internet is a utility, a service or both.

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2 Responses

  1. Fredo says:

    I wonder if RCN’s CS reps got trained at the same place as Metro’s disembodied voices. “We’re sorry for the inconvenience,” indeed.
    .-= latest entry: Amazing Internet =-.

  2. Kyle says:

    Dude, I deeply feel your pain. As much as I say that I want more time to read my books, when the internet and cable are out, I get panicky (for awhile, at least). The absense of info, entertainment, stimulation, etc. is too much for me to take, and I’ve neglected my zen skills too much in the past decade. Hang in there, and let me know if we need to go “get physical” with RCN.
    .-= latest entry: religious fundamentalism will destroy you =-.

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