So, my Internet died this morning. After restarting both the cable modem and my computer a couple of times a Helpdesk call seemed in order. All the lights on the modem indicate things should be working, but ping and traceroute both go nowhere.
I conjure up the support number, answer the voice-activated questions and am informed there will be at least a 20 minute wait.
I use the time to find the earpiece for the phone, and to call up my notetaking application to record relevant details from the call — date and time, name of the worker I speak to, promised actions, and so on. And this blog post.
My hopes rise when there’s the sound of a phone ringing and a human being with an Australian accent starts welcoming me to the Helpdesk. But it’s just another announcement of the 20 minute wait.
Long waits seem to be routine. Why can’t they employ some more staff? If calls are being handled in Australia anyway there should be enough Australians looking for work, and if not, I’m sure there are thousands of well qualified staff in other parts of the world who’d be happy to answer calls.
Which reminds me: last night I caught the last part of a Simpsons episode. Apparently Homer had been sent to India to manage a nuclear plant there. The plant was to supply Americans with power. At one point Apu’s cousin in India started answering a bank of outsourced helpdesk phones — using an appropriate accent for each one: Texan, street talk, and even British I think. Hilarious!
Well, 50 minutes of ‘holding’ later and an actual human being answered my call. I was so surprised I almost didn’t know what to say. It seems though that Telstra had decided in the interim to ‘go the Indian route’, as it was a polite and helpful chap with an Indian accent who spoke to me.
Venkat confirmed that yes, they had discovered a fault, and the technicians were busy working on it. There was nothing I could do.
I could have saved myself the tedious 50 minutes of saxophone music and taken the dogs for a walk instead. The problem is, you just never know!
Meanwhile I’ve discovered that some applications won’t open their preferences if you’re not online: Mail.app being one example. That’s no help at all when you’re trying to at least do some research for the Tip you’re writing.
[Posted courtesy of Cafenet. My home connection is still down.]