DATE: Mar 8
TITLE: Telephone tag
I started writing this piece on Monday March 6, but as you will read, couldn’t post it until today.
If you read my last posting “I don’t think so” of February 26, you are aware I cancelled my services with Rogers Communications. I still felt I should have a house phone (i.e. “landline”) so contacted Bell Canada. Ma Bell was more than willing to accommodate me.
I arranged an appointment to have a Bell phone installed on Friday March 3. The appointment was for the indefinite “sometime between 8 and noon Friday morning”. One o’clock in the afternoon comes along and still no service call. On the phone to Bell: “What happened to my morning installation appointment?”
As it turned out, because Rogers had terminated my service late on the evening of February 28, it wasn’t possible for Bell to transport the number to their service. As the original work order had that Rogers number on it, which was now invalid, nothing was done. After some time on the phone, I was eventually given a new telephone number and an appointed time slot of 8 to noon on March 6. What I didn’t realise at the time was that the man I spoke with had downgraded my order.
I’m retired and don’t usually get up before 8:15 in the morning, but I set my alarm early enough that if Bell did show up at 8, I’d have had coffee and would be civil.
The service tech showed up about half-ten. He messed around with the service entry in my apartment before making his was to the telephone room off the lobby. After performing his rituals there, he returned to my apartment and buttoned things up. He tried calling my new number and yes it did indeed ring and there were no unusual noises on the line. He packed up and left.
After he was gone (and this is why I’m only posting this now) I discovered that in his machinations in the service room, he disconnected my internet and as I later also learned, my lobby intercom wasn’t working. Back on the phone to Bell, where I was informed I’d need to contact my internet provider to sort out that problem. Virgin, my internet provider uses Bell bandwidth and on the rare occasions I’ve had to contact them, I frequently get a Bell technician coming in. So even though I called Virgin, there is a possibility I could see the same technician.
Virgin listened to my problem and arranged a service appointment for me for tomorrow. If you guessed it’s between 8 and noon, you’re right. So once again, I’m up at the unpleasant hour of 7 in the morning.
As for the intercom, a rather snippy lady at Bell told me I’d have to have the superintendent of the building call to arrange for someone to correct that problem. Bit of a detour here: my son previously worked in the telecommunications industry and he explained that with the system in use here, when you enter the code for the apartment, some mysterious piece of equipment dials your telephone number. With the change in telephone numbers, this thing will need to be reprogrammed.
Between the instruction from Bell and the information from my son, I located the superintendent and explained the problem to him. According to him all I have to do is give the office my new number and they can reprogram the dialler from the office. The office is closed until Wednesday morning so I have to wait. And until I’ve had a chance to see if the intercom is really working, I’m not going to consider this matter closed. (Wednesday): Well, the lady who runs the office is off sick today, so I won’t know if I have intercom now until Friday. Oh well.
Monday night I called Bell because I had thought I should have had a couple of features such as call display and call answer yet they weren’t available to me. That was when it dawned on me my order had been downgraded. But without access to the internet and emails from Bell, I was unable to access both the original order and the revised order. So, once again, I have to wait.
Tuesday morning, the technician from Virgin arrived to fix my internet. After looking at the phone installation he called for reinforcements, which arrived in the form of a more experienced technician. I left them to their own devices and it wasn’t too long before they both arrived at my door. A bit of work at the site of the modem along with what I swear were magical incantations but could have been technical jargon I had my internet back. They took the time to explain what had happened and what they did and, while I don’t have a background in telecommunications, I do retain enough of my shop classes to understand that the first job was just plain sloppy work.
Even though the Bell technician on Monday was aware my internet wasn’t through Bell, he in essence hijacked the internet line to use for the telephone. As I wrote somewhere above, Bell and Virgin share equipment so that was relatively easy. The two hours the two Virgin men spent here were first figuring out what he’d done, then fishing another line from the service entrance to my modem outlet.
So what should have been a simple installation last Friday has instead turned into a mini-series. I really, really hope this is the last of my problems.
Oh yes, this morning I contacted Bell and got the order straightened out, so I now have the features I wanted and a $10 credit each month for the next year.