Monday, March 10, 2008

Flying Sparks

Sparks have been flying in our house! No, I haven’t been fighting with my husband. Two weeks ago the electricity went off, came back with a power surge and knocked out my telephones.

Because I’d transferred my telephone account to my server, I emailed them immediately to let them know what had happened. I received no answer. The next day I emailed them again, and the next day after that. No answer! No answer!

We have no mobile phone. My husband drove to the local shopping centre and went into a phone box (the temperature that day, that week actually, was hovering around 39 degrees!). He was told that there was half an hour to wait before we could get a technician on the line to answer our query. Rather than become the first man to be baked alive in a public telephone box, my husband came home again.

Five days later my daughter sorted it out via her telephone. By that time the wait was down to twenty minutes and the telephone company had sent its technicians out. However, because my server hadn’t sent a request to the telephone company, who own the cables, (despite my three emails!) our service could not be restored, though the service to my immediate neighbours was. Two days later they got around to us.

Later, we found out that the power cut and surge was contained to the small area of about sixty houses that forms our village. Someone came to test the appliances. I was lucky. Only my fax/phone was damaged beyoned repair in the surge. Though coincidentally, my electric kettle gave up the ghost yesterday. Other people lost computers, radios and televisions as well as telephones.

However, my main grouse is not with the power company since electricity outages are part of life. It lies with my server, who, although perfectly competant in all other areas, totally ignored my emails – though the voice at the end of the phone did manage to find one of them when my daughter got to talk to a living person. And before that conversation was over came the irony of a form I received, which solicited my opinion on the service I was receiving. In fact, I got two of those forms during the debacle.

This is a communications company. They sell and service internet facilities. I’ve been with them a long, long time. They take money from my bank account for this purpose every month. So why can’t they bloody well communicate when you need them!

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