Thursday, July 9, 2009

Twenty-four hours activation

Today I woke up convinced that I needed to call a new internet company (since the other one hadn't worked out) and get one of those little usb dealies for internet.
I can't share that kind of internet with guests, that's why I haven't done it before now. But at this point of no-internet-for-a-week-and-a-half, who cares if I can share it or not. I need it.

I called the operator for the number and then called the company. The man on the phone said he'd send a guy in half an hour. It took an hour and a half for two guys to show up. They surprised me by being from the same internet company as the one that hadn't worked before. Thought I'd asked for a different company? Anyhow, it was service via a different medium. No satellites this time.
One of the guys whipped out his own usb dealy and had some trouble at first. While they were waiting, the second guy wanted to see my documents for filling out the service form. I told him I wanted to see the service first.
"No madame, no madame, problem nehi hai."
Then he wanted me to sign the papers. "Not until I see the service working."
He was rather shocked by that. And he tried again more hesitantly, "Sign here, ma'am?"
The other guy told him to let it go.
The connection did eventually start working. And then I was happy to almost sign.
They hadn't told me anything of the tariffs and I wanted to know how I could pay the bill and what to do when I was traveling and wouldn't use internet.
They weren't really very good at giving out information at all because when I said that I wanted to see my own usb dealy in action before I handed over the money, they both panicked and said, "24 hours before service activation, ma'am!"
"24 hours?" I groaned and displayed some drama by flopping onto the couch. "Then how can I give you any money?"
"Ma'am this is how much the modem costs."
"I understand that. But it doesn't work yet."
"In 24 hours, activation will happen."
"And then I can give you the money."
"No, ma'am. This does not work. The money is necessary to activate the service."
"Listen," I said, "I paid the money to have your company come here and put up the satellite. That did not work and now I have no service and no money. And I have waited four weeks for my refund. This," I held up the bills in my hand, "Is a lot of money to me."
As the bills hovered between us, the second guy's hand was just twitching to reach out and take them.
"Ma'am," said the first guy, "Broadband service is different from our service. It's a different department."
"I understand. I understand it has nothing to do with you. But I also understand that I have given money to people with promises and have nothing in return."
"This bill is for the modem."
"I know it is, and I will gladly give you the money for it when it works. I have no problem with that."
We went through the whole scenario again and this time when I ended my story and said it was a lot of money to me, the second man actually put his fingers around the bills still in my hand, but I did not let go.
"Where is your contact number for the broadband service?" asked the first guy.
While he was making some phone calls, the second guy tried again to get me to turn over the money. "Look," he said, pointing to the price, "We give a 400 rupee discount."
"That's very good. And when it works, that will be wonderful."
"Ma'am, only 24 hours activation time."
"Okay, and 24 hours' activation time for the money, too." I surprised myself by thinking up that one.
The first guy came back from making his phone calls. I knew that he would be unable to do anything and that I would eventually hand over the money, and so when he said his spiel again about the broadband being a different department, I asked if I could give him half the money.
"No ma'am, for the full service."
"But this is only half the service. It doesn't work yet."
"24 hours, ma'am. 100% working."
"Everyone says that. And I still have 0% service." I was loosing. So I tried another angle, "24 hours means what?" I looked at the clock, "12 o'clock tomorrow?"
"6pm tomorrow evening, ma'am."
"6pm! That's not 24 hours! That's 30 hours!" A little more sighing, a little more drama and I gave up. I handed over the money.
Tomorrow we will see.


l said...

By the way, it was 53 hours during which I waited very impatiently with many phone calls.

square peg believer said...

I'm proud of you for hanging in there as long as you did (I mean, with the money hovering between you and the company guys.) You are one tough cookie, Lindsay!!!

l said...

Oh no. I'm an easy mark. :)