well, apologies for the lack of updates recently, but it's mostly been down to the fact that i have had no access to the interwebnet thingie. why, you ask? well, if you did ask, read on. although i suspect one or two of you will have been able to use that old trick of reading between the lines in respect of the title of this post......
thus far, we have had no problems with South Africa's shiny new telecommunications provider, NeoTel. that said, we have also had no reason whatsoever to contact them. this changed last Monday, when for some reason we couldn't connect, getting an error saying "user name invalid".
when we finally got through to their "consumer line" (0800 333 636, only dial if you really like the sound of silence when you are on hold. for a long time.) and asked what the problem was, we were informed by a smarmy, smug little twat that our service "had been cancelled, as per our request on 4 September 2009". when i protested that we had not, i was informed "you have, and we always verify these cancellations (not bad for a Company up and running for less than a year), so you are wasting your time and money calling.".
it's a fascinating business that insists clients have cancelled when they have not, and are so adamant that you have that they refuse to have a conversation about it. a heated discussion with the obnoxious little (expletive deleted) ended with me suggesting that he probably couldn't locate his posterior. with both hands.
the next day, further "conversations" took place. when they finally accepted that we were not going to accept a new number and nor were we going to wait 7 (seven) days for our service to be reconnected we were back up and running by Thursday.
by Friday, however, they had apparently forgotten that we were not cancelling and switched us off again. as Neotel apparently do not answer phones after 4pm (i would say "work", but they appear not to do much of this in general) on a Friday, we were left connection free for the whole weekend.
more blasting and shouting today and, voila, for the moment at least we have our connection back. no idea how long it will last, hence this post now. thus far all they have offered as an explanation is that someone living near us has cancelled their service (and i must say i have some sympathy for them) and there was a "mix up". thus far today Michele has spent a small fortune (close to two hours "holding") on calls to get this sorted.
what's the lesson here? well, i have to admit, the Neotel service itself is exceptional, so long as you do not have to call them. and, of course, so long as no one living within walking distance of your home cancels their service. they need to have a serious shake up on their side - we are in a world, for better or worse, where assistance should be on call 24-7. also, if they are going to disconnect services, maybe they should do it within office hours so that if there is an error they can fix it as easily as they broke it.
in the mean time, any Neotel staff reading this should take note - the next time something like this happens (and i would prefer to think that it will not), i will not be quite so polite with you. which, going on the references made to your oedipal habits, is saying something.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!