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Does “S” Stand for Satan?

Update: supposedly most of the problems have been ironed out… we’ll see. How many hours have I spent on this?

I’ve been on the phone for an hour now. I particularly liked how the SBC rep answered the phone today, “How can I provide you with excellent customer service?” I spelled it out, in a loud, clear, slow voice, using monosyllabic terms and extra emphasis.

I have had such go-rounds with SBC since we moved to Palo Alto I feel almost fragile when anyone says “phone” or “DSL.” It was such an easy job. Put two phone lines where we live. One in my office, for MPOW. Put DSL on the office line. We’d use wi-fi in our home, just yards from the office. See?

Although I gave SBC two weeks’ notice before we moved to Palo Alto, they still couldn’t get it right. First SBC put DSL on the wrong line. I got that straightened out–or so I thought. It took a week of calling and begging, many hours of being on hold, several technicians who didn’t know their fannies from a hole in the wall, but at last the problem was fixed, or so they told me.

But DSL still showed up on our household phone bill. Then I looked closer: they are billing me, twice, for DSL, on the same line, and not at all for the office line.

To make things even better, SBC not only incorrectly installed DSL in the first place, then stiffed us for an additional DSL fee for two months running, but I am now being told we will be hit for a $200 early disconnect charge on the line they incorrectly installed DSL on.

The rep has asked me if I originally talked to Emerging Products or Phone Service. I don’t know. I talked to a lady who kept pushing services I didn’t want. I wasn’t aware her sales pitches were at the expense of attention to detail to my original order. I certainly didn’t guess I would easily spend another 20 hours of my life talking to SBC, waiting for repair persons, twiddling with authentication servers, and otherwise doing anything but what I want to do, which is, quite frankly, work on MPOW.

I’m not paying SBC a nickel they aren’t entitled to, not if I have to get a lawyer and spend far more than the cost of a couple of months of DSL and a disconnect fee to make my point. I don’t care whether SBC’s behavior is due to incompetence or because they are nefarious thieves. I simply refuse to enable their behavior, whatever its source.

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