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07:36 am: We're very lucky... but it still sucked (the whole saga)
Thursday afternoon. I was working away ("click click click," as Teddy and Peter call it) when I lost my internet connection. Dammit. Did all the usual things to reset, none of which worked. And I started getting a weird pop-up asking for dial-up information. I sent a message to IT (from my iPhone) because I suspected a call to Comcast was in my future and I wanted to have done everything I could do before dealing with them.

IT wanted me to call, so I picked up the phone. No phone service. Huh. So I called from my iPhone.

I did everything I was told, but still no internet. Dammit. Called Comcast, working through their 4,000 phone menus to get a trouble ticket. Called Verizon and did the same, although I believe they have 4,500 phone menus.

(Note: And how annoying is it to have everyone suggest you go online to get help? When you're calling because you can't get online? Very annoying, but not, as it turns out, as annoying as some other things.)

Since I couldn't work, I decided to go ahead and make Easter marshmallows (planned as an evening activity, but clearly I was going to end up working in the evening). While the mixer was doing its thing, I heard something outside. Looked out the front window to see a DPW truck leaving our house. They'd carefully cordoned off the tree across our driveway and the wires.

Tree? Wires? Oh yes indeed. About half a tree from our tree belt had fallen across the wires to our house, pulling them all down.

So I called the DPW, who told me I had live wires and needed to call the electric company. Called the electric company. Called Comcast and Verizon again, to amend my tickets to include the information about, y'know, live wires. Comcast tells me I have to have the police call them about the live wires (because apparently they don't believe me? like they wouldn't catch me in a lie or something?).

...and the marshmallows fluffed and fluffed and the cell phone power ebbed.

Just as I was finishing the marshmallows, the electric company showed up. And turned off the electricity. Without saying a word to us.

In fact, no one spoke to us from the electric company, Comcast, or Verizon, except the many I talked to on the phone. Not one of the workers who showed up at our house said anything to us. Not even anything like, oh "stay away from those wires, they're dangerous" or "you'll need to call so-and-so." NO ONE.

The electric company stayed for a while, did some stuff, and left. (Without telling us, of course. When I called, they told me the technician had been called away for an emergency.)

I made dinner (thank goodness for the gas stove). We ate by candlelight.

The electric company returned, did more stuff, and left again, without telling us. And we still had no electricity. When they didn't return within an hour, I called again, whereupon I was told that we now had electricity, but we had to call an electrician to finish the work.

That whole try-us-online thing? Annoying. The don't-speak-to-the-customer thing? Very annoying. The don't-mention-to-the-customer-additional-work-required thing? INFURIATING.

"He said he knocked."

Lying liar. We were home. Peter was downstairs, not 30 feet from where he was working.

It did turn out, I discovered yesterday, that he left a note. On our porch door. We have a front door. We have a back door. We also have a porch door... and only use it in the summer.

Note to service and delivery people: If there is no house number, no mailbox, no doorbell, no doorknocker, no sign of life, and by the way? The street you're on is not the street you're servicing/delivering to? And the door is almost impossible to open? You might wanna consider that you're at the wrong door.

Note to self: Put a damned note on the porch door. Not that anyone will read it, but then at least you're entitled to righteous indignation.

So we got through the night with neither electricity (manageable, especially because Peter loves wind-up radios and lights and such, and Teddy loves glow sticks) nor heat. We had ample hot water for evening baths.

But DUDE. It was cold in the morning (Thursday was the coldest night in a couple of weeks, yippee).

I drained the last of my laptop juice to (sorta) recharge my iPhone. Fortunately, I'd emailed everyone with whom I had meetings or to whom I owed deliverables before we lost power, so I took the day off. To deal with phone calls. Dammit.

We eventually got electricity back (noonish -- and a big relief it was), driveway (1), phone (2), and cable (3). The next few weeks will involve many interesting experiments with defrosted and refrozen foods.

And those service companies? Every. Single. One. has serious issues with customer service. Some had lovely people on the phone (DPW, one of the electric company reps) who were quick and sympathetic and reasonably helpful. Most didn't (especially the other electric company reps, who were awful).

And seriously? Never talking to anyone in the house where you're doing the work? Not one word about what was done and whether that person had any responsibility to do anything else? #FAIL.

Current Location: Longmeadow
Current Mood: discontentdisgruntled


Date:April 23rd, 2011 01:59 pm (UTC)
oh that suuuucks. i'd be just as pissed off. of course i'd also e-mail the story to consumerist.com, because i'm a big fan of exposing companies who are completely inconsiderate to their customers. but that's just me. :P
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)

I'll be making some phone calls

...when I can stand talking on the phone again. It may be a few days.

I ended up taking 3 Benadryl Thursday night because I was so angry I couldn't sleep.
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