Monday, January 02, 2006


At the risk of stealing Matt's ranting thunder, I just gotta vent about Qwest.

In getting ready for our move from Minneapolis to Northfield, I went to and followed their service-transfer process to get our phone and internet service changed. It was pretty quick. I even signed up for a package of local and long distance service, because it was cheaper than getting those services through different companies. I couldn't sign up for DSL service, though, but I figured, you know, whatever. After winding up the process, I got an email with an order confirmation number, our new phone number, and a service start date of December 28. We passed the phone number around to friends and family.

Well, come 12/29 we still didn't have service at the new place. Calling Qwest on a balky cell phone, that morning I got a "customer care" rep who told me, laughing in a not-kind way, that oh, no, you should never use the online system because "it don't give us a way to track your call" and that she could neither give me the already-assigned phone number nor give me a refund or credit, "which we don't do that." She apologized in that insincere customer-service rep way (the way I always did when I was doing a similar job lo these many years ago), but the best her spirit of service could do was to reorder everything (including DSL), give me a new phone number, and push my service start back to January 3, a full seven days after the initial one. Bleargh. No landline, no internet. I couldn't use Google! I had to drive into town twice just to download my email and send a quick message to friends. (And check the World Cup skiing action.) I felt like wearing homespun, building a log cabin, and voting a straight Democratic-Republican ticket in those crucial upcoming 1804 elections.

After waiting over the holiday weekend and suffering through some hella bad connections on my mobile phone (which is not-ha-ha-funny, given that I can see a cell tower from our back window), I called Qwest again this morning. This time, the story was much different and, so far, better. The service still won't start until January 3 (tomorrow, as I write), but I can keep our originally-assigned number and we might get some sort of compensation for having been hassled by their crapola systems. We'll see. Even if they do make good, I'll never quite forget the almost-laughable irony of a telecom customer-service rep telling me not to use her own company's website. I'll certainly make a point to not not use their website to pay my bills.