Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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My local and long distance calling service are both provided by MCI. Ten days ago, I called to notify them that I would be moving on October 22nd. They said it normally takes between 10 and 15 days to transfer phone service to a new address. I said that was fine; I wasn't going to be moving for 15 days. I also added that they should please make sure not to shut off my service at my old apartment until after October 22nd. This should have been common sense based on the fact that I'd already told them that was the day I'd be moving, but I felt a need to specify it extra carefully because everyone who talked to me (and they transferred me through a great many different people) spoke with a very different accent than mine (they all seemed to have Indian accents; I think MCI has outsourced their customer service) and not only did I have considerable difficulty understanding anything they said, but they all seemed to have even more considerable difficulty understanding anything I said. So I went out of my way to double-check that they'd heard and understood everything correctly. They told me, "Don't worry, your current service will not be shut off until you move."

Today I woke up to find that - guess what! - my phone has been disconnected, five days sooner than I had asked for. So I called to complain. That is, after I got to work where I had access to an actual working telephone, I called to complain. I then spent the first three hours of my workday on the telephone with MCI. Of course, most of that time I was on hold, so luckily I was still able to do my work, albeit with a crick in my neck from holding the phone, incessantly repetitive elevator music in my ear, and a huge black cloud of frustration over my head. (It's an awfully good thing I have a wonderful job that didn't require me to talk to anyone else during those three hours, or I wouldn't have been able to remain on hold for so long.)

Eventually a woman answered the phone. I explained the situation. "Oh," she said, "we transfer phone service in 10 to 15 days. You asked for it to be transferred, right? And we transferred it in 10 to 15 days."

"But I haven't moved yet," I repeated. "Are you in the habit of leaving customers with no phone service for five days whenever they move?"

"There's nothing we can do about that," she said.

"Can I speak to someone else?" I said.

Commence another 45 minutes of the same single "song" of elevator music playing over and over and over, ad nauseum. Eventually a different woman came on the line. This one was much better than the first one at expressing sympathy for my situation. "Gosh," she said, "I can see how that must be terribly inconvenient for you." She was not, however, of any more help in fixing my situation. "I would love to turn your phone service back on if I could," she said. "But it would take another 10 to 15 days, and by then you'd have moved. I'm terribly sorry. This doesn't usually happen."

"It doesn't?" I asked.

"No," she said. "Usually people call us to complain that their service hasn't been transferred to their new address soon enough."

Ah. In other words, MCI has entirely failed to grasp the very basic concept that most people do not want their phone service shut off at their old address at the exact same moment it's turned on at their new address unless this transfer can be scheduled to occur on the same day that they're actually moving. Apparently MCI has never heard of Internet addicts who rely on dialup Internet service.

In short: I am posting this entry from my local library, and I shall have no Internet access whatsoever until I move. (I'm not allowed to use the Internet for personal purposes at work.) And I don't start moving until Friday evening.

And I can't even play John Lennon's song "Cold Turkey" to try to comfort myself during the withdrawal pains, because I've already packed the album I have it on.

I have NEVER been without LiveJournal for five days in a row, since the day I first joined it four and a half years ago. See you all in five days, at which time I expect to be feeling much the worse for wear.
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