Please Hold for 3 Hours

Please Hold for 3 Hours

By: Cindy Thornthwaite

August 19, 2015

On Monday, August 17th, Day 1 – we arrived at our office to discover our internet and telephone lines were not working properly.  We are a workforce development agency and assist a wide variety of individuals with filing and registering for unemployment; job searching; training for school; etc.  When you realize that you have no telephones and no internet – you are unable to complete even the most basic job duty and unable to assist your clients.  Having to tell a client that you cannot register them for work to meet their unemployment requirement – thus causing them to be denied their payment – does not make for a very pleasant work day.  We also have computers available for the general public to use for various reasons.  Clients walk in and have to run around and walk right back out.

I don’t know about you – but in my world – this is 100% unacceptable!!!  I simply detest having to make my customer return for any reason.  I want them to be able to complete their transactions/business in one shot and leave completely satisfied.  Not frustrated because I am making them return yet again to the office.  Remember, we are dealing with individuals who are out of work.  They do not always have money to purchase more fuel, just to drive back again.  We also live in a rural area and sometimes returning to the office requires you to travel 25 miles or more.  Totally and completely unacceptable!

Using personal cell phones, we put in a call to our administrative office, which by the way, pays all the utility bills.  They put in a service call to the telephone company who handles our accounts.  We were then notified, yet again, by personal cell phone that someone from the telephone company would be out before the day was over to fix the telephones and the internet.

Our technician finally arrived at 2:00 pm.  Very pleasant woman who immediately asked what the situation was and where to find the telephone lines and equipment.  She was directed to the correct location in the building.  After several attempts, she was able to get our telephones up and going again, but stated she had to do some “re-routing” until the “box” was fixed.  Stating that the initial problem is with our internet provider, not the telephone company.

We were able to call out to the admin office and relay the message concerning the internet.  Our admin office was able to contact the internet provider and state they would be at our office first thing tomorrow morning to replace the router.

Day 2 – Tuesday morning, Romeo, our wonderful IT Technician arrived at the office with a new router.  We were all ecstatic thinking our internet woes would soon a thing of memory.

But, guess what??  The internet is operating properly and there is no problem with the router.  Romeo, changed the router box anyway, thinking maybe, just maybe, it would do the trick.  No luck.  The problem is in fact the T1 line and that is the responsibility of the telephone company.  Here we go again, no internet and upset clients/co-workers.

Another repair service call was placed to the telephone company.  We were told that someone would be at our office before 5 pm.  Five o’clock came and went with no repair technician insight.

Two days gone with no internet and no way to assist our clients.  Most clients will come into the office immediately after filing their unemployment claim to register.  But, they technically have until 3 days before they call before they have to register.  So, some of those clients don’t come into until it’s crunch time and some actually forget to come until they try to call for payment and are denied because they forgot to register.  When those individuals come to the office – and there is no way we can assist them – it makes for some very unhappy individuals.  They cannot get their unemployment payment until they register.  When you keep someone from getting their money – they can get ugly very quickly!

(The Michigan Unemployment Agency downloads to our system every night at 5 pm in order to know which individuals registered for work that day.)

Day 3 –    Upon arriving at the office – imagine our total surprise that the internet was still unavailable.  Clients who were here on Monday and Tuesday are returning, all under the assumption that the internet has to be repaired by now.  I mean it’s been 3 days.  Nope, still not working, we are still unable to assist our clients.

We contact our administrative office and retrieve the account number for the internet/telephone provider.  One of the lady’s in the office proceeds to phone the company in order to find out how they plan on getting this situation squared away.

She is on hold for over 1 hour  — NO JOKE – 1 hour~!  She had to speak to 7 different “Customer Service Reps” before she found number 8 who would assist.  All 7 stated, “Let me find someone who can assist you, that is not my job!”  Are you friggin’ kidding me – not your job?  What the hell do you do there anyway??

Customer Service Rep #8 puts in a repair request and states that he will return our call just as soon as he “jumps through the hoops” to get our local repair out to the office.

1 hour and 8 Customer Service Reps before you can get any assistance??  How in the hell do you call that Customer Service??  The audacity of any business to put their paying customers in that situation is no business that I want to deal with. I will NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER, use this telephone/internet business for anything personal. 

The biggest joke of all is that they never once asked if this was a business or a personal line.  How many businesses in this day and age do you think can function one day, yet three, without internet?

Eventually in the afternoon, Customer Service Rep #8 calls to inform us that the repair technician should be to our business by 2:11 pm.  Yes, that’s right, estimated time of arrival is 2:11 pm.

Can you imagine the look of surprise on my face when I tell you that is it now 3:16 pm and we have seen no sign of our repair technician.  Where oh where can you be??

So, back on the phone to the find out where this person could possibly be.  After being transferred 2 different times the connection is terminated.  Can you even imagine the frustration level?  I can tell you that it is going through the roof!  I pity the poor repair technician when they finally arrive!

Now the next phone call and this new person has never put in a repair ticket before.  Back on hold she goes.   According to Customer Service Rep #11 –  the repair ticket had been CANCELLED – What???

How in the world did that happen?

This is totally unacceptable customer service!  This is Customer Service from hell!

So finally, one hour and fifteen minutes later the repair man finally pulls into the parking lot.  States he just got the call at two to come out and fix our internet.  Finally, someone is here.  Maybe we are finally back to being online!  Whoo Hoo

After looking over all the wires, lines, and whatever else the repair man checks – he discovers a bad “part” and has to come back tomorrow with the replacement.  Insert sad face here!

Day 4, both the telephone repair technician and our IT Technician return on Day 4 and eventually, between the two of them – we now have internet service.

Four long days with no internet and no resources to assist our clients.

Will we be able to recover from all the inconvenience we just put our clients through? Only time will tell.  So, far, I am noticing several “regular” clients are not here.  I wonder if they could possibly be at the library using their free internet.  Most likely, I’m sure the library will not inconvenience them the way we have.

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