Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Internet

It's the greatest invention for travellers to keep in touch with family and loved ones. Ok greatest invention when it works.

Over the years hubby has been happy to let me deal with our internet providers. It’s worked out well in the past so, finding a provider here in Maz became my mission. After much research (okay there’s really only two here) the selection was made.

We were advised that it could take days to be installed. Fact...they arrived in 2 days and it worked! We didn’t even mind it going out 8-12 times a day. Annoying yes, but it always came back up in a few minutes. Even last month when it went down and didn’t come back, it was fixed in 2 days! Fixed meaning it was up and working and still going down repeatedly during the day. But it worked!

Well last Monday it went out and didn’t come back. We watched the DSL light blink green for about an hour. No problem, I'll just call our internet provider and let them do their magic. No need to worry or get upset, this was Mexico.

Ok, first of all...’Where the hell did I put their number?’
Aha! Feeling well versed in the protocol I punched in the 800 number (turns out they're not in Mazatlan at all). After listening to almost 5 minutes of instruction and advertising in Spanish I hung up. Okay, this was going to be a little harder than I had first thought.

Taking the card in hand I tried again. This time I started punching in a number here..a number es válido.” Ok l’ll try again. This time I listened very carefully to the Spanish instructions (and advertising) and finally got a live person! Yes a real, live person and speaking to me, in Spanish...hmmm. Not wanting to go through the 5 minute intro again I said in my best voice...”Buenos días. hablan inglés, por favour”. She put me on hold and finally an English speaking fellow came on the line.
(IT=Internet Provider, me=me, hub=hubby)
IT-“name, area code and phone number, owners name of the line please”
Me- gave all the info
IT- “how may I help you?”
Me- “my internet is not working and the DSL light is continually flashing”
IT- “have you restarted your computer?”
Me – (not being an amature at this game I had already done this and felt proud to say)..”Yes.” He proceeded to have me go through the restart again.
IT – “and what is your DSL light doing now?”
Me – “blinking.”
IT – “let’s restart the modem” (to which he gave me instructions as to how to do it)...”hold it down for 10 seconds please”...”what’s the DSL light doing now?”
Me – “blinking”
IT – “let’s try taking the computer jack from the splitter and putting it directly into the wall. But that means you will have to call us back since it is connected to this line.”
Me – “not necessary since I’m on the cell phone.” (feeling very smart at this point.)
IT – “Ok disconnect the computer jack from the splitter and put it directly into the wall jack.”
Me – “done”
IT – “and what is your DSL light doing now?”
Me – “blinking on and off”
IT­ – “Ok, we now know the problem is not in the house. Our policy is normally to have repairs completed in 72 hrs. But since this has happened before I’ll give you a ‘special’ report number that will put you on a priority standing and it should be fixed by Tuesday (tomorrow.) Thank you for calling and have a nice day.”

Tuesday I got up, grabbed my tea, looked at my modem as I walked to the balcony...hmmm...the DSL light is still blinking. But no need for concern, the IT techs are working on it, after all we have a special number and in priority standing! Ok, maybe I should call just to check on them.

I got out the card, punched in the numbers...
Me - ”Buenos días. hablan inglés, por favour”. (She put me on hold.)
IT-“name, area code and phone number, owners name of the line please”
Me- gave all the info
IT- “how may I help you?”
Me- “my internet is not working and the DSL light is continually flashing”
IT – “have you restarted your computer and modem?”
Me – “yes”
IT – “ok we’ll have to check the lines inside. Please disconnect the jack....”
Me – “No. Done that. I have a ‘special’ report number from yesterday.”
IT – (she takes the number and checks her records.) “Ahhh. I see that, yes. Are you sure it’s not working Mrs.?”
Me – “yes”
IT – “Ok let me give you a ‘very important’ report number. This will make sure it gets done by tomorrow.”
IT – ‘Thank you for calling and have a good day.”

And so I have a ‘special’ report number from Monday and a ‘very important’ number from Tuesday.

Wednesday, tea in hand I make my way through the livingroom to the balcony...glance at the modem..yell out to hubby...”the DSL is now laughing at me!!!! It’s blinking and I’m sure it’s laughing in Spanish!”
I grabbed the phone and punched in our internet providers 800 number from memory by now!!!!
Finally got the English line...(from now we’re on calling it the Gringo Line)

IT-“name, area code and phone number, owners name of the line please”
Me- gave all the info and my TWO special report numbers and informed her that we could get people to the moon faster than it is taking to fix this one line. She didn't think this was funny.
IT – “ahhh I see. And what is your DSL light doing now?”
Me – “still blinking.” (What I wanted to say was ‘tap dancing a jig on my desk,’ but didn’t.)
It was at this time I received our THIRD ‘special, special, priority’ report number and the phrase...”they’re still working on the problem. Have a nice day.”
Called back 3 times that day.

Now I must say Monday and Tuesday I was calm. I knew it would eventually be fixed, after all I had ‘special report’ numbers!
By Thursday I’m getting annoyed after 4 calls to IT.
Friday I’m pissed at the situation. I punch all the now memorized numbers in and get the ‘Gringo Line’.
IT-“name, area code and phone number, owners name of the line please”
Me - gave all the info
IT- “how may I help you?”
Me- “my internet is still not working and the DSL light is continually flashing”
(It’s at this point hubby, calmly takes the phone...)
Hub – “yes I’m the owner of this line” (and proceeds to explain the problem in short, to the point phrases.)
IT – “let me give you a special number...”
Hub – “Is it more special than the other 3 your office already gave my wife this week?”
IT – “ohhh I see we have, but the techs are working on....”
Hub – “Is your Supervisor there?”
IT – “yes Sir.”
Hub – “Put him on please.”
(A few minutes later the ‘big cheese’ of the IT dept. comes onto the line.)
IT – “How can I help you?”
Hub – “Your business guarantees repairs in 72 hrs. We’ve been waiting since Monday.”
IT – “Well you do have to give us time.”
Hub – “What good is your guarantee?? How many others are affected by this situation?”
IT – “Let me check on that Sir.” (waiting patiently) “You.”
Hub – “What??? We’re the only ones???”
IT – “Yes Sir. Your server is full and we need to find you a new server or port somewhere.”
Hub – “And you were informed on Monday and it’s now Friday and they’re doing what to rectify this situation?”
IT – “They’re working on it. But let me call you back at 2.30 and I’ll know more. Thank you for calling and have a nice afternoon.”

2.30 came and went.
Got the “Gringo line" and answered all her questions again.
Me- “my husband wants to talk to your Supervisor.”
IT – “Is your husband there? May I speak to him please.”
Hub – “Yes this is me. Your Supervisor was to call me back over an hour ago. He didn’t.”
IT – “Let me find him for you Sir.” (waiting....) “He doesn’t seem to be at his desk. Maybe he had a meeting or, no he’s left for the day it seems.”
Hub – “We’re now going into the weekend and still no internet.”
IT – “not to worry Sir. The tech’s are working on the problem and I’m sure it will be fixed soon.”
Hub – “before the weekend, tomorrow? I’m sure they don’t work weekends.”
IT – “not to worry Sir they work till it’s fixed. Have a nice evening Sir.”

Friday night I call the 3 digit "desperato" emergency number. Give them all the information and the 3 special report numbers, they will get on it. Yeah, right.

Saturday I get up, wave to the green light flashing on the modem as I make my way out to the deck.
Later I come back in and call our internet provider just for the hell of it...
IT – “What seems to be the problem?”
Me – “Is your Supervisor there?”
IT – “Yes.”
Me – “My hubby would like to talk to him.”
IT – “Please put your husband on.”
Hub – “Yes it’s me. I would like to speak to your Supervisor.”
IT – “Let me get him for you Sir.” (waiting) “I’m sorry Sir. He doesn’t want to talk to you.”
Hub – “Really???? And you’re techs...they’re working today?”
IT – “Oh no Sir they don’t work weekends!”

Okay now it’s a game. Hubby keeps this poor girl on the line for almost 20 minutes talking about worthless guarantees, special numbers that really don’t mean a thing since we have not one, not two, but three and still our internet is not working!

IT – “I’m sure it will be working by Monday Sir.”
Hub – “yeah right.”
IT – “Sir I have no reason to lie.”
Hub – “Neither did all the other 15 people we’ve talked to in your office over the last 6 days...they all said they were right. So you’re telling me they didn’t know what they were talking about, but you do?”
IT - "have a nice evening Sir."

7pm Saturday. Some tech from somewhere calls and says our internet will be working in 2 hrs! Yeahhhhhh!
9pm Saturday. No internet
10pm Saturday. The DSL is still winking at us from across the room.

We call 2 more times on Sunday, just for the hell of it.

Monday afternoon when I return to the house Hubby is working on the computer. Now don’t get excited, all week we’ve played games on the computer without the internet. So I took no notice. After about 30 minutes Hubby casually got up and stretched saying in passing...”by the way the internet is working.”
HUH? I rush over and push him aside...joyously open my email like a child on Christmas morning. There is a gawd! Just at that moment the internet GOES OUT AGAIN!
Ahhh but this time it comes back on....later in the day it goes out...and then on.

IT – “name, area code and phone number, owners name of the line please”
....ahhhhhh back to normal in our Mexican internet world.

Just a couple of thoughts from 2 Canadians living and loving it in Mazatlan.
Linda and Hubby