Our cable and Internet service have gone down at least twice this week. Saturday while I was at work it was out most of the day. Apparently it had just come back on right before I got home from work. It just went out about 30 minutes ago. No big deal, I thought. Occasionally I have to reset my router and pick up a new IP address. That didn’t work, so I checked the TV and sure enough the cable was out as well. Time to call Charter, which I always hate doing with a passion. Their automated system is for stupid people and then techs act the same way.

Call I did anyway. It takes a couple of minutes to navigate through their confusing voice menus before I even get to the automated part. I had to decide whether to talk to High Speed support or Cable TV support. Since the lowest paid goons seem to work for High Speed Support and I don’t particularly want to talk to someone that knows less about computers OR tech support than I do I chose Cable TV support. I have never called them and thought that maybe the automated system would be shorter than the Internet support system.

No such fucking luck.

“Welcome to Charter’s Automated System. In order to help you properly please describe the problem in one short sentence”

“It doesn’t work”

“It sounds like you are having a problem with your Charter Television. Is this correct?”

“Yes”

“Do you see anything on your screen?”

“No”

“Is the picture white, black or null”

“Black” What the hell is null anyway? Is that the fuzzy screen?

“OK, let’s check a few things. First, is your TV on?”

“Yes”

“Do you have lights on your cable box?”

“Yes”

“Let’s reset your cable converter and refresh your information” (as if that is going to do any good right now. All I want is to speak to a rep and see if their is a fucking outage) “Turn off your cable box and when it is off say Continue”

“Continue”

“Unplug the Cable box and say continue when you are through”

“Continue”

“OK, now plug it back in but don’t turn it on. When you have finished this please say continue”

“Continue”

“It may take a few minutes to refresh and you should see either the time or a channel number on the display screen. When you see the time or a channel please say Continue”

I am starting to get stressed at this point.

“Continue”

“OK, turn on the television and when you see the channel please say continue”

“Continue”

“Great! It may take up to 45 minutes for the guide data to be downloaded to your converter but you can continue to watch television at this time. Can you see the screen now?”

“NO!”

“OK, I think you said that you don’t have a screen, is this correct?”

“YES!”

“Would you like to speak to a customer service representative?”

No, I just enjoy spending 30 fucking minutes on the phone speaking with a computer. I feel empty inside when I can’t interact with a goddam system designed for stupid fucking people.

“Yes”.

“Thank you for calling Charter Communications. Please do not hang up as it may take several minutes to connect you”

I wouldn’t fucking dream of it.

<brain numbing music…>

“Your approximate hold time is six minutes”

<more brain numbing music>

I walked around outside just to insure that nobody had run down the power pole or inadvertently run a ditch digger through my front yard.

<several more minutes of music so brain numbing that I want to smack my head on the pavement>

Looking around the kitchen for something to eat. Damn, my cell phone is getting hot.

“Thank you for calling Charter Communications, my name is non-english-speaking tech support goon. Can I help you?”

“My Cable TV and High Speed Internet are down, I want to know if you guys are experiencing some sort of outage or something”

“May I have your name”

“Richard Miles”

“…and your address”

“blah blah some place in Temple Georgia”

“…and your phone number”

“770-bit-eme0”

“For security reasons I need to verify the last four digits of your social security number”

Perhaps you would like my cock size and the color of my last bowel movement as well.

“xxxx”

“OK, hold on while I check”

<mind numbing music>

“Who Am I Speaking to?”

?

“Richard Miles”

“Mr. Miles, I am showing that indeed we are experiencing a service problem in your area. The Television problem was reported at 8:30 this morning and the high speed internet loss was at 6:30 this morning. The should be back up any minute”

“Really, I have been working on the Internet all morning. It just went down a few minutes ago”

“Do your neighbors have cable service right now”

Let me stick my fucking head out the window and check

“I have no idea. They are all probably at work and I am working from home”

“You work from home”

I do today. Why, you wanna come over for a reach around kiss or something?

“Yes Ma’am”

“I would also like to review your service while we are on the phone. I see that you are subscribed to our largest cable television package and that you have the 10MG high speed internet service. Perhaps you would like to sign up for our phone package with free long distance for on $14.99 a month for three months and DVR service for a year for free if it’s available in your area”

I can’t think of anything else that would excite me more than to sign up for a couple of new services when I am calling to bitch about my existing services not FUCKING WORKING!!!!!

“No ma’am, I have three cell phones and disconnected my land line two years ago”

“Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“No ma’am, have a nice day”.

It’s a fucking conspiracy. Charter techs sit in the office drinking beer (hey, now that’s an idea) flipping random switches and laughing their asses off knowing that you are going to call tech support so that they can try to sell you more stuff.

It’s five o’ clock somewhere, time for a drink.

My Internet is back on. doh.


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