I've been displeased with Ma Bell recently. I live in Calgary, on the top of a hill, and yet for the first time ever, I'm getting a ton of dropped calls.
I used to laugh at the commercials touting "Fewest dropped calls!"--"Who are they kidding!?" I would scoff, "No one has dropped calls!" That was when I lived in Toronto, where I'm told Lucille Ball once picked up radio signals in her fillings.
Finally, at my wits end (and more than a little humbled by my once cavalier attitude towards the subject), I picked up the phone and called Bell. It didn't take long for things to hit a stand still.
For the sake of this conversation, I shall remain B (it's my blog); Bell will be Z.
Z- "Have you tried standing by a window?"
B- "My entire house is windows. I have to wear pants ALL THE TIME I have so many windows."
Z- ". . . well, we don't guarantee reception in your house."
B- "I never used to have this problem elsewhere."
Z- "Where else have you used Bell's services."
Z- "Well--that's Toronto. It's a big network."
B- "No wonder people hate Toronto."
Z- ". . . "
B- "Because it gets all the good stuff, eh?"
Z- ". . . "
B- "So how come my pal, whose on the Rogers network, gets 5 bars in my house, and I get one?"
Z- "I don't know. We don't guarantee signal in your house."
B- "Is that what you tell businesses who are considering your services? That you don't guarantee reception in offices--so maybe/maybe not folks will get their calls?"
B- "So--what? Should I just go sit on a tack?"
I always ask customer service reps, when things aren't going my way, if they'd like me to go sit on a tack. It's a habit I've picked up, and it beats telling them to "Go take a long jog off a short pier!"--only, I would use more swears.
Z- "No. I'm sorry, sir, but I can file a report. . . "
B- "Where's the nearest relay tower--or whatever you guys call it."
Z- "I can't tell you."
B- "It's a secret?"
B- "It's a big tower--it ain't much of a secret!"
Z- "I can't tell you because--while you may not go and vandalize the tower--others might."
B- "What might they do? It's a great big bloody tower?"
Z- "It's not information we give out for security reasons."
Since 9/11, every single mother-loving Corporation boils anything they don't want to tell you down to "security issues". My comeback?
B- "What? Would I go toilet paper your tower? What could someone possibly do to your tower?"
Z- "It's our policy, sir."
B- "I mean, how mad have people gotten at you guys in the past that you now classify your towers as confidential? They're great bloody huge towers! With lights on them! Usually sitting at the highest points in town!"
Z- "It's policy. I will file a report, but there's nothing we can do--we do not guarantee signal in your home."
B- "This is a crock."
Z- "Are you calling me from inside your house right now?"
Z- "Has you phone dropped the call while we've been talking?"
B- "It just did, smart ass."
And with that less-than-clever reversal of his little nipple tweak, I hung up.
Next time Bell calls me asking for something, I'm going to tell them that "due to security issues" I can't speak to them at that time. Then I'm going to say, "Wait--how did you get my number?!" and pitch a real big fit.
When I moved from TO to Oakville, I was finally able to shake off Bell in favour of just a cellphone. But 1.5 years later, I hated my cellphone and wanted a landline. And as much as I hated my cellphone, I hated Bell infinitely more, so we started doing some research online and came up with Vonage, a VoIP service. We signed up the day they were allowed into Canada, which oddly enough was two weeks after we decided to do our research, so it all worked out nicely for us. We love Vonage. The only time we don't have service is when Slogeco drops our internet connection for unknown reasons once in awhile. You should look into them if you have broadband service already since the calls go through your cable modem over the internet.
Stacey (formerly Lilly)
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