Are you totally reliant on your telecoms system?

9th Sep, 2016 - in All Blogs - by CDI-Andrew

We have just found this blog, lurking on LinkedIn and decided to share it. It protrays the agony and issues with having a telecoms system that’s not quite perfect. Well the rest is history – feel free to read:

It was only when disaster struck, that I realised just how reliant I am on my phone system. Now first of all let me just explain – I work for myself, at home. I have a broadband connection via my phone system, and a national company (let’s just call them “+net”) are the dudes in charge of it all. I also have an iPhone 5c * (* the ‘c’ is for a word that rhymes with rap, as my iPhone was sold to me by a chain and has a pitiful 8GB of data… anyway, I digress).Blogger

I run a business from home. And I think I’m fairly tooled up (apart from the iPhone’s pathetic data capacity) – I’m packing tech and coms, and raring to go. Until this week I wasn’t. And it happened to be the time that my husband (my personal tech-support) was away on leave for the week.

Suddenly, alone and scared, and using only my 5c (rap) I had to negotiate the dungeons of +net (where they obviously keep all three of their customer service representatives who serve the entire world).

45 Minutes later. I’ll just repeat that FORTY-FIVE MINUTES after I first picked up the phone I got through to one of the dungeon dwellers. Phew … well that’s what I thought at the time. But that was the easy bit!

Passwords weren’t set up, I wasn’t an “authorised user” so that threw the dungeon master into a real chain-jangling tizz, and he had to call out his data-protection hounds to see what he could share with me.

Unfortunately, all information, he said, could only be shared fully by email – which had to be sent to my husband (who was in the Scottish Highlands – out of range of phone or wifi). All he could tell me was that the line was out of order. Well I could have told him that!

Of course the Data Protection department were not authorised to speak to me at all, so through the medium of a controlled, but quite firm voice, I tamed their tech support and  finally got the information I needed. And boy, I really didn’t want to hear it!

The phone line will be down, they said,  probably for at least three days, but they couldn’t confirm that. They couldn’t tell me what was the problem, nor would I be able to communicate directly with BT (the source of the fault)… because I didn’t have sufficient  dungeon username clearance. Anyway the contract was between +net and BT, so a mere mortal has no say at all.

THREE DAYS!!!!!   What a nightmare.  Well I am finally at the end of those three days and this is what I’ve learned:

1.      Have a contingency plan (I managed to get through with my work by going out to places with wifi, having a lot of appointments and when at home, joining my iPhone 5c (now promoted, and no longer rhymes with rap). Though it took me a little while to work out the best way to set this up.

2.      Have a decent data plan with your mobile provider. I don’t know how much extra the data and minutes package will cost, I know they will sting me if I go over. Last time I went over the allocated minutes, I got a bill for an extra £124. Ouch!

3.      Make sure you’re set up with your phone provider as an authorised user. Dungeon dwellers don’t like to speak to people who aren’t on their systems. It really makes them twitchy.

4.      If you run a business, have a contract with a decent company who will support your business like it’s their own. would be a good option. They actually have real people there, and they don’t have a dungeon (I know, I checked – and I’ll be moving over to them soon, having already put things in place)

5.      Buy good coffee. If you’re going to be on the phone with a phone provider forever trying to sort out the situation, then be nice to yourself, and make a flask of coffee for the duration.