The nice fellow from AT&T on the line asks me if I’d be interested in switching over to ATT U-Verse for internet and teevee service. I tell him I’d been a U-Verse victim customer for about 10 years and just dumped it. He asks me why.
Bedtime story warning: Warm milk and nightmares ahead!
In fact, there’d been a series of weeks when everything went batshit — computer, email, internet service — but U-Verse’s tech department seemed to go out of their way to make matters worse. You can find a portion of that nightmare here.
But the kicker comes less than a week later, when I simply can’t t access my email, not through my Outlook “client” (a term I just learned), not on my phone through either the regular email app or Yahoo email app, and not by going directly to the ATT/Yahoo/Bellsouth/Asshattery website either. It keeps asking for a password, which I provid, then locks me out.
So dammit I call, go through the endless rigmarole with automated questions and getting the wrong departments and finally accessing a tech who tells me the problem was I’d changed my password — I certainly had not — but because I’d tried so many times to gain access, the system automatically locked me out for an hour, after which time I could try again. “For security reasons,” he actually says.
Lockout! A leftover union-busting tactic upgraded to the digital age! Locked out of my own email “for security reasons!”
I go ballistic, of course, but he is intractable. He promises to personally call me back in an hour and step me through the process by which I could reestablish access to my own goddam email. I call Bullshit a thousand times to no avail.
Does he call in an hour? Be serious.
I call back, endure the automation, get somebody else who is also utterly worthless. No clue what I’m talking about. Nothing in my record. But, he eventually suggests, maybe all I need to do is talk to somebody on his end who could get me to the server, change the password temporarily to access, then change it to anything I like for future use.
Which works. Why doesn’t the first asshat know this? Three hours of the day wasted, but I have my email again. Sort of. New emails come streaming in by the hundred, some in triplicate, and some are going straight to Trash (not Junk Mail). It takes days to sort this out, too.
Fiends. Harpies. Ghouls.
The AT&T fellow sounds apologetic — Sorry is the new Corporate Incompetent — but he gives up his sales pitch and we go our separate ways.
None of this makes any sense at all, and I’m not under any illusions that Comcast/Xfinity will prove any better. Just different. At least when I had trouble with the new installation and called, a tech not only called me back but showed up a few hours later and fixed the problem. So we’re already ahead of the game.
He even helped me change the windshield wiper apparatus on the ancient Lexus, which neither Guido nor I could figure out how to do. “My sister had one of these,” he explained. “They make it tricky. It’s why I drive Fords.”
Wonder if Ford is in the communications business yet.
And in other news, our stove died.