Spirit Of Service My Foot

Simon McCormack
3 min read
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In my fight to stave off perpetual boredom, I contacted Qwest Communications and asked them to set up a phone line, DSL Internet and satellite TV. Their partnership with Direct TV allows them to provide the latter service which is much cheaper than cable, so I figured I’d give it a try.

Things began to go awry when I realized my phone line was not working well after the date the customer service agent had assured me it would be and my DSL modem had yet to arrive. I decided to deal with the modem issue first so I called Qwest and told them my package, which was supposed to arrive three days ago, had not come. The Qwest rep told me that the package had been delivered to my front porch which struck me as odd for a couple of reasons, one being that I hadn’t received it and the other being that I don’t have a porch. The problem appears to have arisen because UPS was told my address was at Apartment 3 (which it isn’t) and, after discovering that there was no Apartment 3, the UPS driver decided it would be best to set the modem on my neighbor’s porch and drive off without leaving any notification that he or she had done so.

I was able to talk to my neighbor whose porch the package had been left on and he gave me the modem. It had been a trying day but my frustrations had been diminished. Now there was the matter of the non-working phone line.

After a cordial but completely unhelpful conversation with a member of the Qwest technical support team, I was left with the impression that: my line should be working, there was no reason for my line not to be working and if the reason for the line not working had anything to do with the wiring in my house, I would be charged a minimum of $85 to have the problem fixed.

I decided, instead of having a repair person come out to my house to charge me for something that I believed was Qwest’s fault, I’d give the Qwest business office a call to see if my phone line had not actually been set up. Sure enough, Qwest had activated the phone line in Apartment 3 at my address. Again, I don’t live in Apartment 3 and neither does anyone else because it doesn’t exist. The Qwest representative assured me that Apartment 3 did in fact exist and it was Apartment C (which I was pretty sure I lived in) that didn’t. The customer service agent and I agreed to disagree and I mentioned that the previous tenant at my apartment had DSL service through Qwest. After a half an hour of hold music and electronic assurances that I would be helped shortly, the customer service agent returned to the line and informed me that the previous tenant had lived in Apartment 5. We decided it was best to pretend, for Qwest’s computer’s sake, that Apartment C was in fact Apartment 5. I still wouldn’t get phone service until four days later but at least I had put an end to all of the confusion. I’m worried that this bumpy start might be a sign of things to come and I’ve already stupidly locked myself into a two-year contract with these people so I’m at their mercy when it comes to their screw ups. I’d be interested to hear if others have had similar experiences or if my story is an anomaly.
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