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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mis-information Systems

The following post is a venting that has been building for about 3 weeks. Thank you for listening. No animals were harmed in the making of this vent, but one dog almost got kicked.

Moving into our new house 2 weeks ago, my wife (ever the consummate planner) arranged for Qwest and Direct TV to be installed as we are moving in so we have phone lines to order pizza, high speed Internet to look up the pizza place's number and television to watch while we are taking a break from unpacking boxes and eating pizza.

The fun began when Direct TV sends out a kid who looked to be about 17 years old to install our satellite. He can't figure out how to turn the TV on without the remote, which is still in a box somewhere, nor does he possess the mental capacity to use another TV to check his installation, so he leaves and tells us to call the service number and they'll do it. I get home to realize he has left the old dish in the yard along with the bolts, nuts and cable. Frustration level at 2 out of 10 I call Direct TV to sort it out. 45 minutes of talking to the service tech and still no solution. My cel phone goes dead because Quest hasn't even shown up yet to turn on our phones. My wife calls Quest to sort that out later and gets some tech to come by and turn the phones on... finally.

The Internet isn't on though. Why? Because when we call to find out what's going on with it the guy asks where the modem is.
"What modem?"
"The one you said you were providing."
"Uh... no you were bringing it when you install it."
"Oh, we don't bring them. UPS ships them the day before."
Another call discovers that the modem is being shipped, but it's not a wireless modem. We should refuse delivery and they'll ship our wireless modem. The next day 2 modems show up and the following day the wireless modem comes too. Frustration level 5 out of 10.

Another 45 minutes with Direct TV and they call the same installer, who comes out and installs it right this time. I ask him to take the old satellite. He still leaves the bolts and cable in my yard. 6 out of 10.

I hook up the wireless modem and follow it's "easy" instructions, which miss little steps in the instructions like turn on the modem. Luckily I figured that out on my own. 58 minutes on the phone with Qwest and they think they've determined that the Internet may be blocked outside our house from the main switch. They'd send some one around to look at it. Ya think? 7 out of 10.

Next morning we get a call from a Direct TV person who is on his way to our house to hook up our TV... which is already working.

Internet is turned on, my wife goes through the instructions with some tech on the phone and gets it working if the computer is wired in. I come home to install the wireless portion it asks for a key #. I call to get the number. 45 minutes later the guy says, "Not my deal, you'll have to call the manufacturer on it"

RING - RING - "Hello Barretts." "Hi, I'm with Direct TV, and I'm on my way out to fix your..." "I got it fixed already ya idiot" - Click! Frustration Level is 8.5 out of 10. Luckily our dog, Baxter has quick reflexes or he would have caught a size 10 in the side as I walked past him. I tinker for 5 minutes and call back, ask for the key #, 30 seconds later I get a key number and presto, the modem works.

Next morning I get a call from Qwest that the tech is on his way to fix the Internet... which is already working. Uh, Houston, we have a problem.

UPS doesn't pick up the packages. My wife calls to find out why. No one knows why. They realize only 1 of the 2 packages was scheduled for pick up and enter in the second and promise UPS will be back out tomorrow. 9 .8 out of 10 My thoughts... If you are going to spend money on an information system... then use the stupid thing.

I sit down and start typing... blowing off steam and venting my frustrations. Ahh, back to 2 out of 10. I get a message that the parking Nazis on campus have issued 2, $30 parking tickets to our clients for some ridiculous reason. Now I get to go argue with them about waiving the ticket. 6 out of 10... here we go again.