Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Alice T-com disaster

For the last 10 days, I am feeling like a ping-pong ball that is cut off from the world. In normal English, this means I have no telephone/internet at home and I have been calling Alice and T-com almost every day to set it right. It all started in Aug 2008 (that's right!), when I decided to switch from one provider (T-com) to another(Alice). Since my T-com contract was running until the end of March 2010, Alice said it will work with T-com to get my services transferred while I still retained by telephone number...sounds simple enough...atleast that's what I thought.

In feb this year I decided I was not going to switch to Alice and since I had more than a month's time, I figured I was in good shape and informed Alice. I also got an acknowledgement from them saying the usual 'we are sorry to see you go'...blah...blah....

Its April 1, 2010 and both T-com and Alice decided to choose me as the April fool victim. Phone line, DSL everything stops working. Alice says T-com should reactivate it and T-com says they have already passed the connection to Alice and so they cannot activate it.....net result: I am sitting in a net-cafe (for the first time in Germany) on a sunday grumbling about my predicament in a blog, where I should actually be writing about much more 'interesting' topics!!

For a multi-billion dollar industry like Telecommunications, its really hard for me to fathom how they get away with such miserable customer service....I have heard of so many horror stories from other friends and colleagues about most of these providers but never thought I would become an example myself ! And what's more, calling the customer service, listening to their godawful music before you get to talk to one of them, trying to explain to the person (naturally a different one every time) the predicament again and again only to receive different replies every time is just nerve-wrecking....I have a list of almost 12 names with notes against every one of them...none of which matches what the other said. I usually pity those working in a call centre since they have to deal with all sorts of customers for products they never developed or services they never offered but I am now slowly losing my patience and very soon I guess, I will be yelling in German (something I have never done before !)....God help me !

I am wondering if the industry simply takes undue advantage of the customers' dependency on telephone/internet. I hate to admit that not having internet at home is slowly driving me crazy inspite of whatever I do to keep myself occupied....right from checking the weather before going out for a run to calling India, nothing seems possible without the world wide web and God only knows how many calls I will have to return if and when I get my landline back !

Come-on Sowmya, take a deep breath....think of happy thoughts....
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