Archive for the ‘2 hours’ Category

How Long Does it take to get Internet Service?

Monday, December 21st, 2009

I am very grateful that I live in Berlin…its no third world country but if you want internet at home, hell it might as well be a fourth world country!  In a previous November techshit posting, I wrote about our frustration regarding Alice.  Well, now I get to express some frustration about internet service in general.  Image you approach a company and sign on as a member.  They kindly and quickly notify you that you are now a member and welcome you to the team.  That is nice….

…then they charge your bank account.  Then nothing happens….you get a letter in the mail telling you you don’t have available access lines for internet in your private home.  We tell them we do.  We recognize there are multiple companies within the building and with DID and whatnot they use up a lot of the lines available, however, there had been a phone line from the previous tenant and thus, we know there is a line available for our internet.  We inquire with the landlord agency and they share with us the information about the previous tenant.  We forward that on to Vodafone, the new ISP.  They tell us they will investigate the issue and since we are clients of theirs and still don’t have service that we will obtain a UMTS stick in the mail so we can use our internet service since we are essentially paying for it.  Each day when you arrive home you open the mailbox only to find bills, bills, and more bills.  NO STICK!  Finally, a letter from Vodafone.  No stick or further instruction.  We call.  We wait on HOLD with crappy Christmas music for 30 min.  Finally- a representative picks up and begins to answer our calls and tells us that there is no stick in the mail.  We are instructed by him to visit a Vodafone store, which is exactly what we do. We go in there and are told we cannot obtain a stick.  The reason: they don’t know how to book a free stick into their computer system.  Oh man…how hard can it really be?  The representative helping us calls the company.  The tell her that is impossible so after a 5 min. discussion she tells us we can pay for the stick and that next time we sign up for internet that we should come into a store instead of order the service on line.  Ha-Sebastian is a busy guy and does such tasks online….he’s not about to waste his time and come into a store for that.  In any case, here we are….no stick, no service, no anything.  I ask the lady kindly, “isn’t there another way to book it so that we can obtain a stick and go home as satisfied customers?” The response to my question was more than disappointing thus my response was: “Ok, could you please give me a piece of paper? I would like to cancel our membership service!”   Then of course I tried to speak in both German and English because, as Sebastian knows, I am not able to express myself 100% in German and therefore a very angry Danglish outburst was released in the store.  After 5 minutes of my threatening, the rep finally called back the Vodafone store.  She was put on hold for 25 minutes before speaking to a rep.  I was furious!  After 10 minutes of retelling the story to the second rep she finally told them that the client was threatening to cancel….AT LAST- something that worked!  The person on the phone gave detailed instructions and walked the rep through the process to get a stick and book it comp’ed.  After all that she charged us 1 Euro and Sebastian gave her an extra Euro tip as a Thanks for finally helping us.  I hope she goes and gets a cup of coffee and thinks about changing jobs…who would possibly want to work for a company that barely knows what customer service is.  Speaking of customer service, I must briefly share my last E-Plus/Base visit.  Once again I had been heated by the e71 Nokia phone menu button.  As I told the gentleman about the issue, towards the end of our long conversation he told me, “I am sorry, but I can guarantee that I will not be able to help you.” ….HUH??? Where the hell am I? THE LAND OF NO CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!  This is probably quite common for any German, however, I was born in the US…the place of FREEDOM and SERVICE!!! Never ever will any US resident hear those words from any company, store, representative or person unless they want their company to go out of business of unless they want themselves fired from a job so they can collect unemployment benefits.

UMTS Vodafon Stick

In any case, back to the Vodaphone store.  We took our temporary 1 euro 3 month purchase home.  The stick is great because you don’t need to program anything or enter any key. You simply need to stick it into a USB port and do a few clicks on the screen and your internet will be up and running.  That is of course only if you use it for basic needs, such as to look at a website or send an email.  God forbid you use Skype!  I purchased several hours of Skype time so I could call friends and family in the US.  All for nothing.  Try using Skype with a UMTS stick.  It will get you NO where.  If you are lucky enough that the call goes through, you will then be able to talk for approximately 2 minutes.  If you’re SUPER lucky it might not cut you off before 4 minutes.  After 20 minutes of not hearing and getting cut off 10 times, I decided not to use Skype and wait to speak with friends and family until Jan. 4, 2010 when our internet service is supposed to begin…………….

…………….we’ll see about that!!!   I’ll be optimistic: 2010 will be a good year.  A good year for IT and Tech??