Overcoming changing service providers!


If you thought dealing with Covid 19, suffering lockdowns, cooking fresh artichokes or your relationships/marriages were difficult, nothing compares with changing Internet providers. I am only just now recovering and surviving after almost two weeks of total mayhem and incapacitation. I don’t know if I will have the will and aptitude, morally or otherwise, to do this ever again!

As always on waking up I normally go downstairs, after putting on socks, and checking the mirror if I am still around, and light up the gas and put the kettle on for a cup-o-tea. I used to have percolated coffee but wasn’t too keen on the bout of the intestinal percolating afterwards. It’s part of ageing. It is tea now but with two sugars in compensation. I have been told by my dearest Annette to try and gain more weight or at least not lose any, but she was pleased to know that since we met a couple of months ago, I put on 2.6 kilos. Love isย  rich in all sorts of good ingredients and beats eating McDonalds at any time.ย  I now try and follow up by having generous ladles of vanilla ice-cream mixed with Greek yoghurt and a spoonful of real maple syrup before bed-time but after Netflix’s Schitt’s Creek. It all helps!

After the morning’s rituals I go and check emails and that’s when I had another notification from my new provider that I had almost used up my internet allowable usage and that my internet speed would be ‘shaped’ to 32 kbps until the start of next month’s billing period. Can you believe it? After trying to get help following the suggested help line from my new provider I was, as always, brought to a rage having to push numbers to get to the department that deals with my problem. Of course, not a single real person to get help from. I hung up and decided to fill in a ‘satisfaction’ form the new provider sent me.. I had a choice of giving stars ranging my satisfaction from 0 to 10. I filled in 4 which is ‘unsatisfied’. I was then asked to give my reason for this low evaluation. I wrote then I was ‘close to losing the will to go on’. ‘I am at breaking point’, I added.

That brought an immediate reaction from the new service provider. A nice man called BOB rang me. He had a strong accent and I guessed he might have come from an African background. He was very concerned and patiently guided me through the process of getting it all to work. It looked as if I had multiple accounts and he ever so calmly simplified everything. He was a real person, not just a button. It was all sorted out after about twenty minutes with Bob. I was so grateful and told him he was most helpful.

And that’s what makes modern life so hard. Where are the people? What happened to service from living helpers?

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19 Responses to “Overcoming changing service providers!”

  1. freefall852 Says:

    ” Where are the people? What happened to service from living helpers?”……..They all came from ours or earlier generstions, Gerard…and they died!…the following generations ; X, Y, Z, millennials are NOT human…they are but extensions of their smart-phones…and if what you want is not available from an “app”…whatever THAT is…it is of no value…..best of luck for the future.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, It must put off so many people from even trying the internet or iPhones. All those ID’s and passwords. WordPress too has been trying to implement changes when things were working perfectly.

      The latest are sms codes that appear for a split second on your iPhone to prove you are a real person. But you are talking on the phone to them and to see the code you have to change the front of the iPhone back to messages!. What about the button on the other end of the line ? Why can’t they be a real person?

      I am lucky to have Annette who is calm and with her gentle nature is able to steer me through the storm.


  2. auntyuta Says:

    Yes, Gerard, I too wish you best of luck for the future. And by the way, I could use a bit of luck like that too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. catterel Says:

    On the whole, I share your frustration – but I had a wonderful experience last week with Apple support, whom I had to keep ringing because my Mac was slowly expiring (slow being the operative word) – and for 4 days running Apple technicians helped me patiently and graciously. I even got the same man, Richard, on two consecutive days! Alas, the upshot was that I finally bought a new Mac, but I was deeply impressed by the speed with which I was connected to a human being, with virtually no musical interlude, and how efficient, pleasant and helpful they all were. And really tried to save my old laptop – no pressure to get a new one. So maybe Apple has a monopoly on humans?

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Glad to hear you had such a good experience. All is not lost.
      I just had an email from my ‘service provider’ to say I had almost used my monthly download and upload but that I still had 13 days left before my new billing period would start. In the meantime my internet speed would be slowed down to 35KBPS. That is very slow and so I decided to upgrade my plan.
      It’s those issues that I am screaming out for a real person on the phone to help me upgrade. I finally got a real person on the phone but because of the slow download speed her voice sounded staccato and I could not make out what she was saying except in short bits or bites, or whatever.

      I don’t know how nervous elderly people deal with those issues. I am lucky to have Annette and my coffee mornings at the Cricket cafรฉ. They are really very necessary psychological restoration meetings to de-stress and keep going with life.

      Thank goodness too for Bunnings and their sausage mornings.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Robert Parker Says:

    Hello Gerard – I’m sure you’re looking forward to riding in self-driving cars. having every help line serviced by chatbots, and all the other aspects of daily life that we all know, will be wonderfully managed by Artificial Intelligence. I’m trying to think of ways to make myself indispensable to the robot overlords, but haven’t come up with anything. I was just reading in the NY Times “The robots are coming for Phil in Accounting,” and cannot wait for my paycheck to be handed out by a steely-eyed automaton. The VA is already testing automated hotlines for veterans in psychological distress. (Apparently that works quite well, the vets feel more free to discuss their problems, when they know it’s a computer and not a person.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Robert. We just have to form our own survival groups and join mental restoration societies that no doubt will spring up.

      We just saw an excellent movie by a Chinese woman called Nomadland. It really touched me and Annette deeply. Although huddling around a small fire opening a can of Campbell soup looked a bit grim.

      Still, they, the lost and lonely, as a result of US financial downturns managed to form a close bond of nomads and all lived in their off-road vehicles seemingly content and happy. Is that the answer?


  5. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    It IS rare to get a real person…especially a real person who isn’t talking to your from the moon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€ I miss the days of the more local connections and help.
    YAY for Bob!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Bob was a rarity. He was everyone’s dream come true with solving internet or internet providers problems.
      Real persons are missing now. You get re-directed to buttons and automated replies.
      I am now reduced to 35KBPS which is so slow my internet times out out after 30 seconds have lapsed. I have upgraded to a new packet of 100 Gigabytes but have to wait when the week-end passes.
      Hugs to the world and all the Coopers,

      Liked by 1 person

  6. shoreacres Says:

    You have all my sympathy, Gerard, and of course it’s a sympathy born of similar experiences. My latest tussle was with Amazon, aka The Behemoth. I try to limit purchases there, but sometimes they’re the only place where replacement parts for older items can be found, and so it was that I placed an order.

    Two days later, I received an email that the parcel had been delivered and “handed to a resident.” That raised any number of questions, since I hadn’t received the package. “Which resident?” came to mind. I went to the office, and they said they no longer receive parcels, since we have an Amazon locker. My manager checked to be sure my delivery hadn’t landed in the locker, and I received an incorrect notice. Nope.

    I asked my neighbors, who of course hadn’t received the package. When I tried to get in contact with Amazon customer service, it took me 20 minutes to find *how* to contact them. When I clicked the “chat with us” button, I didn’t get a person, but a bot that didn’t seem in the best of moods. Finally, I gave up entirely, and went to pick up my mail. I happened to look behind the parcel locker, and there was mine: lying on the ground.

    I went straight home, found the ‘leave us some feedback’ link, and left some fairly direct feedback. The Bot said “Thank you.” I got a beer, pondered the errors of my ways, and recommitted myself to an 18th century life-style.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, what a journey the last few days have been, Linda. Sorry for my late reply to your so well written response to my own insignificant Service Provider dilemma.
      It turned out that watching Netflix movies or any streamed television uses up data. I thought in my ignorance that the TV movies came through the TV connection electricity supply. I was wrong. It is through the Wi-Fi. That explains why I had used up all my data according to my ‘service provider’s plan. In response to that they ‘throttled down’ my internet to 35KBPS which made it useless.

      Not only that, ( come a bit closer to the screen now, Linda) In my attempt to upgrade to a new more expensive plan, when paying for it on line, it turned out to be a scammer who deftly debited my account twice with over $400.- each time with split second precision. My bank fortunately smelled a rat and contacted me in order if those payments were legitimate. Boy, did I get into a state. ‘Sobbing with rage’.

      The bank stopped the debit card but it would take a few days to post me a new card. In the mean time my internet was throttled down and I had to now pay my provider with a different account. But, seeing that my last attempt to pay them resulted in been hacked I was super careful this time it would be done differently. Since late last night the restriction on the internet were lifted, hence my response to your problems, Linda.

      Did you see Nomadland? It is a brilliant work if somewhat glum. It shows Amazon in all its spiritual dehydration. This aimless cavernous shed robotically moving boxes of ordered goods around. A nightmarish world which the nomads in this film adroitly avoid by just driving along meeting up with other nomads.


  7. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Corporations figured out it was much cheaper to not use humans, or, if they had to, to use humans who came with much lower salaries. Pure and simple it’s the unending story of greed multiplied many times by modern capitalism. Put in the challenges of constantly changing technology on top of that and Voila! โ€“Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I don’t know the answer except to support those that do try and make this a better world.
      I was hacked and scammed a few days ago and I am so over this world. Fortunately, people like you, and so may others show a kinder beautiful world that keeps the faith alive.


      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        I get as frustrated as you, Gerard. Just ask Peggy, who has to live through some of my tirades. Sometimes a sense of humor is the only solution: Non ergo in te vocabo… don’t let the bastards get you down. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  8. leggypeggy Says:

    Three cheers for Bob. Nothing like dealing with a human.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rangewriter Says:

    The living helpers are now, all too often, jobless, homeless, and in dire need of help.

    Liked by 1 person

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