26 September, 2006

A quick update

Chickie is fine. Phew!

We took him back to the doctors, as they wanted to keep an eye on him, and apparently he has a mild case of pneumonia which is responding very well to antibiotics. We had to keep him quiet for a few days (not easy - even when he's sick, he's always been an active kid) and then he could pretty much go back to usual activities. We do have to watch him to see if he starts acting 'flat' or his energy levels drop, or if he develops a fever - then we have to take him straight to hospital. The doctor doesn't expect this to happen though, he says Chickie is doing really well.

I'm back on to the phones and after 2 days, I'm already tired of arguing with some people.

There's a charge to investigate a phone fault IF the problem turns out to be the customer's equipment (or deliberate damage by the customer), otherwise there's no charge. This is charged by the wholesaler (not our company, we just pass it on). You would not believe how many people refuse to pay this.

I personally think it is reasonable - the fee is expensive, yes, but the theory behind it is reasonable. Why should the wholesaler send a tech out - free of charge to the customer - when the problem is that the customer's handset (that couldn't possibly have anything wrong with it because it's worked fine for the last 50 million years) now isn't working? Why would it be reasonable to get a FREE tech out to investigate a problem when the wholesaler's network/equipment is working as it should but the customer's equipment isn't?

For goodness sakes people - things break! How many times have you had a hair dryer or a toaster that just suddenly stopped working? I know it can be inconvenient to do the testing sometimes but honestly, wouldn't you rather do a little bit - just in case it's a matter of unplugging one bit of equipment so that you get your service back now and not have to wait a couple of days? GAH!!

Ok, rant over... just had to get it out of my system. I have just 13 more actual days of this to go. I can make it (I just have to keep telling myself that).


My float said...

Pneumonia? The poor little thing.

As for the equipment, hm. You make complete sense! (I'd have probably griped about paying too, though. Maybe.)

caramaena said...

Hi my float,

Yep pneumonia - though he's fine. Honestly we were surprised since he doesn't look or act sick at all. He just has a cough.

I don't mind people griping about the amount of the fee. It's expensive and there's no way I'd want to pay it.

I think it's designed to get the customer to double check that it's not their equipment rather than send a tech out to unplug their phone, plug another in and have it work. Doing that is a waste of the tech's time and it's a waste of the company's money (if it were free). As it is people complain about how long it can take to get their faults fixed (in urban areas, most of the time, we'll get a resolution date/time for the end of the next day). If we had to send tech's out to do simple troubleshooting as well, we'd probably start getting date/times blowing out to a week!

I should also state that most people are reasonable about it all, and some lovely people do all the testing before even calling us. That always makes our jobs much easier and we can report things quicker for them.

It's just a small minority that leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Heh, I guess we can call that 'rant continued'. Sorry!

Steve said...

With the number of techs they've gotten rid of in the last couple of months, I'm surprised faults are getting fixed as quick as they are.

Speaking of visits by techs. Back in the dim dark ages, if a phone was left off the hook it would hold up a piece of equipment in the exchange. A lot of people would take their phone off the hook to avoid being woken up by a ringing phone. If that happened too many times in one exchange you would end up with congestion as there wouldn't be enough lines for other people to make calls.

To get around this, the techs in the exchange would put a howler on the line. The howler would get louder and louder until someone in the house would think, "what's that horrible noise?" and would hang the phone up.

One of my instructors at training school when I was an apprentice told us of the time they put a howler on someones phone. After a while the line went completely open circuit. Something it shouldn't do.

They sent a tech around to the customer's house to find out what the problem was and discovered a smashed phone.

They lady of the house had heard the howler getting louder and thought it was going to explode, so she hit it with a broom and killed it.

caramaena said...

Oh that's hilarious steve! I don't think that would have been covered under 'fair wear and tear' though :D