Friday, June 29, 2007

"Helpline" Was Misleading

There's two ways of looking at it.

Either I have it in for the services industry, or they have it in for me.

And, after today, I'm pretty sure it's the latter.

These things can get pretty long, and you're a busy person (why else are you on Bebo?), so I'll cut to the chase and give you a summary:

I had a problem. I rang for help. They made my mind implode with jaw-dropping amounts of stupidity. General hilarity ensued.

The end? If only.

I got a Xbox 360 a while back. Yeah, I know, it's lovely, and I really should be rolling around in the piles of cash I obviously have rather than writing this blog.

There was a small problem though...

It kind of goes on fire when you try and turn it on.

This presented a slight hindrance.

So, after a little while of balancing fun against risk of an arson conviction, I decided to get it sorted out.

Enter Microsoft Customer Support.

Exit my sanity.

Operator: Hello, Microsoft Quality Support Service. So that I may fully assist your claim of problem in its journey to resolution, can you specify your name please?

I should have realised at this point there would be a problem.

Me: Sorry?
Operator: Your name, please.
Me: Oh, right. David Perry.
Operator: So your name is correct, may you spell it please?
Me: Sure, it's D A V I D. P E R R Y
Operator: ...Ok. Daeod Paooi.

I definately should have realised there was a problem, at this point. Should have just hung up the phone and ran away. Far, far away to a country free from nonsensical helplines.

Me: No... David Perry.
Operator: Spell it please?
Me: Alright... D A V I D. P E R R Y.
Operator: O as in Orange?
Me: Sorry?
Operator: Paooi- O as in Oranage?
Me: No... R.
Operator: O?
Me: No, R, as in "ridiculous".

I'm not sure why this was happening, this person was English. It went on for a while, until we began to make progress.

Operator So... Daeod Purry?
Me: Close enough.

Meh. Cue technical jargon.

Operator: So, how may I be of help to you, Daeod?
Me: Well, I have a Xbox 360. Whenever I try to start it up, it begins to overheat, and it shuts itself down. One red light starts to flash, and an error message comes up on the screen... it says its "error 68".
Operator: So... When you are playing your Xbox, three red lights start to flash instead of the usual green?
Me: No... Whenever I try to start it up, before I ever get to play it, it shuts itself down, one red light starts flashing, and an error message comes up on the screen- it says "error 68".
Operator: Alright, now before I can address your problem, I need to register you on the database.

Chinese water torture. That's what its got to be. They're trying to erode my will to get my Xbox replaced. Anyway, I spent about fifteen minutes giving my email address, mobile number, the console serial number, my address ("Airpark" sounds like "Alabaster", you'll be pleased to hear.), and other highly relevant information...

Operator: What is your desired brand of media?
Me: Sorry?
Operator: Which form of media do you peruse most often?
Me: TV, maybe?
Operator: And your prefered brand of clothing?
Me: You're losing me here.
Operator: What clothes do you have?
Me: Oh, I'm sorry, my Xbox set fire to all my clothes.

Sarcasm gets you places.

Operator: Alright so... Now, to address your problem.
Me: Oh, good. Yeah... I checked your website, it says the error is caused by a faulty harddrive. I'm supposed to ring you for a replacement and repair of the console?
Operator: Do you have your console with you?
Me: No... What's the problem?
Operator: I need you to check the serial number you gave me against that on the machine.
Me: That is the number. Trust me.
Operator: The computer will not let me enter it. I'm afraid you will have to ring back when you are with the console.
Me: But I've told you what the problem is... doesn't that help at all?
Operator: The series of tests required to determine the problem require you to have your console in front of you.
Me: But I told you what the problem was. The console tells you what the problem is. The website told me what the problem was.
Operator: I'm sorry, you'll have to ring back.


Well, I suppose that gives me some hope at least.

Except replace "hope" with "mind-numbing retardation".

Me: Alright. What time are you open until tomorrow?
Operator: 10 a.m. And thank you for calling Microsoft Quality Support Service, Daeod.

It was at this point that I may have concussed myself with the phone receiver.

Seriously. Chinese water torture. Highly sophisticated Chinese water torture involving telephones, and no water, but more brain damage.

Can't wait till I ring back tomorrow.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Who Said Moving Was Stressful? #2

There's something about being woken up at 6 every morning to the sound of pneumatic drills and sledgehammers. Something that makes me...


But that's not the sole cause. Oh no.

You see, the builders aren't just outside...

They've been inside as well.

Builder: Well, it seems your toilet is overflowing.

Me: Yeah, something tipped me off to that. The bathroom seemed to have more floating crap than usual. But what's causing it?

Builder: I already checked. Looks like someones been dumping tools and rubbish down the toilet.



It was at this point that I may have lit several small villages in France alight, purely through blind mental rage.

Je suis desole.

But it's not just the builders, either.

I don't have a net connection in my house yet. NTL came around today to install it. All good so far.

But really, I should have realised something was amiss when the engineer got lost in our driveway.

It got better from there though.

Except replace "better" with "horribly, horribly worse".

Engineer: Hang on, I'm not getting any signal for broadband. Let me check with the exchange to see if everything is fully compatible with your area...

Me: Right.

(One phone call later)

Engineer: Ok, so apparently they haven't got it turned on at the exchange.

Me: They haven't got it turned on?

Engineer: No.

Me: But you were just on the phone to them.

Engineer: Right.

Me: Couldn't you have asked them to turn it on?

Engineer: ...I suppose. But I'm going to have to come back down in 4 working days to install it once they've turned it on.

Me: But... Right, let me get this straight. They have to turn it on at the exchange?

Engineer: Yes.

Me: They have to flip a switch or something equally mindblowing.

Engineer: Pretty much.

Me: And you were on the phone to them just now. But you can't get them to turn it on now and install it while you're here.

Engineer: Well, yeah...

Me: I think my logic centre just imploded.

Guess what?

NTL have made the list.

Who Said Moving Was Stressful?


I think the boredom's making my head hurt.

That, or all the Valium...

Anyway, yesterday was supposed to be The Moving Day, Part 2 (tm). But somewhere along the line it just crashed, burned and exploded violently.

29 people were killed.

But apart from that little occurence, pretty everything that could go wrong, did go horribly, horribly wrong.

Imagine it. I'm standing in what will soon be the new kitchen at about 9 a.m., pretty happy with the idea of getting a house again. And that's an accomplishment, I'm really not a morning person.

But then it all goes rapidly downhill from there. Furniture doesn't arrive! The curtains don't fit! The TV doesn't fit on the stand! The shower doesn't work! Pressing certain lightswitches makes small children explode! Really, it keeps going, it's a very long list.

Needless to say, hilarity ensued.

I've never seen so many builders in any one place at any one time. They were everywhere. Most seemed hellbent on crushing my dog.

Maybe I'm just biased against the construction industry in general. They ran into my old house in a steamroller, threw a sledgehammer through my bedroom wall, and my personal favourite, tested for live wires...

With a pitchfork.


I think the conversation went something like this:

Builder: How's it going? I have a deathwish and would like to commit personal and professional suicide as well as causing grevious damage to just about everything possible. Will you bear witness?

Me: You are silly.

...I paraphrased.

I'm just waiting for the same thing to happen here.

Now... where did I leave that Valium?