Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Juggling Problems with the Move & Internet Back Up (Kind of)

It's not right or best but I have partial internet here at my new home, after a delay in services of no less than 14 days thanks to poor service by our ISP, AT&T. As I write this I have found a back door onto the Internet, while I wait for AT&T to return my call to get the Internet working in the correct manner.

After 12 years of fantastic service for DSL then later, U-Verse back in Connecticut we are surprised to have had nothing but problems with both our landline home phone and DSL internet here in Texas with AT&T.

I mentioned in my last post that we are having problems with every service and it remains true still today. As I write this I am waiting with a five hour service window for a repair to the dishwasher which has no water, yesterday I sat here for no less than nine hours waiting for AT&T to fix the DSL (try #3), and tomorrow I will sit for a different AT&T crew to fix the landline (visit #4).

I waver between accusing myself of being a brat for feeling resentful that nothing is going right and then reminding myself that all I expect is basic customer service that is nothing more than the basic services that these service providers market and sell.

I am finding a common thread in the break down in providing good service with the various companies. The problem is the office staff. The workers who arrive on scene, the blue collar workers who deliver or the technicians who do whatever they do with machinery or wires or switches know what they are doing. They have knowledge and they use it. However they are like puppets on a string, hampered and limited by company rules and they are only allowed to do what they are told.

There seems to be a problem with the people in the middle, those customer service people on the phones. What they sell us and what we pay for which they coordinate with the people who actually do the work gets screwed up somewhere between the order and the actual work being done.

To further complicate matters, rules of the organization do not apparently favor a goal of attaining customer satisfaction. They want the sale and our business but they don't seem to care about true customer satisfaction or just doing the job right the first time. When a company screws up it seems to me the customer service rep should bump up our next service call as a priority but instead we are put to the back of the line behind whoever else was in front of us, even though our problem was caused by their company.  You'd think they'd seek to fix the problem they created ASAP by putting us at the head of the line, but no.

When we paid an additional fee for Home Depot to hook up the gas line to the new dryer, it took me by surprise to be asked at delivery time who would set it up and when I replied, "you", was informed that we'd not paid for said service (when we really did).

When I'm told the landline phone is hooked up and ready but there is no dial tone, something is amiss.

When the expensive new mattresses we bought advertised that they come with a free pillow, and no pillow arrives with the delivery, I start to question my memory.

These types of problems seem small when they happen one at a time, but when facing a major life stressor like making a long distance move, dealing with these types of problems from every single company one deals with, juggling over a half dozen of these things daily can be maddening.

It is a challenge when making a major move, to just try to do things like find the shampoo, and when I'm busy trying to find the lost boxes the movers misplaced so I can boil water to cook pasta for a home cooked meal. Then to need things like milk for cereal and a loaf of bread but to not be able to leave the house due to being required to sit all day waiting for service people or deliveries is crazy making.

My energy is sapped and my patience level is low. Now throw into the mix that I'm with two kids 24/7 who have no new friends here. We're in a heat wave in Texas and the kids on the block are in hiding indoors or in camps or away on vacation, I guess, as no one is around to play with. I didn't want my kids feeling isolated when they arrived in Texas but that is what is happening. Regarding having fun in general and exploring the area, I am so busy sitting waiting for service providers in our new home that I can't take my kids out to have fun anywhere. It's Tuesday morning and this week the plans are that I am spending three days sitting here waiting for services. The first weekend here as a family of four was about unpacking so we could have clean clothes to wear, it was not about kicking back and having fun.

I want to get back to living an ordinary life.

I need to finish this unpacking and home organization so that I can begin working on homeschool planning for this next academic year. In Connecticut most homeschoolers resume school after Labor Day but here in Texas schools begin on August 22. So, there was pressure to make fast decisions about what classes to enroll my kids in locally but they insist they do not want to do any co-op's or outside classes with local homeschoolers and I'm giving in to their request so that is off my "to do" list. I may regret going with their decision though because I know my kids, and they are extroverts who will probably wind up lonely without such activities. I don't have the fight in me to convince them to take this class or do that co-op. Well anyway, due to not having Internet for the first two weeks we moved has prevented me from even learning about what opportunities are out there.

I've begun to investigate sports for my older son. I hit a wall with the Boy Scout troop search and have no time or energy to deal with that this week anyway. I'll push that off for now. So the work on extra-curricular activities has not made much progress either.

A friend asked me if I have prayed about all this and I have, but it doesn't feel like it is working or even lifting any stress. I am kind of at my wit's end and don't really want to hear about things happening in God's time. I need some things to happen right now. I feel like I bear a huge burden with the responsibility of the logistics of this move and setting up this new home. Add mothering my kids and homeschooling on top of it all and I'm overwhelmed. Period.

Over and out.


KC said...

I'm so sorry you're having a horrible move! Moving really does suck. I don't know if it will make you feel better or not, but when we moved into our house I had two months of mover's depression where I just ignored my kids and they watched movies and I re-read The Lord of the Rings trilogy and ate chocolate covered peanuts and gained 20 lbs. It was great! (sarcasm)

Anyway, we survived it. I wish I could say I've lost the weight... but it's only been 5 years, right? lol!

Things will get better! If nothing else, become unschoolers for a couple months and bag 'real school' and have them do lots of reading. :)

Maureen Page said...

Your situation sounds very frustrating and I'm sure I would feel the same way. I hope things improve daily. I run a business myself and will take your comments to heart.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Christine, moving is so stressful without having to deal with poor service! After the longest move on record, just yesterday I got my e-mail configured properly, and that was with GOOD service.

My heart goes out to you. Between the heat, the inability to leave the house, and chaos all around, you are where I was during the Wallow fire. Cabin fever and piles of boxes, and even opening the wrong cabinets all the time, all can drive you bonkers. And saying "this too shall pass" is no comfort.

Thinking of you every day!