Versatel stole an hour of my lifetime
Tonight, 8:50 PM, I am at home catching up on some work and all of the sudden the Internet is gone.
Since I consider myself to be one of those rather painless customers (We never call, we never bitch and we always look for the error on our end first!), I go and powercycle the modem and my router. I am geeky enough to know that I don’t have to reboot my laptop (which is the #1 advice given at those hotlines) but as far as everything in between is concerned, I powercycle therefor I am.
So I did just that and everything comes back up, and there is still no Internet.
The lamps blink and say, “Everything is OK.”. Those fucking liars.
I have to resort to calling my provider, Versatel. And my quest starts by finding a phone number to call. In the process I went through a couple invoices and my initial order and found three numbers. I had to call each of those numbers to only realize the hotline no longer uses any of them. Luckily, the last number gave me an alternative to call.
By the way, I think that was the German voice of Die Hard‘s Bruce Willis who told me that the new number is 01805151818.
So I call, answer a lot of questions by punching numbers, wait for seven to ten minutes (by the way, all this costs 12c per minute) and finally get ahold of someone. The person tries to be really helpful and responsive, but starts off by asking me everything again – remember the numbers and selections above?
So after we get passed all that – now he knows everything about my Internet – he starts of by asking me if I powercycled my stuff but also notices that the billing department suspended my account – no reason given. So he transfers me over to the next guy, billing department. I am in line so to speak waiting for another five minutes (for 12 cents per minute) and finally get ahold of someone who’s really sorry about everything.
He explains that even though (!!!) I paid everything on time, the last mail (snail mail) bounced back to them and that they suspended my account at 8:50 PM tonight as a security measure so I call them back to resolve this. Which of course worked really well. I admit that I am a bit upset now and start to vent (but keeping the noise at ease) and tell him that I would have responded to an email or a phone call as well.
So we go over my address, confirm everything and he promises to put my account back online. I tried to get him to confirm to a timeframe like an hour, 30 minutes, a day, a week, you know – just something to work with, but he doesn’t know and I feel like I already put him through a lot and since he is so sorry, why not let him off.
So it’s around 9:30 PM by now, I feel relief.
I get off the phone wondering by when they will switch me back on. Another 25 minutes pass – and hey, I am not an idiot, I go ahead and powercycled all items again. But still no luck.
So it’s almost 10 PM and I call them back – I even saved the number in my mobile now – answer all those questions, again, and get ahold of someone right away.
Of course she asks me all those things again, so I interrupted her by and asked why she needs to know all that when I answered to all those things not even 60 seconds ago. Of course she doesn’t know, and doesn’t see, “It’s not on my screen.”.
So that’s the end, and we go over it again. Then she checks my account and tells me that I am still suspended. So she puts me on hold and promises to get back to me.
So I think I waited for three more minutes, then she got back to me and we do the powercycle dance one more time. Then she put me through to another guy who pinged my router and waited for it to login. And since then (10:10 PM tonight) all has worked just like it worked before 8:50 PM tonight. Back to normal.
So I roughly spent an hour tonight fixing something that was not broken. I also despise calling hotlines, still had to and even had to spend a couple Euros. And when I signed up in 2004, Versatel had a freecall.
But really, how do you put a figure on the actual time wasted here? I don’t want to bash Versatel too much here. They really have been good in three years of service and if you don’t have to call them then everything is good. But as soon as you get involved with them, it’s always messy.