Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Miss Information is annoyed by the phone company

Miss Information has briefly taken a break from her "not being annoyed" sabbatical to be really annoyed at a phone service provider.

Long story. Miss Information’s mother moved and now Miss Information would like to cancel her mother’s old landline. Easy, right. Except that Miss Information’s least favourite thing about adulting is making phone calls. Still, has to be done.

The history is that it was Mrs Information’s phone for many years. Briefly, because of some complication, it was the phone number associated with Miss Information’s sister’s business. Then it reverted back to a residential phone but since Miss Information was handling her mother’s finances, it was switched into her name.

When her mother’s house was sold recently and she was making all the cancellation phone calls, she contacted the Giant Conglomerate Phone Company:

Miss Information: Hello, I want to cancel this landline.

Giant Conglomerate Phone Company: Huh. That account is attached to a cell phone that’s been cancelled.

Miss I: Oh, right. I did have a cell phone account with you but I switched providers. I just want to cancel the landline though.

GCPC: But your account is cancelled.

Miss I: The landline still exists but I want to cancel it.

GCPC: But you don’t have an account.

Miss I: Ok, but I’ve been paying the phone bill and I want to stop doing that.

GCPC: It looks like a business account. I will transfer you.

GCPC: Business Support. How can I help you?

Miss I: Hello, I want to cancel this landline.

GCPC: Yeah. Ok. That number is connected to a cell phone that’s been cancelled.

Miss I: Yes, I did have a mobile account with you but I switched providers. I just want to cancel the landline though.

GCPC: But your account is already cancelled.

Miss I: I only cancelled my cell phone. The landline still exists but I want to cancel it.

GCPC: But you don’t have an account.

Miss I: Ok, but I’ve been paying the phone bill and I want to stop doing that. There’s an account number on the bill. Will that help? [gives number]

GCPC: Oh, I see. That’s not a business account number. That’s an account number for a home phone.

Miss I: Right. I already talked to them. They transferred me to you because they couldn’t help.

GCPC: Oh, they can totally help you, just call them back.

So, yes, the Business Department Guy gave helpful advice but Miss Information couldn’t handle talking to the residential people again. She will try tomorrow or the next day, maybe next Monday at the latest.

Several weeks later she tries again:

Miss I: Hello, I want to cancel this landline.

GCPC: Yeah. Ok. That number is connected to a cell phone that’s been cancelled.

Miss I: Yes, I know. I did have a cell phone account with you but I switched providers. I just want to cancel the landline though. It should have been put in my name.

GCPC: But the account with your name was closed.

Miss I: Ok but the landline still exists and I want to cancel it.

GCPC: But you don’t have an account.

Miss I: Ok, but I’ve been paying the phone bill and I want to stop doing that. At one point it was a business phone, but the business department told me to talk to you.

GCPC: I can’t figure out what’s going on. In the meantime, can I interest you in an Internet and TV package?

Miss I: No thanks. I’m happy with my provider. Really I just want to cancel this landline and stop paying the bills for a phone that no longer exists.

GCPC: But our Internet and TV is way better and less money than whoever your provider is now.

Miss I: Just cancel the phone.

GCPC: This is weird. I just don’t understand what’s happening with this account. Maybe it was with the Small Business people. I’ll consult with a colleague. Hold the line, please.

GCPC: Small Business consultant. I see your account here.

Miss I: Great. I want to cancel it.

GCPC: Are you [sister’s name]?

Miss I: No, my sister did have the phone number in her name at one point but it should be in mine now.

GCPC: Well, at one time it was associated with a mobile account which has been closed.

Miss I: Yes, that was my account. I changed providers for my cell phone. I just want to cancel the landline though.

GCPC: No, no, no. Your name is not on the account. [Sister’s name] is the only one who can do this. Let me talk to her.

Miss I: I’m at work. She's also at work...in another part of the city.

GCPC: Well. That’s no good. I can’t cancel it without talking to her since it’s her phone.

Miss I: (mutters under her breath) Hasn't been her phone for years. Listen, I know there’s money outstanding. At least let me pay that.

GCPC: You’re not on the account. I can’t tell you anything about the bill.

Miss I: I’ve been paying the phone bill for years, though. Can’t you let me know how much I owe you? I want to give you money.

GCPC: Not a chance. [Sister’s name] is the only one I can speak to about this.

Miss I: Cool, cool. Great. I'll tell her.

GCPC: By the way, did my colleague tell you about our great Internet and TV packages? Much cheaper than whatever you're paying now.

Miss I: Sounds awesome. I’ll consider it.

Narrator: Miss Information was lying just then. She will never consider doing business with them again.

An Update from Miss Information

[Please note: Miss Information wrote this ages ago and posted it to the wrong blog.]

Hi, everyone

And a very special hello to everyone who has commented on the blog over the past few years. Not the spammers. Miss Information hates them and will delete their comments some day.

I'm still working in libraries. The library I'm in now is huge and busy but it's not at all crazy and annoying. I miss this blog but to be honest, I've got no stories to tell.

Perhaps someday I will.

Until then I'm very grateful for everyone who ever read one of my posts--even the people who said I was a terrible librarian.

Till we meet again, I remain,

Miss Information

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Miss Information is annoyed about printing

The library where Miss Information works has been closed for a renovation. She worked at a branch for a while and then was seconded to a non-public service position for the past 4 months. Today the library reopened. Oh, cool.

Miss Information is out of practice with actual people and there were really quite a lot of them. This evening a patron asked for her help printing. Miss Information hasn't used the new printing system yet so she says "Ok, I'm not familiar with the printing system yet but we can figure it out together."

Printing Woman: Well find me someone who is familiar. 
Miss Information: I'm afraid there's not many staff members here and we're all in the same boat. I'm sure we can work it out. 
PW: Can't you ask someone younger for help?
Miss I: (beyond annoyed now): I may be old, but I'm good with technology. So what do you want to print. 
PW: Oh, I didn't mean it like that. 
Miss I: (annoyed and feisty): Well, you said it and it sure sounded like you meant it like that. 
PW: I just meant that young people know what they're doing. 
Miss I: SO DO I. It's the first day we've had this system. 
PW: Well, I know the system. I've used it in other libraries. It's stupid. 

PW has a couple of attachments to print. Great. But she basically wants Miss Information to watch her decide which pages she wants to print. Miss Information is given the onerous task of entering the print command. 

Together they go to the printer and scan PW's card. PW has .25 on her card and her print job is 1.35. She has to go down to the circ desk and add 1,10. She tells Miss Information to guard the printer.  

The woman returns. She has added .25 to her card so she now has .50--not exactly enough.

Fortunately the staff member who gave training on the new printer showed up while PW was at circ. (She is also not young.) Miss Information had described her interaction with PW and the Trainer now volunteered to take PW down to the circ desk AGAIN and show her how to do her printing downstairs. 

Miss Information is very grateful to the Trainer who may have prevented bloodshed on the new carpet. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Miss Information is annoyed away from work

Ok, technically, she's not that far away. She's just down the road on her lunch break. On Saturdays Miss Information usually walks down to Whole Foods and buys a salad but she's done something to her Achilles tendon and although it's better, it isn't quite up to the walk. The library is in more of a business district which means there are more lunch options in the week but the panini place is open, so she goes there. Unlike Miss Information, the customer ordering is not a regular. She needs a lot of explanation and considers her options carefully. She seems disappointed by the choices but it is Saturday and the shop tends to be less fully stocked than the weekdays. 

Miss Information, meanwhile, is delighted at the selection which includes two of her favourite paninis and a new flatbread thing that isn't bad. Still, she gets irritated by the other customer who sighs a lot and finally makes her choice. 

Miss Information orders her panini and pays and then opens her book. The panini cooker thing is slow but that's why Miss Information brought a book. 

The other woman however has a tantrum. "Where's my sandwich? Shouldn't it be done yet? Why isn't it done?" Eventually, her panini is ready and she huffs off to a table in front of the store. 

Miss Information has to wait a couple more minutes and then her lunch is also ready. Yay! 

Leaving the store she walks past the impatient woman who hasn't even unwrapped her sandwich yet. She's just sitting reading a magazine. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Miss Information is annoyed by renovations

The staff area in Miss Information's branch has recently had its washroom upgraded. She hates the changes. Obviously. 

Because the gym change room is inhabited by 6 year olds who DO NOT WANT TO GO SWIMMING, Miss Information often uses that washroom to change from her work clothes into her gym clothes. Her first indication that she and the washroom reno were not going to be friends came when she shook out her yoga pants, accidentally triggered the soap dispenser and had to go to the gym wearing extremely soapy pants. 

So, the soap dispenser is now her mortal enemy but the paper towel dispenser is...what's worse than a mortal enemy--an immortal enemy? She's convinced that it might have the soul of a long dead mime or something. That's how annoying it is. It's handsfree like the soap dispenser. Unfortunately this means Miss Information triggers it by breathing, by moving slightly or by simply existing. It also triggers when she tears off a length of paper towel so the next person ends up with about a metre of towelling. 

Yesterday when she filled the kettle (there's no kitchen in the department so she has to use the washroom), she managed to leave a pile of soap and enough towels to make a tent on the floor. 

So, yeah, she's not adapting to this change very well. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Miss Information has a difficult break up.

Miss Information has had the same cell phone company for a really long time. The salesperson who set up her account initially was a Brachiosaurus. 

Anyway, Miss Information is tired of people mocking her antique phone. Also, she would like data. So, she begins researching the thorny problem. She studies and researches and reads and thinks and asks everyone she knows, then she does some more research. She discovers this: all cell phone plans are basically the same. Some have a lower monthly fee but a higher phone charge. Some have this much data and this many minutes. Others have these minutes and that much data. Some charge this much for going over and some charge that much. When you add up the various details, it comes out to exactly the same price per month--give or take some loose change. Miss Information thinks for a couple more weeks and decides to go with a place that will give her a cool phone and also a whack of bonus grocery points. 

The actual getting of the new phone is pretty simple. She tells the salesguy  what she wants (she's done enough research to be the salesperson at this point); he very helpfully gets it for her and sets up the transfer of her new number. It takes about 10 minutes. 

The guy assures her that she can make calls right away but it might take a few hours for the new phone to get calls....something about getting released from the old contract. 


Miss Information waits 24 hours and still can't get calls. She phones the new people. It's all good on their end. The extremely nice call centre person says that the old guys haven't released her number and she transfers Miss Information to them.

Miss Information tells that nice call centre person that she's got a contract with someone else and she needs her number. He proceeds to offer her awesome stuff to stay (basically, the exact same deal as every other cell company). Miss Information lets him down gently. They've grown apart. She's not the same person any more and she's found someone new. They can still be friends. It's not them, it's her.

Call centre guy thinks she's making a mistake and begs her to stay. She asks for the release of her phone number. He says her phone number is not portable. (This was true when she first got the phone but about a decade ago all phone numbers became portable.) She questions him. 

He tells her that there's a little radio box he needs to click to make her phone number portable but he's not going to do it until she's sure it over between them. Now Miss Information threatens a restraining order. He clicks the button. 

She needs to decompress with coffee. On her way, she gets an actual text! Her phone has been activated. It's going to be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Miss Information is tired of the summer drama

So, the day after "unbelievable" woman, a coworker came to speak with Miss Information. She looked stressed. 

"That customer can't log into his Facebook. He's very upset. He's sent an email to them asking them to sort it out. Is there anything we can do?"

Miss Information thinks not but asks the customer what kind of an error message he's getting. He offers to show her. While they are at the computer, he goes into detail. His account works from his phone. His account works from his friend's laptop. His account does not work from the library or from the nearby hotel. 

"What am I going to do?" the man asks. "It's a tragedy!"

The FB error message is odd considering that the man can access his account on some devices. Still, it's a FB problem. There is nothing Miss Information can do about it. 

"Can't someone fix it? It's a tragedy!"

Miss Information assures the man that the people at FB are on the case and will be in touch with him.

"But...but...but...it's a tragedy! What am I going to do?"

Ok, pal, Miss Information has had it with you. Syria is a tragedy. What you have here is a completely minor inconvenience. There are subtleties here that you are failing to grasp.

When does summer end?

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

The woman is right. It is unbelievable.

Miss Information is back from a couple of weeks off and she's fielding a question about eBooks. The library only has an eBook copy of the item the woman wants. This is usually the point where a patron gets snippy about the library forgetting its roots and ignoring the old people who don't like technology. This woman is not one of those. She's cool with eBooks, if only she knew how to use her Android device to read eBooks...

Not a problem. Miss Information is here! She generally doesn't like to get into complicated technology at the desk but she's got vacation afterglow. Anything is possible!

The woman needs the eBook app but when she tries to access Google Play, she gets an error message. 

"It's asking for a password! It never asks for a password! What do I do?"

Miss Information suggests the woman try typing in her password. 

"No! It never asks for a password! Why is it asking for a password? This is unbelievable!"

Miss Information watches the woman fumble around for a while before suggesting again that the woman enter her password. 

The woman doesn't know her password. She downloads apps all the time and never needs a password!

Um, ok but this time it wants a password. Miss Information is getting tired of the drama and asks if perhaps the woman has the password written down somewhere? At her home, far away from the library, perhaps?

"No. I don't know the password! Why is it asking? It doesn't ever ask! This is unbelievable!"

Miss Information convinces the woman that she should probably reset her password. She talks her through the first couple of steps, then excuses herself to help another patron.

When she returns...

"This is unbelievable! It's just going around in circles! Why is this happening?"

Miss Information watches the woman more closely. She gets to a point where she has the option to press continue. Instead she chooses the "reset password" button, again. The woman is right--she does keep going in circles but Google is not the problem here. 

When that crisis is solved, the app is successfully downloaded. Yee haw. The woman is prompted to create an Overdrive account. 

"Ok," Miss Information says. "All you have to do is put in your email address and a password."

"But wait," the woman says. "It says I can log in with Facebook. I want to use Facebook."

Miss Information doesn't have any experience with the Facebook option but if it will make the woman happy (and leave), then she'll give it a try. The woman clicks on the Facebook link. 

It asks her to log in to her account. 

"This is unbelievable! It wants me to log in! I can't log in!"

"Why?"

"I don't know my password!"

Miss Information suggests that in that case it might be better to simply create an Overdrive account.

"It says I can use Facebook! I want to use Facebook!"

Now Miss Information's desk time is up and her replacement has arrived. The woman decides that it is time to leave herself since her coffee break was technically over about 30 minutes ago. She does promise to come back, though. 

Can't wait.