Thursday, January 24, 2008

Broadband Blogging Blues

Apologies - broadband's been out for two days now. Been going through the obligatory BT 'customer service' torture, where a charming girl in Calcutta, with perfect but alas heavily accented English ('Pardon ?' 'I'm sorry, could you say that again please ?') takes you through a long checklist of questions ('yes, the router is plugged in', 'no, it is not too hot') before taking you through an series of tasks ranging from the believeable ('find the reset button on the router') to the increasingly bizarre ('take the cable between the ADSL socket and the router, remove it and put it in the other way round').

All this of course is based on the assumption that

a) the customer is mentally defective
b) engineers - the real chaps in the vans - are expensive
c) Indian call centre grads are relatively cheap
d) the poor bloody customer's time is free

After an hour of this yesterday am I'd finally convinced them that there might actually be a problem, so at lunch I was rung by the 'line specialist' - who was I think in Bangalore. You might not be shocked to find that she asked the identical questions to the first line support girl. After another wearing thirty minutes or so she finally gave me to understand that an engineer might drop in over the next 48 hours.

We have a history of line problems, due to the 7 miles between us and the exchange, and the squirrels chewing the cables en route.

Blogging will be light due to the current 38K connection. Go and read Shuggy on education.

I'm beginning to wonder if this whole 'school-choice' thing might not be a bad idea. We could have a choice between schools - and institutions that have dropped even the pretence of being schools and have been rebranded as 'socialisation centres' instead. Then we could see who wins.