Monday, January 15, 2007

Service or the lack thereof

It is strange. There are some things that are so common that we hardly notice them until they are not there. Take the phone for instance, not the actual instrument but the service itself.

I had a morning appointment today and as I was driving there I noticed that almost every other car was being driven by someone with a cell phone in their ear. You can almost tell one of those from a distance, the car drives slower than the rest of the traffic, usually on the slow lane which is understandable because most folks can't walk and chew gum at the same time, much less drive and carry on a cell phone conversation, but they try, yes, they do try.

Since I didn't need my Realtor's lock-box access key I left it home., plugged into its cradle. The key has an internal code which expires each night and must be updated. The cradle is connected to the phone line, and sometime during the night, the cradle dials the update center and updates the key. If the key has been updated it carries the message "updated for mm-dd-yy". If it hasn't been updated it bears the message "Expired, please update," When I returned I happened to notice that the key bore the message "Error code 06." Not having a clue as to what that meant I just assumed that there was a problem with the cradle and the phone jack it was attached to.

So I unplugged the cradle, the power supply and the phone line, and plugged it into another outlet. When I came back an hour later (it only take 10 minutes to update under normal circumstances) I decided that maybe something got wet as a result of my flood, so I took the key down to my office to call the support site. Imagine my surprise to pick up the phone and hear... nothing, no dial tone, just silence. So I tried a different phone, still nothing. I have four phones in my home (exclusive of the cell) and none worked. The good news was that my key wasn't necessarily broke, the bad news was my phone service was non-existant.

So I called the phone company. By the time I worked my way through their menu system the agent's first question after I told her I had no service or dial tine, was are you calling from that phone now. No stupid, I am using a cell phone, I just told there is no service on the regular phone.

They are coming tomorrow to fix the problem. Good thing I didn't need the phone between now and then

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