One Life Ago: Screamyx

[Part of the series of posts: One Life Ago]

Terrible fail.

Sometime shortly after SPM finished, my internet connection went down. You might remember from a previous post, our Streamyx failed epicly for a long time. I even mentioned that it was likely that the connection wouldn’t last very long. Sad to say I was completely right…

The day after SPM the Internet went down but I was out the whole day so I didn’t really care. The next day I called Streamyx to complain and they opened a report. I have to say that they probably have the most annoying customer service I have ever experienced. Let me show you a typical method of talking to them:

  1. First you have to call them up. You will be redirected to a automated calling system.
  2. Once you navigate that, you reach a “Customer Service Representative”. They will ask you for your username, then confirm your name and telephone number.
  3. Then you tell them your complaint. “Oh my internet is down and I can’t access any website.”
  4. Troubleshooting time. They will ask you to check your IP configuration, check your DSL light on the modem, ask you if you have an alarm system, flush your DNS, try a direct connection from your computer to your mode. My computer is located upstairs and the modem is located downstairs to I have to run up and down all the time to check on the modem and computer (this was before I got my laptop).
  5. They will tell you that they are resetting the port. Please turn off the modem and wait 15 minutes, then call back if it still doesn’t work.
  6. I turn off the modem and wait. Then I turn if back on and watch as the internet invariably continues to not work.
  7. Call them up. Get redirected to their automated system.
  8. Talk to the different Customer Service Representative who knows nothing about your problem. Give username, confirm name and telephone number.
  9. Tell them your complaint and tell them that you’ve gone through all the troubleshooting steps and resetted the port and the internet is still down.
  10. They will set up a report. They tell you that it will take two working days for them to fix this, and that they will contact you after two working days.
  11. Also, after questioning them, apparently they don’t work on public holidays and weekends.
  12. Curse as today is Thursday, tomorrow is a public holiday and the next two days after that are weekend days.
  13. Suffer without internet for days. Call intermittently and repeat steps 7-9 each time. They will tell you that it will take two working days to fix.
  14. On Monday call them up and repeat steps 7-9 and get reminded that it will take two working days.
  15. Ask them if they will call us to inform us of the progress. They assure you that their technicians will call after two days.
  16. Wait. Repeat steps 7-9 again several times on several days.
  17. Let Wednesday and Thursday pass without any call from the technicians. Let your mother call them up to chase them and push them by alternating between threatening their jobs and lives, and insulting their ability (or is it inability?) to think.
  18. At some point, they will transfer your mum to their supervisor (called “Level 2 support”). He will be unable to do anything except call the Streamyx technicians to chase them. Remember that you must go through the process of telling them your details each time you call.
  19. Accidentally miss two calls from Streamyx technicians because you are at a doctor’s appointments. Worry if they will call back and if they will come to your house that week at all.
  20. Let the second weekend arrive and pass without any hope at all. No Christmas internet.
  21. Despair horrendously.
  22. Blame Streamyx for everything wrong which happens in your life. Including, but not limited to: deaths, natural disasters, bad luck, accidents, strange occurrences and illogical events.
  23. Call them up and generally insult them (my mother is good at this). It’s the easiest way to relieve the stress caused by taking 10 minutes to get through the automated system and low-level technicians.
  24. Memorise every single customer service script. It’s easy after you hear the same excuse for the 20th time.
  25. On Monday, be completely ecstatic when some technicians come to your house while nobody is home and “fix” some wiring outside the house.
  26. Despair again when you find that Internet is slower than dial-up. Slow as in “it takes 10 minutes to load up the main page of Facebook, and about 30 seconds to load up the Google front page”.
  27. Spend about 30 minutes investigating router settings and determining that (technical stuff ahead): your 1Mbps connection for some reason only shows up as a 384kbps connection, which isn’t even true since that would still be pretty fast.
  28. Call up Streamyx, give username etc. Reach a  Level-2 supervisor who actually is quite helpful and knows his way around technical stuff. Let him realise that for some reason the idiot technicians somehow configured our connection.
  29. He says that if he tells the technicians now (it’s 10pm) they should only take about an hour to reconfigure. Be happy and hopeful that this might all be over soon.
  30. Wait an hour, reset the connection and watch Facebook load. Slowly. Very slowly.
  31. Sleep.
  32. Wake up.
  33. Reset the router and check. Despair a little.
  34. Call up Streamyx again. Again. Tell them everything. Sigh a lot.
  35. Hours later, find the Internet suddenly working at normal speed.
  36. REJOICE.

So, that’s my story. I’m very sorry if you actually read through all that.

What did I do without Internet access? I practised driving to nearby places with Wi-fi access. In that two week period I went to Starbucks and Coffee Bean more times than the rest of the year. At least I got to check Twitter and Facebook and keep up with what was happening.

At least I now have a handle on Streamyx time. It’s a simple rule: “Two days” means “Eleven days” and “One hour” means “Twelve hours”. Such is the Malaysian way of life.

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