We have both Internet and telephone service through Centurylink. As much as I didn’t think I would ever long for Comcast when we moved to an area not served by that company, I now realize how wrong I was not to have loved them and their very expensive service.

Our new service has my searches and posts ping on a rotating basis from several locations. My IP address floats between the Kansas towns of Gardner, Topeka, Junction City, Leavenworth, and St. Mary’s. So while I sit at the same desk in Olathe, KS, every day, my blogger friends are under the impression that I’m on the move. No biggie unless maybe it gives the impression I’m on the lam.

I have become accustomed to Internet side bar advertising from multiple cities, but Centurylink’s customer service has transported me to a whole new level of frustration. After our Internet and phones went down this past week, Hubby located the company's number in our paper files and, using a cell phone, reached the company's 800 number. At the other end of the line a digital voice asked a series of yes/no questions. Then, when it was finally determined that Digital Voice could not solve our problem, a customer service representative was summoned. Within seconds Hubby handed the phone to me saying he could not pick up what she was saying with his hearing aid.

At “hello” I knew we were speaking different languages. I tried hard to be nice, and kind, and all of the things that might get a repairperson to our home. But with me speaking English and her speaking only God knows what, we were having a hard time with meaningful communication.

After quite some time, I thought a repairperson might soon arrive at our house. There was a catch, however. Before the rep could access our account to schedule service, I needed to provide one bit of information. The conversation went something like this:

Representative: “Say the last four numbers of your soseck.”
Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you need.”
Representative: “Soseck numbers.”
Me: “Do I find that somewhere on my billing information.”
Representative: “No. It’s not mine.”
Me: “I'm sorry. I don’t know what soseck is?”
(Long silence.)
Representative: “So-sool se-cur-ty.”
Me: “Oh!”
(I provided the last four digits of Hubby’s Social Security Number.)
Representative: “Now I see in your account.”

I’m sure this rep is telling all of her friends that she talked with a stupid U.S. citizen who doesn’t even know about SoSec numbers.

Life used to be much more simple.

Image from pics box.biz


  1. I fired my last Internet hosting company because of communication difficulties with off-shore tech support.

    1. Secondary Roads, we don't have many internet options here and I'm not sure how we could do without it now.

      I applaud Verizon for bringing all of their customer service back to the U. S. All tech companies need to do that (in my opinion).

  2. Don't you just long for the string-and-tin-can days? No, not for the communications technologies but for the fact that companies seemed to take an interest in their customers and hired people to answer the phones and talk with them.

    As for your location, I find it amusing to note where you are having your morning coffee when you message me.

    1. Vanilla, customer service is definitely not what it used to be. The local service people who come to our place are great. It's those people on the other end of the phone line that get to me.