Given the nature of my Internet usage – the writing/sending of eclectic/miscellaneous articles for/to an interesting variety of domestic/international clientele – I scarcely have need for a large allocation of the data which makes the aforementioned web-like contraption proceed with any level of rapidity.
In other, much simpler words: I only get ten gig.
The problem I have found with only paying for ten gigabytes however, although generally I don’t even use that much, is that with each month’s new quota the provider of said data seems to believe that I will use more and have therefore entitled my wonderfully cost effective, streamlined ten gigabyte plan, ‘Throttle on Cap’.
On account of this audacious and plainly irreverent title, presumably brought about by their erroneous supposition that I will flout my limit with the gusto of a common porn addict, even with a full ten gigabytes of shiny new Internet-fuel, when online my computer seems to spend a great deal more time in painstaking consideration than it would have a few years back, when I was paying for forty gigabytes; of which only around a quarter were ever used.
This week’s Theory therefore, I guess, pertains to the crooked world of Internet providers and the providing that they so questionably claim to do…
Thank you, yes, I am aware that I was only recently full of praise for my Internet provider and its willingness to provide me with a free modem, but that was before the bastards tried to charge me over $200 for the thing.
…Yeah, turns out the modem I received in the post that Saturday was a ‘top of the line’ model (shit I didn’t want a top of the line modem, I just needed something so I could open my email account), and true to form of those faceless companies the lines of communication never extend very far, in that a promise one employee makes to a customer over the phone seldom reaches the point where another employee can actually implement that goodwill. The result of the above debacle, on viewing my online bill – via my new top-of-the-line modem – and seeing how much they expected me to pay for that month’s service, of course I promptly contacted the Philippines…
In a comically ironic twist, in Philippines I spoke to a Kiwi dude named Christopher who, on hearing my grievance, put me through to a New Zealand office where I spoke to a Filipino lady named Rosabel.
…Filipino Rosabel was lovely; in delightfully broken English she apologised for my upset and explained that I had been charged for a new top-of-the-line modem. I accepted her loveliness then in perfect English explained that I had indeed realised what had happened but how I had been promised that a new modem would be delivered free of charge although half expecting that this very miscommunication would take place I had even retained documentation of this agreement to ensure they didn’t renege on the deal; how the fact that this new modem was ‘top-of-the-line’ meant nothing to me and that I would send it back if they wished but there was no way that I was paying for the bloody thing. I added also that I was at risk of becoming incensed by their continual incompetence.
Filipino Rosabel had accepted this and presently agreed to waive the cost of the modem, along with $14 postage; the catch being that I was now contracted to Spark for twelve more months.
“Shit, really?” I remarked with a smirk, “I was pretty sure you guys already had roped me in for twenty-four months by giving me that modem in the first place but, yeah, alright then, twelve months it is … Oh and, Rosabel, I want that bill wiped, alright, not just credited to my account, wiped, understand?”
“You want bill wiped – what date today?” she said to herself. “Today thirty-first – what date bill pay?” she said to me.
“Bill pay on the fifth.”
“OK, should be long enough … How you pay bill?”
“I pay direct debit, that’s why I’m worried – you guys just take what you like and I have to deal with it, and I’d prefer the money be in my account rather than yours…” I trailed off in exasperation.
“OK, I wipe bill, you get keep modem, but you have stay Spark twelve more months, OK?”
“That’s fine, thank you Rosabel, you see to it that the cost of that modem is removed from my account and yeah, like I said, I’ll happily stay with Spark for as long as you like.”
Last week I checked Telebank (‘cause that’s I roll, decade or two behind) to find a massive deficit in my account; I checked my Spark account (online, ‘cause I’m a walking contradiction) to find over a $200 credit.
Based on that I know I ought to take my indignation and use it to change telecommunications providers but here’s the thing, I am certain that in its own special way the next one’s going to be just as shit-headed as the last and, I just don’t know if I’m strong enough to handle a different variety of incompetence right now.
As my theory maintains, they’re all crooked anyway.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Phil Peanoah Nenzed
Photography by N Z N Fulpeen