|2005-12-31 14:17:00||busy||Track 05-Cream Ibiza-CD2|
(from 22nd December)
My dad has BT’s ‘Broadband Basic’ service. I phone BT to ask about upgrading to a service that can be used with a router.
The first BT-serf I speak with tells me that their lowest-cost but router- and mac-friendly option is ‘BT Broadband option 1’. It’s the same cost as Basic but with a higher download limit. I ask whether there’ll be any changes to my dad’s service apart from this, i.e. will his email address stay the same? The BT-serf doesn’t know so passes me onto one of her colleagues. He doesn’t know either and passes me on again, to “Mark James” who assures me that it’ll all go fine and that there’ll be no interruptions to Dad’s BT service.
Mr James asks dad to confirm that he’s happy for this changeover. Dad does so: he and I are both happy that it costs no more and, apart from being passed a couple of times until I actually get to speak to the operator who has use of the BT braincell today, I’m pretty pleased that it appears to be going so smoothly.
I then ask the killer question: ‘this is purely a change of permissions and billing, not a hardware change?’
‘So you can do it today?’
‘I’ve just commissioned the change’
‘And it will be done by…?’
Maybe I’ve misunderstood the complexities of the task. Maybe BT are just covering their backsides. (Better not to promise something unless you know you can achieve it.) But 14 days … ? I end the conversation politely and walk away trembling… This means I can go back to Scotland for Hogmanay and to rent out my flat, then bring my router back here, rather than buying a new one for Worcester, but if BT stuff up, I’ll be in Scotland when they do and not due back here for at least a fortnight to sort out any mess which BT create but for which I’m ultimately responsible.
Before that, I walk into the vodaphone shop on Worcester’s High Street. I tell them that I’m interested in upgrading my contract to get a treo handset. (Even though I don’t like keyboards on Palms, I think it’ll be the best way to stay online while I’m in India.)
‘Sorry, we’re a “High Street” shop. For this product, you need to visit one of our business customer shops.’
‘Where’s the nearest?’
‘Birmingham Bull Ring’
For those of you who are lucky enough never to have been there, Birmingham is the UK’s second-largest city. It’s far better than London, principally because Brummies are on the whole decent folk with quaint accents who (at least until recently) make things. However, it’s still a concrete shit-hole, of which the Bull Ring is the epi-smegging-bastard-bollock-features-centre. Think of the Wellgate magnified by carcinoma to fill all of Dundee. No chance!
However, the vodaphone person was very helpful. He tells me that my current, much-travelled and apparently bomb-proof Nokia 3310 will work in India and just about everywhere I intend to visit. He also tells me where I can buy a battery for it. So kudos to him but sucks to his employers.
Sucks too to Carphone Warehouse who tell the same story.