DSL Hell


Forgive the juvenile pun but after three weeks of dealing with the Internet service provider (and I use those words loosely), CenturyLink, here in Charlottesville, I’m at my wit’s end. They claim to have been in business for “100 Years” but I’m pretty sure the Internet isn’t that old. That they call themselves a “communications company” is an insult to the alphabet. The only they thing they manage to communicate is their incompetence. Their customer service is worthy of a Monty Python routine. Their phone support is like something out of Kafka’s The Trial. I entered a maze of voice prompts…entering my phone number and then, several prompts later was told to enter the number again. When a human finally found time to come on the line, the first thing she asked for was my “ten digit phone number.”

If I’d only had to call CenturyLink once, I might have merely chuckled at the absurdity, but after dozens of calls I was ready to don a suicide vest and blow myself up at the local office.

Ultimately, after weeks of trying to get DSL service at my temporary office, I remain offline due to mysterious “technical problems” that were supposedly “resolved” several times—or so their support team assured me. Actually, they don’t have a “team”—it’s every man for himself. Technicians were scheduled to arrived and failed to show up. I was told to expect calls on the status of my “repair ticket” but apparently they couldn’t locate the number I’d entered into their system fifty times.

It would require about 10,000 words to describe all the mind-numbing twists and turns, but frankly I don’t have the stomach to relive the experience.

Today I will make one final call—this time to cancel the service which I never received. I dread having to listen to their manic muzak spiked with repetitious robo-ads for illusory, money-saving services.

When at last I have a human on the line, my words will be this:

“Take my modem. Please.

And shove it!”


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