Category Archives: Whining

A bit freaked out

I was up late Thursday night watching the news coverage of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan. A friend of mine tweeted about how it was silly that #prayforjapan was trending on twitter. After all, their vengeful god had just caused the quake. Right? Why would he listen to prayers about it?

The videos of Tokyo showed how well the city had withstood the fifth strongest quake in the last hundred years. So I tweeted:

The headline you won’t be reading: “Millions saved in Japan by good engineering and government building codes”. Buts it’s the truth.

(Yeah, the typo in my tweet just pisses me off.)

I noticed a couple of re-tweets before heading to bed, but didn’t think much about it.

The next morning I noticed my iPhone was awake. It was showing notifications of re-tweets – at what looked like about once a second. Yikes! When I checked my email, I had more than 300 new followers on twitter. Eeak!

A few hours later, a friend at work pointed out (and then more friends later), that my tweet was the top news item on Reddit. That freaked me out enough that I went and closed out new followers on twitter.

By the evening I decided to let people follow me again. I actually had a ton of follow requests sitting there on twitter, and didn’t really want to go through them. Surprisingly, most of the requests I did look at looked like real people. I kinda get why people would re-tweet my post. But it’s weird that they’d also follow me. The people I follow are either real friends, friends of friends, famous, or represent a company or topic I’m interested in. I’m just some nerd in Colorado.

Anyhow, I couldn’t have been more wrong in my tweet. As hundreds have now told me, the New York Times did a very good article on the matter quite early on. Kudos to them! And the coverage elsewhere has also been pretty good too.

I almost said “government regulation” instead of “government building codes”. That’s how I really felt about it. I don’t know why I made it more specific. (Damn it, I want my government to regulate stuff!) I expect I wouldn’t have had such a freaky day if I’d said that instead. And for crying out loud, even in the wake of the disaster in Japan, the GOP wants to remove lots of funding for just this sort of stuff.

Why does customer support suck so bad?

There’s almost nothing I hate more than having to deal with customer support. For anything. Ever.

Certainly, I’m not alone.

Today, the disk in our Dish Network ViP622 DVR died. I did all the standard troubleshooting before calling them. I can certainly check to see if the damned thing is plugged in quicker if I don’t have to talk to some dope on the phone while doing it.

But of course, that’s not good enough. OK, fine, so I went through it all again while on the phone. But then, twenty minutes of phone time was completely wasted because my name’s not “Teresa”. You see, the account is in my wife’s name, not mine.

On the surface, that doesn’t seem so bad. I mean, you wouldn’t want some stranger calling up and canceling your service on you. But, if you take into account the first 10 minutes of the phone call, it becomes ridiculous.

When you first call into Dish Network, you get an automated call system. It appears you can do anything in it. In fact the first thing it wanted me to do was set up a new PIN. Wait, what? Yeah, that’s right. By just calling them from my home number, they thought that was enough security that I could change the controlling password on my account.

I skipped that. Perhaps I shouldn’t have…. Anyhow, the next thing they said was that my bill was overdue and would be charged a late fee if not paid today. It also said that the last payment was about ten days ago. But we use autopay. I ignored this as well, choosing to wait another 10 minutes for an operator. Now, after the day’s experience, I’m worried that they’re charging us a late fee every month. Via autopay. Yeah, I’m probably just being paranoid.

Anyhow, if their automated call system doesn’t mind me dealing with the account, why should their operator. I wasn’t trying to cancel or change anything. I was scheduling service. Sorry, but I see no need for them to talk to my wife.

Now I’m trying to figure out if Comcast can install cable. The notion of dealing with Comcast has me more than a little worried. Ugh.