Tag Archives: frustration

Tuesday:) Technology Is Not Toni’s Friend

22 Mar

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” 

― Aldous Huxley


Okay, I’m going to rant about AT&T and Directv. First of all, they charge you an arm and a leg and other body parts for their service, THEN, when it’s time for a repair, adjustment, or installation, it’s like dealing with a pre-schooler at nap time.

Last week, my TV was acting up, popping in and out and then all my recorded shows could not be accessed. I made a call. You know how that goes. Press 1 for this, 2 for that, and 3 when you’re ready to shoot yourself . After a long wait of Muzak, telling a person with a mysterious accent my account number and secret passcode, I was asked what my problem was. After a lot of back and frothing, I mean forthing, I was told it sounded like a dead hard drive and they would send a new one in the mail in 2 to 3 business days. (Lucky I don’t watch a lot of tv.) 

Two days later, my new box arrived with installation instructions and return label for the old one. Seriously? I have to install this myself. Lucky I have that $9.99 a month service fee that replaces the box. It doesn’t come with a man that replaces it. I looked in the box, no man.

I’m a smart girl. I can do this. I opened the box, put on my glasses, and got the step stool and started reading the instructions. Yes, you heard it right. I actually looked at the instructions. Not like me. I went one step further. I put the new box on top of the old box so I could replace each wire and cable one at a time into the correct place. (I’ve learned that the hard way,) I’ve been known to put cables in places they shouldn’t go.

Wow, that wasn’t hard at all. I took out the old box, put it in the return box and was ready to watch tv. But, NOOOOOOO! Now it said, “Set up instructions.” Here’s the abridged version…I couldn’t figure it out so I called the technology support number. Another LONG wait, two different calls, different people, and didn’t get it to work. Finally, the last lady tried talking me through the steps for about an hour or more, then we both gave up and set up an installer to come out in the next day 8-12. I was beyond frustrated after 4 1/2 hours. Yep!

The tv was on, but only on the Directv info station. I turned it off and went about my day. Finally around midnight, I played around with the instructions and set up again, once last ditch effort. All of a sudden, it was working. Yay! 

I went to the website to cancel the installer, as the phone lines were unavailable, and I got the instant chat help. I said I wanted to cancel and install. They said they had no record of an install to cancel. Ok, I’ll just wait till morning when they call. Around 1 a.m., I realized, I didn’t check the tv upstairs. I just assumed both worked on the same box so it would be workingtoo, but NOOOOO! Dead as a doornail. But, that’s OK, the installer was coming in the morning.

But NOOOOO! When I called to check on the installation time in the morning, they told me it was cancelled. Do you see now, where I wanted to hurt somebody? They directed me to technology support again to reschedule. To my delight, a very nice and patient young man asked if perhaps he could walk me through the steps to set up the upstairs TV. 

I told the young man that I was old, so he needed to talk in old people language and be patient. He complied as I hobbled up and down the stairs getting pass codes from the tv downstairs to type into upstairs.  FINALLY, after about another half hour, both TVs were working, and I could set up to record with the DVR. The bad news, ALL my previous recordings and movies were GONE. All my Star Trek and Murder She Wrote and Artful Detective….GONE!

Did I mention that I hate AT&T and Diretv? Technology is not my friend! Where’s a twelve year old kid when you need one?

Frustrating Friday:) Thy Name is AT&T

24 Sep

To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.” ― T.F. Hodge


August 24th began the continuing saga of AT&T and Directv frustration.  It took one solid month of calls, emails, websites, more calls, disconnections and complete frustration, and I’m still not sure the issue is resolved.

My story began when I decided that it would be nice to save some money on my huge monthly AT&T bill. When I moved into my new house two years ago, there were all kinds of promos and discounts to get you sucked into signing up for U-verse tv and Internet. Well, after the first year was over, whoa. To retain the same features was a big increase in cost. I even combined my cell phones, tv, Internet, and home phone to bundle and auto pay, and still, outrageous.

When AT&T recently purchased Directv, all the tv commercials, mailings, and promotions were tempting. I received an amazing offer in the mail and decided even if it was for a year, it would be a great savings.

When I called and asked about this promo, the rep said they weren’t familiar with the offer, and what was available in my area was $50 for Directv, $30 for Internet and $9.99 for home phone, no fees, no installation charge. That was the best they could do. It was still around $50 less than I was paying, so I agreed.

Here starts the drama. The first appointment was to get my home phone line changed to voice wireless, and the next day have the dish installed. I called my sister from my home phone after installation, and she asked where I was calling from because her caller ID showed a strange number. They changed my number! No one said they would change my number that I’d had for twelve years. I just wanted to bundle my phones. Five phone calls, a few hours, and a week later, I was able to get my old phone number back. 

The dish was installed, the tech was nice, but basically installed the dish, handed me the forms, handed me the control, and showed me on and off, ready to leave. I had to ask for a little instruction. Then, the tv upstairs wasn’t working, so I had to call again.

Ok, now one week later, everything was working. Then, I received my first bill. Let’s see the savings. My previous bill was $354.80, and my new bill was…$403.80. Yikes!!! 

I’m going to make a VERY long story even longer. Two weeks of calling, being on hold forever, talking to endless people who really didn’t speak English well, I was promised a call from upper management. NO CALL! So, I called again yesterday, insisting to speak to the so called upper management. Finally, after about an hour of run around, giving my account number and password seven times, I was on the line with a woman who said she could fix the problem. Then…disconnected…start from scratch! The foreign accent asking more questions and passwords, “Please hold.” HELP!

Eventually, I’m talking to Natalie who said she was so sorry, and she would handle everything. She asked me what promotion I was offered. I told her the $89 one, but no one knew anything about the special that came in the mail. She also never heard of such a promotion. I said, “I have it right here in my hand.” Her reply was, “I’m so sorry!” Basically, too bad, no such thing. She went into my account and said she would credit the previous overcharges, and fix all the problems. We’ll see.

Here is just some of the paperwork involved. I was talking on my home phone, had the webpage on my iPad, rifling through accounts, and looking up things on my cell phone.

I was this close to pulling the plug on EVERYTHING, but then I’d miss talking to my family and friends on the phone and the Hallmark channel and …

I hope my next bill is correct and resolved, or Jessica Fletcher will have another mystery to solve.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

I’m glad it’s Black Russian Friday.

Friday:Friends, Frustration, and a Feather

6 Sep

“Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.”
― Rod Serling
Frustration is a big part of life isn’t it? I’ve been trying to reduce stress by slowing down a little. The boxes and unpacking can wait. I’m trying to focus on positive things and spending time with friends.

My Friday started out on a bright note. I received a package from my friend Debbie in Chicago. When I opened it, it brought a smile to my face. “Home Sweet Home.” It’s true. Now, I’m in my new house.

After unpacking a few boxes, it was almost time to leave for Towne Creek, where I volunteer. But, I left a little earlier because I had a low tire pressure light on my car dashboard. I stopped at the dealer, as they said they use nitrogen in the tires. Last time this happened, it just took a few minutes, and it was done. This time, I waited twenty minutes before someone came out and said there was a nail in the tire, and the nail was in a place that wouldn’t allow repair. It needed to be replaced for about $180. What do you say? No, don’t fix it?

The tire wasn’t the only frustration. Not only was I going to be very late for my senior art group, BUT, I had ice cream and brownies to take to Towne Creek in the car, and an hour and a half later, I still didn’t have my car. Yikes! I walked out to the service area to talk to someone. Then, something made me smile for the second time. There, on the concrete floor in the middle of the service area, was a feather. Yep, a feather. Now, where did that come from? I took a breath and decided to be patient. Signs!


It all worked out. I got my car, the ice cream that was in an insulated bag wasn’t too mushy, and my seniors were happy to see me. We had tea, ice cream and brownies, then worked on a little painting.

So, being a frustrated actor, I recite the lines in the hidden auditorium of my skull…and here in my daily blog.