Besssssst To Call Ahead

, , , | Right | June 14, 2018

(The standard way to get Internet via DSL in Germany is using the telephone line; all households have a special telephone outlet built in the wall along with the standard European power outlets and cable outlets for TV.)

Me: “This is the technical service of [ISP]. My name is [My Name], and I assume I’m speaking to Mr. [Caller]?”

Caller: “Hello, yes, exactly. You see, my Internet won’t work!”

Me: “Hello, sir. Yes, the lady from first level told me about your problem. Can you describe what the LED indicators on your router are doing and what kind of a router do you use?”

(It’s an expensive and a very stable router, which doesn’t belong to the ISP brand, but on rare occasions I do make an exception and help with minor issues, since I have the exact same box at home. In this case, however, it seems that nothing is wrong with the box. I then ask the customer to tell me about the indicators and what he’s already tried, while doing a bunch of tests and trying multiple things to bring him back online.)

Me: “Okay, sir. Unfortunately, I can’t just repair it like this; it doesn’t work. Everything seems normal, but the connection just isn’t there. It may be your telephone outlet, but I’ll have to send a field technician to check it out, and exchange it if necessary.”

Caller: “Well, I don’t really like this, but you did really try.”

(We then book an appointment for him.)

Caller: “Oh, and one important thing: is it possible for your guy to call about 30 minutes before coming?”

Me: “They usually call before they have to check something in someone’s house.”

Caller: “Yes, but how long before? I have to prepare everything here.”

Me: “Let me think… The last time I got a field tech at home, he called about 15 minutes earlier to ask if it was okay. But you don’t need to prepare anything; I can assure you our techs know what they’re doing.”

Caller: “Oh, you see, I don’t know how to explain this, but since he’s going to work on my telephone outlet… You see, it’s behind a giant snake terrarium!”

(Needless to say, I wrote that down with the extra plea to call the customer a bit earlier.)

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