Don't make promises you can't keep

Diogenes's picture
Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I received a letter notifying me that the efforts by KPN to transfer my phone number from Ziggo, my current phone provider, have failed, and that I will have to deal with the number transfer myself.

They have provided me with a form to send to my current internet provider along with the addresses of the six other (count 'em) service providers in Den Haag. I am impressed with the selection. I am not impressed that I have to do this myself.

I contact Ziggo (another 900 toll number) and made arrangements to transfer our phone number to KPN. Ziggo will be providing us with internet service till September 30, which gives us a 3 week overlap. Since we are paying both Ziggo and KPN for internet, this wipes out ½ the money I saved switching to a new provider. Stupid.

Waiting for Godot

Friday, September 11, 2009

The big day has arrived. We received our Internet/Phone installation kit in the mail almost two weeks ago. I have read the instructions (only in Dutch, but that's OK) and I am confident that all will go well.

There is one problem. I cannot locate the "hoofdaansluitingspunt" or main connection point in our apartment. I called the phone company in the morning when our old service was still working to confirm someone was coming.

Yes, I'm assured, I could expect someone about 1:00pm. I mention that I cannot find the hoofdaansluitingspunt. They say the information they have on file lists it as unknown and they assure me someone will be coming to my door to make certain that the installation works.

I have laid out all the components from the installation kit on the table. Everything is ready.

At about 1:00pm the dial tone disappears from our phone line and the LEDs on the ZIGGO modem go off. I expected this. I then wait for the KPN technician to show up. I wait, and wait.

May day! May day!

emergency (7K)

Around 3:30 I rummage through the stuff drawer for our emergency cellphone. The battery is dead so I plug it in to charge it.

I e-mail MLW at work with a quick explanation and ask her to phone KPN. She does. She has to go through the same telephone menu hell that I did, except she understands Dutch much better than I do. Eventually she does get a real person and is transferred several times more, because that is what happens when you phone the phone company.

While she is on hold and being transferred around, we communicate by email. They ask her a question, she emails it to me, I email back, and she tells KPN what my answer is. This somehow works because locating anyone within KPN who might have an answer is a slow process and involves transfers. My wife gets cut off at one point and has to travel through telephone menu hell again.

Eventually I get an email that she is on her way home. She has scheduled for another technician to come on September 25th, in two weeks, which is as soon as possible for the phone company.

The emergency cellphone is charged now and so am I. But the phone appears to have no credit left. It means the credit has expired again.

I give up for the day.

Next: Cellphone redux