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The KPN Chronicles

YourCallIsImportant (12K) telephone (6K)

Yesterday marked the end of the KPN Chronicles, a bunch of blogs about our adventures with the Dutch phone company.

We switched our home phone to an old fashioned analog line recently. It turned into a two month project and we are still cleaning up the bits and pieces.

What is so remarkable about this story was how difficult it was to become a new customer of a business that laments its declining customer base - the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) business.

Customer service and the telephone company were never very good dance partners. They still aren't.

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Customer service and the phone company

YourCallIsImportant (12K)

This blog is about customer service and the telephone company. When I say the telephone company I mean that former monopoly that once provided everyone with Plain Old Telephone Service, also known as POTS.

Almost every POTS company was a monopoly at one time. Most were owned by the state Their motto could have been: "Telephone service, NOT customer service". As a business model, this worked for almost 70 years.

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KPN Deliverance

deliverance_dueling_banjos (7K)

Almost 2 weeks ago I received a phone call on my cellphone. It was someone from KPN. He informs me that a letter was sent to me on October 14th that noted the €50 credit and he asked if had I received it.

I pause for a moment. "But that's today, and it's 11:00 in the morning. The Dutch mail service is not that good".

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I'm telling you, this parrot is dead

deadParrot (42K)

I have spent most of the weekend attempting to configure this KPN modem so my home web server works. I have managed to activate the English menus and found the right place to switch on the required port, but it does not seem to work.

I have searched on the internet. Almost everything I find is in Dutch, so I can't be sure, but I'm left with the impression others have this problem and are anxious for an answer.

I phone KPN technical assistance again for help. Since my home phone works now, KPN customer service is only €6/hour, a 91% discount from before. This is almost soothing.

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How to pass the time waiting

thinker (8K) garter-snake (16K)

I have not heard from KPN for 2 days now, either by phone or email, and it comes as no surprise.

I ask another neighbour if I can use his phone because I have to a call another 900 number. I phone Ziggo, the old service provider, and ask beg them to take me back.

I say mea culpa 3 times. I offer the email address of my first born son. I just want any phone service now, even one available only most of the time.

The soonest Ziggo would accept us back is October 1. I thank them for their offer but decline. I am defeated. I have no choice but to wait.

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How NOT to cancel a service that never existed

howardBeale (8K)

I have waited until Monday to call the phone company to complain that we have no service. I have a cellphone, fully charged, with a new SIM card, fully activated. I have credit. Nothing is going to stop me now!

So I phone the 900 pay-per-minute number for KPN customer service.

Prior to connecting you to a toll number in Holland, a message plays that informs the caller of the toll charge. Like I have said, mijn Nederlands is niet zo goed. I only caught part of this toll message, which seemed far more complicated than usual.

Whatever, I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

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Cellphone redux

motorolaRazrF3a (8K) SimCardInaCan (11K)

It is the day after KPN, the telephone company, was supposed to install our new home phone service. Our previous service was with Ziggo, our cable TV/Internet provider. We had problems with the Ziggo phone service, so we decided to switch.

Yesterday, at about 1:00pm, our Ziggo phone stopped working, as expected. But no one from KPN ever showed up. Now we have no dial tone. If anyone attempts to call us, it just rings busy.

The new KPN phone line is not working. I have connected all the equipment according to the instructions. Lights that are supposed be ON do not light up.

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Don't make promises you can't keep

emergency (7K)

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.

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Long time no see!

treeFrog (16K)

Whoa, it'e been awhile since the last update here. Here are some excuses:

We went to Costa Rica and Guatamala for 3 weeks. We have also have had many visitors, which always makes for a busy time. Currently we have my youngest son staying with us and enjoying some fijn Holland hospitality.

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We got the Telephone Technology Blues

telephone (6K)

When we moved to the Netherlands two years ago, we had the option of signing up for phone, internet and TV from a single supplier. There were lots of choices for this. We selected a local cable TV company.

The technician arrived within a few days of us moving in and connected the cable to get the TV working. We also received a set top box called a Humax for our TV.

The internet kit arrived in the mail. Although the instructions were all in Dutch, there were good illustrations and in about 45 minutes, we were up and running with phone, internet and TV.

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