Monday, March 11th, 2002: Ever have one of those days where no matter how hard you try to understand something, you just never could? That's the kind of day I've had, or more specifically, trying to deal with Bell Canada.
It all began this morning, when I found out that we didn't have any phone service.
My brother noticed the red "extension in use" light glowing on one of the telephones, but knew no one was using the phone, so he picked it up and didn't hear a dial tone. He promptly assumed the phone wasn't working and unplugged it before leaving the house.
When I got up, I heard about this and remembered the same thing happened over the past summer and the reason behind it was due to working being done in the area to repair the phone lines. So I plugged the phone back into the wall and left, but not before informing my mom of the situation.
When I got home, there still wasn't any phone service available, so I decided to call Bell Canada on my cell phone and find out what was going on.
This lead me to another question...why is it that such major corporations like Bell Canada don't know a damn thing about what's going on outside of their cozy little building?
A woman answers my call and I explain to her about the lack of service and dial tone. She asks for my phone number, address and such, you know, normal questions. I give her the information and ask her if there's work being done in the area, causing the disruption. Her answer? A pretty stupid "there's no way for us to know this information, sorry."
Ummm, hello? Are you guys that stupid as to not know where your damn service people are heading out on calls? Can any service repair guy say "I'm heading out to do some work, I'll be back sometime this afternoon" to his boss and not be questioned about it? Do the local service departments not have a schedule of who's working on what project and where in the damn city? I find this completely hard to believe and I let the woman know this.
She then tells me that she can have someone come out to the house tomorrow to check whether the problem I'm having is inside or outside the house.
I said sure to that one and let her continue talking.
She then asks me if I wanted something called line protection insurance, something I've never heard of, but she explained that it was so that I wouldn't have to pay for extra costs should they determine the problem is inside my house.
I declined this insurance because who need an extra cost on top of an already expensive basic phone bill.
She then informs me that if they do find the problem to be internal, it'll cost me $99 to fix, otherwise it'll be a cost of $69 if it's found to be external.
I was like, "huh?" You mean I have to pay $69 +taxes should the problem be on the freakin' telephone pole?
She confirms that, to which I said very firmly "no way, I'm not paying for something not caused by me or has anything to do with my home directly." I mean, come on people! If some damn car knocks down a telephone pole and the lines get severed and I call it in, saying I don't have phone service, I'll have to pay this "visit" cost? Hell no people!
What a freakin' rip-off this phone company is. I swear, I wanted to tell this woman where to shove her service call fees, but instead I told her to cancel the service call.
She did so and it was left at that.
I know it's not something affecting only my house because I attempted to call the neighbour and there was no answer. I knew they were home, but the call just kept on ringing and ringing as if the phone was really ringing in their house, but in actuality, the call wasn't getting through to the phone. How do I know this? I tried it with my own phone, calling it from my cell phone and heard it ringing and ringing on the cell, but no ringing came from the actual phone I was calling, so I knew the calls weren't coming through.

Wasn't that a long story?

Ah well. It's now 7:30 pm and I still don't have any phone service. I wonder how long it'll last...perhaps the rest of my life?
I sure hope not!