Fuck You SBC

For some reason I can’t completely put a finger on, I feel angry, and sad, and frustrated this morning.


Sometimes things just stun me.

So today, I am working from home. Because I’m in a horrible mood to start with and figuring, better to stay away from people. People suck. I hate people today.

And suddenly, my DSL line drops out. The lights are all on, everything looks ok, but no connection.

No big deal, I think, it drops out and comes back all the time. It’s a constant low-grade irritation, but I can live with it.

Only it does not come back. And I wait. And it does not come back.

I go through the usual debugging routine. I check all the connections, two and three times. I power-cycle everything. Then I start stripping it down. I pull out the wireless stuff, then I pull out the VPN box that lets me connect to work without having to run performance-degrading VPN software. So I’m down to just my DSL router, and a cat5 straight into my laptop.

Nothing. Bupkis. nil, nix, nada, null, goose egg, naught, zilch, zip. Bugger all, fuck all, Sweet Fanny Adams.

Fuck me I say, out loud.

So I get on the phone to SBC, who I will always think of as Pac Bell. Of course, I have to call 411 to get a number, and of course I get on hold where they tell me over and over how I can go to the fucking web site to get help, where I would already fucking be if my fucking DSL was working.

But, you know, I’m not pissed yet.

And they transfer me through menus, and then I finally get a human. And I tell him what I’ve done. And then he starts at the beginning and asks me step by step if I’ve done what I just told him I already did. Which takes about five, ten, fifteen minutes, or maybe eternity. So we finally establish I’m cabled straight from the DSL router to the computer.

And he asks which windows version I’m running. And stupid me, I say no it’s a Mac. And he said “Oh, sir, I must transfer you to our Macintosh support group.”

At this point I am willing his head to explode.

“The Problem,” I say, speaking S-L-O-W-L-Y and C-A-R-E-F-U-L-L-Y, “Is in the network connection, and has nothing to do with which OS I’m running,” and I mentally finish this with Moron!

And it takes him nearly five minutes to get across that he can’t walk me through the debugging on a mac because he doesn’t know how.

I don’t tell him about how his brains are all over the cubical wall behind him, and how my .45 is smoking in my hand. It won’t help at all.

So I go back into the purgatory of hold.

Eventually, after I’ve sat long enough to need another shave, I get another person, and she starts at zero, and wants to know if I’ve done all the things I already told the other guy. So, fine, no problem. Yes I did that, yes I did that, yes I did that. We finally establish that I’ve disconnected all the network and am cabled straight from router to laptop.

And she asks me, and I am not kidding, “Are there any electronics nearby?”


What the fuck can I say?

“Yes, you know, I have a network here, so there are a whole ROOM FULL OF ELECTRONICS, so what’s your point?”

So attempts to explain that she only means, things that might cause any problems.

“No,” I say. That’s where I should have started.

Ok, so we’ve established that we now need to troubleshoot the actual connection. She starts trying to walk me through to the network settings, where I was before I called SBC in the first place. That’s ok, she’ll catch up to me.

“Now,” she says. “Put in your email address.”

I blink several times. my email address. Which has fuck-all to do with my network connection.

“My — email?”

“Yes sir. Your sbcpacbellmumbledy-fuck email address.”

“I don’t have it.”

I can hear her brain trying to wrap around this statement. It sounds like the wooden gears that drive the forge in Pirates of the Caribbean. It must be driven by a donkey.

“I don’t have it. I’ve never used it.”

She starts to tell me about the form it would be written on, like I’ve got a new install. I tell her that it was five years ago when I got DSL installed, and why does she need my email address to debug a network problem anyway?

I start to think maybe she’s running it all through a translator-bot and I’ve hit a concept it can’t render in farsi or tagalog or punjabi or whatever the fuck she would speak where this call has been transferred.

She eventually starts up with an explanation she’s clearly reading off a card, about needing to authenticate something using my email. I stop her; I don’t care anymore, I just want to get back on line.

“So look it up, you have my information right there.”

“I can’t, sir.”

“Who can?”

I’ve lost her again. She starts telling me it’s on my bill.

“I don’t have my bill. I shred my paper bills when I pay them.”

I’ve lost. It’s time to get higher. I ask for a supervisor.

And I swear, she comes back on the line pretending to be someone else, and we have the same conversation.

“Why can’t you look it up?”

“It’s on your bill, sir.”

“I don’t have my bill, why can’t you look it up, you have my information in front on you.”

“I can’t give you that information unless you can give me your email address, sir.”

I can feel her hot red blood dripping down my chin as I tear out her jugular vein with my teeth.

“Who do I need to talk to,” I finally ask “To get my email address?”

Billing, she tells me. And no, of course she can’t transfer me. That would be helpful and helpful is out of the question.

She gives me a phone number though. Which is, of course, disconnected.

I wonder if it’s time to start drinking.

So I’m back to 411. Where I have the best moment of the day, and catch the info operator in a yawn as she answers my call. She giggles, and apologizes, and I tell her she’s completely charmed me. I love her. I want her to sit on my lap and look at me with sleepy eyes and call me Daddy.

But then I have to talk to them again.

I am back into hold-gatory, and can hear my call shuffle from time-zone to time-zone as some sort of automated support-center call system looks for an office where they’re not on fucking siesta or out smoking big fat spiffs or something, and then as my beard goes gray, a live human answers, and she’s named Becka or some sort of B name. And I tell her about all this, how the fuckers in outer mongolia say I can’t get my network problem fixed unless I know my email and how I don’t have my bill.

“Oh, no problem sir, I can help you,” she says, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel as this warm, friendly, intelligent-sounding woman comes to my rescue. “I just need the last four digits of your account number, which is on your bill..

Of course. The light is a train.

“I don’t have my bill.”

“Can you get it?

If I could get it, I’d have it.

“Can you call someone to get it?”

I’m finally starting to sound as mad as I feel. This isn’t a good thing. “I’m home, I don’t have the bill, it’s shredded, and I pay the bills, JUST LOOK IT UP, OK?”

She tells me she can’t, and then starts to explain fraud to me. I stop her.

“Yeah, I know, I know, but you have the information there in front of you, so why are we screwing around?”

They are the goddamned phone company. They know I’m calling from my home number. They don’t need any other verification.

“I need to verify…”

“YEAH I KNOW! Now, I can tell you all the info everyone asks — mothers maiden name, SS#, address, the number of the other phone on my account, my driver’s license…”

“You could look all that up, sir.”

It’s not her fault it’s not her fault it’s not her fault…

I try to explain to her that a piece of paper (my bill) in no way verifies my identity. She tries to argue.

Ok, it is her fault. Fuck her, her company, her mother, her father, the cheap beer they were drinking when she was conceived, and the fucking horse she rode in on.

“Why is all that good enough for everyone else, including american express, and not enough for you?”

She starts over with ‘fraud 101’. I’m hanging up, and then I picture being back on hold. Then she starts to tell me about how bad she feels for not being able to help me.

Ok, honestly, this woman is trying. It’s truly not her fault. She’s wrong and she knows it, but the corporation mandates this crap. But she still is about to get a spanking and possibly a serious ass-fucking is she keeps arguing. I think she’s starting to sense that.

She now offers to mail me a copy of my bill. which will take two weeks.

I’m done. I make a token attempt to talk to a supervisor, but get stonewalled. This is where one has to be patient and stalk the kill, and I just don’t. I’m bored already. I’m thinking next step.

I hang up, and dial Comcast. They’re installing broadband cable tomorrow afternoon. Goodbye SBC.

Customer Service, people. It’s a concept for the 00’s.

25 thoughts on “Fuck You SBC”

  1. I’m sorry for all your internet woes today, but hey, they make for an entertaining read for the rest of us. 😉 Comcast rocks, I’ve only had good interactions with them, their employees and their automated menus. Plus you can sign up to stop receiving paper bills, so obviously they will never ask you to retrieve info from your bill. 😉

  2. I can’t believe it took you 1563 words to get around to “ass-fucking”. Dude, where is your head at today?

    FWIW, I’ve been using Time Warner cable for a few years now and it’s been flawless for my purposes, (blogging, basic telecommuting and downloading porn…standard fare). TW is different in every city, though.

    But DSL is shit, and SBC are all criminals. They don’t care. They don’t have to. They’re the phone company.

  3. I admire you – you gave SBC more of a chance than they deserved. A couple of years ago I tried to give them the chance to provide me with a DSL modem that gave me an Ethernet port (the old one was, gulp, USB only) and they wanted to charge me hundreds of dollars. I got Comcast in, and when I cancelled the DSL, don’t you know that they offered me a replacement modem for free.

    SBC installers also used to rip out extenstions that were punched down in my apartment building whenever they could so that they could charge for re-connecting the ones that they didn’t install themselves. The landlord eventually locked the whole board down and only let SBC in under supervision.

    SBC is far and away the worst telco I’ve ever done business with. I did a little dance of joy the day I put in VoIP.

  4. You know, I had @home before comcast borged them, and they were horrific, half the speed promised, WAY too much money if you wanted more than one IP, and they had all this software you had to install. And completely unreliable.

    THEN they shut off my service when I was late with a payment (I’m always late with payments for EVERYTHING, fucking deal with it), and they did it on the thursday before a 4 day weekend; TWICE. And I have to wait for the following week to get it back on, even though I’ve already paid them.

    The second time, I shitcanned them and got DSL, and then like three months later @home folded into comcast.

    What I’ve heard since then is that they’ve gotten very much better, but you know, it was working, so I wasn’t gonna touch it. B^)

    Now I’m also thinking good thoughts about VoIP. It’s a very good concept.

  5. Jezus, Ray, you download porn? You should be ashamed. Thats just wrong.

    You been talking to Olivia again, haven’t you, Karl?

  6. One of your funniest entries ever! xoxooxoxo

    Now, for some inexplicable reason, I believe I’m gonna go download some pr0n…

  7. You obviously had a physical repair issue with the circuit itself; I can’t believe they couldn’t just roll a truck out.

    You’d probably have been better off with the regular telephone customer service than the DSL tech support. If they’d said “We’ll x-fer you to support”, you say “They x-ferred me to you for repair scheduling”. Their tech support is likely to be outsourced, and yes, those reps are held to “callflow metrics” governing procedure, call control, and such. Typically in such an environment, the older, more experienced reps learn where and when to cut corners, but it’s usually a high-turnover environment, where vets are the exception rather than the norm.

    With the phone company, if all else fails, call sales. They’ll often be a lot looser and more cooperative if you do a good job of faking interest in whatever new offers they’re pushing this month. 🙂

    That said, you’ll *probably* be quite happy with VOIP. Both Vonage (which I use) and Lingo have excellent offerings that include unlimited long distance. The problem? It adds yet another little black box to your network setup, and my terminal adapter crashes pretty frequently, sometimes necessitating a full power cycle throughout the networking chain.

    /ex AT&T, forward complaints to /dev/null.

  8. Hmph. Just reread the “all lights on” part….they might have just had an issue w/ the DSLAM….have you tried putting everything back together?

    Not that this would cause you to cancel your comcast order, but might as well use the service until the fantastic newness gets installed…

  9. Fuck them up thier stupid fucking asses, sez I. SBC gets shitcanned as soon as I get comcast all up and running.

    And yeah, C, go download some prawn.

  10. SBC fucking sucks.. actually I’m on the phone with SBC tech support as I type this. They can’t even do one fucking thing. I’m trying to get the speed that I’m paying for, and I keep getting thrown into a loop of transfers. Now, I can’t use the email address that I signed up with one year ago because I just moved and they want me to sign up with a different email address. It’s been two weeks and this still isn’t worked out.

    Maybe I should just pay the $200 to disconnect SBC phone/internet, and go with TW?

    P.S. Don’t get me started on the fucking cancellation fee of $200….

  11. I just got off the phone with SBC and I was so pissed I typed FUCK SBC into google, and what do you know, this site came up. man, what a rant, I definately got a chuckle. I already have 1 adsl line, and ordered a 2nd 2 weeks ago. I have been calling every other day to check the status, the install date was yesterday (thursday), and my equipment still isnt here. I took my dsl modem, hooked it up, no dice, sorry, not on yet. I call this morning, apparently, my order was stuck on hold because the ppl that install the actual phone line said that the install FAILED. Are you kidding, I have 2 phone numbers, 2 lines, and 1 dsl. All the dipshits I talked to for the past 2 weeks couldnt see that my order was on hold for some stupid fucking reason? I tell the idiot on the other end that I knew this would happen, which is why I called EVERY DAY, and she said that all she could do is resubmit my order. Now, Im looking at 10 more days. I asked to speak to a manager, they are all in a meeting. I asked if there was a central phone number to complain about a specific center…..sir, you have to speak to a manager. Ok, arent they all in a meeting? “Yes, but I will give them your message”….Fucking SBC, I hate those bastards, never once had a good experience dealing with them….? Any Pyro junkies…the address to set ablaze is 1450 vassar st., reno, nv

    wow, this was soothing

  12. Word, Bryan.

    I moved to comcast, I installed vonage, and the ONLY THING that’s holding me up shit-canning SBC is that my alarm wants a land line. I’m discussing switching to a cell/radio connection with teh alarm company, and if they can’t do it I’ll switch to alam.com and so much for SBC.

    Fuck ’em.

  13. Hey asshole. At least you HAVE dsl. Some of us arn’t as lucky as you, to have the joy of high speed internet. Some of us have aol. I agree. Fuck sbc. I’ve been trying to get their dsl service for over a year now, and I’ve even switched phone companies TO sbc to get it, but so far, I still don’t have it. Fuck you ungrateful asshole. Now I must leave you, before I get randomly disconnected.

  14. SBC DSL is Satans little pet project put here to torment me for enternity of my contract. Please anyone outthere stay away from satans project.

  15. SBC sucks big time. Comcast is much better. SBC requires a contract. Forcing customers into a contract is like admitting that they have bad service.

  16. I also despise and hate SBC. I had them for DSL back when I lived where I could actually GET DSL…. Dealing with the people was atrocious, especially when there were problems. Yes, they ask you to go through all these asanine things just to finally figure out that something’s wrong on their end. Yes, I tried that, yes, I did that. Yes my DNS servers are correct. Yes, yes, yes…. I’m a bloody Systems Administrator for crying out loud. I deal with network and software issues all day, and I don’t need some underpaid parrot to tell me what to do.

    The next time I live in an area I can get DSL, I’ll be sure to order SDSL, because only companies that have half a wit offer SDSL… Until then, I’m stuck with my Satellite internet… Bloody ping times.

  17. I hate SBC.
    My DSL goes off once a day, maybe more. I get massive static on my home phone. So I called them, after the annoying connect your computer blah blah blah stuff, they decided they need a person to come over. So I called them to come in. They sent a technician, between the hours of 8am and 6pm. So I had to leave work to do this. The tech came out, said it was not a problem inside, and the yneed to further test the lines outside. They called, and said it was a loose connection outside. I said fine. The next day, internet goes on and off again. I called them back. We have to do the testing again. “WHY!?! You JUST came out, it’s NOT inside my house.” They began explaining to me that if they don’t test they would charge me to come out. FINE. We go through the same exact process again. Tech would come out again, between 8am and 6pm. Tech said that it was a problem on the pole. “I don’t climb poles, but I will contact the department that does and have them come out.” No reply again. Still having problems. Called them again, at night, the lady said call in the morning, they will setup a guy to come out. FINE. Called in the morning from work, “We need to test your line, you need to be home at your computer.” GOOD $#@$&! Are these people stupid? I explained the same thing, I already had tech come out, it’s NOT the inside line. “We have to run the tests, or we have to charge you for a tech to come out.” OMFG. I want to kill them. Fine. I got home, my phone has no dial tone. The phone dead. DSL still works on and off, but the phones dead.
    GREAT. I called SBC to come out to fix my phone, but they don’t put a phone number on their page for easy access, 25 minutes later, i find a number, and call with my cell. Automated response. ARGH, now i have another tech coming out to fix the phone from 12pm to 4pm. Finally a smaller window of time. Next, i have to get these idiots to come out and fix my DSL.

  18. I was frustrated with my internet connection so I typed in “FUCK YOU SBC” in my search engine. Good story, I think I’ll be switching to Comcast soon as well.

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