Sunday, 2 November 2008


Last Friday was a complete and utter nightmare. First of all, I was expecting to receive my MacBook, which had been collected by DHL from my son's place the previous morning. Nowt, nothing, nada. Checking online it shows that it left DHL's outbound gateway at 5am Friday - on a plane, truck or donkey-cart, I know not. Whatever, it means there is no possibility of it arriving chez moi until after the weekend.

At about 3pm on Friday, the Internet went off. Now, I know the bills have been paid, the line works 'cos the phone is working, and the router works 'cos all the lights are flashing. So I wait for an hour or two, hoping it will right itself. It doesn't, and so I pluck up the courage to call Telefonica. 

They used to have this IVR system, where if you ignored all of the questions and demands to press various buttons, you would eventually get a real-live operator and you could ask if there was anyone who could speak English. Well, guess what? They've changed the system. It's now a voice-recognition jobbie. It asks you to tell it what you want. I was so taken aback by this that I couldn't think of anything to say. It hung up on me. I tried again, and said 'habla ingles?' and it came back asking me (in Spanish) to confirm that I wanted to speak to an English-speaking operator. I said 'si', and got put through to somebody who said 'good afternoon'. 

Yay. I told her what the problem was, and she said that my router probably needed synchronising. I had to call their Technical Department, and they would do it for me. Marvlious. Except when I spoke to the Tech Dept, they don't have any English speakers, but it's not a sincronizado problema, it's JazzTel. They advised me to call the Commercial Department again.

Bollocks. JazzTel. Yes. A couple of weeks ago, two youths in suits with slicked-back hair hammered on my door and forced me to sign up for cheaper, faster Internet through JazzTel. So I did, provisionally, but I never signed a final contract. And also, I realised later, the thing that I had signed wouldn't work, because the Telefonica service is in my wife's name, and she hadn't signed anything. So I forgot about it.

A couple more calls to Telefonica revealed that my service had been disconnected because JazzTel had taken control of the line on 27th October.

So I called JazzTel; they had nobody there who could speak English, but expected one to show up in about an hour's time, and she would call me. Half an hour later, she called, and asked me what kind of router I had. Well, it's the standard issue Telefonica router.

'You don't haff YhathTel* router?'

'No. Should I have?'

'Yes, yes, you need.'

'Well the salesman never told me that.'

'Okay, we send router Mondy.'

'No, no. I can't be without Internet for the weekend!'

'Oh. Maybe you can re-program Telefonica router with YhathTel usernombre y passpalabra. I tell you them.'

So I write it all down, run the horrible Telefonica router setup software, and get precisely nowhere. Because before I can change anything, I have to enter the original username and password, but I don't have them. Bugger.

A flashing lightbulb appears over my head. I have another router that I brought with me from Dubai. I dig it out, and amazingly I also have the installation CD. Off we go then. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The software asks what country I'm in, and then offers a list of ISPs. I select JazzTel, plop in the username and password, and Bingo-Bongo! It works.

The only thing now is that tomorrow my MacBook might arrive, after which I will not be answering the door to anybody. And some dude from JazzTel will arrive bearing a router that I do not want or need, but I won't be able to make him understand that because my Spanish is so crap.

No sign of DHL today :-(

And no sign of anybody from JazzTel bearing a router. So it's just as well I got my own one to work, ain't it.

*Why on earth a Spanish company would give itself a name that is almost impossible for a Spanish-speaker to pronounce is beyond me. But there ya go.


Lauri Shaw said...

If there is indeed a Satan, then call centres and phone trees are unquestionably his work.

Lauri Shaw

Troy said...

And if there indeed is a Satan, he surely has a hand in all telephone and internet companies here in Spain.

I can say one thing for them, they ALL take customer service to new all time lows never seen before by human beings.

Good on you for switching away from Telefonica though, if only for the sake of dignity. They are the biggest crooks out there with pending cases against them by the EU, however the revolving door between the executive branch of Telefonica and Moncloa keeps them safe.

Cody's Cuentos said...

This sounds like a Kafka-esque nightmare but your humorous take on it made me chuckle.

How on earth does Telefonica stay in business? Is it just sheer monopoly politics? I know that all telecom providers have to lease their lines from Telefonica, right?

Nick said...

I feel for you - went through exactly the same quite a few years back. It's a nightmare and it must have happened to so many others.