Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Telefonica, language and service guys.

You know when you take your car in to the mechanic because it is making a weird noise and screeching when you brake, but once you get there and your driving around with mechanic and he is smearing grease all over your passenger seat from his dirty clothes and unwashed hands and the car doesn't do it at all...no screech, no ping or bang or knock and you feel like an idiot...and he looks at you like you are an inferior human because your a woman and when someone asks you what kind of car you saw you answer that it was blue????



That happened to me today.



Except it was the phone.



Nomad tried calling me several times the night before last, then finally e-mailed and commented that she couldn't get through. This alerted us to the problem. You see the phone doesn't ring very often around here. Then once we looked at it the little number things and the date and all on that preview screen thingy, well that wasn't happy either. The whole screen thingy was flashing on, then off, then on then off....sometimes we had a dial tone and sometimes not. The computer, which is hooked up to the same jack on the same line was fine....



Then the phone started ringing about every 10 seconds. Of course there was no one calling but our modern day poltergeist. Easily solved. Unplug it.



Then the computer access died.


Now that was a crisis.



Here's what really bites though. I cannot call Telefonica myself because despite the fact that I am living deep in the heart of Catalonia, the telefonica people on the 24hour customer service line ONLY SPEAK SPANISH.



Now, can you imagine living in Quebec, and we're not talking Montreal here, or even Quebec City, lets say, Trois Riviers, or Chicoutimi....and you cannot call customer service in French? Then the service guy that comes to your door, and surely lives in Quebec, and works for a national company...we're talking the Bell Canada equivalent here ladies and gentlemen, and he does not speak a word, not a single word of Catalan.



My my my.



No wonder they want to seperate.



SO



I had to get a woman from work to phone for me, as I cannot talk to them myself...talking on the telephone is dodgy even in Catalan...I cannot wave my arms about...in Castillian? Worse than hopeless. The Catalans I talked to thought I might manage in English (imagine that, customer service in a foreign language being more likely that customer service in one of the officially recognised languages of the country) but every time we tried there was not any English help either. Maybe they are all in Barcelona.



So my buddy organised it for me.....and I will grant that the phone company responded very quickly. He was due to arrive the day after we called, which was today, at 1pm. He arrived around 2:30 which given these sorts of things, isn't all that bad.



Except that the phone was fine. It behaved completely normally.



I am glad and all, but I don't trust it to keep working and I will probably have to pay for the service call that I didn't need.



What is it with these inanimate objects? And with Telefonica, about whom I think EVERYONE in Spain has an "I hate Telefonica" story.



Life otherwise is good. We started conditionals in the Catalan class yesterday when I wasn't there. I am afraid. Very afraid. Conditionals are those verb structures like....I would sing if. They are reasonably straight forward in English (says the native speaker) but the Catalan ones, predictably, are more complicated.



Keeps it lively.



They say that if you keep your brain active throughout your life you are much less likely to suffer from loss of memory and dementia when your older. Think of that when your struggling over something, like your kid's 'new math' homework assignment that you cannot figure out yourself, OK?

7 comments:

Beth said...

I shouldn't laugh over your problem with the phone, but I AM! You told that tale so well.

And I keep my brain active struggling with the world of computers...

Anonymous said...

Want to be the guy checked your connection/telephone number to see whether you were one of their regular,PAYING customers, fixed the problem with one click,then showed up knowing he'd have nothing to do and so could take a couple of hours off to go to the beach at your expense?
This is no "brain-spin of mine", as my Berlin friends'd say, it actually happened - only in Portugal to German friends.
They were new in the village but kept complaining loudly in the local pub about the terrible phone service/internet connection in their renovated summer home.
After going through your kind of experience they then ran across the repairman at the seaside half an hour later.
They sure wondered why the man was so obviously distressed.
Then the pub keeper killed himself laughing - a German married to a local - when he clued them in on the villagers' newest gossip!
Use of Conditionals is very high class education, my dear!
If you learn to use it properly your reputation will then open new vistas for you in society - at least that's how it works in France and Germany!!!
We've had snow on and off for a week now in Riga.

Beth said...

I'll try to remember that, Rocky, when my kids ask me some question about algebra...which I never took in school...I'll still be relatively smart when I'm old and gray...like next week!!

Done any hiking with Chuck?

Theresa said...

Telefonica? Hate 'em! They are always screwing things up. Why don't you switch?

oreneta said...

Beth: I was laughing at it all too. Almost.

GM: I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if there was something like that going on....the conditionals...lets hope there is some benifit....there have been a lot of verb tenses appearing rapidly and I am starting to spin. You have my condolences about the snow...unless it is really beautiful white stuff that sits on the trees and makes it all lovely....in that case I am jealous.

Theresa: I know, it is worth a thought, but it is all so complicated, and the service isn't THAT bad, though pricey...and several people recommended that we go with Telefonica....ho hum. We probably will at some time....

Sirdar said...

You have to keep your mind active? Does blogging count?

Sorry to hear about your phone experience. Ours are from Telus. So far...knock on wood...there hasn't been any issues.

oreneta said...

Sirdar: Can't say about blogging...it must all help though.