Sunday, December 2, 2012

Service Person Problem Redux

I have chronicled our repeated disasters with repair persons here in Texas; to the point that my dear readers are probably tired of hearing about it. When we started making decent money in the oil patch we embarked on a mission to perform some desperately needed repairs on our motorhome. I won’t go into detail here; you can browse through the post list and read all about them if you like.

Our latest travail began when the installer for our newly ordered satellite Internet attempted to locate us. (Geographic knowledge of south Texas isn’t necessary, but might be helpful at this point) He was in Pearsall and I tried to give him directions, but couldn’t get him to shut up long enough to relay same. I firmly and politely told him if he could just shut up a second, I would give him step by step directions. About an hour later the installer called and said he was in Dilley and could not find the road I had mentioned. Obviously I was a little perturbed at this point and my perturbed persona probably took over. I asked why he was in Dilley and didn’t I tell him take the road just outside of Pearsall? He replied that I did indeed tell him that and that he didn’t know why he wrote down Dilley. I observed that it wasn’t my fault he wrote down the wrong directions. He said he didn’t like my tone and that if he couldn’t get to me in 20 minutes he was rescheduling. After assuaging his ego with my still firm but polite, perturbed persona, I explained that even if he came straight here he was further than twenty minutes away. Then I again gave him a set of directions. At this point I wasn’t sure he was going to show up, so I called Missy (who was working our next gate as we were again covering two gates, which is another story) and updated her. I would not have wanted to be on the receiving end of the call, but she contacted customer service. Some thirty minutes later the installer called and I talked him through to my location. An argument immediately ensued over whether the purpose built stand I bought would work for the dish. He proceeded to work though, and the dish miraculously found its way onto the stand. At this point, I asked the installer if I could observe as he aligned the dish, as we would be relocating frequently. I should have known something was screwy when he said to use our Dish Network satellite to line up the Internet dish. Then he said something about making adjustments and tones. I also should have known something was screwy (and the installer should have too) when our computer would not sync with the modem and he was forced to use his. After he left our computer would not stay on line and we could not access password protected web sites. Many fruitless phone calls to customer service resulted in a technician being scheduled to come out in four or five days. Missy thought this was no bueno and let me and everyone she talked to know it. In the meantime, we relocated and I dismounted the dish to facilitate moving it. OK! First time set up of our new Internet satellite and alignment using the Dish Network dish as a reference did not work. I got frustrated and told Missy I had to have some numbers, or coordinates for the satellite. Kentucky windage was not going to work here. She was a trooper and dug for hours till she found the info via Google (the satellite tech service was again useless). Voila; we aligned the dish using a compass, dialed in the numbers for the satellite and within five minutes had good tones and Internet! Here’s the good part. Once Missy and I dialed everything in correctly all of our problems disappeared-the installer had never completely dialed in the dish!

Here’s an update on our attempts to get registered so we can bid on government contracts. First, we had to get a Dun’s number. Then we had to use that to register at the CCR (or Central Contract Registration) site, which has been changed to SAM’s (System Awards Management). Our problem with Dun’s was that the site does not recognize Google and our problem at Sam’s was that it did not recognize Internet Explorer. Kind of frustrating! Now that that is done I think we are waiting for something called CAGE. We are close to two weeks into this process and still aren’t eligible to bid. I wonder if any government types have done a trial run of this process. Another update surely will follow.

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