Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Saga of the Telephone !

It's been some months now ,,, on and off,,,, aye literally !
It all started when Talk Talk "Upgraded" us for faster, free Broadband.

That was back in Sept. / Oct ,, last year.
At first we noticed our previously slow, but at least secure, Broadband connection would periodically "drop out" for no reason other than perhaps that we weren't using it 24/7 !
It gradually got worse ,,, dropping out 3, 4, 5 times a day. And got more and more difficult to re connect.
Naturally we complained to our new "provider" ,, the fast becoming Infamous TalkTalk ,,

I even wrote to the top man ,, one Charlie Dunstone, CEO, telling him what I thought of his new, super-duper free Broadband !! And I wasn't exactly complimentary !!
I next complained to Dave, our tame, local "face behind the counter" up at our local Car Phone Warehouse ,,
Dave has been very sympathetic and caring ( but he has his internet provided by BT !! )and frequently over the next month or three he 'phoned in our complaint to the Talk Talk call centre service people ,,, we watched him do it !

They would then come on the 'phone and talk us thro' various remedies ,, generally requesting that we isolate all our land line phones and any other phone links in the house ,, like the Sky TV connection and the Computer ,, while they checked the line at the exchange.
They advised us ( often ! ) that, oh yes we've located a fault at our end ,, that's at the BT exchange ,, and we've fixed it now Mr. B, so you won't have any further problems !! Ha ,,,
Next time, for there was always a next time, they would tell us to try changing all of our ASDL filters. That would surely cure the problem ,,, then they wanted us to shut down everything for 48 hours !! Yeah, disconnect from the world for 2-days !!

I told them to go screw themselves ,, or something like that :)
Oh, and incidentally, all the while our new "upgraded high speed" internet connection won't actually happen 'till next July ,,, even although they blatently tell me every time I go online that I'm currently connected at 7.5 Mbps ,,, On checking, that figure is averaging less than 1Mb !
Then, bugger me, the next thing we know our bloody 'phone isn't working ,,, well to be factual here, it works sometimes ,, but most of the time it's so noisey and crackling that no one can hear us &/or vice versa ,.,. many's the day we've had calls from people who simply hung up on us so frustrated were they ,, next the answer machine packed in ,, as did our Caller Display !
So, back again to see Dave ! He laughed ,, but he organised engineers coming to visit ,, Engineers from Talk Talk, Bt and even the elite Bt Open Reach ,.,. They've all been here ,,,

They told us there was no fault on our line here at home ,,, but they'd found ( again ) and fixed ( again ) the faulty HUM on the line at their end !
The whole affair was beginning to HUM as far as I was concerned too !

I told them I would take my business to a Reliable supplier if they didn't fix the problem in the next week !
The 'phone line by now was diabolical ,.,. we were getting nowhere ,,, then suddenly my good lady wife discovered ( by accident ) that hitting the intercom button seemed to clear the line and we could once again hear our family and friends ,,, so for the next month or so we did that ,,, when the line went all hissy and crackly we hit the Intercom button ,,, this gradually led to us just hitting the hand set off the nearest thing handy ,,, and hey presto ,, the line was clear again for a short period ,.,.,.
Then I had a birthday ,,, my big son bought and fitted a new Super fast "Router" for me ,.,. and overnight our "drop out" problem disappeared ! It's been rock solid for nigh on a fortnight now ,,, unheard of since our "Upgrade !"
But still no joy on the 'phone front ,,, but wait ,,,

We started thinking about this hitting of the hand set and the Intercom button thing

Oh no, it couldn't be ,,, could it ?
One night when we had nothing better to do we decided to disonnect the 'phone ,,, we connected an old 'phone from an upstairs bedroom ,, temporarily you understand, just to check if maybe ,,,

Oops ! the crackle, the hiss, the lack of sound ,,, all gone as if by magic with the change of 'phone !!

We've now had a trouble free 'phone system for a week or more ,,,, not the slightest hiccup ,,

But then we'd expect a good line ,, after all, it's probably the most checked line in Scotland !

The wife has just bought a new set of Digital 'phones !!

Don't think I'll tell Charlie Dunstone though ?
Wait ,.,.,.., Addendum : PS : Call it what you like : But a wee while later the Saga continued !!
I came downstairs this morning and the new 'phone was sitting there all bright eyed and bushy tailed ,.,., waiting for me !
I decided to call Steve to arrange our golf game ,.., so I checked the new 'phone's 'phonebook ,., hit the button and there it was ,,, dialling away like a good-un ,,, excellent ,,, until ,,,,
" The number you are dialling has not been recognised ,, please hang up and try again later "
I tried for fully ten minutes ,,, I dialled it manually, I tried the 'phone book memory ,, I added the Glasgow 0141 ,,, you name it ,,, but alas NOTHING, the bloody thing refused to call anybody ! Arghhhhhh, here we bloody go again !
Naturally I assumed something in the set up and /or initialising had gone wrong or hadn't been done ,,, but my good lady assured me it had worked ok the previous night after setting up, before she came to bed ????
So ,, back to confront Dave ,,, Up to the Car Phone Warehouse I went ,, with 3-kids in tow too !
Good ole sympathetic Dave was ready for me !
"I knew you'd be here today" he said ,,, "sorry but we couldn't contact you , you're complaint #27 so far today ,, Talk Talk is having "an Outage" today so your 'phone will be out of commission for ,,, eh, they haven't told us how long yet !"
So there you have it ,.,., talk about coincidence ,, they decide to have "an outage" on the very day we change to new 'phones !!
Is it Sod's Law, Murphy's Law or just that good ole guy CharlieTalkTalk's Law ?
I know you'll want to hear ,, it all started working again at 5pm tonight !
And I don't want to hear another word about bloody Alexander Graham Bell for the next 20-years !
Hello, Hello ,,, is anybody there ?????

The Key !

Is it just me ,, or has anyone EVER seen anything on the Sky TV channel "Open Access" ?
Not only have I failed to catch even one word ( or picture ) on this channel ,, but worse ,, they seem to now have a 2nd. channel "Open Access 2" dedicated to ,,, eh ,, Nothing at all seemingly !
They do show a pretty constant picture of a KEY so maybe that's it ,,,
Could this be the famous Key of Life ?
C'mon, somebody tell me ,..,,.What am I missing ???