Adventures with CenturyLink: Please Hold

***The following is a dramatic re-enactment of events from earlier today. The names have been changed to protect the innocent…from themselves. All events are subject to Chris’s memory and may not be entirely accurate. Sorry, no CODs. Consult your doctor if your blood pressure rises for more than two hours. Our protagonist’s side of the story will be in blue text and use no quotation marks.***

“Thank you for calling CenturyLink, this is Steve 1, how can I help you?”

Yes, I’m calling today to get more information about our start date for the internet. We were originally told we’d have it on May 23, then June 1, and now you’re saying it’s June 15.

“Okay that sounds great. Can I get your account number and name please?

Sure. My account number is XXXXXXXXXX. The name is Chris, Etling, E-T-L-I-N-G.

“Okay, thank you Mr. Ellting. So you are trying to get our fiberoptic service set up?”

Yes. We’re trying to get the fastest speed you have. We already had an account with that service at our old residence.

“Okay. Can I put you on hold while I transfer you to our accounts department?”

Uh, sure, I can hold.

[[HOLD TIME: 5 minutes. IN THIS SPAN I’M TOLD OF GREAT INTERNET OFFERS AND SATELLITE TV PROGRAMMING, BUT THE MESSAGES LOOP TWICE BEFORE I RECONNECT]]

“Thank you for your patience during the hold Mr. Hellsing. My name is Steve 2 and I’m with Accounts. So what can I do for you today?”

Um, I’m trying to get service set up at a new place. We just moved.

“Okay sure great. And what date was that scheduled for?”

It was scheduled for May 21, then moved to May 23.

“Oh…that’s strange. So the order was never filled?”

No.

“Oh I see…um…let me put a call through to our billing department. Can you stay on the line for two minutes?”

Okay.

[[HOLD TIME: 6 minutes. DID YOU KNOW CENTURYLINK OFFERS HIGH-SPEED INTERNET? I DID, I USED IT FOR SEVEN MONTHS YOU PUTZ]]

“All right Mr. Melting, I just contacted Billing and they say the earliest you can get service is June 15.”

See, the last two times I called, I was told it would be available after June 1. Are you sure that’s the earliest?

“…Um…I need to put you on hold for about two minutes. Is that okay?”

I guess.

[[HOLD TIME: 11 minutes. WAIT, TELL ME FOR A FOURTH TIME. I CAN START WATCHING A SHOW IN THE LIVING ROOM, PAUSE, THEN RESUME WATCHING IN THE KITCHEN? HOLY COW!]]

“Thank you for waiting through that long hold Mr. Belding. I’m told that is indeed the earliest date.”

Well, we can’t go without internet service for another two weeks. What options do I have for lower-speed internet and how soon can they be set up?

“…(13-second pause)…Please hold.”

[[HOLD TIME: 3 minutes.]]

“Okay sir, I’m going to transfer you to our technicians who will provide you with that information. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Yes, I—

[[HOLD TIME: 4 minutes. YOU KNOW, CENTURYLINK HAS SOME PRETTY GOOD DEALS. MAYBE I WAS WRONG TO BE ANGRY AT THEM]]

“Hello Mrs. Wetding, my name is Steve 3. I’m told you want to know about internet service?”

…Yes, that is the reason I’m calling.

“Okay. We can get you set up on a lower speed sometime next week. Is that okay?”

No, not really. If we have to wait that long, I might as well stick with the higher speed.

“So you don’t need this department?”

I mean, no. I’m sorry if they misinformed you, but–

[[HOLD TIME: 17 minutes. MUST…RESIST…SUBLIMINAL HOLD MESSAGES. I…CENTURYLINK IS GOOD. CENTURYLINK IS GREAT. CENTURYLINK IS MY MASTER. YES, I WILL OBEY AND KILL THE PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA.]]

“Hi Chris. This is Steve 4. So we have an opening for high-speed internet and our technicians will be there tomorrow by 5 p.m.”

Wait, what?

“Tomorrow by 5 p.m.”

But I…

“Unless you don’t want the higher spee–”

NO no no. That will be fine.

“Okay. We thank you for calling CenturyLink and hope our customer service was helpful. Is there anything else you need from us today?”

No, I’m good. CenturyLink is good. CenturyLink is great. CenturyLink is my master.

“Terrific. Have a nice day.”

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