THE LONG VIEW: Internet disconnect opens a world of possibilities

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Pat Grimes New pic.jpg

I have previously mentioned my Internet service provider, Smotcac. In addition to charging too much for their service each month, this giant corporation employs dozens of associates to call me every other day with fantastic offers that would allow them to charge me even more.

I have previously mentioned my Internet service provider, Smotcac. In addition to charging too much for their service each month, this giant corporation employs dozens of associates to call me every other day with fantastic offers that would allow them to charge me even more.

Still, my overpriced service has been pretty reliable. Whenever I want to access the Internet, I can. Occasionally, I have to reboot my old, slow modem, one that Smotcac has repeatedly suggested I replace so as to better experience the wonder of their connection. But more often than not, I can turn on the computer and access the online world with ease.

But things were different the other morning. I had no Internet connection, even after subjecting the modem and router to an “off and on.”  I had no choice but to endure the frustration of a call to Smotcac technical support.

There are few experiences as exasperating as contacting Smotcac. After suffering through the recorded voice informing me that my call may be monitored or recorded, I negotiated the phone tree prompts and reached another taped voice.

“We are experiencing a service outage in your area,” it said, “and are working diligently to correct it. The latest estimate for resolution of this issue is…”  This is where a completely different voice mentioned a time that was, in fact, hours before my call.

Calling 60 minutes later, their service restoration prediction had been restored to the future, some two hours hence. After that deadline came and went, I could no longer bear listening to recorded voices. It was time to speak with a real person at Smotcac.

After waiting on hold for what seemed like a week listening to painfully distorted music regularly interrupted with the lie, “your call is very important to us,” I was connected to Shantelle. This young lady very patiently listened to my complaints and offered to see if she could find any updates regarding my outage.

She apologized for the fact that she could not find anything new to tell me. The predictions of the recorded voices were all we had, and she was sorry she could not tell me more. I figured she had done her best, and thanked her for her time.

How different the day spent offline. I did not check the weather or my e-mail, I did not cruise the latest news headlines or viral videos. Rather than stew over my lack of world-wide-web access to, I actually got some work done.

Pat Grimes, a former South Bay resident, writes from Ypsilanti, Mich. He can be reached at pgwriter@inbox.com

THE LONG VIEW:  Internet disconnect opens a world of possibilities