Don’t You Want Me Baby?

You may have noticed blogging has been a bit light around here – it’s partly because I’ve been busy but also because our broadband has been extremely rural in recent days – as in, a couple of tin cans and a piece of string would be more effective. Not only does this make blogging painful, but it also makes working very slow as I need to use the internet a lot to check things and it can take a minute to load even a Google search, let alone the results. Add in some tight deadlines, and the fact that I’ve been working flat out for ages and would like to get stuff finished so I can have a break and you can imagine I’m not in the best of moods.

Finally, this evening, I broke down and called our internet provider, who we shall call TenSulp to spare their blushes. As it was warning me that it would take 30 minutes to get through to an adviser, I also loaded up their help pages (having rebooted the router) only to find that – and I’m not making this up – they suggested you watch a video to tell you how to troubleshoot your broadband speed. I tried their online chat but couldn’t connect, so I resigned myself to half an hour listening to blasts from my teenage past (when did I last hear any Human League?) which would have gone better if they’d had the sense to put their annoying ‘sorry you’re having to wait’ message *in between* songs, rather than interrupting just as you were joining in with the harmony bits in the chorus (Don’t you want me whoa-whoa-whooo-oh). Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, half an hour later, I get through to an actual human being, praise the Lord. I give our account username, which is in the other half’s name, and the password, and then he asks me to confirm my name, which I do. And then he tells me that having had to sit through half an hour of Eighties hits notwithstanding, he can’t talk to me about our account because it is not my account, it’s the other half’s account. And when I protest as mildly as I can manage that this is insane, he plays his trump card

‘It’s the data protection act. If I talked to you about this account and your name’s not on it I could end up in prison’

Oh, really.

It appears that the state or otherwise of our router, any fault on our line, or any technical issues affecting the exchange which might be making our internet pigging slow are now considered the other half’s private business and anyone else living in the house, including the person who has spent the last 48 hours grinding her teeth as the little thing on the browser goes round and round and round for the better part of an afternoon, must not be told anything about such intimate matters.

Either that or the Data Protection Act, like ‘Health and Safety’ and, indeed, the Human Rights Act, has become the catch all reason why nobody can do anything at all that they don’t particularly feel like doing. Any lawyers out there care to give me a second opinion on that?

At the very least, I do think that TenSulp should think to mention this little fact every time they interrupt their music, so that I don’t waste half an hour of my life getting a nasty earworm (You’d better change it back or we will both be sorry … ) to no purpose.

As it is, if it wasn’t for the fact that TenSulp and their sister company TB are the only broadband providers on our exchange apart from KlatKlat (who merrily overcharged us for months when they took over our previous providers), I’d be cancelling our account as soon as I could and taking our custom elsewhere. And then I’d take great pleasure in ringing them up by explanation and giving them the whole extended Human League remix down the line. With harmonies. (But now I think it’s time I lived my life on my own… I guess it’s just what I must do)

And if that’s not a violation of all sorts of Health and Safety at work directives then it’s definitely in breach of their human rights.

But oh it would feel good.

10 Responses to Don’t You Want Me Baby?

  1. Oh dear, feel a teeny bit responsible for your stress levels. It’s made for a great blog though…;-)

  2. Kathleen says:

    I feel your pain in Jacksonville, Oregon, USA (population 2816 unless someone delivered a baby today.) I have found a way to make the hour-long waits tolerable. When an actual human voice answers after a lengthy wait, I add his first name to a growing list I’ve been keeping. My secret plan is to become a world-famous novelist and name all the villains in my work from this list.

  3. welshcyclist says:

    It must be hell for a writer with deadlines to meet, when the internet runs so slowly! I am a two finger typist, and here in the Neath valley, where we are quoted as having download speeds of X, but in fact only get a very small x, even I am frustrated. It makes blogging so hard, I have all but given up.

  4. disgruntled says:

    @headlesschicken – ah well, as long as I get blog material out of it, it’s all worth it
    @Kathleen – I’d do that if I could ever remember their names.
    @welshcyclist – I do most of the blogging off line and then paste it in. It’s somewhat less painful that way

  5. Have a mate in a town with good broadband speeds and do an old-timey journalistic down-the-blower dictation: “The ford has flooded again – stop – and the buzzard – no, BUZZARD, not blizzard – the BUZZARD has expanded its territory – stop – is no place safe anymore question mark”. Could be a quicker option. Or alternatively cycle in to your local library to use the facilities.

  6. charles says:

    We had talktalk and the account was in my name and when my wife tried to sort things out when I was away we had the same result. Now we are with BT and the account is in her name and I have to speak in a falsetto to sort things out.

    Anyway I thought the rural idyl was about calm and tranquilty not deadlines. As we have the surveyor in for the people who want to buy this place before our excape to Somerset, I trust that my bucolic wait for death, hopeFully a long wait with fishing, walking reading and exploring local culture (going to the pub) to pass the time is not going to be driven by dealines, except the cry of LAST ORDERS…

  7. Andy in Germany says:

    We’re having similar problems with the Gophers at the Job Centre at the moment. The trouble is that the people who make the rules are well away from the people who will be affected by them.

  8. Viviane says:

    Why not call TenSulp again and tell them you are your husband ? How can they prove you are not ?

  9. Autolycus says:

    He’s talking twaddle*. The DPA doesn’t, of itself, prevent him from discussing the account with you; it’s possible that the company in question** might have ruled out discussing it with someone authorised to do so by the account holder when they registered their use of personal information , which would have been very stupid of them. But whether suggesting to their top brass that a bit of Yorkshire common sense might be in order would actually do any good, I don’t know.

    *or rather,

    ** (would you rather they used that choir singing Jerusalem as their hold music?)

  10. disgruntled says:

    Haha – thanks for all the suggestions. For now, merely posting the rant seems to have revived our broadband back to speeds we consider reasonable around here, long may it last. And for next time, I’ll just get the other half to ring up

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