John Topley’s Weblog

Please Release Me, Let Me Go

A few weeks ago I finally got around to getting broadband Internet access at home after procrastinating for a few years in the face of a bewildering amount of choice and uncertainty over technical options. Anyway, I phoned my previous ISP to cancel my subscription and was pleasantly surprised to get through to their call centre straightaway. I was politely guided through the cancellation process which included being asked why I wasn’t opting for their broadband offering, a question that I was happy to answer. There was no hard sell or pressure to reconsider and I was told that my account would be cancelled after that month’s subscription had been paid. All was well and good.

A few days ago I was telephoned in the evening by the same people and asked to confirm the first line of my address—I wouldn’t have minded, but they called me! Then I was asked to confirm that I really did want my account to be cancelled and would I mind telling them the reasons why. No, I haven’t changed my mind and yes, I do mind actually because I’ve already told you the reasons and I’d prefer not to waste my time going through them again. Why don’t you just look at my account details on the screen in front of you and you’ll see all the details there? I know that working in a call centre probably isn’t the most intellectually stimulating job in the world, but the man on the end of the line really didn’t sound like the brightest sparkler in the box—in fact he sounded patronising—which made me even less inclined to spend a lot of time on the phone telling him information he already had.

After having gone to the trouble of setting up broadband and changing ISP and all that involves, why would I have suddenly changed my mind about the whole thing and not wanted my account cancelled? If I tell you to do something then I want it done unless you hear otherwise from me. I’ve never actually had any complaints about their service, but Wanadoo’s reputation had actually increased in my eyes following that first cancellation call I made and the efficient way it was dealt with. Now all that good work has been undone and I’ve had to write about the experience on here!

In light of this, I fully expect them to make a complete hash of ceasing to deduct the money from my bank account each month and they’ll have to be phone calls and letters and in the end I’ll probably have to go around to their headquarters with a big gun, all just to cancel my account. Why can’t I do the whole thing online?

On a positive note, ADSL broadband is fantastic—having an always-on high speed Internet connection really does make a big difference to the way you use the Internet. I took the opportunity to go wireless too and bought the superb Netgear DG834GT to handle ADSL, firewall, routing and Wi-Fi duties. The whole thing works brilliantly and the Mac picked up my new 802.11g network completely automatically. If only organisations worked as well.


There are 2 comments on this post. Comments are closed.

  • avatar Bill
    24 April 2005 at 22:50

    I was wondering if the ADSL will prompt you to host your blog on your home PC rather than using a hosting service, and I would be interested in your thoughts on this.

  • avatar John Topley
    26 April 2005 at 09:33

    Hi Bill, I didn't really consider it, for several reasons. Firstly, I think it's a good idea to keep your ISP and your hosting provider separate, so that any problems with one don't affect the other. Secondly, my home PC gets used pretty heavily, so I wouldn't want the website hosting to impact the desktop usage and vice-versa. Finally, I switch the PC off when I go on holiday! I haven't ruled out making some services on my home PC privately available to me over the Internet though, such as a source code repository.

The man on the end of the line really didn’t sound like the brightest sparkler in the box.


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