How would you cope without web access for a short period? And a longer one? After all the problems we had getting broadband installed and working in the new house, we’d grown accustomed to it being there and working, so when it died on Saturday morning (10am all was fine, 11:30am it was kaput) we found ourselves back in the “dark ages” – for that is how it felt!

Like many others, we bank online, so the transfers we needed to make we suddenly an issue. We couldn’t research the various things we wanted to buy that day. My ticket to get to work wasn’t possible as work now insists on tickets being booked via their website, regardless of circumstance. [ The fact that their system repeatedly rejects all attempts to pay for the tickets seems to be irrelevant to this process. ] Basically it felt as if we’d moved back in time a decade.

The first call to Tiscalis helpline took 25 minutes and resulted in me being asked to do the same thing 4 times (same result every time amazingly enough), being told there was no problem (despite not being able to access the net) and eventually promised a callback that evening. It won’t surprise many of you that no such call came. When I called back at 10pm I was informed that the previous person hadn’t know what she was talking about (which I could have told them, but she is a poor indian call centre drone who just reads a script, so it wouldn’t really have been an insightful observation) and that the line had a fault, not a Tiscali fault, but a BT fault. We would be called back the following day.

The next day came and went – no sign of any call. It was a sunday, so not really a huge surprise.

Monday morning dawned and still no broadband. I called Tiscali and was informed they had called and left a message! The answer machine and call logs on the phones all agreed – no such call was made. This blatant lie really annoyed me. As the girl I was speaking launched into her script I spotted the same basic question and jumped in to short circuit the 20 minutes of useless reading to ask to speak with her “senior engineer”. This was met with some opposition, but eventually it worked and after 10 minutes and a lot of different settings things were working again.

Total time wasted on phone calls – over an hour!

The use of call centres in india may well save companies money, but the fact they have to include statements such as “if at any time you can’t understand me…” surely points out how poor the service they give is?

Methinks it’s time to look for a new broadband provider…