Last week, following the orders of the High Court, all the unlicensed hoardings that blocked out the Chennai skyline were torn down by workmen using special gas cutters.
Victims of this were, apart from the advertisers and men associated with the creation of the hoarding and fixing them (no more jobs for them), people like me. Yes, me, as in Tata VSNL user. On Sunday morning I wanted to go online to check mail and found that I wasn’t connecting. A quick call to the regular number (this is one of the few numbers that I know by heart), and the person assured me that the problem would be resolved at the earliest in 48 hours. I was confused – 48 hours is earliest? He explained to me patiently that the technical side did not work on Sundays, and hence 48 hours, otherwise it would be solved in 24 hours.
I was amazed that a 24x7 service of a major brand company does not have a back up emergency team, to deal with just such an eventuality.
I waited out Sunday, not bothering to complain again. The next day late in the afternoon, till when connection had not been restored, I called again, and they assured me that it was being attended to. Not satisfied with this vague soother, I had a brainwave and called the person who renews my account with prepaid packs. She told me that the problem was a major one, caused by the gas cutter-happy workers who had indiscriminately brought down everything above eye level, and that included their optic fibre cables, and it would take some time for the connection to be restored – two days at least. Though I was impressed with her honesty, I was disgusted too. Why could not this major company lay its cables underground, instead of leaving them dangling from poles or whatever they use to suspend them from?
By Tuesday, I had developed withdrawal symptoms, which included checking the connection every now and then, calling the complaint numbers and finding out the status of progress, if any. I have now got used to looking for everything on the net - news, trivia, meanings and spellings of unknown words, even checking out the credits of a movie, not to mention mail and chatting. So I did feel pretty lost not being connected.
Wednesday morning, and I still could not connect. After the usual grumbling and fuming and ranting, I called the renewal person again, and she assured me that it would definitely be restored “today”. By the time my net was connected, she and I had become fairly good friends, what with my calls to her.
And Wednesday night, it finally was – after four days. And I had protested so vehemently only last week when cut off for a few hours!
I caught up with the mails and was amazed to find one from Tata VSNL Broadband – it said they had noticed I wasn’t using their connection for sometime, and would I be interested in a scheme that would keep my account active for six months, even if I wasn’t using it.
And just as I was about to post this, the connection went off - this time Tata VSNL 'preemptively avenged', as my brother phrased it.