Thursday, August 14, 2003

No, Really, I Insist!

So we all know about the new house. Big, wonderful, smells like old people. We're working on that.

But what's perplexing is the fact that neither the phone company nor the cable company seem to want to allow us to throw money at them. So far, my call to the cable company went like this:

Me: Hi, I'd like to switch my cable over to my new address, and pay you for your service.

Comcast: Sorry. No can do. Someone else is paying for cable at that address.

Me: Let me get this straight. You won't let me pay for cable at my own house?

Comcast: Right. Someone else is paying for cable to be piped into your house.

Me: But they don't live here anymore.

Comcast: Prove it.

The long and short of it is this: So long as someone else "claims" to be living at that adress and paying for cable, I, the homeowner, cannot change that pre-existing order. For those of you who are as diabolical as I, yes, you could theoretically order nothing but Playboy and Spice Channel cable for your prude neighbor and there's not a god-damned thing they could do to turn it off. Basically, the cable company is hinting that I should just continue to enjoy the free cable, until such time as the previous owners realize that they're still paying for it. And then it will shut off while I'm trying to tape FLCL, most likely.

Then, we're on to the phone company. Liz was thoughtful enough to call the phone company three weeks prior to our move-in date, because we've heard from friends of ours that it can take up to three weeks for them to transfer your existing number over. Amazed, we were, when I called our house phone on my cel and the phone rang on our move-in date. They're actually on time!

But that's not the problem. The problem is when I spoke to our DSL provider (Speakeasy, if for no other reason than we like things related to Al Capone here in Chicago, bang bang), and they told me that my phone number is not a current or valid phone number.

Me: But I'm talking to you on it right now.

Speakeasy: Well, that's not what my records show.

Whatever. After jumping through eight hojillion hoops, and calling not only SBC, but Speakeasy and eventually COVAD (ask Lileks. He knows "why COVAD"), it turns out that the phone company has switched my phone number over, but failed to update their billing records five weeks after the order was made. Again, as with the cable, I had phone service, but wasn't going to be billed for it.

Tonight, I'm going to ask Direct TV to come over and install eight separate dishes and a receiver for each room in my house. We're talking Satellite TV in bathrooms and closets, people. I mean hey, if no one's going to bother billing me for this shit, I might as well go for broke.

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