Friday, 22 June 2012

'Our service centre is closed at the moment but your call is important to us....'

blah, blah, blah........

I have a subscription with Australia's highest profile pay television service which as well as offering its multitude of, for want of a better phrase, 'themed channels' also retransmits Australia's five major free to air channels in addition to their subsidiary digital platforms. For ease of access I view those free to air channels through the pay television service rather than directly through my television. It is easier because it means I can switch between free to air and pay channels just by keying the number rather than exiting one set of services to enter the other. It also means I can use the pay service's recording, pause and replay facilities for the free to air channels.

Recently the retransmission of the free to air channels has started to play up. First the picture would pixilate slightly, then pixilate more to the extent the picture became unviewable and finally the signal would drop out altogether. Shows I had programmed for record failed because of the absence of a signal.

Would you be surprised that I wasn't satisfied with this level of service? I telephoned the pay television provider and was, inevitably, transferred to a call centre somewhere on the subcontinent. I was guided to unscrew one cable and reattach it tightly. The problem seemed to be solved and I was happy until the next day when the pixilation returned. Instead of calling the pay television service this time I followed the steps I had been guided through previously and the problem was fixed again. Until the next day. Repeat my steps, and the same sequence continued for five days in succession.

Yesterday morning I had enough. I decided to call for a home service. I would ring first thing, I decided. The pay television service advertises that it operates its Technical Centre seven days a week between 7.30am and 11.00pm Melbourne time. Note that, Andrew!

I rang at 7.40am to be greeted by a recorded message that the Centre was closed and that I should try again during the aforementioned hours. What the #$%@^! I rang every five minutes until just after 8am each time to be greeted with the same recording. Obviously Melbourne time is at least half an hour behind Sydney!

Finally I got through to what sounded suspiciously like the same subcontinent call centre I had previously been put through to. Anyway a home consultation has been arranged for this morning. Of course, as Murphy's Law always decrees, the pixilation problem has disappeared today of its own accord. Luckily I have recorded a section of the problem which I can replay for the consultant when, if(?), s/he attends.

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