This is real customer service?

What follows is not made up. It is a chat session with our local phone company trying to determine why phones (Internet) were not working around town most of the day Thursday, May 24. Ours were working as we have Internet phones through Eaglecom.

Thank you for contacting CenturyLink. My name is William K. (20709): Hello! My name is Billy! How may I assist you today?

Joel: Any idea when service will be restored?

Billy: You?ll need to contact our reconnect services Depart?ment at 1-800-423-8994.

Joel: We have no Internet service and we can?t call anything outside of the local exchange.

Joel: Our bill is paid; this is a CenturyLink service issue.

Billy: I am sorry, I?m not able to assist the reconnect within my department.

Joel: Our service has not been disconnected…. Your service is not working. When will it be working?

Billy: Oh, I see. Sorry for the misunderstanding .

Billy: In that case, you will need to contact our billing and general customer care line at 1-800-244-1111 and they are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Mountain Standard Time. I?m very sorry for any inconveniences that this may cause.

Billy: I have limited access to the systems within my department.

Joel: OK, is there any way I can get you to read and comprehend what I am writing?

Billy: So I cannot provide you with that information.

Joel: I?ve written that we cannot call any number outside the local exchange.

Joel: Any toll-free number is outside the local exchange.

Billy: I do understand, but I do not have access to the information that you are requesting. The only way that you can acquire that information is to call that number.

Joel: How can I contact the number, when not being able to call that number is the problem?

Joel: How about you call the number and get the information?

Billy: I cannot do that.

Joel: Why not?

Joel: I cannot call that number, you simply do not wish to.

Billy: I simply cannot.

Billy: I am very sorry for any inconveniences.

Joel: So the outage has affected you too?

Joel: All the way in India?

Billy: I?m not in India, sir

Billy: India?

Joel: Pakistan?

Billy: Is there anything else I can assist you with today sir?

Joel: Yes

Billy: OK, what is that.

Joel: Find out the details of the outage and report them to me, please.

Billy: One moment.

Joel: Thanks.

Billy: I am currently uninformed of any outages. That?s why I asked for you to call that number sir. Very sorry. I have no access to the information that you are requesting of me.

Joel: Irony: the phone company representative cannot phone to find out the problem with the phone company.

Joel: Obtuse: a person recommends an impossible action as a solution.

Joel: Contempt: a person repeatedly advises an impossible action as the only solution.

No wonder we are unhappy with our telephone and Internet service.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is

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