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©02 The Media Desk

No wonder people are talking! ®

    The Desk wonders who they are talking to?

    It most certainly AIN'T somebody that works for Cavalier Telephone.

    Telephone Choice, or whatever you want to call it, is supposed to create competition between companies for local phone service. Just like it did for Long Distance.

    Well, that's comforting.

    Since the breakup of Ma Bell. Overall prices have gone UP. Service has dropped into the cesspool. You get three or sometimes Four bills for local, regional long distance, long distance, and maybe other features like voice mail. Not to mention wireless, pagers, palms, and whatever other communications gadgets you have. Sure, your LOCAL bill may be somewhat lower than it once was when The Phone Company sent you one bill for everything in one shot. But after you add everybody's service fees, and the 'Let's Wire America' untax tax that's written into it, and whatever else everybody can dump into it, is it really cheaper? (Did you know some companies are now charging you a fee to print you out the bill since you are supposed to do it all electronically? Then of course, there's a fee for the electronic service too.)

    The Desk has none of the fancy stuff. Simply two dial tone lines without call waiting and the other golly-gee things that go whiz bang and raise the price when you hardly ever use them.
    Who actually uses three way calling? Who knows how to? And what does call waiting do besides annoy the telemarketer that interrupted you in the shower anyway?

    No, perhaps the Federal Government's Anti-Monopoly Police went too far on this one.

    In any case. Since then in the Desk's local area there is finally somebody who wants to compete with... who is the local Phone Company now? It was Diamond State Telephone... but then it was Bell Atlantic. And there was something called Conective in the area for awhile, but some bigshot took all the money and left town so it took a dive. Oh yeah. Verizon is it now. Or are they still on strike? Either way. Cavalier Telephone, of Richmond, Virginia, wants your business.

    Or they say they do....

FLAME ON!!!-Johnny Storm, original Fantastic Four

    Just TRY to give them your business.

    First the SIGN UP ONLINE AND GET TWO MONTH'S FREE SERVICE webpage doesn't work.
    Then when they get that fixed... a month later... you fill it out you send it in and get an automated response saying it may be a month or two before you hear from them.

    Then you wait two months to hear, and hear nothing. So you call them.

    Twenty nine minutes on hold yesterday.
    The Desk timed it on its handy dandy desk phone digital timer. As it went from 29:59 to 30:00 the desk hung up.

    So the Desk emailed them.

    Any phone company can be a joy to deal with. But this one...

    The Email Bounced. Not once. But TWICE. The email address they have listed on their contact page is completely bogus. It is intended to look pretty and make you feel good. When you click on it, your resident email program comes up with a different address altogether and redirects your mail to somebody with percentage signs in their name. That's nice.
    When the Desk tried to forward the bounced message to that address from its main account with a question about why they would do it this way. The Message Bounced Again, this time off Mr. Percent Sign's mailbox.

    OK. New day. New attempt.

    The Desk Tried it again. And... after eighteen minutes on hold... somebody with his mouth full of cheese curls or something came on the line and wanted the vital statistics of the Desk's pending order. Then he put the Desk on hold. And the call ended there.
    Dial tone.
    When the Desk called back. It was on hold for another twenty-three minutes listening to their fine collection of light jazz instrumentals....

" 'You taught me your language, and my profit on it is... I know how to curse!
      The red plague rid you, for teaching me your language.' "

                                  (from the Tempest. Shakespeare)


    IF Cavalier EVER gets hold of the Desk to say "Welcome to Cavalier" It is going to scream "SLAM!" And demand to go back to... to... Diamond State Telephone or whoever they are now.

    Sometimes CHEAPER may not be the only thing that counts.


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