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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Internetus Interruptus

My internet service went out the other day. Despite my resucitative attempts to reset the modem and the "mystery box" just inside my foyer where all wires lead, the patient remained unresponsive and comatose. My coworker/upstairs neighbor called and said his was out, too. Due to my getting used to the patchy level of services here, I assumed it was a systemic problem (maybe a laborer fixing something else cut a wire by mistake) I figured I would wait until the morning and check it again.

The next A.M., not enough of the little lights were lit on the modem so I knew the internet was still down. I planned to call Etisalat-the government phone monopoly-and get ready for a time consuming, frustrating and lengthy effort to get back online. Nothing happens easily here when it comes to utility problems.

My coworker beat me in making the trouble call and when I showed up at work, he pulled me aside and said that we had both been cut-off because of non-payment. That was a shock as I have never gotten a bill from them. I have written about this before and when I express my concern about long overdue invoices, everyone just tells me not to worry about it, I will get the bills in due time. It's just the way things are done here. Nothing bad will happen.

Well something bad did happen, they disconnected me! Etisalat had my mailing address, phone number, and email and did not use any of these avenues to inform me in advance that they now considered me a bad customer and will cut me off. If they would have contacted me, I would have gladly paid the amount and saved us all a lot of grief. As it was my fellow, now also deadbeat, co-worker generously volunteered to go downtown and pay the arrears for both of us. Service was resored that night.

What business sense does it make for a company to provide a service, never bill the customers and then cut the service abruptly and without warning when they don't get a check in the mail? What the hell did they expect? Every other place where I transact, I am presented with some sort of invoice for goods or services rendered whether it be a restaurant or hardware store. I assumed that the bills would eventually come after they wound their way through the bureaucracy.

What concerns me is that I haven't received an electric bill  either. So I have to find out who I owe money to for that and figure out how much I owe and then research how to pay them before I wake up in a dark apartment early one morning with no hot water and food rotting in the refrigerator. 

On another note, it was 33 degrees C. here this afternoon. That is almost 92F. for those metrically challenged folks. On February, 11th!!! I hope this doesn't portend a more than usual Hellish Summer.



Matt and Mary Thompson said...

Dude, same thing happened to us. 2300 dhms later....

Let me know if you care to meet for a beer sometime. I work ATC here so I'm sure we can find something to talk about.

Ace said...

Yep, cost me AED2200 to get the service restored.

ATC?, cool! Common ground for sure.
As for the beer(s), write me at and we can set something up. I always look forward to meeting fellow 'Mercuns over here. There don't seem to be alot of us over here.

You have a good blog, I just read it.