Albertacom


Blogging may be sporadic for the next little while. Because we don’t live in town, we are at the mercy of limited choices where internet access is concerned. Our service has been – in a word – shitty for the last week and finally crapped out almost entirely Friday night. There are brief, and I mean minutes only, windows of service*, but it is too hit and miss to bother sitting and waiting on.

So today, feel free to rant about the shite service you pay for because you haven’t a choice. Our provider never returns calls or acknowledges email. They assume that if there are problems it is because the customer is an idiot. That is the way of all IT people I have ever known. It couldn’t possibly be the equipment or them. It is always the user. 

So rant people. I will check in from the library – which has equally abysmal service by the way but a bit more consistent than I have right now.

*Mysteriously, service was miraculously on all evening but I don’t expect to wake up to service in the AM. Al Gore giveth and ISP’s capriciously deny access.

UPDATE: Rob went to the ISP’s office today and talked to one of the owners. Apparently he thought we were freeloaders using the signal for free which is why he hadn’t responded to us. Rob assured him that we are indeed paying customers and the owner quickly went on to assure him that we were slated for a new radio within the next week or two because the company had just received permission to put up another radio transmitter in a location that is actually closer to where we live. Hopefully this will improve our signal and ensure less interruption of service. 

The service is actually quite good when we get it but the lack of response from the company when there is a problem is irksome. It is, sadly, typical of the kind of service a person can expect here in Alberta however. Despite the slowing of the boom economy, there is still more demand than there are workers and everyday services are very taxed by the lack of warm bodies. And, like the U.S., infrastructure really doesn’t extend much beyond the major urban ares.


The Equinox’s driver side airbag indicator light has been indicating a need for service since October. We bought the vehicle in September, so we assumed it was simply a matter of scheduling an appointment at the dealership and the problem would be remedied. But, it is now February and the problem remains unchanged. It’s not that we couldn’t get an appointment. I think we’ve had it in twice between then and now but the first time, they didn’t have the part that was needed, and the second time the part that was ordered was the wrong part for the type and make of the vehicle. Rob tried phoning the service department yesterday to see if the part was in since we haven’t heard from anyone is over a month but he was shuffled through “can you hold, please?” hell for 25 minutes and then gave up.

It’s like everywhere else up here in Alberta these days. The “service” part is lacking and mainly because there are more jobs than people. When it’s just as easy to quit and walk across the street (or even relocate half a province away) without penalty, you find that those who do have jobs aren’t working as much as the job requires and those who aren’t working are simply waiting for their funds to deplete to the point where working is necessary again. The Chevy dealership in Fort Saskatchewan is having a hard time finding mechanics and hanging on to them. They are having a hard time finding people to answer the phones and man the service counter too. After Rob’s wasted phone effort, I decided just to go there in person today. It’s a bit harder to “can you hold, please?” to a customer hovering around your desk – though not as impossible as you might think.

When I arrived at the dealership, I found a basically deserted service area. The glass cubicle offices were empty. There weren’t even names on the doors because currently they have no service department manager or receptionist. A middle-aged Middle Eastern with understandable diction but a limited (it seemed) ability to comprehend English was manning the counter. I told him what I needed. And then I told him again, but more slowly. After a bit more confusion, I ended up in the garage speaking with a harried young man whose hair style reminded me of Will’s. Too much hair gel and combed back. Will had curly hair and hated it. He was always trying to subdue it. I wondered if the young man had the same problem. Hair gel on men with fine hair gives them a scalpy look, but still reminds me a bit of Al Pacino in The Godfather (either part).

As soon as I managed to ascertain that the part my vehicle needed had indeed arrived, I called Rob to make sure the appointment date would work. He then asked me to inquire after the on order parts for the Avalanche as well (same saga really just shorter time frame, though not by much).

So, I left the Southfort Chevy dealership with one service appointment, Shawn (the young man with the wet look) hot on the trail of the parts for the Avalanche, and the realization that service is a do-it-yourself thing in this neck of the prairie.

*Internet update: Our provider called back last evening! (I wonder if he read my blog?) He finally admitted that there does indeed appear to be something wrong with the receiver on our roof and will be out to look at this weekend but only if Rob clears the snow from the roof. (We have a VERY steep roof and this scares me – and him a little too.) He also has decided not to charge us for the repair. Hurray. 


The Equinox’s driver side airbag indicator light has been indicating a need for service since October. We bought the vehicle in September, so we assumed it was simply a matter of scheduling an appointment at the dealership and the problem would be remedied. But, it is now February and the problem remains unchanged. It’s not that we couldn’t get an appointment. I think we’ve had it in twice between then and now but the first time, they didn’t have the part that was needed, and the second time the part that was ordered was the wrong part for the type and make of the vehicle. Rob tried phoning the service department yesterday to see if the part was in since we haven’t heard from anyone is over a month but he was shuffled through “can you hold, please?” hell for 25 minutes and then gave up.

 

It’s like everywhere else up here in Alberta these days. The “service” part is lacking and mainly because there are more jobs than people. When it’s just as easy to quit and walk across the street (or even relocate half a province away) without penalty, you find that those who do have jobs aren’t working as much as the job requires and those who aren’t working are simply waiting for their funds to deplete to the point where working is necessary again. The Chevy dealership in Fort Saskatchewan is having a hard time finding mechanics and hanging on to them. They are having a hard time finding people to answer the phones and man the service counter too. After Rob’s wasted phone effort, I decided just to go there in person today. It’s a bit harder to “can you hold, please?” to a customer hovering around your desk – though not as impossible as you might think.

 

When I arrived at the dealership, I found a basically deserted service area. The glass cubicle offices were empty. There weren’t even names on the doors because currently they have no service department manager or receptionist. A middle-aged Middle Eastern with understandable diction but a limited (it seemed) ability to comprehend English was manning the counter. I told him what I needed. And then I told him again, but more slowly. After a bit more confusion, I ended up in the garage speaking with a harried young man whose hair style reminded me of Will’s. Too much hair gel and combed back. Will had curly hair and hated it. He was always trying to subdue it. I wondered if the young man had the same problem. Hair gel on men with fine hair gives them a scalpy look, but still reminds me a bit of Al Pacino in The Godfather (either part).

 

As soon as I managed to ascertain that the part my vehicle needed had indeed arrived, I called Rob to make sure the appointment date would work. He then asked me to inquire after the on order parts for the Avalanche as well (same saga really just shorter time frame, though not by much).

 

So, I left the Southfort Chevy dealership with one service appointment, Shawn (the young man with the wet look) hot on the trail of the parts for the Avalanche, and the realization that service is a do-it-yourself thing in this neck of the prairie.

 

 

*Internet update: Our provider called back last evening! (I wonder if he read my blog?) He finally admitted that there does indeed appear to be something wrong with the receiver on our roof and will be out to look at this weekend but only if Rob clears the snow from the roof. (We have a VERY steep roof and this scares me – and him a little too.) He also has decided not to charge us for the repair. Hurray.