Monday, August 15, 2005

Qwest: good employees, awful company

It must be awful to work for Qwest Communications, my DSL service provider. The Qwest employees I've spoken with have been patient and personable, but they're embedded in an awfully dysfunctional company. That can't be much fun.

In our prior home Qwest provided my DSL connection, and VISI (excellent company) was my ISP [1]. The prior residents of our new home used Qwest as well. We moved across the alley and kept our phone number. How hard can that be?

Hard, evidently.

Qwest has so far slipped installation dates twice (most recently after my wife stayed home waiting), messed up the ISP access (switching me to MSN) and misassigned the service level (to their overpriced video-delivery wannabe option).

When you call Qwest you're also enrolled in a diabolical experiment without any evidence of informed consent. They've invested millions in creating the most insanely infuriating voicebot. The voice misrecognition system responds to even the most polite and careful speech with a carefully calibrated sarcastic urbanity designed to crush any spirit. I can only guess Qwest is testing out some new instrument of torture. Fortunately hitting 0 repeatedly bypasses it.

Sigh. If only I could force George Bush to be an anonymous Qwest customer...

Update 8/16/05: Just to accentuate the theme of good employees, bad company our installer went way beyond the call of duty today. If Qwest's management were the equal of their front line employees their voice recognition system would die an ugly death. Indeed, were I to learn that a Qwest exec had publicly executed their voice recognition system (and corresponding vendor) I'd be tempted to buy stock in them.

[1] Sadly VISI's residential ISP services are probably doomed since our scum-infested government has sold us out again.

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