by Melinda Gallo

DSL line installed, but still no Internet

I finally went to my new apartment today to let in a tecnico (technician) sent by Telecom Italia to install a DSL line. The proprietaria (owner) of my new apartment came by my place to drop off the keys Wednesday night. I had arranged for the tecnico to come Wednesday afternoon, but the previous inquilini (tenants) couldn't let in the tecnico because they were packing up for their trasloco (move).

To disdire (cancel) my appointment for Wednesday afternoon, I tried calling Telecom Italia (who is in charge of the phone lines) and FastWeb (with whom I have my Internet contract) on Tuesday. The guy at Telecom Italia yelled at me on the phone and said, "Signora, siamo più di 60.000, non posso trovare una persona per disdire il Suo appuntamento." (Madame, there are over 60,000 of us, I can't find one person to cancel your appointment.) I was surprised he got so upset with me, so I responded in a loud voice, "Mi scusi, ma volevo fare la cosa giusta così il tecnico non viene a casa mia e trova nessuno." (Excuse me, but I just wanted to do the right thing so that the technician doesn't come to my house and find no one.) He told me to let him come, and someone will call me back to reschedule. I wasn't happy with that response because I felt bad that the tecnico would come and waste his time.

I then decided to call FastWeb to see if they could find the tecnico to disdire my appointment. Because I'm not yet a client and not a prospective client, it took me a while to get through their telephone system to find the right option to press. I had to call at least three times, and when I finally talked to a woman to explain my situation, the first thing she said to me after I told her my problem was that I didn't go to the right area. I explained that I couldn't find the option for installation issues.

To add insult to injury, she added, "Deve stare più attenta la prossima volta, signora." (You must be more careful next time, madame.) I had already had enough of people getting upset with me for trying to cancel an appointment, so I told her, "Mi dispiace tanto, ma non potevo mica indovinare che gli inquilini non sarebbero a casa per fare entrare il tecnico." (I'm really sorry, but I couldn't possibly know that the tenants wouldn't be home to let the technician in.) She didn't say anything in response, but passed me on to someone else.

I was prepared this time when the guy answered the phone. After he presented himself he said, "Come Le posso essere utile?" (How can I help you?). I asked him, "Lei sa già cosa è successo o devo spiegarmi di nuovo?" (Do you already know what happened or do I have to explain myself again?) He told me that he already knew my situation, so I asked him, "Allora cosa faccio? Lascio venire il tecnico? Fisso un'altro appuntamento?" (So what do I do? Let the technician come? Set up another appointment?)

He was very kind to me and said that there's nothing I can do, but just let him come. He told me that someone will call me back to set up another appointment. I told him that I didn't appreciate Telecom Italia's response to me or the other girl that I spoke with before him because all I was trying to do was be polite enough to catch the tecnico in time so that he wouldn't waste his time. He agreed and said that he was sorry that it was so difficult.

I heard him typing in the background and he said that he was going to try to send a note to cancel the appointment and to make sure someone calls me to reschedule my appointment.

The tecnico did come to the apartment on Wednesday and called me to ask me where I was. I told him all about my conversations with Telecom Italia and FastWeb, which lasted at least 2 hours in all, and that I was really sorry. He didn't seem upset at all, and just told me that someone will contact me for another appointment.

So, when the tecnico came early today, he called me on my cell phone. I had to tell him that I was going to be there in a few minutes, still early for our appointment. It ended up being the same guy, but he wasn't upset at all. He followed me up to the apartment and asked me where I wanted the line installed. I showed him to the phone line near the window. To let in some light, I opened up the persiane (shutters) and looked out at the view. I stood there for a few seconds, thinking about what it'll be like working all day looking out at the Arno.

I looked around the apartment a little bit to see what was left inside. It's not huge, but it's just enough for me. I didn't make it up to the terrazza (terrace) because it was a little hot outside and there is nothing to protect you from the sun. Luckily, the apartment was quite cool. I was happy because sometimes apartments that are right under the tetto (roof) can be hot.

When I talked to the tecnico about the Internet speed I could get, he said it's up to 20MB in my area. When I told him that FastWeb told me that my connection speed will be 2MB, he explained that it's because FastWeb doesn't have the equipment installed to handle it. I was wondering if I could cancel my FastWeb account because the speed difference is huge, but hopefully FastWeb will install what they need to improve my Internet speed.

Now that the DSL line has been installed, I have to wait for FastWeb to call me to install their hardware. They are supposed to call next week, so my fingers are crossed. The sooner my Internet is up and working, the sooner I can move into my new apartment, and the sooner I can look out at the Arno.

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