When I reached out to those in the know, they didn’t know

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

Have you ever gotten that feeling when on the phone with a so-called “tech” that you’re really on your own?

It is an empty feeling when you realize that the Internet or Website problem is not going to be solved and continuing the call is just a waste of time.

I was able to watch any baseball game last year I wanted as long as it wasn’t blocked out, due to the kindness of T-Mobile. They made MLB.TV available to all subscribers if they signed up for it during a promotional period.

I plugged in a few numbers and passwords, and I had MLB.TV for the entire season.

They did it again this spring, and I got in just in the nick of time. Even if a game is blocked out, MLB.TV still makes the radio broadcast available. A lot of times I do other things while a game is on and really just listen to it, like right now while I’m writing this and the Astros are playing.

I got the codes again and signed in, thinking that I’m good for another season. T-Mobile needs to be commended for offering this perk. I have been with them even before they became T-Mobile.

You may remember Voicestream, mostly for bad reasons. I was with that company before it changed its name to T-Mobile. I figured that getting MLB.TV for free for a second season was payback for suffering with Voicestream.

I streamed a game the first night. But when I tried to stream another one the following night, the website wanted me to pay for the season. Why would I do that? I met the T-Mobile sign-up deadline.

I contacted Karen at T-Mobile, and it was obvious that I was messaging with a tech who knew how to use corporation jargons better than solving problems. We were not going to solve this - that was obvious. Then she recommended that I “reach out” to MLB.TV, because everything was O.K. on the T-Mobile end.

I was about ready to end the gibberish, anyway. I took her up on the suggestion and “contacted” an MLB.TV tech. I didn’t get his name. Of course, everything was O.K. on that end also. The MLB.TV guy suggested that I take the issue up with T-Mobile, because the problem is on that end.

Of course.

That dark feeling started sinking in, the type you get when you realize that you won’t be watching any MLB.TV this season.

You may think that this is a typical First World problem. It is. We are living in the First World, and I really wanted to hop around the web watching ball games this season, like last year.

A couple of days later, Karen chimed in again, asking if I was satisfied with the way T-Mobile has handled this little problem.

“Not really. I’m still getting a message that I should pay for the season,” I replied.

I used the limited amount of corporate lingo I know to maybe get her to send me another temporary code so we could start again. “I reached out to MLB.TV, and they said that the problem is with T-Mobile.”

She was very apologetic. “You may want to try reaching out to them again,” she suggested.

I’ve had just about all the reaching out I could stand, but behaved.

“No, not today,” I said.

A day later, I got a message from T-Mobile asking me to rate my experience. What do you think I did? All zeros?

No. Karen may not even be a real person, Who knows? But in case she is, she needs this job, and is very good faking her way through it. I didn’t want to do anything to harm her career chances.

By all means, she is perfect supervisor material, whether AI or human.

(I look forward to hearing from you on this subject. Send me a note at john.bulletin@gmail.com. You can even send an old-fashioned letter to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516.}