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2nd February
written by Sean Noble


Today was the kind of day that makes me realize how fragile life can be.  Well, that sounds more caustic than I mean to sound.  It’s not related to someone’s health or life.  It has to do with my BlackBerry – or more appropriately, my CrackBerry (CB).

You see, the email service on my CB went out today around 10:15 a.m.  I could still text, tweet, make calls, etc. but no incoming or outgoing emails.  So, at the first opportunity I drove to the nearest AT&T store to have it fixed.

After 30 minutes or so, and a new SIM card, I was told that “everything is fixed” and I should be good to go in a few minutes.

Well, six hours later I was standing at a different AT&T store, a bit more frustrated because I LIVE on email.  Really… if the folks who pay me for my time can’t reach me and I can’t reach them, it gets pretty frustrating.  Yes, I could still get email on my computer – but I spend a fair amount of time in my car, and while I have done it before, it’s not a good idea to read email on your laptop while driving.  It’s so awkward with the steering wheel in the way and everything.  I mean, I can drive Salt River Canyon with my knee, but doing that while holding a laptop and talking on the phone gets, well, a little complicated.

So, back to the store(y).  The guy in the store can’t help, so he puts me on the phone with customer support.  He runs me through a battery of questions and then says that I need to go to “level 2 customer support.”  Again, a bunch of questions, etc. and then he says, “well, I see that BlackBerry had an outage this morning and they don’t know when it will be restored.”

I’m standing there thinking, “you couldn’t have told me this at noon? You couldn’t have sent a text (they sure send me texts when they want me to make a payment!), you couldn’t have told the three other “customer service” guys that I have talked to throughout the day?”

It’s like this was some super-secret information that only a “level 2 customer support rep” has access to.  Then, I get home, search online for information about blackberry outages, and read that AT&T had an outage today because a cable was cut by a backhoe in Allen, Texas. 

Now, what am I supposed to do?  The “level 2” guy threw it off on BlackBerry, when it was really an AT&T issue.  Not cool.  But even worse for me, folks on various tech blogs are reporting that they have service restored… and I sit here with no email on my CB.

Let me get this straight:  Some guy using a backhoe in Texas cuts a cable, my CB goes out, I panic, waste a solid two hours of the day trying to resolve it, only to be told by Mr. Level 2 that it’s BlackBerry’s fault and I STILL don’t have service.  After still more research online, I discover that there are also problems with non-AT&T BlackBerry phones. 

What are the chances?  On the same day, there is a BlackBerry outage AND AT&T loses service.  It’s like a double-whammy from the data gods. Curse them!

Remember the good-old-days when it was a pager and a pocketful of quarters?  Expectations were so low back then, and there was a pay phone on every corner.  If the pay phone didn’t work, you quickly found another one.

Now, I’m just sitting here with twitchy thumbs, in a cold sweat, a stream of silent prayers coming from my trembling lips…. Help me, I’m addicted.

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  1. M

    Yea, CB went out for me today as well, but I have T-Mobile. Had the exact same problems. I thought it was maybe my work e-mail since I was still getting texts and calls. Then suddenly at about a quarter to 7 this evening, my BB downloaded about 18 e-mails at once. Then I realized it was CB.

    My CB is never out of ear shot of me. So when it’s silent, I get worried. I feel your pain Sean.

  2. Thomas

    You really need to get with the times gentlemen and get an iphone or gphone ( google phone ). I personally have the google phone and have never had one problem. If the internet is down on the phone network, I connect to a wifi spot and I am dandy. Rehab can be found at your nearest t-mobile, at&t, or apple store 🙂

  3. Ginni

    There must be support groups for this, right? You and your thumbs need detox.

  4. Mark

    “Now, what am I supposed to do?” you ask.

    Here’s a thought: Switch to Verizon.

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