A couple of years ago, when I was stupid enough to still have HughesNet Gen 4, I had yet another service outage. At first I thought it was just my email which is currently provided by JustHost.com. Nope, I couldn’t get anywhere.
I enter the IP address of my HughesNet Gen4 device and run the little test it has, zero packet loss. Click the customer care link, nothing. Okay, now it’s time to call. Oh wait, I have this thing auto billing a credit card. There is no paper invoice with a customer service number on it. (*^(*&^(*&!$#%#
Hmmm, back in the day when we used to have long distance companies advertising you could hear a pin drop on their lines (despite the truly worthless local service lines your phone was connecting through no less) we used to have a toll free directory number. I wonder if it still works? Yep!
Of course HughesNet couldn’t tell me what the outage was or when it would be fixed. It took them a good 20 minutes of checking EVERYTHING else with my account before they checked to see if there was an outage. This is the second complete outage I have had with HughesNet Gen4 in roughly a year. Both times I have had to burn at least 20 minutes on the phone with a service rep running through EVERYTHING on a check list BEFORE they bothered to look at any system event announcements. They don’t even have a spot on their couldn’t care less about the customer home page for “system event” announcements.
Still. How many people under the age of 40 know there is a toll free directory service? Admittedly it didn’t fix my Internet and it didn’t make HughesNet customer care work any better, but at least I knew it wasn’t anything on my end once I endured the call.
Here’s another tidbit for the young-ins. Every area code had a 555-1212 you called long before there were various 411 services. If you knew the area code (which was much easier before cell phones as area codes covered huge areas) you could simply dial (area-code) 555-1212 and get directory assistance. 411 really came about because there were simply too many area codes covering the same area once pagers became popular, followed by cell phones.