I have been a relatively happy user of Bell Canada’s Sympatico Hi-speed DSL service for the past 3 years. I’ve even changed addresses multiple times, with no ill-effects. And the speed (which is the most important thing to me) has always been a respectable 1-2 MBps. Plus, the included email address and personal webspace were a great addition to the package. So when I was offered $10 off if I signed a year contract, as well as 2 GB email space if I took MSN Premium with it, I thought “hey, why not, Sympatico has never done me wrong before?”.
And thats where the problems began.
Now, my Hi-speed remains untouched (Thank God), although I’m watching to see if that gets befouled as well. Howver, my email address, which has become the best way of communicating with me, is now completely snarled up in the serpentine mess of servers, protocols and robotic henchmen that make up MSN premium service. Premium must be the latest euphimism for sh**ty. (Excuse me, I don’t know where that came from, it must be extreme Touret’s!).
The first hint of problem appeared a week after I signed up for the MSN Premium service (in an email from Sympatico, no less). Now I (used to) view my sympatico email in Outlook, downloaded via POP3. Well, since Monday, I don’t. I’m told by Outlook that my password is wrong….I guess MSN changed it for me (!). Well, no problem, I’ll call the Sympatico technical support line, they should be able to sort me out?

Uh, NO!
The first tech I got, put me on hold -permanently. That got my attention.
The second one, a pleasant gentleman, tried very hard to convince me that I had to get in touch with Microsoft since something obviously was wrong with Outlook. My point that the only thing that had changed was my Sympatico email didn’t seem to gel too well with him. Scratch tekkie #2.
Third tech support guy couldn’t hit the drop button on my call fast enough – I was online maybe 24 seconds before I got terminated in mid-sentence. Nice.
At this point, I got the distinct feeling that my problem was something that the Sympatico technical support staff were deliberately trying not to solve. But that couldn’t be, could it? Hmmm.
Tech #4, Another nice gentleman who actually provided SUPPORT. Amazing – he couldn’t solve the problem, but he explained some stuff to me:
1. My problem was not unique.
2. I couldn’t retrieve my email because the MSN platform which hosted my email, didn’t know my password. It would have to be reset by a second-level support tech. As such, he would escalate the issue and someone would call me (!). How this situation came about, he didn’t know.
2. When I chose msn premium service, my email was moved to a new platform, from which I could not return. So, going back to my original setup wouldn’t help.
3.I could certainly cancel MSN premium, but my email would remain where it was, and until someone in the support morass surfaced long enough to solve the problem (my words, not his), I would not get my sympatico email in outlook.
So basically, I was screwed until sympatico/msn finally decided to fix my problem. And this is where I lie, 4 days later.
Waiting for the call.
uh huh.
Any minute now.