Thursday, September 06, 2012

Back Online. ACS Message Misleading, But Sam Was Great

If you call the tech help line for ACS (611) you get a message (still, 36 hours after the power first went out) that says

"Currently we are experiencing a widespread outage in the Anchorage area.  We are also experiencing troubles in Fairbanks.  If you are not in one of the affected areas  . . . a technician will be with you shortly."
Here's most of the message:

Welcome to Alaska Communications Repair and Technical Support.
Select one of the following options.
For assistance with your wireless phones press 2.
For internet technical support press 3.

In order to assure quality customer care for our valued customers this call may be monitored or recorded.

Thank you for calling Alaska Communications.  For your convenience, there are self-help and remote assistance  options on the web at

Currently we are experiencing a widespread outage in the Anchorage area.  We are also experiencing troubles in Faribanks.  If you are not in one of the affected areas and are experiencing and interruption with your internet service please disconnect the power to your modem and any router you may have for sixty seconds  . . . and a technician will be with you shortly.

It told me the wait was 21 minutes.  Fortunately I have a speaker phone option so I could do other things.

Sam answered the phone 20 some minutes later and was amazingly calm, polite, and patient.  When I told him I was sorry but I had to turn on my computer, he said, "You probably waited for me a long time, so I can wait for your computer to boot up."  Wow!

He then proceeded to get me to link to the ACS modem and walked me through various pages to  change the password to the modem.  From what he said, I understood that in trying to fix things all the passwords had to be redone.

My beef?  Why are they continuing to say that Anchorage and Fairbanks have widespread outages, but others should hold on and get assistance?  Anchorage is back on line and we need technical assistance to get our home computers connected again.

Yesterday I bought that line, thinking if there was nothing they could do, I shouldn't add to the delays by calling when they can't do anything about it.  But someone last night said ACS was working.  So today I decided to call, to check and, as a blogger, find out what the problem was, since I was able to get internet yesterday at Providence and at Loussac.

If every Anchorage ACS user needs to change the modem password - and you have to go through technical help to do that - that could take forever.  Or at least a week or two.

But Sam was fantastic.  Not only did he convey patience and understanding of my frustration, but he also was able to fix it quickly.  When we got to about the fourth screen and he said, "You should see ...." I said, "I think you've done this before."  He replied, "Once or twice."  People like Sam make customers like me feel ok even when the company has screwed up.  ACS should give him some sort of bonus.  

1 comment:

  1. Or maybe you should try GCI? Cable modems are much easier and faster than that very slooooow stuff that ACS sells.


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