Our Internet service provider agreement was about to expire. We decided to compare services and plans offered by our current provider and another supplier. The decision was made to upgrade with our current provider.

The customer service rep I talked with was very friendly and very helpful. Our service would be upgraded on Tuesday afternoon between 1:00-3:00. And our new phone service would cost less. Great! However, one important element was not disclosed to us.

On Tuesday morning, at approximately 9:45, we lost Internet service. Hmmmm! The provider must be on location, about 3 hours early, ready to switch us over to the much faster process.

Nope. No one was in the building or outside the building. The employees are asking me what is going on, and I respond "I will call." The phone call turned into a nearly 2-hour badminton contest (I was the shuttlecock) with 8 different people.

The reps wanted to know how I was doing and thanked me and wished me a great day. But, no one seemed to hear our dilemma, that the Internet is critical to our daily operations, and we needed it available. At 11:45, the 8th rep said, "It is close to 1:00, so the problem should be corrected soon." If I have to pick between someone being nice to me but not solving the issue versus being somewhat snippy and fixing the problem, I will pick the latter -- every time. Solutions are what count, not platitudes.

The tech rep showed up at 4:00, and, fortunately service was installed and running within 30 minutes. I told the tech rep what we experienced. He tells me they could have left the old service on, installed what they needed on the outside of our office building and when the tech rep arrived, the switchover could easily be made with only a few minutes of downtime.

I could only shake my head. Why wouldn't you use this procedure ALL the time? What business is going to opt for "Sure, shut our Internet service down for several hours instead of a few minutes?" From the conversation last week with the customer service rep, she made me believe the system would be upgraded between 1:00-3:00, not unavailable for almost 7 hours.

Finally, here is the point. If the customer service rep I talked with last week to upgrade service had only explained what would be done --- your current service will be terminated in the morning, and your new service will be available between 1:00-3:00, is that okay? No, it is not, we want the very first appointment of the day. That way I can alert employees what to expect and prepare to not have Internet service for a couple hours. Two superior options instead of what we received!

Everyone (remember, 8 people) was friendly, but not one moved to take the step to solve our issue. "Friendly" is nice, but in my opinion, complete and accurate communication and solving problems trumps "friendly."

Three minutes of complete and accurate communication would have saved hours of inefficiency and frustration!