Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
CBC logo
Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 06.06.07
Quebec City


The joys of changing homes

Over the last few weeks I've discovered one inalienable truth. Moving is no problem.

It's not the sale of your house, although putting up with the lookers, the pryers, and eventually the buyers is a pain.

It's not even the packing, although cramming a well-led life into a couple dozen boxes and a moving van is not for the faint of heart.

No, it's none of that.

It's telling everyone who needs to know that you're moving and where you're going.

Personally, I'd just like to move and let the banks find me. But instead I've spent about ten hours on the telephone fighting with an army of voice-activated answering machines.

I tried the cable company first. Got a busy signal so I moved on to the telephone company.

When I finally succeeded in pressing 2 now, 1 now, 3 now and finally got a human being, I was too late.

When I suggested I'd like my service cut off on June 15 she apologized and said that wouldn't be possible. It would take 30 days. So my phone would be disconnected June 26.

When I pointed out the new owners were moving in on June 15 and would probably like their own telephone number she said "No problem."

When the new occupants connected their service mine would automatically be cut off.

So why not cut me off on the 15th? Not possible.

I tried the cable guy again. Still busy.

Then I tried my long-distance carrier.

Here I got a lovely computer voice - I'll call him "Hal" - who asked the nature of my call and to answer the following questions with yes or no.

After the series of yes or no questions and answers, Hal concluded I needed to speak with a humanoid.

While I waited for the connection a recorded message informed me that my call could be monitored for quality purposes.

Not sure if Hal meant the quality of their service or my request, I vowed to be on my best behaviour.

A lovely young lady came on the line and after another three minutes of questions and answers concluded she would have to transfer me once again.

Back on hold.

This time the recorded message assured me that all the agents, Hal included, were "currently assisting others."

I waited.

This time another lovely female voice took all the details and assured me they would cut me off June 15, as requested.

Back to the cable company and another busy signal.

I tried a credit card company and got my perkiest agent yet.

After taking my name, address, and reason for the call, she asked for my password.

Now, I've never used my password since I got the card. I actually didn't even remember being asked to choose a password.

When I pointed this out she said, "Take a guess!"

Well, I'm always up for a good game so I took a stab at what I thought might make a good password if I had been asked for one and said, "shamrock."

"Great," she said, adding " So. Tim, what can I do for you?"

What are the odds.

Anyway, I finally got back to the cable company which welcomed me and put me instantly on hold.

While I was waiting a recording informed me they could provide me with high-speed or extreme high-speed internet service but obviously not with high-speed customer service.

I finally got an agent and explained I wanted my service cut. The agent asked why and I explained the move.

"Do you want us to reconnect you at your new address?" he asked.

I said no thanks -- I was already connected.

This seemed to baffle the agent. When I explained my wife was already at the new address with a hooked-up cable, the agent politely enquired if I wanted it disconnected.

Now, I explained once again the concept of moving from Quebec to Sherbrooke and that I would still like to watch NCIS when I got there but I don't know if it sank in.

So, to the love of my life, if you're listening and don't have cable service, it's not my fault.