February 27th, 2004


SNAFU, I mean SKYTEL, Pager

Wednesday morning, February 18: Discover that my old Glenayre skytel pager is broken.

Wednesday afternoon, February 18: Order replacement pager. They don't make the Glenayre pager anymore, so I go with the recommended pager for our department (PerComm e80). Get a confirmation number and an expected delivery date of Friday, 2/20.

Friday, 2/20: No pager.

Monday, 2/23: No pager. Call our account representative. Voice mail. No reply to voice mail.

Tuesday, 2/24: No pager. Call account representative. "Replacement order, what replacement order?" I cite the confirmation number. "Oh, that replacement order. Sorry, it will be there tomorrow."

Wednesday, 2/25: Pager arrives. It's not the model I ordered, it's a T900 instead, but at least it's a pager. Problem, it won't activate. Call support and go through 45 minutes of testing and procedures before the conclusion that it's effectively DOA. They say they'll ship the proper model out to me immediately. Along with a return envelope for the old broken pagers (qty: 2 now).

Thursday, 2/26: New e80 pager arrives. No manual, no battery charger, and no battery. This model uses a custom battery. Excuse me, did I say a pager arrived? I have a nice paperweight until I get the battery. Another conversation with support and our account representative gets me a promise of a new battery.

Friday, 2/27: The battery arrives! I even have a battery charger! And a serial cable to plug the pager to computer so that I can back up the pager messages and address book. However in the grand tradition of Skytel SNAFU, the CD for loading the pager software on the computer is broken. Physically cracked, it looks like it's being held together by the label. Fortunately, I was able to borrow the CD from a coworker with the same model pager. When he ordered his pager last month, it took them three tries to send him the proper serial cable. At least I'm not alone in my problems.

Finally, I still can't activate the pager. Yet another call to support reveals that they're having software problems with their server and hope to have them cleared up sometime this afternoon, or by Monday at the latest.