Tuesday, July 15, 2003

First and foremost I want to send out a big thanks to our reader who made a $517 donation for the summer day-care program. Your generous contribution is much appreciated and will really make a difference in the lives of 50 children of martyred persons and their families. It also sends out a message to everyone here that as hard as times are in the world, people in the Diaspora understand that the �Armenian liberation struggle� is a partnership that the Diaspora believes in and is always ready to participate in. Additionally, it sends the message that the people here have not been forgotten and the sacrifices they have made for said struggle are recognized in a positive way.

When I came home from the factory to do some work around the house, I got a call from the people at Karabagh Telecom informing me that they have resolved my phone-line problem and wanted me to try my internet to see how well it now works.

First thing I noticed before even trying the internet was the line quality sounded the same as it did a few weeks ago and I could now even hear cross-talk (something I have never had before).

Knowing that the speed and quality of my connection had not changed, I played along and tried my connection. I really was not impressed at the 9,600bps connection and immediately called back the person who felt that they had finally resolved the connection problem.

After talking to a few different people, including one woman who had the nerve to think that maybe it was my computer as being the problem and I should have a specialist look at it, my cup of patience ran over.

I called the head of the Martuni division of the phone company to inform him that we have a problem, as they worked once again on the main cable and felt that they had resolved the problem.

He gave me the number of the person in charge of the cable workers and said that at very least before I take this problem to the top, call him and give him one more chance.

I called Mr. Robert M. who in our conversation told me that before the phone company was privatized, he was the managing director.

I repeated for the 4th time today that I was not happy with the service that I had subscribed to and the quality I had a year ago no longer exists.

I reminded him that the company he works for is required to a very least maintain the existing phone system at the same level of quality it was when they took it over and only make improvements. In the case of the Martuni cable, this was clearly not being done.

He told me that it was not fair to say they have not made improvements in their service, as before, we didn�t have a cellular phone system. I snapped back at him and told him that the cellular phone system is an important addition, but the majority of the population can�t afford such service and it�s the land-line system which most people can afford to use and that is now in worse condition than it was before the phone service was privatized.

He told me that he would talk to his crew when they return to the office in Stepanagert and see what more they could do to improve the system.

He did say to me that all they could secure in any case was a connection for me of 9,600bps as they had made changes to system.

I asked him why such a slow connection, since the time I first subscribed to the service 2 years ago until last winter, I usually had a 24,000bps connection and that�s what I expect to have in the future since anything less would be a drop in the quality of service and a violation of their agreement they signed with our government.

I closed with a longwinded speech of if they don�t have the resources to fix the cable, then I would help them obtain the needed resources by calling their top person and also the appropriate people in government, informing them of their minimal obligation to us.

After getting off the phone with Robert M., I try to log on to post the above text and what happens? Well for one thing, my computer using the newly repaired line can�t even connect to Stepanagert. So I get back on the phone to call Stepanagert and also Martuni to see about getting me at least a connection of 9,600bps so I can work a bit.

After 5 hours, I finally get a connection that I was able to post this log with.

I�m now thinking along the line of maybe a petition we can circulate throughout the region to be signed by a few thousand people would get someone attention, as I know for sure I�m not the only one not happy with the service we have been getting.

Oh what a pain in the butt this kind of stuff is. I sometimes wish that issues like this would not cross my path, as when they do, I feel obliged to do something about them and by doing so, I spread myself out thinner and thinner. Either I need to start turning a blind-eye to such issues, or I need a staff so I can get faster and results. Oh what a pain that�s going to be managing so many people.

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