Da-da-da-DA-da, boogie-woogie-woo, ching ching ching!

“Need technical support? Go to http://www.suckstobeyou.com, where you’ll find a wealth of information at your fingertips!”

If you’re at all familiar with this greasy voice and inexplicably bad music, you too must be a customer of this cable TV and Internet provider. For the past several years, we unfortunately have been and so I’ve gotten intimately acquainted with the on-hold soundtrack I’m forced to listen to as I wait to tell someone I once again can’t get on the Web.

The on-hold soundtrack is an interesting phenomenon, one that never ceases to fascinate me. Airlines have always been famous for these, with wait times generally so long you could have actually taken and returned from your trip before anyone ever answers. Of course, actually getting to the point where you are on hold is generally a bit of a process since airline websites are known for either hiding their cache of phone numbers in an obscure spot or, when customers click on “Contact us,” the website directs them to a snail mail address, which, sadly, is of no use to anyone.

While for a long time I thought airlines held the record for bad canned copy, I can say with certainty that my cable Internet provider’s soundtrack is the worst, with one sick puppy in charge of cobbling this one together.

It was during a particularly lengthy outage that I heard it for the first time. I was on deadline and my Internet connection went down so I had no way to send over my copy. I dialed up the help line number and was immediately bashed in the head with that music.

Treedle-treedle-true, sinkabaDAda, doo-wop-dee-doo.

“You want more speed? Well, we’ve got it. Ask one of our representatives how you can enhance your experience.”

I shook my head, immediately confused. Why were they asking me if I wanted more speed when I was on hold for not having any speed at all? Didn’t they know this was the “it’s not working” section of their help line?

I hung up and called again, thinking I’d pressed the wrong menu buttons and accidentally entered pay-your-bill land.

But then:

“Want more NFL? We’ve got it! Now that the lockout is over, there’s never been a better time. Sign up now until Sept. 1 for $39.99 to get your fix!”

Nope, apparently I’d pressed the right buttons the first time, I realized. But taking this opportunity to try to up-sell me the NFL package? That’s audacity. Not to mention the fact that it was November.

And then the shockingly objectionable music cued up again and the voice suggested, if I really wanted to solve my problem, I hop online where I would find technical support. At my fingertips, no less. Ba-dum-ching!

It was then I realized that someone somewhere was getting sick satisfaction out of my plight. Because the fact remained, however terrible the soundtrack, I still needed to get online. And so I had to just sit there and listen.

Luckily by now the soundtrack has run its course and started over. Though I cringed at the thought of having to listening to it again, it at least didn’t have the same stinging effect as it had the first time.

Finally, after 15 minutes, a real, live person answered, her voice wonderfully monotone.

“What seems to be the problem?” she asked.

“My Internet connection,” I said, clicking on my Safari icon and watching Google immediately load. “It’s … back up.”

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