Wednesday, August 02, 2006

BS Continues

Before returning to my dating woes (yes – the suspense continues), I’m first going to rant about something much more serious than a lack of a love life – no connection to the Internet.

I cancelled my BS phone service because I almost never make phone calls (just the odd pizza delivery) and the line quality was so bad voice communication was nearly impossible, dial-up Internet connections didn’t connect long enough to be useful, and DSL only worked at an eighth of its promised speed when it worked at all. So, I replaced their crappy service with a cheap Virgin USA mobile phone and Charter cable / Internet service. I initially signed up for their Internet service only, then questioned them when I later discovered that my monthly rate would be more expensive than advertised; their publicized monthly rate assumed I would also have cable service with them. I asked about cable service and said I would add it ONLY if it didn’t require another installation fee and the monthly rate was acceptable. Their price fit my budget and they assured me both installations would be covered by the same installation fee.

Life was great for a whole week – Cartoon Network and fast access that was actually fast. Then the following week my Internet connection had a coronary and their tech-support couldn’t discover the reason. Our conversation (at eighteen cents a minute on the mobile phone I had planned to only use for the odd pizza delivery) sounded like this:
Tech-Support: Okay, I’ve reset your modem. Do you see the flashing light?
Me: No.
TS: Umm…okay, unplug it and plug it back in. The light should be flashing now. Is it?
Me: No.
TS: Umm…

After a half-hour, the connection abruptly began to work in the middle of his next bright idea. He had no idea why it happened, but since it was working he couldn’t troubleshoot any further and so we parted ways. I sacrificed a chipmunk to the connection gods in the hopes they would be appeased. It failed again the next morning, but was working again in the afternoon before I could call again.

Since then, it has been up and down at odd times. Sometimes resetting the modem works, sometimes not. While fighting this and topping off my never-to-be-used phone, I received my first cable bill and it was a whopping FIVE TIMES what I expected. Reading further, I discovered:
1) the bill was for the next two months of service, which didn’t bother me.
2) they were charging me for two separate installations, which did bother me.
3) the monthly cable rate they disclosed to me only covered the extended channels, which don’t come without the basic channels and a lot of little fees which nearly doubled the overall price.

In order to spare myself an extra phone charge, I sent them an e-mail describing my billing issue, saying I wouldn’t have ordered cable if they had told me the actual costs up front but I was willing to keep it without further complaint if they would at least remove the second installation fee in accordance with our agreement (I’d rather not give up Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo). Two days later – no response.

Last night a storm knocked out power (but not cable) in my apartment, but thanks to a battery backup on my PC I was able to keep working long enough to safely shut it down. Hours later when the power was restored, I rebooted only to discover the cable modem was once again down and not responding to any attempts to revive it. I called TS yet again, was told I’d have a helluva wait, and then was assisted by a maddeningly friendly computer. The computer stepped me through all the basic steps I had already done on my own, then announced the problem couldn’t be solved by computer and I had to speak to an actual person after a long and expensive wait. I watched TV while I waited for the actual person to come on the line, then muted it when he did.

He started troubleshooting my problem, beginning with asking for my name and number again and putting me through the exact same procedures as the computer before him despite my objections. We reached the point where the computer had bowed out, and then…

And then the cable abruptly died. Naturally, he said “Oh, I’m showing an outage in your area. I can’t do anything until it’s resolved, and I can’t enter the ticket for you. I’m going to transfer you to another operator who can handle this priority request.” Just try to convince me he didn’t pull the plug himself just to get me off the line. Anyway, he cheerily forwarded my call, and then…

And then I found myself listening to the computer again, who told me we needed to start with the basics. NOOOOOOOOO!!! I hung up the phone and went to bed. There are too many people where I live for a cable outage to go unnoticed, and I did more than my fair share of phone work last night.

I awoke early in the morning and checked the cable – back on. Thinking 5:30 AM would be a good time to call their so-called tech-support, I called again and the computer told me I’d have an even longer wait. I gave up and went back to bed.

So, I now have expensive cable I didn’t really want, no Internet connection, a large phone bill, and a gigantic cable bill which I’m not going to pay until they fix the service and at least remove the added connection charge. My future Internet choices are: keep working with Charter in the hopes they’ll eventually provide me with the service they’re overcharging me for, crawl back to BS and their crappy service, purchase $50,000 worth of liability insurance (stipulated in my lease) so I can get a digital satellite service, or go with no Internet connection at all. Option four is looking pretty good at this point. At least I’ll get what I’m paying for.

Anyone who wants give me more of your useless guidance is welcome to leave a comment. I could use a good laugh at this point. Hopefully your need to wallow in my misery is sated and you can stop giving me bad dating advice.

53 comments:

Rick said...

I had similar issues with Verizon here on the left coast. My wife and I both telecommute via Comcast cable, thanks to Verizon's inability to replace a faulty modem in less than three days! We're considering switching to carrier pigeon.

Circe said...

I hate when innocent chipmunks are sacrificed in the name of technology.......

Doug Murata said...

I can't help you. I've got a 28.8 dial-up connection and I don't have cable/satellite TV.

Or maybe I can help you: I've got a 28.8 diaul-up connection, I don't have cable/satellite TV, and I'm also happy!

Tracy Lynn said...

Sorry you're having such problems. Have you thought of going down to the office? Or even calling the office, instead of the stupid help line? There is also the BBB.
Occassionally, I have had to call up a place like that, pretending to be a lawyer and threatenening to sue. Sometimes it helps.

I'm with Time Warner, and have had really good response time from them when I've needed anything. Don't know much about Charter.

fatty ~ said...

oh diddums, welcome to the wonders of connection.

just dont get satellite -very tempremental.

have fun sorting out the connection troubles!

SJ said...

I had this on and off connection when I got my DSL too turned it was a issue with DHCP settings in my laptop. My ISP likes to give me a fixed IP my office assigns it dynamically so the ISP's servers weren't able to keep a connection for long and kept dropping it. Solution? I installed NetSwitcher (you can get freeware equivalents if unlike me you can't get it from your workplace) which allows you to switch network settings at the click of a mouse without having to restart your puter.

Death Warmed Over said...

Three words: Public Service Commision. I meant to ask you last time, were all your phones etc filtered. That can effect DSL speed as well. Come back to BS. I need you to help subsidize my exorbitant salary and health care benefits.

PBS said...

My son has Charter and has had problems with them but it's all OK now (I think). Getting phone service to actually work at this new place was a nightmare but at least it was too costly. You have my sympathy. No chipmunks, though.

GirlGoyle said...

OMG...I feel your pain. I've sooooo been there and have had to work double time to keep from shoving my fist through the phone line and grabbing the rep by the throat. If i have to repeat one more time what the problem is....I'm going to hurt someone!!!

Kira said...

Um...I think you should just replace the ethernet card and see what happens, Grant...*whistles innocently*

mal said...

I have NOTHING funny to say. I hate Charter/comcast/verizon etc. They have all become focused on "Cost to Serve" and it has pissed me off on more than one occasion.

If your employers ever start using the term "cost to serve", run for the exit door. The place is about to make Dilberts shop look like a good place to work

Joe said...

I'm just wondering what you'd order on an odd pizza. Wasbi and peanut butter? Green eggs and ham?

Leesa said...

What is it with the first step being, "turn it off and on" and when you say you have done it, the techs don't believe you?

I think the Russians are actually behind the whole thing. They have replaced all of our technology, all the while looking like a feable ex-super power. One day, they are just going to shut it all off and take over the world. I guess I should start learning Russian. I would be an informant and rat on the guy across the street that leaves his garbage can out all freakin' week.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Oh crap..Fatty just burst my damn bubble!

Satellite was going to be my next venture because my internet connection sucks ass living out here in BFE.

Dammit....I got nothing for you, Grant...sorry!

Good luck...;)

Grant said...

rick - pigeons are more reliable, and very tasty should they fail to please you.

circe - I only sacrifice the guilty chipmunks, plus I'm saving their pelts to make a trenchcoat. Only 372 more and I'll be finished.

doug - with my old phone service, 28.8 would have been good. When I tried to use dialup with them, my connection varied between 4k to 32k, but never stayed connected for more than three minutes.

tracy - I think I'll go with harassing them with e-mails and filing complaints with the BBB and anyone who will listen, but I'm through wasting my mobile minutes on those morons.

fatty - connection problems have been solved - by ME. Thanks for your concern, diddums. :p

sj - thanks, but the problem was a bad Ethernet adapter, and I fixed it.

death - yes, I had my filters in place, although they didn't seem to do much good whenever the DSL dropped off the net. I still think the bottom line problem was bad wiring they refused to replace.

pbs - now that I've solved the problem, their service seems okay. I think I'll be fine with Charter as long as I do all the troubleshooting myself.

gg - go for it. Customer care centers are just begging for a shooting rampage.

kira - great minds think alike.

mal - I think that was the problem with BS - the lines were bad, but their numbers didn't think the cost of losing me justified replacing them. Charter hasn't impressed me, but the cable connection is pretty good.

joe - actually, Blue Moon Pizza does have jerk chicken and spicy Thai peanut pizzas, so that's pretty odd.

leesa - I work near (not in, thank god) a call center, and I can tell the vast majority of problems they encounter are user-related, so I understand the need to treat everyone as a potential moron. It's why I'm so patient when I'm the customer and yet obviously know more than tech support.

pq - thanks, but I think I'll be okay with cable now. Problem solved.

hellbunny said...

I feel for you.I had a faulty modem that took them two weeks to replace.

messiah said...

i've got some spare chipmunks up here i can fedex you.

i'd see if you can get a different modem. might not be anything to do with the cable (other than the obvious outage) - could just have a flaky modem.

did you have to purchase one? or are they screwing you further by making you lease it from them?

chipmunk pizza you said?

Liz said...

Yea, my cable sucks ass too.

Anonymous said...

Hello.
[url=http://paxil-3.blogspot.com]Paxil[/url].
Bye.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://propecia.webgarden.cz]propecia[/url]
Yep, It's great.

Anonymous said...

Hello, My name is Alex Rice.
Please tell me what is [url=http://nexium-info.blogspot.com][b]Nexium[/b][/url] ?
Is nexium-info site right about nexium?

Anonymous said...

[url=http://otc-prilosec.blogspot.com]Prilosec[/url]
Your are welcome! Lets do it!

Anonymous said...

[url=http://prozac-ju.blogspot.com]Prozac[/url]
Bue.

Anonymous said...

Hello!
[url=http://generic-zoloft-s.blogspot.com][b]generic zoloft[/b][/url]

Anonymous said...

Hello,
[url=http://myblog.es/orderphentermine]Order Phentermine[/url]
[url=http://myblog.es/orderphentermine]Phentermine[/url]

Anonymous said...

Hello, My name is Alex Rice.
Please tell me what is [url=http://lamisil-info.blogspot.com][b]Lamisil[/b][/url]

Anonymous said...

[url=http://generic-cialis.webgarden.cz][b]Generic Cialis[/b][/url] - Buy generic cialis - Christmas discounts!
Description: Cialis (TADALAFIL), dubbed "Le Weekend Drug" in Europe, is a new treatment for Erectile Dysfunction (ED) from Lilly ICOS LLC. Clinical studies show that Cialis works faster, lasts up to 36 hours and has less side effects than Viagra.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://myblog.es/celexa]Celexa[/url]
Celexa for you.
http://myblog.es/celexa

Anonymous said...

[url=http://blog.welover.org/?u=celexa]Celexa[/url]
Celexa for you.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
[url=http://hometown.aol.com/oninsurance3/health-insurance.html]Health insurance[/url]
[url=http://hometown.aol.com/oninsurance3/fire-insurance.html]Fire insurance[/url]
[url=http://hometown.aol.com/oninsurance3/insurance-car.html]Insurance car[/url]
bye.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://blog.welover.org/?u=topamax]Topamax[/url]
Topamax for you.

Anonymous said...

http://shuju.9999mb.com/replica-watch.html
http://shuju.9999mb.com/man-watch.html
http://shuju.9999mb.com/jewelry-watch.html
http://shuju.9999mb.com/omega-watch.html
http://shuju.9999mb.com/citizen-watch.html
http://shuju.9999mb.com/fossil-watch.html
http://shuju.9999mb.com/pocket-watch.html
http://shuju.9999mb.com/seiko-watch.html
http://shuju.9999mb.com/casio-watch.html
http://shuju.9999mb.com/cartier-watch.html

Anonymous said...

http://gov.xf.cz/
http://gov.xf.cz/ultram.html
http://gov.xf.cz/buy-ultram.html
http://gov.xf.cz/ultram-er.html
http://gov.xf.cz/tramadol-ultram.html
http://gov.xf.cz/ultram-online.html
http://gov.xf.cz/cheap-ultram.html
http://gov.xf.cz/buy-ultram-online.html
http://gov.xf.cz/ultram-addiction.html
http://gov.xf.cz/ultram-side-effects.html
http://gov.xf.cz/order-ultram.html
http://gov.xf.cz/generic-ultram.html
http://gov.xf.cz/ultram-drug.html
http://gov.xf.cz/ultram-medication.html
http://gov.xf.cz/ultram-prescription.html

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas!
http://diovanj.9999mb.com

Anonymous said...

http://jushus.9999mb.com/burberry-wallet.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/coach-wallet.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/man-wallet.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/fossil-wallet.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/gucci-wallet.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/leather-wallet.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/prada-wallet.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/womens-wallet.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/coach-purse.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/Replica-Designer-Handbags.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/louis-purse-vuitton.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/gucci-purse.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/designer-purse.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/prada-purse.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/coin-purse.html
http://jushus.9999mb.com/replica-purse.html

Anonymous said...

Great New Year presents. Discount watches.
http://watchit.9999mb.com/Cartier-Replica-Watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/Omega-Replica-Watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/Replica-Rolex-Watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/Breitling-Replica-Watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/Louis-Vuitton-Replica-Watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/Ebel-Replica-Watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/swiss-replica-watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/cheap-replica-watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/replica-jacob-watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/IWC-Replica-Watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/Chanel-Replica-Watch.html
http://watchit.9999mb.com/Invicta-Watch.html

Anonymous said...

Rolex watches.
http://watchers.9999mb.com/replica-rolex.html
http://watchers.9999mb.com/replica-rolex-swiss.html
http://watchers.9999mb.com/cheap-replica-rolex.html
http://watchers.9999mb.com/daytona-replica-rolex.html
http://watchers.9999mb.com/buy-replica-rolex.html

Anonymous said...

http://wikis.9999mb.com/watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/replica-watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/man-watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/jewelry-watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/omega-watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/citizen-watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/fossil-watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/pocket-watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/seiko-watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/invicta-watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/casio-watches.html
http://wikis.9999mb.com/basketball-tickets.html

Anonymous said...

http://watch.complete-media.com/Fossil-watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Casio-watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Replica-watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Rolex-Watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Replica-Rolex-watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Invicta-watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Citizen-watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Man-Watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Men-watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Women-Watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Woman-Watch.html
http://watch.complete-media.com/Pocket-watch.html

Anonymous said...

http://wallet.complete-media.com/wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/coach-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/man-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/bag-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/leather-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/gucci-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/wallet-chain.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/womens-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/fat-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/louis-vuitton-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/cd-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/chanel-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/dooney-bourke-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/travel-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/prada-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/man-leather-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/fossil-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/burberry-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/passport-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/money-clip-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/front-pocket-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/yahoo-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/louis-vuitton-man-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/man-gucci-wallet.html
http://wallet.complete-media.com/duct-tape-wallet.html

Anonymous said...

Hello, it is cool.
http://shngd.sblog.cz
http://paxil3.9999mb.com/Paxil.html
[url=http://shngd.sblog.cz][b]Buy paxil[/b][/url]
Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Hello, it is cool.
http://shngd.sblog.cz
http://paxil3.9999mb.com/Paxil.html
[url=http://shngd.sblog.cz][b]Buy paxil[/b][/url]
Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

http://redlightcafe.com/pill/Paxil.html
http://redlightcafe.com/pill/Generic-Cialis.html
http://redlightcafe.com/pill/viagra.html
http://redlightcafe.com/pill/Zoloft.html
http://redlightcafe.com/pill/Nexium.html
http://redlightcafe.com/pill/Buy-xanax.html
http://redlightcafe.com/pill/order-Phentermine.html
http://redlightcafe.com/pill/Hoodia.html
http://redlightcafe.com/pill/Buy-paxil.html
http://redlightcafe.com/pill/Lexapro.html

Anonymous said...

http://redlightcafe.com/watch/man-watch.html
http://redlightcafe.com/watch/seiko-watch.html
http://redlightcafe.com/watch/buy-rolex.html
http://redlightcafe.com/watch/pocket-watch.html
http://redlightcafe.com/watch/rolex-watch.html
http://redlightcafe.com/watch/replica-rolex.html
http://redlightcafe.com/watch/casio-watch.html
http://redlightcafe.com/watch/citizen-watch.html
http://redlightcafe.com/watch/replica-watch.html
http://redlightcafe.com/watch/omega-watch.html

Anonymous said...

Hello, it is cool.
http://sh0.sblog.cz
[url=http://sh0.sblog.cz][b]Bed in a bag[/b][/url]
Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Hello.
[url=http://gov.sblog.cz]Order Valium[/url] ...
And have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Real small price for all:
http://stadia.sblog.cz buy propecia
http://bgcs.sblog.cz buy generic cialis
http://oviao.sblog.cz order viagra online

Anonymous said...

Prada stuff links:
http://prada.9999mb.com/Devil-Wears-Prada.html
http://prada.9999mb.com/Prada-Handbags.html
http://prada.9999mb.com/Prada-Shoes.html
http://prada.9999mb.com/Prada-Bags.html
http://prada.9999mb.com/Prada-Sunglasses.html
http://prada.9999mb.com/Prada-Purses.html
http://prada.9999mb.com/Prada-Wallets.html
http://prada.9999mb.com/Prada-Store.html

Anonymous said...

Bush and the Republicans were not protecting us on 9-11, and we aren't a lot safer now. We may be more afraid due to george bush, but are we safer? Being fearful does not necessarily make one safer. Fear can cause people to hide and cower. What do you think? How does that work in a democracy again? How does being more threatening make us more likeable?Isn't the country with
the most weapons the biggest threat to the rest of the world? When one country is the biggest threat to the rest of the world, isn't that likely to be the most hated country?
Our country is in debt until forever, we don't have jobs, and we live in fear. We have invaded a country and been responsible for thousands of deaths.
We have lost friends and influenced no one. No wonder most of the world thinks we suck. Thanks to what george bush has done to our country during the past three years, we do!

Anonymous said...

[url=http://blognow.com.au/buspar]Buspar[/url]

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work » »

Anonymous said...

Anti-anxiety drug.
[url=http://blognow.com.au/effexor]effexor xr[/url]

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting site... »