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Why I hate the Internet

 
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:34 am    Post subject: Why I hate the Internet Reply with quote

As some of you know, I started to have i-net connection problems while still in Japan. At the time, I was just too busy professionally and personnaly to have to travel to the Japanese company, deal with the translation issues, etc., in order to get everything right. Instead, I just focused on things in an order of priority.

When I returned to the US in April, I was stuck in a hotel for several weeks. Best Western put me in a nice enough room (seeing as the long term stay was going to net them thousands of dollars, why not?) and provided with wireless access. Life was good; i got back into the swing of things. But, every other week or so, the connection would be caught off and I'd have to talk to their corporate wireless contractor to get it turned back on. They claimed that I was using much more bandwidth than the average person. I explained to them (every time) that I was staying much longer than the avereage weendend stay so of course my on-line time would appear longer. Faced with that logic, they'd agree to return access. I chaulked up the experience to the vagaries of hotels.

Well, when my house was finally available, i was thrilled to see that they had four types of inet connections thru-out my house, four different places, too. One was dial-up, a second was ethernet, a third was cable and the fourth was fiber-optic. Dial-up wasn't an option: I've been on broad-band for over three years in another country: no way I was going back to dial-up, even if Japan is technically more advanced than the US (per capita). Fiber-optic was for future expansion and not yet available. Canle was an option, but as I hadn't decided on how I was going to watch TV (or even IF I was going to watch TV), I decided not to go that route. I wnt with the DSL ethernet.

I called Verizon Avenues, 'cause that's what the military housing office (actually managed by a civilian company) was pushing. Later I'd find out that was who had the sole contract with this housing office. They told me that because I was on a housing property, i was not authorized to have the 'first 30 days free' but it didn't really matter because the previous tenants had paid up thru August and I would use their account. Great!

I was told I'd have access that night. i didn't. I waited 2 more days and then called tech support. I was told that I should be able to access the i-net thru the living room connection, but I couldn't. I did a survey and found out that only two of the connections worked, both upstairs. No problem: one was the master bedroom, so I'd put the wireless router there (for the laptops). The other room would become my office and I'd connect that computer directly there. That worked. For several weeks I was happy, but too bus professional and educationally to get my office set-up.

Well, last Saturday, just as I'm preparing to take a math test on Monday, have my professional oral board on Thursday AND my math final on Friday (can you say 'Hell Week'), my wife mentions that she can't access the i-net. I tell her I'm too busy to worry about it now, I'm sorry. I survive the week (with my professional qualification and a possible B in Math) and turn to fixing the internet connection.

I call Verizon tonight. The tech tells me that I shouldn't have any connections upstairs: only the one downstairs is authorized to be open. I can open the ones upstairs if pay more monthly to have them open. WTF? Why would I do that: the house is wired...who cares where it comes out of the wall. PLUS: it WAS working upstairs.

She tells me that it would be physically impossible for it to be wroking upstairs, since the default is downstairs. Someone can come out and change it, but -I argue- what's to stop it from defaulting back to the living room again and me having to pay for another visit (minimum $20, likely $75). AND, loo-and-behold- there IS a open connection in the living room. The tech is equally confused as to how it could have changed.

Fine, I said, I'll worry about the office connection and another time. I'll move the wireless router downstairs so that the laptops can connect. I'll worry about the PC when i finally get to my office. I hang up with Verizon and go to connect the router downstairs. No signal, no data. I plug in my laptop: no signal, no data. I JUST HAD IT!

I call back: get another tech support guy. We spend 50 minutes exploring the possibilites...until we get disconnected. I call a tird time and get the original tech: she can't transfer me to the 2nd guy, but wants to take a crack at it.

No clue. No clue as to why I have no data. Tech time.

Why should I do this? I don't have an account with them right now: I should cancel. If they have exclusive rights to provide internet access to us here, then why should I pay to have them fix the hardware issues within the house? Why?

If I cancel the account on Monday (before I get charged for the month) and then open up a new account contingent upon getting connected, I'd be better off.

For the time being, I'm stealing access from a neighbor's wireless. Sure: I can get it for free. But if I WANT to pay for it...I have to pay a monthly fee plus repair fees. Does that make any sense?

I can't help but think the Japanese system had very few problems: my problems there came because local Americans wouldn't pay their i-net bills, casting a bad light on all American users. My Japanese neighbors didn't have the same type of problems, because it was a billing issue.

Why is it that Americans, who 'invented' the internet, are the same ones who keep screwing it up for, well, me? Is it that the who capitalism thing appears to be broken, when it comes to this service. 'Cause, in this case, it seems like Verizon could care less if I don't have an account with them or if I'm unhappy with their service. Does that just seem...odd? If the buck talks, are my buks just not equal enough.

And the kicker: my buddy who lives out in town gets his pick of broadband providers: he can switch. Me...I can only choose not to get online.

It shouldn't be this painful.
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Medron Pryde
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dang...that...wow....

And I thought I've had problems with the inet from time to time...

But you take the cake....
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, MP: I appreciate. While I have no qualms 'screwing' Verizon out of my business by not signing up with them, I /need/ an internet connection (and a reliable one) and I would prefer something more dependable (and ethically correct) than taking my neighbor's bandwidth. I just wish that military people weren't pigeon-holed into this expensive housing /and/ an i-net monopoly.
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Bowtie Bob
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just curious, but is it possible to go the Cable route?

I've been using cable for about 4yrs (2 different companies), and I haven't had too many problems. When I first moved to Mississippi, I was having problems for the first couple of months, but they had no problem sending someone out to help. They replaced nearly every piece of cable I owned and all my splitters, but I never got a charge for any of it. They finally discovered the problem was in the connection box outside, and I haven't had any problems since. They also had no problems crediting me for the time I was down.

Regardless, I hope you get things worked out soon.....I know it can be frustrating when your i-net connection goes down for a long period of time... Confused
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kind of had that thought this morning (while in the shower...always the best place to think). I remember a neighbor indicating he didn't have Verizon for i-net. I'll talk with him to see how he does have it (when I return).

Good idea. Wink
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Kyu Kage
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Dan. I have two spare 56k's if you want one!

Dial up sucks, but at least it works! Wink
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Kyu Kage
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bowtie Bob wrote:
I know it can be frustrating when your i-net connection goes down for a long period of time... Confused


Even for a short time.

All those e-mails! Shocked
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kyu Kage wrote:
Hey Dan. I have two spare 56k's if you want one!

Dial up sucks, but at least it works! Wink



Museum of Historical Technology wants your phone number, KK! Laughing

Honestly, the idea did occur to me that I might have to resort to that, especially if I were standing on the principle of the thing. I'm just amazed that the laptops of today, still have three dfifferent means of connecting: wireless, ether and modem. The laptop I have now will probably never see a phone jack inserted, but it always has that capability. Amazing.
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Kyu Kage
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Kyu Kage wrote:
Hey Dan. I have two spare 56k's if you want one!

Dial up sucks, but at least it works! Wink



Museum of Historical Technology wants your phone number, KK! Laughing

Already spoke to them.

Hey, when you have a working Atari, Sega Master System, Mega Drive, Amstrad, NEC P100, and N64, you have to be registered! Wink
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Medron Pryde
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Working Atari
Working (almost) Intelivision
Working Gameboy Pocket
Working SNES
Working Dreamcast
Working N64
Working (as much as they ever have been able to) PSone
Working Gameboy Advanced
Working GameCube
Working Xbox
Working (as much as any Sony does) PS2

And that's not even touching the NUMEROUS working PS2s (the REAL PS2s by IBM not the crappy Sony version that you can't even type a letter on) I have in my basement just waiting for caring homes. Smile
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Kyu Kage
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't think we were including hand helds... Wink

Sega, Atari, and an original solid grey gameboy.

The Lynx, proving colour monitors were possible YEARS before the GBA.
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Medron Pryde
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hand helds rule...hehehe

I never got the old GB though. Wish I had it instead of the pocket.

Of course, now I have GBA...I don't need either, though I want the new GBA with integral recharing battery and LIGHTS on it....

*pant pant pant*
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Jimmy the Tulip
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, sounds like you're situation calls for escalation up the ladder. If you are forced to give i-net your dollars for connection then they are likewise "forced" to provide adequate service. If it were me I would call and ask to speak with aq call centre manager (or equivalent). Sometimes serving a "captured customer base" often means needing to provide a better service than normal because, if too many people get ticked off things can be done to cancel that contract and move to a more reliable source.
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Overkill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy crap! Verizon really is putting you over the barrel, don't take it Dan......is'nt there sbc yahoo dsl in your area......I,ve had no problems with mine, hell I love it. with sbc they give you the dial up as a freebie back up when they have to update or if the dsl has gone down for whatever freaky reason, you use the dial up......to me thats cool.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did call (or ask for) the supervisor, who called me on a Sunday. She listened to my complaints about the first tech, my praise on the 2nd and then told me they were bumping up my service request to a sooner date, and that I would be called with that appointment. Yeah, I got it: it was an automated call on Thursday afternoon for me to be home all day the next day...the same day as their 'non-emergency' appointment that I was being bumped up priority-wise. Since it appeared they only 'talked the talk' I canceled the appointment, with the claim that I was looking for a better service. Not sure if I'll follow thru on that threat...just yet.

Overkill: welcome back. As for SBC, I need to find out. if they can provide cable service, I think I might be able to. DSL is out, as Verizon has the military contract for my housing area. Confused
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is what you do find out where the supervisor lives go to his house and snatch one of his kids leave a picture on the front door of the building and tell him that if he ever wants to see his kid again he will fix your system.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OOOh....that might affect my TS clearance....I'll have to think about it.

Actually, I'm firmly back-up now, thanks to a particularly cynical technician who showed me how to work things to my benefit. Now, I just need time to build my home office.
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Medron Pryde
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah...doncha love cynical techs? Smile

They know how to do all kinds of fun stuff and don't care enough to stop themselves....

Twisted Evil
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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, and he wasn't blatant about it either. I would have to pay $75 (IIRC) to have him 'modify' anything, but instead of handing me a fish, he taught me to fish, using Verizon's own installed equipment (which is supposed to be safe from the 'consumer' behind a panel with 4 screws).
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Medron Pryde
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah..."customer safe" equipment is anything but "customer safe."

Just talk to the guy with the kids with fetishes with peanut butter sandwiches and seeing where they will fit....

Twisted Evil
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That story rings true, doesn't it?

I finally get my surround-sound system set up at home, after being in the house for a couple of months, and less than 24 hours later, my toddler presses the DVD eject button and proceeds to snap off the tray. Repairs cost half the amount of the system, required 5 more weeks and prevented me from using SS at all until the controller was returned. Threatened to take it out of his college account, but I don't think he was phased by it.
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Medron Pryde
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ouch....sorry dude....
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