Internet woes

Widespread use of the internet began about fifteen years ago. How quickly we have come to depend on it! Facebook was launched on February 4, 2004 and already there are over 200 million users worldwide. I depend on email, love to blog and am the first to admit that I’m seriously addicted to Facebook. I only use it for communicating and sharing photos though. I don’t play any games and can’t be bothered answering the million and one crazy quizzes that circulate.

I must admit that when I don’t have access to the internet, I feel somewhat lost and when our service is down, which seems to happen quite often, I get frustrated! On Thursday morning, both Richard and I used the internet with no problem but by early afternoon it was no longer working. This usually indicates an area wide problem but calls to friends living close by assured us that they weren’t having any difficulties. This time the problem was ours alone.

I called our service provider and was able to talk to a real person almost immediately. He was annoyingly cheerful and not a lot of help. After having me disconnect and reconnect the modem, he agreed that we did indeed have a problem and offered to schedule a service call for Dec. 23. Five days without the internet! I don’t think so! When I indicated politely but rather strongly that I was appalled by such poor service he said that he would make note of the fact that we would like a service call sooner if it was at all possible.

The following morning, we climbed out of bed, glanced at the modem and discovered that all the lights were on. Richard fired up his computer and amazingly the internet was working again! Hallelujah! Just before 11:00 a.m. two servicemen showed up at the door and I assured them that everything was good. I told them that I was surprised to see them and that I hadn’t phoned yet to report that there was no longer a problem because I wasn’t expecting them until Dec. 23. One of them showed me their work order which indicated that the problem had to be fixed that day! I guess expressing my dissatisfaction as I did made a difference after all.

Two hours later, our connection failed again! Urgh… I was back on the phone again. A very pleasant rep put me on hold while he contacted the dispatcher to find out whether or not the servicemen were still in our area. Unfortunately, they were not and since they don’t work weekends, the soonest we can expect any help is Monday. In the event that that doesn’t happen, we’re once again scheduled for a service call on the 23rd!

We would happily change service providers but in a rural area like ours, options are limited. We presently receive high speed internet via cable. We could get a satellite dish but we don’t really want to do that. We’ve considered an internet stick but since we’re located some distance from a cell phone tower and service is very weak here, I’m not sure that that would work either.

Fortunately, until our service is restored, I’m able to “borrow” wireless internet from a neighbour using my laptop. (Have I ever mentioned how much I love my laptop?) Unfortunately, however, Richard isn’t able to use the desktop computer to access his online poker games or to do any of the penny stock research and investing that has become one of his favourite retirement hobbies.

Once the problem is finally resolved, I’m planning one more phone call to our service provider to negotiate a reduction on our next bill. Once again, I’ll remember to be polite but I suspect that I’ll have to make my request somewhat forcefully!

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