Thursday, July 31, 2008

Intermittent Internet

How many of you reading this are addicted to the Internet? I certainly am. And when my Internet Service Provider goes bonkers, so do I.

These days, the Internet is a necessity of life, both personal and professional. It's how I keep in touch with family and friends. How I find out what is going on in the multiple fiction genres in which I write. How I learn some of the news, and what the weather is going to be like, and what any medical symptoms shown by my pups or other family members, or even myself, might mean.

How I do a heck of a lot of the research I need for my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries, including locating people who can help me find answers... such as potbellied pig people who were wonderful about helping me research the next Kendra mystery, NEVER SAY STY. I also use it to research supernatural legends and other lore I incorporate into my Silhouette Nocturnes.

So when it¢s not working, my temper rises to boil.

We¢ve tried different providers over the years. Right now, ours is a nice, fast cable-related system. Or at least it's fast when it's working. But lately, it's been ornery enough to work intermittently, much too often.

I¢m the kind of person who hollers at the computer, now and then, when the system is down. My husband is a lot calmer than I... except recently, he, too, has taken to swearing at the computer. We started complaining by calling the customer service number and were routed to some very nice, but unhelpful, people whose accents suggested they were possibly in India or another foreign country. This was after waiting for a while. Then, ascertaining we had followed all of the recorded instructions such as turning things off and rebooting, that customer service person would route us to a technician in the U.S.--who was also very nice but not extremely helpful. However, now and then they would schedule us for a service call--and the problem still wasn't fixed. We did this procedure often over the course of months, keeping a journal about when the Internet went out... usually daily, at least for a while.

Finally, one of the technicians gave us the name and number of a supervisor, who has really taken an interest in our problem. It's not just us, by the way, but at least one other household on our street, and sometimes the whole system goes out area-wide. Anyway, we¢ve seen some trucks with the company's name parked around here lately. And... dare I say it without knocking on wood, or cursing myself--today the system seems to be okay.

But who knows what it¢ll be like tomorrow?

Is anyone else out there as frustrated with their Internet service as I sometimes get? And before you ask, we¢ve looked into other services and, when this one's working, it's the best for our area.



Dru said...

Rasing my hand. Yes, it frustrates me when my service goes down even for 5 minutes because it's always at a crucial time when I need it.

Cryptoman said...

Cable is not the only troublesome provider...Our house has had both cable and DSL providers at the same time. Then, if one service goes down, we can switch the local network to the other one.

We had the DSL on a telephone line being used for FAX service and decided to disconnect it because FAXing wasn't often done. But we still wanted DSL service on the remaining phone line. Calling AT&T to make the switch seemed to be a simple task. When nothing happened for a long time, I checked it out and determined that the Customer Service person placed an order that the tech staff couldn't carry out. It was going to take AT&T "2 to 3 working days" to clear out the erroneous order before they could issue another order to get the work restarted. I told them to forget it. The cable service has been OK for several months now.

Betty Hechtman said...

Oh, the irony of it all. As I was trying to post this for Linda, my AOL started doing weird stuff. I had to keep siging off and on until I finally got it to work.

We have DSL and Cable at our house because the last time we had a problem with the cable, they said it would take them a week to fix it. A WEEK! Who can be without Internet for a week particularly since we all work out of our house. It's great as long as they both don't stop working at the same time.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Out of frustration, I'm trying to respond on my laptop remotely to see if that helps at all, but it seems even slower than my usual computer! Even more frustrating!
My empathy with all of you.