I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Return From the Great Beyond

       Before you start wondering about the title, let me tell you that I have been without Internet access for 2 weeks.

That's half of a month, or14 days, or 336 hours....well you get the point. It has felt like for-ever. It really does feel like I have  returned from another time and place.

Was this "Sabbatica" planned? Nope. 
Was it intentional? Nope. 
Was it by choice? Nope. 

It was created by my desire to "upgrade" my Internet access. Woopee, it didn't work. At all. 

Not only did the Internet speed not increase, it decreased. Then it stopped completely. 

And the email? Well for a few days I could receive mail but could not send it, then it stopped too.

The reason I was bummed by this has to do with the non-profit organization I volunteer for, The Foundation Fighting Blindness. Our fundraiser walk is the end of March and I was planning to contact more people about a donation. Not without Internet.

    I hear you saying: just call up the provider and get some tech help, right? Yeah, four techs later- and I mean after looooong phone conversations with 2 techs and 2 standing-in-your-house tech visits- I still didn't have connection. 

Oh, and let me tell you about the many, many, many reps I had the privilege to speak with; all of whom asked me if I had called for tech help yet.  
Each one preceded to inform me that the previous rep was incorrect in the information I had been given.
The correct-now incorrect-now-correct-now-incorrect conversations went something like this:

Rep: You need to cancel the  blah-blah service and then we can put in a ticket for the former blah-blah service you had.
You have to wait 48 hrs after canceling one service before putting in the next service.

Rep: You need to put in an order 24 hrs after canceling one service. 
Me: I already did that, 2 days ago. 
Rep: There is no record of canceling the blah-blah service.
So I'll put in an order ticket for the new (old) service. It will begin in 48 hrs.

Me: I was told 2 days ago an order was put in for the blah-blah service and it hasn't started yet. 
Rep: There's no record of requesting to go back to the old service. Obviously the person you talked to didn't follow through. I'll put in the request, it will be 48 hrs before it goes into effect (now 2 days later than originally promised.)

Me: Where is my service?????
Rep: The computer says you never returned the equipment for the blah-blah service and we can't request the new (old) service until you return it.
Me: I sent it UPS 4 days ago and here's the tracking number to prove it. (Rep goes and checks it and comes back to say it had, in fact, arrived but was never recorded)
Me: Now that you've noted the return of the blah-blah equipment, why don't I have Internet yet?

Rep: Oh, we can't switch you back to the old service; it doesn't exist in your area.

Me: How can that be? I'm in a multi-family community and my neighbors have it.

Rep: Well the computer says you can't get it.

After threats to go to the TV consumer advocate fix-it guy and an interlude of canned music, PRESTO! The old service was available in my area and a service ticket was put in to begin...you guessed it, in 48 hrs.

Here's the best part... after each conversation, the rep-knowing that the convo had been recorded on their end- mentioned that their goal was to provide excellent service and if I got an email or phone call asked about that specific rep's service, would I say it was excellent? I told them I hoped it was an email because they'd have to provide my Internet service in order for me to answer!

I went through several more reps and promises of 48 hrs before the Internet arrived at 1:00 PM today.

All I can say is if you're thinking of switching to a certain service provider [ no names but it only has 3 letter and one of them is a repeat] that promises the fastest Internet speed and ease of connection.... RUN as fast as you can the other way!!! Don't be fooled by their slick ads or commercials or promises of reduced rates.

Now I have 2 weeks of blog posts from all my blogger buds to read, and a bazillion tweets and Facebook posts to scan. I'll work on the blogs tonight, but if there's something you want me to know that I might have missed on Twitter or Facebook, you better email me the news.

Oh and by the way, that wonderful service provider changed my email address! It's no longer g_handle@ bellsouth.net, it's now g_handle@ att.net

As far as I'm concerned, contact me at: kidlitgail@gmail.com 
I'm seriously thinking of eliminating my connection to this swell company all together.

Sorry about the rant, but it feels good to get it out on the Internet. Stay tuned for another post tomorrow to find out what else happened in the past 2 weeks.

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