A rant about my ISP

It is time for a new ISP. That’s it. I’m done. I can’t stand sitting on hold for almost 30 minutes only to spend another 45+ minutes on the phone while you walk your way through whatever process your computer is making you go through AGAIN. I just can’t. It’s to the point of ridiculousness. And every time, we go through the same things, things I’ve already done BEFORE I CALLED but I have to do them again so they can enter something into their damn computer screen so we can move on. And every time, they tell me something completely different and contradictory than the last time I called. I feel like I’m chasing my tail, only, unlike my dog Aussie, I can’t catch it so there’s no end to the process.

My mother has always said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. In terms of dealing with my ISP, I’m definitely becoming insane. I call (repeatedly), and I expect them to fix the problem because I’m paying them for reliable fast DSL service. And each time, it doesn’t get fixed or the same problem reappears a few weeks or months later, so I call again, expecting them to actually fix it this time. And, repeat. Silly me.

This time the technician proceeded to read to me my entire call history with them, after lecturing me about being cooperative. So I explained that I know why I’ve called, and I’ve about reached the limit of cooperative, especially since I sat on hold for a good 25 minutes. (I just want the damn thing fixed so I never have to call you people again until my contract is up and I call to cancel so I can actually switch to a nice reliable ISP.)

Anyway, the call history. First, I moved from an area that was previously served by SBC before SBC was acquired by AT&T. The service there is still monitored/maintained by SBC, so I dealt with SBC people when arranging my transfer of service to my current area. I had to transfer it because, see, since SBC was becoming AT&T, and I was moving to an area that had AT&T service, I had to stay with them or face a $200 plus early termination fee, even though my contract still said SBC, I had yet to receive any formal letters about a change regarding my provider, not to mention I was still paying SBC, and oh yeah, SBC doesn’t exist in my new area. But, OK. Fine. Whatever. Transfer the service.

Well, apparently the SBC people don’t communicate well with the AT&T people, ’cause what they told me did NOT match the letter that AT&T sent me. There were some pretty major differences in terms of what kind of service contract I had signed up for (when did it change from a 1 year to a 2 year contract??) and my e-mail login to access said service was very new and different. So I called to find out what was going on. I got bounced around, disconnected not once, not twice, but THREE times, requiring me to call back and start all over (but I did learn my phone number from having to punch it in so many times), bounced around some more (how many departments can you send me to?? Wait, I already talked to them, so try again…hey, aren’t you the person I talked to 15 minutes ago that sent me to the person who apparently just sent me back??), until I finally talked to someone that could fix it and clear up the miscommunication. I think I spent almost 12 hours on the phone over the course of 3 days.

Next I had installation problems. The CD-ROM they sent me didn’t work, so someone had to walk me through it over the phone. Oh, and the password they sent me in the letter didn’t work, so they had to give me a new one. Um, what kind of operation are you people running that you send your customers INVALID passwords??

Then I called because every time we had a severe rain storm, my DSL would go out, or at best, be intermittent. This is a problem. Thunderstorms are not unheard of here on the East coast. They’re kind of frequent ALL F**KING SUMMER. But, according to the technician, it’s an internal problem. Riiight. I get static on my line when it rains because I have a problem with the wiring IN MY WALLS. So we played switch the phone line from one jack to another until we got the connection to work. This happened more than once over a few weeks, which meant more than one phone call about the same problem. According to the technician, I called 3 times about the same problem. I already know this. But what are my options?? I’m tied to a contract. And when there’s a problem with the service I’m paying for, and I’ve done everything in the help files that I can access (since I can’t access the online help files if I can’t get online, duh, and yes, I had to tell a technician this during one of the calls), the next step is to call. And spend time on hold. And more time chasing my tail with yet another technician.

And let’s not forget having to rest my modem with a paper clip so they could “reprogram” it back in February (see post).

We had another rain storm today. A nice big thunderstorm. When I came home, my DSL was, once again, intermittent at best. And, once again, this technician told me something completely contradictory to the previous technician the last time I had this problem. Last time, phone jack A was bad, so I had to use B. “Do NOT use A, it is a bad jack and is why you’re getting static on your line and having intermittent connection problems with your DSL.”

Huh. So the weather outside is affecting the wiring in my walls, causing problems with my phone jacks. Problems that seem to only occur when the OUTSIDE lines get wet. Okay. Sure. I believe you (NOT). Convenient how this makes it my problem because it’s inside lines rather than outside ones, and they recommended I look into replacing the wiring in my house (um, it’s a RENTAL). Oh, and I got a lecture on how DSL signals work, “sharing” the phone line, blah blah, and NO SHIT, I ALREADY KNOW THIS SO CAN WE PLEASE MOVE ON.

Tonight, it was “Phone jack B is not showing a good signal” (apparently it’s “troubling”), So, he had me unplug everything connected to a phone jack in the house (2 phones and my satellite TV receiver) to make sure there was no interference, he checked the line, and still, “B does not have a good signal” so we move the DSL line to phone jack A. Magically, phone jack A, the one I was told to never use for my DSL barely 6 months ago, now has an excellent signal. But, just to be sure, let’s play switch the phone line from one jack to another. Move it back to B. Hm. B is still not showing a good signal. So move it back to A. “A is excellent” so I now should “ONLY use A, do NOT use B. But, monitor the connection for a few days, as it may change, and you might have to switch back to jack B, especially if it rains again.”


Any recommendations or suggestions about how I can get out of my contract with these people?? Please? Anyone?? HELP!!


About slmcdanold

I’m learning to laugh at myself on a daily basis. I’m a librarian (cataloger) and I love it. My job involves all things metadata related in any and all formats. I have been known to cause a ruckus when necessary (aka troublesome cataloger) and make no apologies for it. I have a passion for continuing education and teaching. I’m a newbie coder (still learning). I like to cook. I’m a fan of rugby (go Australian Wallabies!) and ice hockey (go Detroit Red Wings!). I’m car-free and bike/walk a lot. I’m learning to love running one stride at a time. I own (and love) a very mouthy cat with a punk attitude and a slightly neurotic rescue mutt.
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