Monday, August 20, 2012

internet, interrupted

So, longtime readers may wonder what happened to the more frequent posts... and the answer is, I have been without internet service at home for more than three weeks.  It's been really frustrating, made significantly worse by the constant run-around I've been getting from my cable provider.  Do I understand that none of you can fix this for me?  Yes, but in the wise words of my friend Anna, I just wanted someone, somewhere to know.  (Plus, this serves as an easy way for me to reference the details later).

I first called my cable company on August 10th, well after a week of having only intermittant internet service, and after a 60 minute + remote troubleshooting session, I was told a technician would need to come to my home, and that the first available time slot (where I wouldn't need to take off work) would be Friday August 17th.  Seeing no other option, I took the timeslot.

A week passed, and the day was finally there.  My timeslot was 2-5pm (I had a pre-arranged vacation day) and the techs arrived around 4:45 - certainly within the window, but barely.  Although I didn't record their names (mistake on my part), I will say that they were marginally professional, swapping out each of the components of my internet setup (ethernet cable, modem, splitter, etc) and determining that there was nothing wrong with those devices.  My gripe about these techs were that one of them received 5+ phone calls while he was in my home... and they were very obviously not work related.  (In fact, after hanging up on one of those calls, he complained, "G*ddamn woman's trying to ruin my credit").  At that point, the two men told me (and Scott, as he'd arrived home from work at this point), that it was none of the devices within our home, and rather, that it was the cables in our building.  Since it was now well after 5PM, someone would need to make a secondary visit to our location to check those cables and fix the issue.  Fortunately, the called dispatch and were able to make an appointment for the following day, Saturday 8/18 between 11a-2p.

At 11:30am, two (new) techs arrived at our place.  Marvin was the main guy, who did all of the talking and working.  He had a partner with him, but the partner was in training and primarily observed.  Marvin went to the room within our high-rise apartment where all the cable connections were located, and less than five minutes later knocked on our door.  He took a brief look at the place in our wall where we plugged our internet cable in to the wall and removed the face-plate from that spot (leaving wires hanging out and exposed).  He told us that "nine times out of ten, this situation is caused by cupplings that have gone bad" and said that a supervisor would need to be the one to rectify this, but - good news - the supervisor ("Vermil") would "definitely" be able to do it today.  Marvin promised a call back shortly with an ETA of when the supervisor would be at our house to fix the problem.  Marvin was in our condo and condo building for no more than 20 minutes.  After he left, I admit - I did a happy dance.  I thought our problem was almost fixed, and was excited at the thought of having internet again at home.

Over an hour passed, and we'd received no call-back, so I phoned Marvin (we had his number from when he called us to say he was in our lobby) and asked for an update.  He said a supervisor would be calling me within the next hour.  Nothing.  An hour passed again, and I called him again.  He said he was personally learning how to make the adjustment, and would be at our apartment at 9am the following day (Sunday, 8/19) to fix the old cuppling.  Scott had him on the phone and confirmed again - "ok, see you at nine am for sure?"  Confirmed, and he said he'd call at 8:30am as a reminder.

The next morning, we were expecting a call at 8:30am, nothing.  Finally a little before 9, I called Marvin and he did not answer.  At 9:15 I called again, and he did answer and said "I'm so glad you called, I was actually just calling you, or phones must have been calling each other at the same time".  (Yeah, right).  He said he was en route to pick up the peice that he needed, and would be at our house by 10am.  At 10am, I called him.  No answer.  10:05, same thing, 10:10, and so on.  At 10:30, I gave up and called the cable company.  After a 50 minute conversation with a tech named Andrew (who was actually very nice and helpful and made tons of notes in my account record so that I wouldn't have to repeat this saga every time I called in) I learned that Marvin had no intention of ever coming to my house on Sunday.  In fact, he had (unbeknownst to me) scheduled an all-day appointment for us for Monday 8/20 for a technician to come and work on the wires within our condo building (that are not located within our unit).  To my understanding, this was the very work that Marvin had ruled out during his visit on Saturday.  Furthermore, the fact that Marvin had told me at 9:15 that he'd be over by 10am was a bold-faced lie (and one that caused us to change our plans as we sat around for almost 2 hours waiting for a technician that had no intention of ever coming).  Lastly, Marvin had told us that it was "9 times out of 10" a bad cuppling, and therefore had left exposed cables and electrical cords sticking out of our wall, so that it'd be quicker to replace them (remember he had said it'd be later that same day).  Marvin left these exposed wires, and told us it was the cupplings, and told his company it was another issue altogether.  I'm truly not sure what the truth is at this point.

As it stands, the company has escalated our work-order, and a representative is scheduled to come to our home today between now and 3pm to work on the cables outside of our condo unit but within the building (the opposite of what Marvin told us, but at this point, I'm willing to try anything).  I'm crossing my fingers (and saying my prayers) that this will do the trick, however after spending countless hours on this, and getting the complete runaround, I'll admit that I'm not getting my hopes up.

Do I realize that this is a classic case of a first-world problem?  Absolutely, but right now, it's really frustrating, and has been drastically affecing my weekends and evenings. 


  1. This is so annoying. Without fail every month Comcast turns my cable off and I spend a minimum of 60 minutes on the phone.

    They must really enjoy hearing my screaming voice.


  2. Sounds like Comcast!!

    Hope it all got worked out! -Lindsey

  3. Thanks for the sympathy guys. Sadly, they didn't come to my appointment yesterday (that makes two in a row that they haven't shown up for). After another hour on the phone, we've been rescheduled for tomorrow :/ WAH!

  4. I hope you get something free or don't pay for the next month or two! Lindsey

    1. So far, $12 in credit... which means my time has been worth about $1/hour since I've spent approximately 12 hours fighting with them.

      I'm trying for free HBO... wish me luck :)


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