Thursday, January 8, 2009

Surfing the web stone age style

I remember the first personal computer I bought. It was a Tandy from Radio Shack. This was before the days of dial up, much less DSL, you could basically type with it, and play a few games, but my ex husband thought he was king of the techies with it, I believe I paid almost $2,ooo dollars for it because I had to finance it. Wow have we come a long way baby!

I have been upgrading over the years until I finally have been using the highest speed DSL that our local phone company offers to residential customers. This worked great for us for the last few years until last year when the local phone company sold to Windstream. I don't know what happened when Windstream took over, but it seemed we were offline at least twice a week sometimes for 8 to 10 hours, and when I would call to report the problem, I would be on hold sometimes for over an hour, I would just put the phone on speaker and go about my business until someone would finally answer. Then guess what, it wouldn't be an American it would be someone from over in India or somewhere, who barely spoke English, and they were trained to say the same script each time. "It appears we are having trouble on your line, it may be an hour or it may be tomorrow, we can't tell". Talk about frustration!

A couple of weeks before Christmas I was trying to finish my shopping, which I do online, and low and behold down the service went. I was in the middle of placing an order with Amazon, my favorite place to shop, but if you shop there, then you know that the good deal you are buying
may be gone when you check back 10 minutes later, or the price may have gone up. The DSL went down at about 6:30 pm and we didn't get it back until around 11 the next day. Talk about angry, I was one angry bargain hunter. Luckily Amazon still had the items I was ordering at the same price, or I would have been on my phone companies door step.

What I did instead was decide to change services. Good idea huh? We'll see.... I have my TV connected to Direct-TV, I hate Time Warner as it seems they raise prices a couple of times a year. So I call Direct and ask them what kind of Internet service they have available. The saleslady was so helpful, she said what I needed was satellite, so I paid $200+ and set up an installation date which was Dec. 19Th. I was supposed to have the highest speed available through a service called "Wild Blue".

The first thing I noticed was the speed was not what I was used to, but I thought, well it was still tolerable. The 3rd day I lost my connection, my husband had been playing World of Warcraft, his favorite past time. He had stopped and gone to bed, that was when I lost my connection. I was ready to quit anyway, so I just closed my lap top and went to bed. The next day, I had been checking my freecycle site, and my email, all was fine. I stopped and started m dinner. Mean while hubby had gone back to WOW as it is called. Again the service went down. Well when I finally came back to my email. I had a notice from Direct-TV informing me I had been reported for "Fair Access Policy Abuse". I had no idea in the world what this meant, but I was soon to find out, and you talk about someone blowing their stack, I did.

It seems that with the satellite services, you are only allowed so much use a month, and when Direct-TV checked mine we were at 150%, at that point we were cut off from service and would not be allowed back on line for a month. I was trying to find out what we had done to abuse our service, and the tech I had on the phone was doing just that, talking techie language, I asked him to speak everyday language and explain to me and he couldn't. I said give me your manager please! By then I was ready to go through the phone line after him. So much for my religion, I had lost it! Well as it turned out, Wild Blue does not support gamers, so in 3 days, my husbands WOW addiction had put us way over the usage allowed. I was at a loss as to what to do because we were supposed to have an 18 month contract, I was furious because the nice little sales lady had never mentioned the Fair Access Policy, the installer was supposed to have left us a paper explaining the policy, he did not. As I told the manager, I would have never purchased something that wouldn't support gaming, that would have been stupid on my part, I may be many things but stupid is not one of them!

As it turned out the nice sales lady was told we were using DSL so she should have never sold us the service she did. So Direct-TV let me out of the contract, and she is trying to get me a refund, I hope she does or I will be back on the phone blowing my stack. So that left me with going back to DSL with my phone company, the glitch was they couldn't reconnect me until the 5Th of Jan. in the mean time I would have to go back to dial up. Talk about a rude awakening! You don't realize just how fast DSL is until you have to go back to dial up. I felt like I was back on the old Tandy. We just got everything back to working order tonight, something had happened to our router while we were disconnected so they had to bring us another one out yesterday, then our wireless connection wouldn't work anymore so my husband had to buy another one of those thingies. I told you I am not a techie.

I learned something from this experience. My temper has gotten me in some bad spots, and this was another one. I need to wait a day or two when I am angry, and think things through before making rash decisions, weigh the pros and cons of what I am going to do. Now if I can just follow my own advice, who me?

I had another situation come up a few days ago, with our bank, they wouldn't let me deposit my daughters check into our account, because she is not listed on the account. They had been letting me deposit it for 3 months and all of a sudden I couldn't. Temper flared, I said some not so nice things to the teller, that I will have to go back and apologize for, and started to change banks. I got in my van and started to go to a different bank, and all of a sudden I regained my sanity. I have direct deposit at my bank, I have several payments that come directly out, my account is tied to my Paypal, etc. Now That is just too much to change over a check, that will be cut off in Sept. anyway.

Talk To My Heart. Does your temper get you into trouble like mine does me. What have you done while angry that you regretted later, or cost you more money or something else than it was worth. Tell me about it so I won't feel like the only dip stick out there in cyber land. I look forward to reading your responses.