This summer, Greg decided that he needed to go back to school. The money in construction is good, but the man’s body can only last so long. He decided that he was ready to finish the education degree he started over 10 years ago. We filled out the FAFSA. We filled out the application forms for a few colleges in the area. And, when the time came, he made the choice to take his first class online. Right now, his job doesn’t allow him to commit to every M/W/F or T/Th from 5-8pm much less during the day. So online was the best option.
A very important background to this story is that we live in a black hole of technology. People think that I’m exaggerating when I say that NOWHERE will provide us with high-speed internet service. We can get HughesNet but when we called they told us that it’s a $100 start-up fee + the monthly package that includes a mandatory $10/month rental fee for the router/modem which you have to give back at the end of the contract. Even if you already have a router/modem, you are required to use the one they supply. And? They told us that the internet is slower when “too many people in the area are connected.” So, depending on the time of day that you need internet, it might be slower than dial-up.
We were told by our local phone company that we were eligible for the high-speed internet that they provided. They didn’t even require that we use their router/modem. So we went to Best Buy and picked up a router/modem, scheduled our appointment to have it installed, enrolled Greg in his online class & waited.
And tried to connect to the internet.
Big fat technology fail.
Greg called customer service at the company in question. Do you wanna hear what they told him? Good! Because I’m going to tell you!
Customer Service Asshat: “Oh, hehe, that service request was cancelled.”
Greg: “Uh, by who?” (I wanted to tell him that it was whom, but I didn’t think that was the appropriate time to lecture him on grammatical errors)
Customer Service Asshat: “Um, I dunno. Looks like your address isn’t in the coverage area.”
Greg: “So, despite the fact that I called and talked to somebody, gave them my address & they told me that we were in the area, we are not. Then, somebody cancelled the service request without as much as a courtesy phone call to tell me that? You’re telling me that I enrolled in an online class yesterday and now, today, find out that I can’t get the internet here like I was assured that I would.”
Customer Service Asshat: “Well, sir I don’t know what else to tell you. You can call back during normal business hours if you would like.”
At this point, Greg hung up the phone which was definitely a good thing for the person on the other end of the line.
Now, frantic, we begin to make a million calls to other service providers, triple-checking that make sure somebody didn’t make a mistake and that we are actually eligible for service. We get a glimmer of hope when Greg called Sprint the next day. They checked our address and told us that we were within the service area. All we had to do was go by a Sprint Store, sign a 2-year contract (gah!) and they would give us the little box filled with magical wireless-thingys.
It was for about 3 days. Until, for no reason at all, the internet just stopped working.
Again, Greg called customer service and he did everything they told him to do. He restarted the computer (which he had already done), he deleted all of the temporary internet files (there seriously weren’t that many), he un-installed and re-installed the internet software. All to no avail. As he is sitting on the phone with the lady from customer service, she said, “It sounds like you get pretty good reception on your phone. I can’t figure out why the internet isn’t working.”
Greg explained to her that we use AT&T for our cell phones but Sprint had a better deal for the high-speed internet. Then she asked if we had ever had Sprint cell phones. I did, years ago, but you literally had to stand in the doorway to get any kind of service. Greg told her that. Her response?
“Well then, just take your computer outside.”
After that we decided that since we were still well within our 30-day return window, we would just return the equipment to Sprint and try AT&T. At least we don’t have to take our computer outside to get the internet now.