We live in the sticks, so our internet options are limited. 1) dialup 2) satellite 3) dsl. Number 1 is completely unacceptable now that I've had high-speed access at work and at home. We tried satellite; it's very expensive, not that fast, and every time a cloud went by the signal was dropped. So, when Verizon offered dsl in our area in January (everywhere else in the world had dsl two years ago; like I said, we live in the sticks), Tom ordered a modem and we switched over.
We've been pleased with the speed; it's better than the satellite connection was, and it hasn't gone out once. Until this weekend.
We left home Friday morning and didn't get home till 7 Sunday evening. I noticed that the lights weren't glowing on the modem. I immediately checked the computer (which had been left on all weekend); it was fine. Printer fine. Answering machine fine. Phones fine.
Back up. The phone worked. This is dsl, which comes in over the phone line. The phone line works. No dsl. The answering machine is plugged into the same outlet as the modem. Tried plugging modem into another outlet and resetting it. No lights.
Damn. That means a call to customer "service". It took me hours on hold and then talking to an actual human back in January when we installed this thing and then hooked it to the wireless router. I just didn't think I could go through that frustration again.
But. I'm working at home off and on during the summer. Without internet access, I'm screwed. I can't even check my email to see if my boss has any updates for me. So I called customer "service".
I didn't have to wait too long for a real human voice, but the stinking menu requires oral communication, not button pushing. I don't like that. I don't like phones. Talking to a computer without cursing is not easy for me. "I'm sorry, I don't understand that response" just brings forth more cursing and more "not understand"ing.
So the human was nice and very helpful; he informed me that my modem was dead (Einstein that he was) and since it was out of warranty, I'd have to WAIT A FREAKING MINUTE HERE. It's out of warranty? We've had it for 5 freaking months. We're under obligation for 12 months, and their modem craps out after 5?
So he kindly transferred me to billing where I could hash it out with a woman who spoke heavily accented English through a tin can and unwaxed string from another country. It made communication difficult, although she "feels the same as you do, ma'am" that I have to buy another freaking modem and don't think I should have to pay for it since it was ONLY FIVE MONTHS OLD and we have to keep paying for dsl through them for another 7 months. (If I want to be totally accurate, I have to say that we're going to have to keep Verizon dsl forever or until another option comes along in the next century or so.)
So the Lady of Spain checks with her manager, but even though her empathy was oozing through the tin can and string, she couldn't do anything about it. She could have a new modem to us in "only 3-5 business days". I asked if I could go to a local Verizon store and pick one up. "Oh yes, you'll have it in 3-5 business days." If I actually went in and asked for one? "Yes, in 3-5 business days. May I order one for you?" No, I'll go to Circuit City and see what they have. "Oh, but I must inform you that you'd have to have the same modem." The same modem that crapped out after only 5 months? I think not. I'll buy another brand. "Then I must inform you that Verizon cannot guarantee that this modem will work." They can't guarantee that the piece of crap they sold us earlier would work longer than three months, either. Our old wireless router that we bought when we had the satellite access installed is still working, even with Verizon's choice of modems, so I really don't see a problem using a different brand of modem.
The best thing about the call was hearing over and over, "If you don't want to wait for a human representative (my paraphrasing), you can solve all your problems by going to www.verizon.com. No amount of shouting that I couldn't go to their freaking website without freaking internet access seemed to faze the disembodied voice, either.
P. S. I'm at work now, but it's my last day until August, so the freaking internet access must be fixed. Today. I didn't realize just how freaking dependent I am on it.