Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bend Over!

Sorry this is late. My internet has been down at home since Friday, January 12th. I live in a very rural area without the luxury of cable internet or even DSL. Yes, there is satellite internet, but I got a royal screw job on that one.

I'd called Hughes.Net and when the installers came out, I was quickly notified the "free standard installation" in my case did not apply. When setting this up with Hughes.Net over the phone, I had been advised the dish could not be installed on the roof or the side of a trailer. I do not live in a trailer, but a modular. Didn't matter to them. I had to write out a check for over $100 to the installers to have a post put in to mount the dish.

That was only the beginning.

After using the satellite internet service, I found issues with connecting in the evenings. I turned to the internet for information regarding Hughes.Net and found something about satellite internet service that I never knew. Something very important. Something you are not told in the commercials, over the phone or is even revealed in any of their documentation.

To keep from "hogging" the signal, you are allotted so much download per day, then you are cut off for up to 24 hours. However (and they act like this is such an "oh goodie" thing), the hours from 2-6am is considered "free time" and doesn't count against you.

When my husband would come home in the evening, he could not get on the internet. I even tried only doing email stuff during the day, but that didn't help.

The download allotment issues was not disputed when I called customer service. In fact, I was advised that anything the computer does in the background (such as check for updates, virus scans, etc.) are part of the download. I was told to change the settings of my computer to have such things scheduled for the "free time".

Over $400 out the window.

In this rural area my only choices are dial-up (at a wonderful 24K), satellite (to screw me over), and the local wireless service. I could go with broadband from my cellphone provider, but after you go over your limit they set for you charges kick in. With 4 laptops and an Xbox 360 in the house, it wouldn't take long to reach our monthly limit.

So, I'm back to my local wireless service who has grown too big to handle with what they have. Anyone in town you talk to has the same complaint, but we are at their mercy and boy do they know it. When you call for an outage, it can take up to a week for someone to come out. Once I was out of service for almost two weeks. I had been told someone would come out, but I was bumped for higher paying customers (as if my $50 per month wasn't enough).

The last time I had "dropping" issues, I was advised they would come out once and if that didn't work, they could not service me. Since then (which has been months now), I've been trying to get by with two minutes working, down several minutes, working a minute or two, down again. My son is rarely able to play his Xbox online. Since last week, I am lucky to catch it working for even a full minute.

Last year when the gas prices rose, my ISP began charging a fee to come out no matter what the issue.

Ever get the feeling it would be a miracle to go through a day without getting gouged, screwed over or robbed in some way? Perhaps if I didn't stop at a gas station, buy a $5 hamburger which doesn't even resemble real meat, or even look at a $2 cup of plain ol' coffee I could escape it.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this tired of being screwed over. Did getting what you paid for ever exist? Was there ever such a thing?

Thanks for letting me vent. Any opinions/stories you want to share?
D. (Diane) McEntire
The Watchers Series by Samhain Publishing


PG Forte said...

Funny you should mention internet providers today, Diane. A good friend of mine was just interviewed by our local TV station yesterday about the problems she's been having with a downed cable box in her neighborhood.

The box was hit by lightening during a recent storm (yes, we have weather in California, folks. sorry to disappoint the people who insist there are no 'seasons' here *g*)and has been lying on the sidewalk sparking in a most alarming manner ever since.

Well, it's alarming if you don't work for the cable company, apparently.

My friend has called repeatedly to have someone come out and fix the box but, each time, after promising her they will "put in an order" to have the box removed the person she speaks with tries to sell her cable service 'while they have her on the line'!!

In answer to your question: yes, I think getting what you paid for did exist--and still does to some extent, though it's getting harder to find it. I think gouging the consumer has largely replaced it as the standard model for "good business".

Are we loving the new millennium yet? :p

Meg Benjamin said...

Some of the problem comes with monopolies, I think. When I lived in Texas I had a DSL from Southwest Bell, along with phone service including a land line. Once the land line reception became so bad it was almost unusable and (what a surprise) the Internet reception became equally dicey. We called SW Bell (hard to hear b/c of the interference). They transferred us to an outsourced support line in (probably) Mumbai, where the poor guys kept running through their scripted responses, none of which worked. Finally, we got somebody on the phone side of things to say that gee, there seemed to be some interference on the line that, gee again, wasn't our fault. But all of this took a lot longer than it should have, needless to say, and made me wonder if a cable modem might actually be a better choice.

jennifer said...

k well its funny to read this cause I'm having the same problem but with my sat. tv. most of the time I don't even receive a pic. and when you call to complain they take about 3 weeks to come out scratch their head and say it's fine even they leave after getting it to pick up pic but no sound and the pic left half an hour after he did when I called them again they had the nerve to tell me It must be me and I don't know how to use it properly.WTF who don't know how to use a tv these days. But there is no switching in my area cause thats whats offered . whoo k now that rant is out of there

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