Coincidence, I think NOT!
We moved into our modest three-bedroom semi-detached back split about 18 months ago. We had all the regular growing pains that come with moving including all the normal service hookups. The Internet Provider could arrange a timely appointment with the cable company so we spent the first five days without internet. Seems silly considering we had taken possession three weeks earlier to complete some minor renovations and to paint the place. Still, we survived.
About four months into our new home ownership odyssey a salesman from the cable company came to the front door to, in his words, offer us vastly superior internet service. He went on and on about how their cable network was better/faster/more reliable than everyone else’s network. Funny because my ISP uses the same cable network as Dishonest Ed Corp. so the only way it could be superior is if they are throttling independent ISP network speeds. Something big telecom vehemently denies they do when called to heel by our limp-dicked federal regulators.
Anyway, I unceremoniously shooed Billy Mays from my stoop, after all the service was going to cost more than half again of what I was paying for a plan comparable to what I was getting from my ISP, unless I took their streaming and cable services too. Bundling was going to save me 10% off their internet service but cost me about double my current TV and internet bill combined. Some deal! Telecom and internet access pricing in Canada is a discussion for another day but if you want to get a taste check out my post regarding wireless service titled “The Big Fix” from 2017, I can attest that nothing much has changed.
About two hours after greasy Pete leaves my internet service goes down. I call my ISP, and they confirm no outages have been reported in my area. Unable to resolve my problem internally they inform me they will have to log a call with Dishonest Ed’s but they are booking repair calls five days out. Since I stream TV through my ISP we are left without internet or television for five days! I imagined this could only go one of two ways, divorce or a sibling for Nate. Yes, I’m still married and Nate is still the youngest child!
The next five days (in December I might add) are the longest year of my life. Finally, in the late afternoon on the day the tech is supposed to arrive, I get the call that he is five to ten minutes away. We have waited all day because they will only give you a four to six hours window in which the tech may (or may not) show up. I assure him the red carpet had been unfurled and that our lives had been put on hold pending his arrival. After hanging up I walked to the living room to take a quick peek at my router. The light was still orange indicating no internet connection. The router sits within eyeshot of the front window, so I wait and watch until he pulls up to the curb out front. He begins to stir so I take a quick peek back at the router before heading to the door. WTF, green light, the internet is magically back up and he is just getting out of the red van.
I tell him the internet just came back up seconds ago and he gives me a look like I just made that up or something. He agrees to check the lines anyway and after inspection insists that an old cable splitter box the previous owners had installed was likely the source of the problem. I don’t use cable except for the connection to the ISP modem so he removes the splitter from the network of cables snaking to every room in the house and reconnects the single line to the modem. Once done he declares the problem resolved and leaves satisfied he’s done me a solid. Coincidence, I’m skeptical but maybe?
Fast forward about eight months and another sales guy shows up at my door, two hours later… no internet. I call my ISP who once again doesn’t find a problem from their end. They decided to send out a new modem as my model was aging and surmised that it may be the source of the problem. Conceding that it was a long shot they also submit a ticket with the cable company. Magically a day and a half later, before an appointment is confirmed and before the new modem arrives my internet springs back to life. Twice now, maybe it’s still a coincidence but conspiracy theories are beginning to creep in as my confidence wanes.
Of course, somewhere in there Dishonest Ed’s “most reliable” network crashes and plunges millions of internet and phone users, businesses and government agencies into the dark ages. The network outage lasts for several days while the Evil Empire maintains radio silence. I am sure herds of nerds were toiling feverishly behind the scenes to resolve the outage but outwardly the suits at the top seem more concerned with damage control than resolving the problem. One noticeable casualty – the barrage of “Most Reliable” network advertisements that previously filled our televisions and radios airwaves before the outage have disappeared.
That takes me to last night. I know this is a day late (well two since I’m actually writing it on Wednesday) for Paula’s Monday Peeve but I couldn’t hold onto it until next Monday, it needed to air immediately.
At approximately 5:30pm while I was taking my son to his Taekwondo lessons a Dishonest Ed salesman comes a-knockin’. My wife politely declines his internet sales pitch and sends him packing. When I get home she tells me of his exploits and I jokingly comment about how long it would be until the internet craps out. We both have a chuckle and go on with our evening. At 8:00pm we head out to drop her off at work for the evening. She works the graveyard shift (God love her) and normally takes the bus but I will occasionally drive her in when I’m at home. I’d probably do it more often but on school nights the little guy is normally slumbering by the time she leaves.
When Nate and I get back home I send him up to get ready for bed and I try to fire up the TV to watch Clarkson’s Farm. Lo and behold…
MY INTERNET SERVICE IS DOWN!!!
I fiddle with the equipment, tweet an angrier version of the above post in 280 characters or less and then contact my ISP. Full disclosure, I use the Evil Empire’s mobile network for my phone service and I am aware that they have trolls monitoring their social feeds. On a few occasions, I have tweeted displeasure at my mobile service or their sports network streaming service and they respond quickly with a “How can we help? I did not get a response last night but magically, as I was explaining my problem to my ISP’s tech support my internet service came back up.
COINCIDENCE, I THINK NOT!
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