(photograph © Kiwidutch)
Don’t you just love technology? Guess what, the electonics in our home are not exactly feeling the love at the moment. In fact as far as Himself is concerned, it’s fast becoming a cold hate and deep frustration.
Roughly four months ago he decided to look at offers from different companies to transform our TV. landline phone and internet from three different companies into one.
No double line fees and better rates than the times we signed on the dotted line with three companies eons ago. One company looked great, we would get a new phone, a better rate and no negatives that he could find. We switched… then the new phones arrived, a day before the old providor disconected the old ones. The new phones were awful: they had a short cord connecting them to the wall which limite where we could place them, the phones themselves had had fashioned springy spiral cords… and stupidly short ones at that, so you have to bend over and stoop to use the phone.
We now have a day bed in our living room so that I can lay with my foot really elevated aginst the pain, I could not lay in bed and use the phone, I couldn’t even sit on the end of the bed and use the phone. In the bedroom, the only jackpoint is several metres from my side of the bed, the cord is |(duh) of course too short to reach the bed, not even close.
The kicker was when we found out the in Hmself’s office, next to our bedroom, the new phone refused to fuction at all. Each time the phone rang I had to try and hobble to it as fast as possible: you had three rings, no more. If I was laying down on the bed I discovered there was no way I could manage it no matter how fast I tried.
Himself had sprint sessions to the bedroom, usually too late and spent many hours on the phone telling the company that they could keep their new phones, he needed the old ones reconected again please, in fact the intent connect was so bad he wished to cancel our contract please. New in this case definately didn’t equate to Improved.
They stalled and dithered and told him someone would ring back to discuss it, they never did. He would ring back a day or so later and got more of the same for the next month. Then the first two monthly bills came: the New phone, advertised as a free upgrade in their adverts suddenly cost Euro 200,– to rent, and not just a one time payment, oh no, this was each month!
Himself, already ringing these people a minimum of three time a week , saw red. We refused to pay, the company sent threatening letters even though the fine print in their contract said that customers may change their mind within 30 days and incurr no charges whatsoever.
The people he spoke to on the phone seemed to be completely unaware of what was in their own Terms and Conditions! He spoke to one Manager after another, with ever increasing seniority until the point where the calls were lasting over an hour each and he was ready to tell them exactly where to place their phones and internet connections. They “advised” that we paid the billes “owed” first (now amost 4 months worth) and that they would “sort thing for us, and give us our money back later”, Um…No way were they getting one solitary cent defied Himself.
Our “new” internet goes dead (a) if someone leaves a computer on too long (b) when Himself uses the downstairs phone (c) if some phones us (e) if the sender for the TV glitches for a nanosecond for any reason (f) if someone sneezes (g) all of the above. The correct answer in our home is is “G”… well, with a little bit of licence about the sneezing.
Himself raged: they wanted money for two out of three phones that were terrible to use, one that didn’t work at all, for slow internet that crashed for pretty much any reason at all, and for a rental that was supposed to be cheaper than our old one but cost Euro 200,– per month? Seriously? We didn’t think so. The more the company bullied the more Himself dug in.
Kids… internet slow, or non existant… don’t even whisper about it near your Father. Eventually we managed to disengage ourselves from the old company (they said they “would graciously waive their disconnect fee in our instance and we didn’t have to pay the bills they sent” …Himself muttered a lot under his breath on that one, apparently there are a lot more Dutch swear words available to him than I really want to know about) and went back to the old provider.
Reconnection was not instant. The internet connection, whilst never great at the best of times is now as bad as ever. The Technology Gods are not smiling upon us. Resetting the router / modem thingy isn’t the answer, Back to the tech desk of the old company. Each time we reset the modem, they have to get back in via the factory settings (or something).
They keep making a few link in the list that you select to “connect” to, each new link they make apparently disables the previous ones in the list. We now have six names in the connection list for our home, currently none of which work. We get maybe one bar via a next door neighbours internet (we have her password to use for emergancies, she has ours) but most of the time (if it’s busy time of day) we have none. Posting photographs is a dream, pages time out constantly.
An engineer turned up last Wednesday afternoon, “fixed!” he said… Yeah right, for a few hours, until a kid turned the TV on. Customer services assure us “someone will be out in the New Year…. we could make you a new connection point in the list?” What? … number 7? It doesn’t look promising does it. Back to kindly neighbours internet.
To add insult to injury my laptop died today. The TV works, all phones (apart from Himself’s mobile) are stone dead, internet is all but dead. We are like hedgehogs wearing lifejackets… one hole opens up as soon as you have repaired another. We have friends over for Christmas , pparently the golden rule is never to talk about Religion or Politics at parties … well Region is probably ok around a Christmas table , surely? Just don’t talk about internet providers, telephone companies or laptops, don’t even dare think it. Then we have some hope of everyone surviving the holiday.
But on that note: It’s important to remember that these are First World Problems… there are many more around the world who we need to think of with a kind heart, love and extending them a wish for joy, good health and Christmas spirit. Hug those you love, no matter what you believe, if you celebrate Christmas or some other religion, or no religion at all.
We have a buffet spread laid on, a warm home, wonderful friends to spend the day with… Who needs internet?
ps, photographs and normal Kiwidutch transmission will be resumed as soon as possible, which at this rate may well be next Christmas! Love and Hugs to you all… Merry Christmas!