Friday, September 25, 2009

updating the website - rant about internet providers

Oh my goodness!  What is usually a fun and satisfying process turned into a mostrously unsuccessful obsession last night!  At 3 AM I had to recognize that I was NOT going to win this one and headed to bed, fuzzy headed, bleary eyed, and quite irate.

I decided to upload more pictures to the Fruits and Veggies page then decided to make it into two pages: Sexy Fruits and Voila the Veggies!  MSN has a wonderful program for making websites, but it's a bit clunky when it comes to design options, especially with photographs.  It's difficult to find a composition that is visually appealing with the tools they offer.  (This blog is actually even more clunky though - there's no option for laying out pictures - that's why the pictures appear to be randomly placed and don't have captions - I don't think there's a way to do it.)  At any rate, I worked on all that for several hours, composing, laying out, writing, etc.  I saved the Fruits page, thank goodness, but hadn't yet saved the Veggies page when the internet froze up and refused to go further.  It reminded me of a toddler having a melt down in the grocery store - no amount of cajoling or pleading or insisting or screaming would make it move one iota!  Well, maybe screaming would have helped, but 2 AM was not the right time to try that option!  I might have scared my family.

This morning I called Verizon to see about getting FIOS since our Comcast Cable connection seems to be the problem.  I have spent the last two weeks trying to facilitate a better internet connection through Comcast.  We are located at the end of a cul-de-sac, and the closest telephone/cable pole is 260 feet from our cable box.  Apparently now that comcast is using digital signals, the signal just can't get that far consistently.  We've had 4 different people come out and "solve the problem" only to have it erupt again no better.  So I'm going to try Verizon even though they have the worst customer service I have ever experienced.  I really shouldn't have called this morning after 5 hours sleep - I wasn't my usual cheery self with the customer service rep who kept telling me about different charges I'd have to pay, one at a time, after I'd already committed in my mind to getting the service.

10 minutes into the conversation after hearing all the sales stuff about different bundles, services, etc."The fee will be $109.99/month, ma'am."
5 minutes later: "There's an additional $5.99/month fee for the cable box.  Why didn't I tell you about it before?  I didn't know which box you'd want."
7 minutes later: "I don't know if you'll have to pay the $49.99 installation fee.  We won't know that until we're processing your order."
2 minutes later: "Are there any other fees I haven't told you about?  No, I don't think so."
4 minutes later: "OK, so, to finish up, we'll just need your credit card number so we can put the customer service fee of $9.99 on it."
After I go ballistic and talk to the manager to ask to have that removed and feel mollified by his excellent listening skills even though I'm not satisfied with what he tells me, the manager says, "Yes, ma'am, thank you, I do have good listening skills.  I used to be married. -- Uh, sorry, bad joke.  But we're almost done.  There won't be any more fees from here on out.  We've charged all we're going to."
2 minutes later:  "So there will be an installation fee of $49.99 since the installation will be so complex given where you live."

35 minutes after the start of the conversation we have a semi-solid date of Monday for them to come install it between 8 and 5 and I have to be there for the 4-6 hour install.  I am NOT impressed by their customer service STILL.

I hope the internet works.


  1. Oh no! Don't go!

    If you're not convinced you'd like to go with "the other guys," I would like a chance to get my contacts involved to see if we can improve your connectivity before you make the switch. If you're interested, email our team at the address below. We'd be happy to assist.

    Kind Regards,
    Melissa Mendoza
    Comcast Customer Connect
    National Customer Operations

  2. I am laughing out loud, but I feel your pain in spite of the ridiculousness. You have my deepest sympathy in having to deal with ANY communications conglomerate.