Long Time, No Write

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

I’ve been very busy lately. That, combined with spotty Internet access, makes it hard to post. Things are getting ironed out, bit by bit, so hopefully I’ll get back into the writing groove.

Our problems with SW Bell are coming to an end. When I called the next day to find out why I still couldn’t merge my account, they told me my account was marked as both pending and disconnected — two states which, I was told, are mutually exclusive. Tech support told me to call billing to get that straightened out. I called billing, told them the whole story, they typed something somewhere, and told me I should be able to merge my account now. When I tried, I got a little farther in the process, but still couldn’t complete it. I called tech support again, told the whole story again, and the guy came up with the idea of going through the process like I was a new user who didn’t want to merge an old account. After that, he said, we would go back and do a merge. Since he’s the tech guy, I did it. I was able to create an account, but then it wouldn’t let me go back and merge. You saw that one coming, didn’t you? Since I was no longer a new customer, I couldn’t perform the merge process. I asked if there was any way to get my old e-mail address back, and he said he’d have an agent call me back. I’m still waiting for that call.

Since we had Internet access again, and our secondary e-mail addresses still worked, we weren’t in any hurry to deal with the primary e-mail issue. Then, after two weeks, our secondary e-mail addresses stopped working. I’ll bet you saw that one coming too, huh? Those addresses were tied to the old primary e-mail, so they finally expired.

I was still recovering from my four of five attempts to straighten this out, so Angela called this time. They gave her the runaround, and even said it was our fault for not calling when they marked the account disconnected in March. That’s right, when our DSL was working fine, we should have called to verify they weren’t screwing something up. No wonder you have to be on hold so long when calling tech support — all those people calling to say, “Everything is fine on my end, how are things there?”

The guy said there was nothing they could do to get our e-mail addresses back. This is what we in the tech industry call a “Big Fat Lie.” Granted, the lie probably didn’t originate with him — it’s likely he’s been lied to about what the tech people can do. I don’t know what they use for their e-mail system, but I know any configuration can be changed, if one is willing to dig a little. But they obviously weren’t.

So that’s why we switched. I went to Cox the next day and ordered cable internet. We’d been thinking about doing that, anyway — it’s faster and cheaper then DSL. The only reason we hadn’t is because we didn’t want to change e-mail addresses. My thanks to SW Bell for jumping that last hurdle for us. :-)

Getting service from Cox was quick and easy. The hard part has been setting up our network the way I want it. The cable comes in downstairs, but the computers are upstairs. After our last experience, neither of us was interested in trying to run any kind of cable upstairs. So, we’re working on a wireless solution. Once I find one, I’ll let you know. :-)