I feel like the person in Hawaii who accidentally pushed the button to alert everyone of incoming missiles last year. My earlier post, “Saying No” was not meant to go live. I composed and scheduled it last week, then had a change of heart. I thought I’d un-scheduled it when I changed the status to draft but apparently not. I have since removed the post and apologize for any inconvenience to those receiving it by email.
Instead of my Tuesday posts, I think I’ll say no to Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge, but I haven’t yet made a decision. I’m definitely skipping it this week because I have too many things going on, and there’s a remote chance I’ll lose Internet connectivity later in the week. Here’s the story behind that.
Last week, two days after Christmas, I woke to find no Internet connection. I called CenturyLink, my current provider, but all I got was their automated system, and just when I thought a human being would finally answer, I heard a recorded message saying there was an error or that all circuits were busy. I tried several times that day, and finally in the afternoon, I didn’t even get the automated system. Instead, I got a recording that said the number was no longer in service.
Since I don’t have a smart phone, I had no way to look for information online, so I called a friend who found sketchy information on their Facebook page. Later, she told me she’d seen on the news that the company was experiencing a nationwide outage, which could take up to forty-eight hours to fix. I resigned myself to two more days without the Internet, but miracle of miracles, it started working the next morning.
However, the lack of communication between CenturyLink and its customers during the outage is inexcusable. Even the power company had a message on its phone system during an outage last year, explaining the problem and giving an estimated amount of time it would take to fix the problem. This time, not even CenturyLink’s Facebook page provided useful information about the outage, which not only affected Internet but also phone service and even 911.
I haven’t forgotten last year when I was without Internet for six days. Apparently, it was just a matter of flipping a switch in the local office, but the person in the local office responsible for doing this was away for the Christmas holiday, so that didn’t happen. This is also unacceptable.
Yesterday, I contacted Spectrum, one of the few Internet options available here in Wyoming, and was pleasantly surprised to almost immediately reach a friendly young man with an American accent who was easy to understand, compared to the clipped foreign accents of the representatives from CenturyLink I’ve spoken to in the past. When I told this particular customer service agent I just needed Internet service, that was all he offered me. He didn’t try to sell any bundled packages like the folks at CenturyLink are in the habit of doing. He did tell me about streaming music and cell service, but I explained I could easily stream music with my Amazon Echo devices and that I was happy with my cell service with Verizon, and he understood.
A technician will come next Monday to install my new service. I’ll be paying about the same amount I was before, but I’ll be getting faster service, 100 megabytes, compared to the approximately 14 megabytes I was getting before.
Now comes the hard part, notifying CenturyLink, but I will stand firm this time. I won’t let them persuade me to re-consider with a lower price for my bundled Internet and cell service. It won’t be worth it if I have to endure such shoddy services as I have in the past year.
If they cut me off in a huff, so be it. I plan to finish my online work before calling them so I’ll be covered in case that happens. If you don’t see a Song Lyric Sunday post from me later, that’ll be the reason. I’m ringing in 2019 by saying no to slow Internet speed and bad service and yes to faster Internet speed and better service. I hope you all have a safe and profitable 2019.
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver