Out of Touch
Well, yet another week goes by and I hardly have any internet. I have whole days with a red light on the router and, if it does by chance, connect for an hour, it is so slow it is unusable.
The Need for Speed
I do some speed tests using various checkers and often it is too slow to connect to the speed test or it drops the connection in the middle. If it does manage to do a speed test, it says my connection is ‘Very Slow’.
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I ring the ISP (Internet Service Provider) for the UMPTEENTH time. They say
‘Oh yes, I see your list of complaints and that we have sent three engineers and it hasn’t worked properly if at all for two months. Have we ever asked you to run a speed test? You have to run it on the official website we use and it will record the data for us. Can you set up a wired connection, run it when no-one else is using your internet, do not have anything running in the background, test it in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening and we’ll ring you back in two days.’Quote from my Internet Service ‘Technical’ Department
They follow this by saying:
‘If the connection doesn’t work properly by the end of this month, or maybe next month, we can release you from your contract and perhaps you might like to consider changing to another provider.’
Well, that’s big of them and in other words, they can’t be bothered to fix it, please go away, we’re only interested in generating new sales!
I’m not actually tied into a contract and I want to leave them but I can’t get an internet connection which lasts long enough to switch!
Well, no, I cannot check it at lunchtime as I go to that place called work. I’d like to be Out of the Office and work from home but, thank goodness I don’t, as I would have had no usable internet for the past two months.
So, I woke up at 5.50am and thought I would check it. Wired my laptop in and got the message:
‘Sorry cannot connect to the test server. Retry.’
Retried for 20 minutes but couldn’t connect. Then I got a red light on the router.
Went to work.
Red light on router.
Red light on router for 24 hours.
The ISP didn’t call me back. I called them. Now, I have spoken to some quite pleasant, rational people at the ISP. However, this time I didn’t speak to a pleasant, rational person. I spoke to a rude, totally ignorant man. He was so rude to me that I was shocked. If I spoke to clients at work in this manner, I would be sacked.
He basically told me he couldn’t do anything as he was waiting for the speed test results. I explained I couldn’t do them as I had no internet connection for the past two days. He said ‘oh well, this complaint is about the internet being slow, not ‘no connection’ so I cannot do anything.’
Then he said he’d do a new case which starts with ‘Change the micro-filters’. I said ‘I am not going back to two months ago … the micro-filters are fine, I have had three engineers visit who say there is nothing wrong with the line etc etc.’ He then basically said it was a new problem and I had to start with change the micro-filters, check the line, send yet another engineer.’
This whole system of ISP having ‘technical’ departments who can’t actually fix anything but are call operators who just read from a script is ridiculous.
So, as I was talking to him (from work) I signed up to switch to another provider. Great, it’s cheaper and I am getting no service from my current provider. Checked all the small print and it said I could transfer my landline number. Brilliant. All sorted.
Three hours later I get an email with a new telephone number quoted. I don’t want a new number. I was promised I could keep my old number. I clicked the box on the order.
So, I have to log onto online chat (as there seems no other way of contacting the new ISP) and they tell me they can’t transfer my number from my particular ISP and I can cancel if I like.
However Ofcom (The Office of Communications) who are the UK government approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the United Kingdom, say:
You can keep your existing landline telephone number when you switch if you want to. This is known as number ‘porting’. If you want to keep your number, let the provider you wish to switch to know.Ofcom website
Well, no, sorry Ofcom, the providers that you regulate are not keeping to your rules.
Get home and the green light is on the router but the internet is impossibly slow, dropping out every few minutes. I do a speed test on my usual google speed checker which tells me my download speed is 0.67mbps and is very slow. I log onto the ISP approved speed checker which tells me my download speed is 7.6mbps. I try this in quick succession. Why does the ISP approved speed checker have much faster results than the other speed checkers?
I have just concluded that my ISP (and quite possibly all ISP) are a bunch of crooks.
Where’s my pen and paper? I need to write a letter to Ofcom.
Please take me back to the 20th century where I belong. Or possibly the 19th.
Alexander Graham Bell, you know not what you did.