Chapter 1 Waiting

 

We are waiting now—for a repair man from Time Warner to come and find out why we have persistent problems with our internet connection staying connected. The problem’s been with us for a while. But last night about 10 pm, I finally called.

 

“Why didn’t you call before,” you may ask. That’s a logical question. Well, here’s a part of the on-going story. Keep your cool; I’m remembering this bit by bit. It’s hard to write a story while you’re living it.

 

Just after ten, I talked to Rob in Tech Support, who was a nice enough guy—polite and unhurried—but he could only do so much. My problem was given a reference number and sent to the Network Department, who was busy and would “have to call me back.” I agreed that someone would be here until 3 am and again at 9 am. We were.

 

“Did I get a call?” you may ask. Seems like a fair question to me.

 

At ten this morning I called Time Warner Tech Support back and got Randy to whom I must have seemed like a pain in the butt. At least that’s how Randy acted, talking loud and acting curt. Why no one from the Network Department had called remains unclear but Randy knew no one had. I did have a reference number, so the ball got rolling. A repair man will be here some time between 1 and 5 to check the modem and wiring.

 

Let me explain that this is our second Time Warner modem. This one is marginally better than the first. And at $79.95 a month, it seems reasonable to Time Warner, although not to us, that used equipment is swapped out, when a piece of hardware fails. In other words, we keep calling and swapping modems—modems that, perhaps, other users have called about and swapped because they don’t work. What we would like is NEW modem—one that is removed from a box and connected to our router. You can’t fool me either; I can smell new.

 

What we would also like is for our Business level high sped internet to work fast and consistently whenever the required electricity is on.

 

“Ah, but we must wait, for this is planet earth,” you tell me.

 

We do wait. And often we wait in silence, because, as my husband says, “sometimes Time Warner messes up more than it fixes.” But in this case waiting still cost us $79.95 a month. Sure we could prorate for time the connection is down. But that means calling Time Warner each time.

 

(I must as an aside reveal that Time Warner Cable provides our television coverage, too. That side is down less often. They call from time to time also trying to sell us on digital phone service. Only here I have the questions they can’t handle. “If the power goes off, and I need power for my phone, how do I call 1-800-POWERON to get the power on?” One woman actually said, “Use your cell.” LOL If I had a cell, why would I need a digital phone?)

 

But back to Road Runner. “Hello, please listen carefully because our options have changed,” says the voice. I push one: Technical support. Then another voice says, “please listen carefully because our options have changed.” This time the right answer is four. And then I get a Rob or a Randy (or maybe next time a Jane), who cannot fix the problem but will send someone with a used modem that may or may not be installed.

 

Meanwhile, we get flyers in the mail, “Road Runner from Time Warner is faster than all others.” Why it runs like a faucet turned on full blast, compared to the others’ drips.

 

“Okay. But what about staying connected?”

 

Well, ours doesn’t.

 

But what about proof? What about data?”

 

I gave Rob the estimate that we loose our internet connection about 25 times a day. That’s because sometimes—hard as it is to admit—it actually stays on for hours.

But yesterday (August 8, 2007) it went off three times between 7:40 and 8:48 pm. And this morning (August 9) it was off for three minutes between 11:30 and 11:33, then on again until 11:41, when it went off for eight more minutes.

 

This is Business Class Road Runner, we are talking about.

 

Well, I’m here to say: At my house it’s a daily battle just to stay connected to the internet. When in doubt, recycle the modem. Okay. But do I really need to play solitaire three times an hour—waiting, waiting?

 

(As a second aside, I will say that our son, who has $39.95 kind of Road Runner, had not had to reboot his modem for fourteen days.)

 

What gives?

 

“Could it be we need a NEW modem?” I ask. Just a suggestion. And to all the Mr. Times and Mr. Warners and Robs and Randys (and maybe Marys) and member of the Network Department who don’t call back: “Time Warner needs to stop advertising and preying on undeserving folk, who don’t need this kind of intermittent high speed internet non-connectivity, and service the customers you already have. Concerning bandwidth—so glad you asked. Let’s just say, that, too, varies. And please, please, record what I am saying for quality assurance: Your quality is lacking.”