Internet Service Rant

Jul 13, 2008 by     6 Comments    Posted under: rant

Well, I’m back. After a week without internet here at the Lakeside Lair I’m back. What an odyssey these last few months have been.

My, so-called, high-speed provider, Xplornet, declared me “unserviceable”. Just over 2 years ago they installed a 900MHz transceiver on my roof (to the tune of $400) so that I may have a 1.5Mbps connection to the internet. I should mention that because I live in a rural area we don’t have DSL or cable internet so apart from dial-up, at the time, this was my only option.

For the entire duration of my contract I have had connectivity problems. I would connect then the connection would go down, connect, go down, connect, go down. On a good day this would happen every 5 to 15 minutes. Lately it’s been cycling like this every 45 to 60 seconds. When I was able to maintain a connection, the speed was fine but I would go days without even being able to connect.

Repeated calls to their tech support were futile and finally about a year ago the tech person told me that they don’t guarantee speeds or connectivity and basically said, “piss off”. So this May I had enough. My contract with them had expired so I called to ask them what the procedure was for canceling my service.

Well don’t you know that within 24 hours I get a call from one of their support supervisors asking me why I would ever want to leave them. To say I gave her an earful would be an understatement. She sent an installer out to take a “reading” to see about my signal strength. When I talked to her I asked that she send someone to replace the modem on my roof. I believed it was defective and probably had been the entire time. When they did the initial install 2 years ago it took them 6 weeks to get it working and I had to tell them to either get it to work or come and get their equipment off my house.

So the installer guy comes out and guess what? Every thing’s working fine. I asked him if he was going to replace the modem and he told me he was on orders not to do that but to simply check my signal and if necessary, hone my signal in to a narrow portion of the 900MHz band. He set me to 924Mhz. He left and the next day I had the same problems. I’ve been calling this tech supervisor almost every week since then and last week finally said, “Look, yes or no. Can you get me a reliable, stable connection. Yes or no. That’s all I need to know.” She said absolutely yes, they could get me a good connection. So waited all week for a call from their installer. I was still able to use the internet off and on. Last Sunday night I was able to get on for about an hour. Monday morning I thought I’d go online and pay a couple of bills and guess what? Yep, no internet.

In exasperation I tell Lise (my little sergeant – oh how I love a woman in uniform – oops, I digress) to call this supervisor. The supervisor says due to interference in the area, Xplornet has deemed us unserviceable and will not send a technician to service their equipment. (see, we paid for the equipment but we don’t own it – I generally like to be kissed first before being screwed) She goes on to tell Lise that since they can not provide us with wireless service we now qualify for an upgrade to their satellite service and as a courtesy, they will waive the initial system access fee of $49. Our cost? Oh, only a mere $299 to purchase the equipment, $100 license fee and she’d put us on a monthly plan that starts (without a 3 year contract) of only $59.99.

What she didn’t tell Lise was that the installation fee was another $299 and the “inexpensive” monthly fee she quoted was for the package that allowed speeds of up to 512kbps (a third of what we had been paying $48.77 for with wireless) and that our download threshold was 200MB per day. Can we say, HELL NO!

So, knowing that Xplornet was the only wireless provider in my area I began to research satellite internet. I found that HugesNet does supply satellite internet to Canada and does so through three Canadian resellers the third of which is Xplornet. I called the other two companies and their hook up fees were so expensive and their monthly usage packages weren’t much better than Xplornet’s.

In the meantime I hooked up our old dial-up account. What’s interesting is that after I had it set up, Lise said that because of the cutting in and out that we had with Xplornet, the dial-up was just as fast and even better because at least she knew that she wouldn’t loose the connection.

What’s so galling about all of this is that Bell Canada has a service/maintenance building right at the top of our lane. I simply don’t understand why they don’t bring DSL to this area. There are hundreds of homes here who would readily sign up. Urrgh!

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6 Comments + Add Comment

  • Welcome back! :)

    Grrr…sounds frustrating. And don’t even get me started about Bell Canada! lol

  • Yeah don’t even mention Bell Canada. I’ve not had anything to do with them for about 2-3 years and they are still calling me wanting me back as a customer NOT gonna happen even if hell froze over.

  • I had wondered where you were and had my fingers crossed for something like this rather than other things!

    They make it all look so simple when they stick that card in the end of the laptop, don’t they?

    Missed you much!


  • Dang, that has to be about as frustrating as any of the horror stories I’ve been through regarding connectivity.

    Dial up is better than nothing, for sure and if it means you are back, then great, I’m all for it!

  • Good grief! What a saga! Glad you are up and running, even if slowly.

  • Well, hell, this sure answers the “where’s she *at*?” question! Sorry it was like that; glad it was a problem with your internet rather than one with *you*!

    Try to resist the temptation to throw garbage at that Bell Canada building when you pass it. ;-)