Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Tale of Two ISPs and A Dilemma


As strange as life can be, nothing beats technology. And above that, nothing I know beats the hell technology puts me through. In September, I highlighted an issue regarding something that allows me to put my thoughts up here, that is the internet and my ISP (not an ex yet) which is hell bent on putting me through a series of miserable days that eventually turned into weeks and now into months.

Although I had gone ahead and subscribed to a new ISP which provided a spiffy new modem which can fit into my palm (It is very cute, I tell ya), I regret to admit that it's service has been less than satisfactory. I can't download anything - especially my i-tunes upgrade, games, and listening to songs on the online radio station is a mission impossible. The following was a comment by an anonymous reader in the earlier post where I expressed intentions in changing ISPs :

" You think Telekom's bad....try Maxis...same piece of shit with the luxury of extra price. I even had technicians who even asked me to ping 127.0.0.1 to test why my connection to msn messenger failed (for those who are slow 127.0.0.1 is localhost...basically pinging yourself like a retard!). I even had technicians who asked me to "clear my cookies" to resolve my speed problems where I wasn't receiving HSDPA but EDGE instead...apparently clearing cookies can help your modem receive full 3G coverage....such intelligence!
Almost all ISPs here are scumbags...PERIOD!"

I had this heads up, and another good review from the sister's friend. I really should have asked for a third opinion, come to think of it. In spite of not having to ping 127 like the person above, the 3.6 Mbps promised is a far cry from what I get in real life. To get a clearer picture, if I want to watch a four minute video on youtube, I can play it on one tab, open up another tab and compose an e-mail or even a blog post of medium length, and when I get back, the video will still be buffering. So much for high speed access. Argh...

On the other hand, my battle with the older ISP has seen me making countless number of phonecalls to incompetent gits who are out there to make my life more miserable than it already is as well as useless journeys to their respective offices.

The evidence I needed from my bank met with a dead end when the person on the line (a customer service moron) coolly informed me that I needed to provide them with the exact dates I made my payment so that they can lodge a complaint on my behalf. Incredibly unbelievable! If I knew the exact dates I wouldn't be asking for their help now, would I? And then there's the ISP people themselves, who say they can't help me, and my printed evidence cannot be used as evidence. Now my case is still pending and I still get charged every month although I'm not given access.

The other day, I received a phone call from the older ISP and they asked me why I didn't use their service. (apperently they have seen that I have used 0 hours since October) And so I told the lady on the line my sob story and asked her if she could help me. She said that she couldn't but informed me that my connection has been restored. (Oh, really?) A check slightly later revealed that it has indeed been restored, and honestly browsing using that particular service was so fast I had a hard time believing it, which brings me to my dilemma. Should I send the spiffy looking but slow service out the door, and make peace with the old one? I'm very tempted to do so. As for making payments, perhaps I shall have to endure lining up in the post office during my lunch break once a month to ensure that nothing disappears into thin air.

10 comments:

  1. I can't offer advice. Technology has let me down in every way possible in the last month. Even my not-that-old USB key fell apart this week.

    Presumably if you go back to using your old provider that will negate your case against them? But then you might get nothing from that anyway.

    One thing you could do if you went back to the old one is keep the name of that person you were recently talking to and try and deal directly with them in the future.

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  2. The maxis really sucks. I used it last time. They actually limit your bandwidth after paying so much in the name that "fair usage policy"! So, usually end of the month will be damn slow. If rains means, EDGE/GPRS is more common than HSDPA. It reallly sucks being in Malaysia! Having SOOOOOOOO many 'bright' politicians, we still have stupid ISPs with no proper control!

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  3. Man, you do have ISP problems. I can sympathize, as you well know.

    If ISP #1 has mended its ways (and I hope the access they provide remains lightning-fast for you) then by all means, mend the broken fences (mixing metaphors here, but so what).
    Just bring along a book to while away the time when you're making payments.

    My ISP sends someone to collect my monthly payment, which is the least they could do considering their uselessness whenever technical problems make going online impossible.

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  4. Oh lawdy, sounds like you're in a broken relationship between guy number A (who is good looking but is crap in..the kitchen) and guy number B (who is super awesome in..the kitchen..but unreliable).

    What to do? What to do?

    I say forgive and forget, just as long as it doesn't cost you anything more than you've already or intend to pay.

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  5. Thanks for the input, ya'll... :)

    aunty: I think I know how you feel about technology... i feel that was as well sometimes. As for going back to the older ISP, it's not such a big issue anymore. I wanted to close the account but I wasn't allowed to. (Another long story) So it's just as though nothing happened in the first place

    vivek: You can say that again. Fair user policy, konon! It's more like 'let us charge these suckers lots of money and don't let them benefit from broadband' Ah, yes... and the rain. Reminds you of Astro, doesn't it?

    lizza: I agree, besides, ISP #1 is a bit more pocket friendly, but I can't use it anywhere I want to, but that's alright I guess. I need to download stuff! :)

    orhan: great analogy, and awesomeness in ...the kitchen is somewhat more welcome at the moment. :) I will be fined about RM 200 as handling fees(about 80 Aust dollars) for cancelling the new ISP in less than a year, but I benefit in the long run.

    travis: you bet...

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  6. oy... me been loking for you on the NANOWRIMO thingy, who/what do you post as?

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  7. I post as anusha. Are you participating? If you are you can add me as a NaNo buddy there. But I have decided to quit this year.. Am having problems with the plot

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  8. naaw i aint participating, it was all the talk of holden and adrian mole that got me wanting to read what you're writing

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  9. Oh, I see... I might put it up someday, once I've made peace with it :)

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