Tuesday, February 8, 2022

First World Problem

 We've had quite a time with both our landline (phone) and our internet of late. Hard telling how long it has been going on, really. Up until last month, we were both away for major portions of the day. As soon as I retired, it became very clear that there was a problem. We lose both phone service and internet multiple times a day. 

Tim is trying to sort out his retirement. He has three pensions to activate (from three different companies) and this requires phone calls. Lots and lots of phone calls. The hold time is incredible. One memorable call had him as caller 94 in queue. Most of the time, you will have the option of leaving your number and having them call you back when it is your turn, but since he still is at work, he can't take a call on his cell phone when he's on the floor. 


He remained on the line, listening to perfectly horrible tinny sounding music that was too loud. Way too loud. We muffled it with a pillow. 

The call center shut down at 5, and as we got closer, I said, "You're not going to make it..."

He insisted that he would. 

After nearly 45 minutes, he was down to single digits...and then our phone went out!

The next day he did get his call through. He was 112th in queue. The phone cut out in mid conversation. Luckily, the young man he was speaking with called him back on his cell phone. (It is prepaid and waiting in queue for nearly an hour would have burned up a lot of minutes, that's why.) 

In any case, the internet goes up and down regularly as well.  So I called the company that handles them both and explained the problem. The helpful young man could see that there was a connection problem right away and sent someone out. 

That young man was also very helpful and had gone to school with my nephews so we chatted away like old friends. Long story short, he felt that most of our problem was due to faulty hookups. For instance the cables in the basement were hooked into other cables for systems that were inactive. Our house had once been divided up into apartments, and there were lots of cables from that time frame. We had Dish when we first lived in the house, but it was so expensive that we switched. The new company came in and did their own installation, leaving the other wires there. Inexplicably, the technician wired the new system into the old (which wasn't being used). 

That was the problem, he confidently told me, and showed me the wiring and splitters that he had cut out. 

Except that it wasn't. The problem continued. 

Contacting the company is a problem. Live chat is an option but it can't be utilized when your internet keeps blinking out. You can call them,. but it has to be done on the cell phone because the home phone doesn't last long enough to keep you on hold as you are 47 in queue. I finally got someone on my cell phone. 

The young man was curt. He tells me that he sees what the problem is and that he has made detailed notes and this time it will be fixed. His curtness irritated me, and I was probably more curt than usual myself. 

So. I am confined to quarters this afternoon, once again, to wait for a technician who will be there at some point during a two hour window. I keep reminding myself that this is a first world problem, but it makes me irritated - I suggested that I was due a reduction in my bill due to the unreliability of their service. It was quickly pointed out to me that it was not as if I didn't have service at all. It's rather like having a new car that runs sometimes, at least in my mind. 

Later, when I asked the question: "Why do we even have a landline?" Tim had no answer. 

Aw, well. Have a laugh on me.

(which is better than a laugh AT me.)

Interesting side note: This truck starts out at about $68,000.

We have never spent that much money on a house, to be honest, and the idea that people hand over that kind of money for a vehicle is mindboggling. 

That is why Tim has this: 


  1. Good Lord. I can't imagine spending $68,000 on a car. (Or truck.)

    Sorry about the connectivity issues. I hope they get sorted out this time!

    We have a landline too, for Internet, which seems silly nowadays but we've had it for years and just haven't changed the service. I'm scared to tamper with it. After all, it works!

  2. Phone lineups are most infuriating.

    We ditched our landline once we got proper phones and a plan. We resisted proper cell phones for a long time and just had a flip phone and a pay as you go for emergencies. Once we had a proper plan, the landline became redundant. We’re not big phone users anyway in terms of actual chats. We are a texting sort of family.

  3. I know that this doesn't really pertain directly to the main gist of your blog but it always irritates the heck out of me when our government wants to start up some new program requiring billions of dollars of funding while our infrastructure slowly wastes away. Finally of recent elections, it seems like we are starting to focus on it but it is so far behind, especially in providing reliable internet service to everybody, that we may never catch up at this point.

    I have a landline for one reason only, to keep my cellphone number off the radar of all the robocallers and to record the rare legit message somebody leaves.

    I'm with you on the vehicles. I can't imagine spending $70k on a vehicle that will be worth 10% less the moment it crosses from the dealer lot to the street. Since almost 99.9% of vehicles are depreciating assets, I like to start with the minimal amount I can to get me from Point A to B in comfort.

  4. No, Ed. I will agree with you on that point. We are getting a traffic circle in our town. It is not a popular idea. I don't see the need for it. Our town has a population of less than 10,000. In my mind the traffic does not justify it. Furthermore, it is not a hazardous intersection. The biggest issue, I think is the fact that big tanker trucks go through there and make wide turns.

    Now when I went to my son's, I saw a traffic circle at the end of their road. What a marvel that is. At busy times, you could wait 10 or 15 minutes to pull out. Now? You pause, insure that you have the space to pull out and that's that. What a wonderful invention for a congested city area!

    We do not have that. One of the things that has been brought up is 'what about the big trucks? They will not be able to use the traffic circle'. (Remember now, that is about the biggest problem that intersection has.) The answer came back: "Oh, truck traffic will be bypassed around town (on an already existing bypass, by the by)."

    Okay. If we can just detour the truck traffic, we don't have a problem at all on that intersection. None. Which means we have even less need for a traffic circle.

    Do we need to work on our infrastructure? Yes. Yes we do, but giving grants to towns with no stipulation on how these moneys should be spent allows opens the door to a lot of needless spending. I don't see why it is so hard to see that simple truth.

  5. It seems the first world problem of holding on to the phone for hours is a backward step, especially if you can't get a doctor's appointment here. We got rid of our landline early on. We had been given the vet's old number, so having to say, no there wasn't much we could do for Daisy or Fred but do try this number got too much.

  6. It was hard to let go of the landline. With my hearing loss, I have to make sure and test any new cell phone to see if I could hear well with it. After the phone company started charging more for the landline, "cuz it's old technology," and the cell plans were cheaper than one landline, I cancelled the landline. I just have to make sure any 911 call on my cell will require me to explain where I'm at. For my home-bound patient, heck, even with his landline, I still had to tell the 911 operator what city we were in, and where! Hope the hiccups get resolved! Linda in Kansas

  7. These service providers sure don't provide service.

    This sums up how I feel about my old truck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Tij60pC8aw

  8. The only reason we have a landline is that it comes with our internet service and costs nothing. We pretty well ignore its ringing unless 'Mother' is displayed.

  9. I thought I would add that our town has three traffic circles now with more being planned. There was a lot of opposition to them in the beginning and after they each opened, confusion on how to use them. But now several years in, I think everyone knows how to use them and generally thinks they have improved traffic flow in all those area. Of course, all those areas were in high traffic (during school drop off or pick up hours) and there were lots of serious accidents that have since been avoided. The smallest of them is used by semis but they solved that problem by just bricking the interior circle up to the level of the shallow inside curb. It is rough enough small traffic doesn't want to go up and over the curbs but the semis have no problem with their back tires cutting up and over the curb. Hopefully they will do something similar to your traffic circle with big trucks.

  10. As you know, I feel your pain. We hated to give up our landline (amazing the accounts and places you have connected to a phone number), but since it reached a point where we had nothing but an "open" line (not dead, just open) that couldn't be repaired, we had no choice but to cancel it. The cables had lain beside the road for years and the phone company said it wasn't their responsibility to bury them, yet they never would contract someone else to do the job. Our cell-service isn't great, but we can text from anywhere in the house and usually make a phone call. As for internet... I can't imagine having true high-speed. We're not in range of cable (of which there's only one choice in our town, so they can hike their rates), DSL, U-Verse, or anything faster than satellite. And satellite is NOT high-speed, despite what they might say. Same for television, meaning we don't stream anything. We do Netflix by mail. Sorry to rant, but I figure as long as we're discussing first world problems...

  11. Kelly, totally 'get' this. Where the retirement property is, we will be in the exact same situation. My sister has no television at all, and gets her netflix by mail. We can access the internet on our phones, though and get reception.

    As a side note: how ticked off do you think I was to discover my cell phone has stopped sending and receiving phone calls on top of everything else.

    And that prescription that the doctor's office forgot to call in? I called them and reminded them. They promptly called it in to the wrong pharmacy. That pharmacy wanted 6 times what I pay for it when
    it goes through the insurance authorized pharmacy. I called the doctor's office again. They promised to correct the error. The pharmacy did not fill the prescription. I called the doctor's office once more. They assured me that the pharmacy had the prescription. I called the pharmacy. After being on hold forever, they finally told me that they had no prescription from the doctor.

    PS the technician for the phone and internet did not show up.

    I have spent an inordinate amount of time on hold today trying to sort things out. I feel the need for a strong drink.

  12. What year is your truck, Redneck? Glad to see all the like minds here. We've always considered buying new vehicles a serious waste of money. Tim does love his trucks. Two 1981 Chevys.

  13. I hate waiting on the phone. I find it disrespectful of businesses. I'm paying them. We gave our landline awhile back and I don't miss it all.

    It's shocking what people will pay, or rather owe, for a truck. I think most trucks around here go for about $80,000. Of course, most of them aren't paid for either.

  14. Yeah I've seen that Chevy commercial. Since I can't stand cats (sorry), I don't fully appreciate it but I do appreciate your comment about the cost of that vehicle! This is the great age of communication, but let's face it, with the great reduction in land lines and the problems you and Kelly have, communication has deteriorated in many ways. There's irony in that.


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