Saturday, October 20, 2007

ATT DSL does not give free webspace.

I received my wireless modem Tuesday, and my account was turned on Wednesday, late in the day. Setting up the wireless modem was very easy, and programming my laptop was equally painless. However, I DID NOT sustain a download speed of 11 MB as the woman who signed me up damn near promised I would get! That was sheer B.S. I clocked at about 5400 KB as compared to Roadrunner when I would get 6800. But truth be told, I really can't tell a difference at all. So, I'm not upset over it. That's fine. I think the DSL will be more stable.

But Thursday I called to find that 20 gig of web space I would get free. I'll shorten this. After two hours of torturous transferring to six or seven different departments it was finally confirmed there is no 20 GB of free disk space. There is no 1 MB of free disk space for a web page. I could get 5 GB for 11.95! LIARS!!! There was no way I could get hold of "Eddie" again who was in billing and was in West Texas. The last woman I talked to the longest -- her name was Janice -- was fully aware of the horrendous experience I had had with getting the phone hooked up, and then being lied to about the web space, which, by the way, was the main reason I decided to go ahead and switch - anyway, Janice consulted with her supervisor and to appease me, she offered me a $5 credit a month for a year and then a one time $50 credit. Well, whatever.

So, that means that when it's all said and done, I'll actually make a little money off this, even though it put a few more gray hairs in my head. With my rebates and credits, It actually adds up to about $325, less the hundred I have to pay for the modem, gives me about $225 profit. Of course, it will take about four months before I get it all. Maybe I'll try to put it in my piggy bank as it comes in.

I had found a site that offers free web hosting, called that I had signed up for. Now that I won't have Roadrunner anymore and ATT lied about having any free web hosting, I moved my web page there. It looks like it will be a satisfactory new home. I have reassigned my domain name,; so hopefully it won't be too painful a transition. It's not that my web page is so awesome, but I had collected a lot of things on the
Save South Park fight and I really didn't want to lose all that. 000web host offers 250 MB of space as opposed to Roadrunner's 4 MB. So, I guess I'll live. Monday I'll call Roadrunner to disconnect me.

(on edit - 12/14/08) I happened to notice this old blog and thought I should update this information for anyone who might stumble into this post -- 000webhost did not prove to be successful for me. Something happened I couldn't log in and they couldn't seem to get me logged in; told me best thing to do was to sign up again. So, I was forced to abandon it. I am now using godaddy's free web space that goes with the domain names I have with them. It's working out very well. They offer ample space, and I highly recommend it. Of course, you have to have a domain name to get it, but if you are going to have a web page, you will want to have that anyway. Otherwise, it's free. my page is

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Supreme Court Gives Gore's Nobel to Bush - w/photo evidence :)

From the Oct. 14 Borowitz Report
by Andy Borowitz

Supreme Court Gives Gore’s Nobel to Bush
Stunning Reversal for Former Veep

Just days after former Vice President Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on global warming, the United States Supreme Court handed Mr. Gore a stunning reversal, stripping him of his Nobel and awarding it to President George W. Bush instead.

For Mr. Gore, who basked in the adulation of the Nobel committee and the world, the high court’s decision to give his prize to President Bush was a cruel twist of fate, to say the least.

But in a 5-4 decision, the justices made it clear that they had taken the unprecedented step of stripping Mr. Gore of his Nobel because President Bush deserved it more.

“It is true that Al Gore has done a lot of talking about global warming,” wrote Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority. “But President Bush has actually helped create global warming.....”

note: I photo manipulated a photo of Gore from Saturday Night Live, imposing the faces of Bush, Condi, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Scalia, as well as the Nobel Peace Price from other photos in Google Images.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

ATT final chapters? Maybe not. DSL reconsidered

I got my first bill from ATT. It was for $103.17! WHAT? Back on the phone, wait, hold, "This department can't help you. We have to get billing on the phone." geez.

Bottom line, they never cancelled the DSL portion of my bill. She made the adjustments, applied my $25 "we screwed up" credit, and I paid her $40.47.

She asked why I canceled DSL. I told her because I was worried about speed and because I couldn't get web space. I explained I tried to find that out one day, spent two hours on the phone, went through 6 departments and nobody knew, said there was no web space for a webpage.

She said she has the elete plan that I was going to get and because she is close to the terminal or whatever it is, she gets 11 MB speed Internet connection, even though they say 6 MB. She said I was the same distance as she is, and that I should get the same as she does. Wow! If that's right, that's really some smokin' speed! "Okay. Then what about the web page space?"

She put me on hold, came back, asked me to hold again, she wanted to verify and be absolutely sure, came back and said I would get 20 GB webspace! "That cannot be right," I said. You mean, 20 MB?"

"No," she says. "20 GB. I'm sure. I doublechecked. ATT wants you to be able to have a nice webpage!" Holy cow!!!

I really do not believe this!! But I decided to once again sign up. I will get my modem Monday. No techs this time. I can do it myself. She also explained I will not have to use my Linksys router for my laptop, that their modem will also serve as the wireless. That's a nice plus. They also provide free dial-up for emergencies.

I will have to pay about $100 for the modem, but it will be mine. I will get $50 back, but it might take a few weeks. I'll also get 3 months of Internet free. However, she says, the way that works is you pay for those months, then the 4th month you get the money back. I'll also get $50 back for the phone, but that, too, will take about 3 or 4 months! Kinda pathetic they make you wait so long, but whatever.

I do have to sign a contract for one year. However, I have 30 days to decide with no penalties. I can keep Roadrunner and just unplug/plug the prospective modems for comparison until I decide for sure which is better before I disconnect one or the other.

The DSL is a little cheaper than Roadrunner, but the ATT phone is more than Roadrunner. Between the two, I think my bill will be about the same, maybe $5 more or something. It shouldn't be much difference.

If she's right -- 11 MB speed and 20 GB webspace ----- well, we shall see!! I'll give it a chance. The modem should be here Monday, or possibly Tuesday.

ATT - final chapters, I hope

Since I didn't blog on the appropriate days, here's the ensuing sequence of events)

(Friday, October 5)
The day arrives that the repair service promised they would be here. From 3:00 to 7:00 they say. At 6:30 I get a call from a recorded message, basically "We're sorry nobody showed up. But we'll get to you in the morning." OMG!!! "Press 0 for customer service." Poor guy in customer service! Unbelieveable!!! He assured me he would call me in the morning and let me know what time the repairman would be here. I cannot believe how horrible this whole thing has been. Today is the 4th day I've had to wait home for a scheduled appointment! This whole fiasco started on the 28th! But what can you do! I could go back to Roadrunner for my phone, but the VOIP is just not all that great yet. One more day then!! (sigh)

(Saturday, October 6)

Believe it or not, I have my phone jacks all working! It was sort of a comedy of errors this morning.

My phone rang about 10:30. I had laid the phone handset down that I used last night on the night table (Radio Shack phone), next to the Motorola phone that was on the base. I was sleeping so hard I guess I fumbled with the RS phone or else I never hung it up properly, but I couldn't get it to answer. The answering machine was coming on. I grabbed the Motorola phone and said "Hello, hello" through the ans mach message but the guy hung up and immediately dialed my cell phone. My cell phone was in my office at the other end of the house. I jumped up and ran (well, stumbled very fast) to try to beat the voice mail cutting in, but didn't make it! Oh, no!!! Thank goodness for Caller ID!! I called him back and said "I'm here. I'm here!!"

My neighbor on the left had every parking space filled up with his cars, including my 2nd space. I saw him out and asked him to move one of them, and he did, said the car that's in my space he can't get running, so he moved the one next to that. I see ATT driving up and he passes me!! I'm frantically waving at him! He pulls in the drive two houses down on the right ???? I holler at him! "Hey, ATT!! Over here!!" So, he walks over. Why did he park over there???

He comes in to see where my lines are and, as as all good kitties do for us from time to time, Molly had left a hair ball right in front of the phone jack in my office (well, that was embarrassing).

He got his job done quickly (this was not the same guy as the one who came out Tuesday and hooked up the two lines - Dorman). He said there was a line there that was easily hooked up that took care of the office and the L.R. He had to do something else with the back room jack. Either Dorman was either making excuses (lied?) about the line being bad and that I would have to buy a new line for $130 or else he didn't know his job very well.

As soon as I get my phones moved back to their rightful places, I'm going to forget this nightmare!

(Monday October 8)
Even though my phones are now all working, I decided to call the office and report that Dorman had not properly hooked me up, causing me to have to wait several more days, and to also report that again, the technician did not come out as promised. They actually gave me a $25 credit for the piss-poor way they handled my account. Needless to say, that's hardly a compensation for this nightmare, but I'll take it and run with it.

I called Roadrunner to find out about returning the modem I have. This one is for Internet and phone, and I was told I had to return it and get one that is only for Internet. But the office said, no, I could keep this one. My telephone account was disconnected, and I would no longer be billed. So, that's good -- don't have to go down there and wait in line.

Okay. Now, chapter closed!!

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

ATT v Roadrunner Saga -- Part 3

Being stressed and tired from the ordeal Monday, I indulged in sleeping late and called ATT about 2:00 yesterday. I was somewhat over my rage and was able to talk a little more calmly since I at least have phone service. A young lady named Kim answered the phone. Hoping to continue where I left off and not have to start over explaining the situation, I asked for Lisa, the manager (she wasn't there), well, then how about Becky or Troy - they were there, but busy. Kim assured me she saw my file and knew what was going on.

So I explained to her about the phone jacks, that I had five working phone jacks when Roadrunner disconnected me last Friday. I explained that Dorman, the repairman who came out Monday, was rushed and told me he hooked up two lines only. He did not ask me how many phone jacks I had.

Kim had quickly reviewed the file and needed no further history of the problems I had had so far. She promised me I would have all my jacks working even if they had to run new lines. She called the technician/repair department and talked to one of their managers (I didn't get his name - slap me!) and brought him up to date. On three-way he told me somebody would be out Friday between 3:00 and 7:00 and not leave until all five of my jacks are working. Kim told me that if anything happens where I am mistakenly charged for anything, jacks, new wires, anything, to call back. She said there are plenty of people and plenty of documentation in my file to show that they had far too many screwups on my install and I would have no problem whatsoever getting it credited, if something showed up. Well, at least ATT now knows who I am!!

So, I have to admit, they are trying. The office crew has been nice enough. It's the guys in the field who seem to be the problem. Though Dorman, the repairman from Monday, was pleasant and I did not make any official complaints about him, in all reality, he did not do as he should have either. I should not have had to deal with a rushed install. He should have asked me how many jacks I had and made sure he had me back to my original layout of functioning jacks. But I guess sometimes compromise is the better part of valor. And even though it's pathetic to take this long, they're at least sticking with it till they get it right.

Of course now the weather is predicting rain Friday! GEEZ!! Well, we'll see how it goes.

I do think the phone quality is better than when Roadrunner was providing my connection. The volume of the sound I am receiving is much, much better. With RR I had the phone's volume turned up as high as it would go and still would have to strain to hear. The voice was usually muffled, as if talking into a towel or something. So, I would either have to ask for repeats or just miss things. My voice being sent would intermittently have an under-water sound, garbled and broken. VOIP is a great idea, and it is probably the communication of the future. It is cheaper. But the quality just isn't there yet. Besides, Roadrunner does have its problems with the Internet losing connection periodically, in which case the phone goes dead, as well. Having a lined phone will at least allow the ability to access the ancient mode of dial-up in case of dire emergencies.

So, next I'll need to search for a free dial-up service, if one even exists. But that will wait till I have the phone jack in my office working again. Maybe next week.

Monday, October 01, 2007

ATT saga continues

After a frustrating weekend with no phone, several failed efforts to contact ATT over the weekend, Monday finally got here. I diligently set the alarm clock for 8:00 a.m., so I could be sure to call them early enough to get them out here today! That was no easy feat for me because I didn't go to sleep till after 4:00 a.m.! But I made the call - even before coffee. After listening to excruciating music for 20 minutes, I finally got to talk to a gal named Becky and explained what happened. Becky declares matter of factly that the repairman came back out Saturday morning at 8:15 and could not get access. I was livid! "I was asleep!! How was I supposed to know he was coming!"

I let her know with no uncertainty that that was totally unacceptable and I wanted his supervisor to know exactly what happened. She said she would tell her supervisor who would in turn tell his supervisor. I asked to speak to her supervisor, Lisa, myself. Both ladies apologized profusely, and Lisa assured me the technician's supervisor would hear about it. Becky then asked me if the correct number to call me is - and read off my home phone number!! I made conscious effort not to scream and said, "No, That's so silly!! That's the number that is not hooked up!!" grrr.. My patience level is really non-existent. The ladies both tried to be nice, but I didn't feel like making nice.

It will be probably after 12:00 they said. By 2:00 I called again. This time I talked to a young man, Troy. Troy was pleasant but said it wasn't ATT's policy to call before they come out, like that should explain things. I said no, it's not a matter of ATT policy at all! It's a matter of that man having some manners and consideration himself, as a human being! How hard would it be for him to have called Friday and said, "I can't make it this evening, but I will be out by 8:00 in the morning."

Finally at 4:30 (now two full days of waiting for them to show up and a screwed up weekend) the technician got here - Dorman I find out is his name. He said he didn't even need to come inside! So, that lame brained excuse about no access was a pile of b.s. Dorman said the man who never called had been complained about more than once for the same irresponsible behavior and he, Dorman, would personally see to it that the man's superintendent was informed via Dorman's superintendent, and then he gave me his boss' phone number.

After Dorman finished in the back at their box and was leaving, I checked my phone in my living room, and it did not work. He informed me that he hooked up two wires. He said there was a third wire that was bad and would give me static that he would hook up if I wanted him to. But to run a new wire, he said ATT would want $130!

Well, I had five working phone jacks when Roadrunner disconnected me last Friday morning. And now I only have two working phone jacks -- both at the far end of my house. That just won't do. So , this story isn't over yet. Tomorrow I have to call back and tell them I need my phone accessibility just as convenient as it was before. I'm now going on Day 5, counting my weekend, of total frustration trying to just achieve what should have been a simple task of getting phone service!

For what its worth, I do think the clarity of the voice is better than the VOIP with Roadrunner. Once these issues are worked out, if they ever are, I guess things will be better.

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