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[ale] [OT] A vent and whine - ignore with dignity

To all - thank you for the use of your bandwidth here. If you are busy, 
or just don't need to listen to whining and bitching, please send this 
to /dev/null with prejudice. If I were not the one writing it, I would.

Background: I have been with SpeakEasy on a 144kB symmetric IDSL 
service for nearly seven years, and have been largely happy. 
Unfortunately, continuing rise of web eye candy and other issues is 
making 144kB uncomfortably slow, although for my money there is a 
little more life in it. Not much, but a little. I would upgrade service 
with SpeakEasy in a heartbeat, but they are unable to provide better 
connectivity here. Customer service is AWESOME, and they have stood 
with me through two lightning strikes and a couple of strange sessions 
of gremlins. But it is time to move on, and their tech support has 
supported the change as a good choice for me. (Honest too - I like 

Now I have registered my own domain, and host it here at the house, so 
I figured I need business class right off the bat. Since that is the 
only level of service at SpeakEasy, that part is an easy choice. 
Choices here for faster service appear to be the local cable franchise, 
AT&T, and a couple of local businesses have Windstream. Irrationally, I 
don't trust AT&T, and the Bush era stuff out west made that worse. 
Plus, after dealing with support for my girlfriend on her AT&T consumer 
line, I'm getting hives just thinking about them.
Windstream took three days to return a sales call, and could only offer 
T1 service at this location, somewhat overkill for my needs. This 
leaves Time-Warner.

This is turning into an exercise in futility. First, the cable 
operation expects only a business, so I'm now a customer listed as my 
name followed by "Inc." I can participate in a joke as well as the next 
person, but...

It is a good thing that they answer their phones, since installation 
took three or four calls to get scheduled, and about 10 days to 
accomplish overall. This is for basic connectivity. The cable modem has 
at least one bad port on it (otherwise workable), but getting that 
swapped doesn't seem to be possible in the politest possible way. 

In fairness, getting the new cable buried in the back yard worked out 
well this time, with the phone line staying intact. Last time I had 
cable to the house, the phone company and the cable guys managed to cut 
each other's cables to the house twice each before getting it right. 
A positive note here.

Well, with connectivity now established, it should be time to get the 
Domain Hosting setup. Three calls from me just to get to the right 
person, including them sending fresh copies of the router configuration 
setup in the process. Now 5 business days to see if the request makes 
it through the office to get the domain hosting installed. We will see 
how that plays out.

In fairness to the personnel involved at Time Warner, everyone has been
polite, and has made the correct noises respecting getting the 
customer's needs met. I'm not moaning much about the worker bees on the 
front line, as the problems seem to be systemic through the corporate 

So far, the _only_ advantage I have seen with a new service provider 
over SpeakEasy is a larger bandwidth. The customer support people and 
sales people of the companies I've contacted (and there were a few 
others) should be instructed to answer the phone "<company name> 
Customer Abuse - How can I make your life more complicated today?"

Thanks for letting me vent. I do appreciate it.