"The Final Frontier and The Last Straw"
At the end of March, my wife and I were informed that Verizon, the company that provided us with internet and television programming over the past two years, would be switching to a company calling themselves Frontier Communications at the start of April. We shrugged at one another and simply said, "We'll see what happens." After all, there's no point in making any rash decisions before we know how it all works and performs, right?
A few weeks passed and we didn't notice much of a difference, except that our On Demand service wasn't updating itself and I was still seeing March's shows. This wasn't a big deal, it just meant we'd have to stay up late for "Game of Thrones." Then, as time passed, we noticed things started to change; channels cutting out, experiencing lulls in internet speed, and old On Demand channels disappearing completely. Again, we decided to wait and see what the future held, before we made any rash decisions.
In the fourth week of April, the day after I posted my last website entry, the internet had completely slowed to that of a dying slug. My wife couldn't access her website and I couldn't even get photos/videos to show on Twitter, which is a big part of my career. "Maybe they're updating," I said holding my half-full glass and smiling hopefully.
On Monday morning, I turned on my computer only to find that my online version of Microsoft Word would not load up and I could not work on my second novel. This was partially my fault for choosing to "try" a Chromebook after my Toshiba died half a year earlier, but I digress. Now, it looked as though I would be spending my "novel-writing time" to call customer service.
I called Frontier Communications' customer service 800 number and after a few button presses, I was greeted with a robot informing me that I was 59th in line and that would only take about an hour. I laid on my couch, watching the fine quality programing a weekday morning had to offer. What's not to love about the same five news stories looping around each other?
Lucky for me, I was talking to an actual human being in only 45 minutes. English was either her second or third language, but at least it wasn't a robot. She wanted the phone number associated with the account, but I did not bundle phone with my internet and cable; I use prepaid cell service. She insisted again and again until I gave her my cell with the tagline: "...but it's not gonna show up." "I'm not seeing that phone number on our records, is there another one?"
After adding a bandage to my forehead and making a mental note to buy some plaster, I pleaded with her just to type in my account number which I had right in front of me. Finally, she was able to find my account and assist me; I use the word "assist" loosely. I told her of my main problem, the internet speed.
She suggested trying a few troubleshooting techniques and first recommended I try
resetting my box by unplugging it. After sighing into the phone which echoed like a dank cave, I mentioned that I wasn't amish and that I already googled a few things to try. The problem was undoubtedly on their end, but she wouldn't hear that. After nearly two hours on the phone, counting the waiting time, she said that she would do a software reset and to give it an hour. "Is there anything else I can help you with today?" I just hung up.
Needless to say, it did not improve and I simply nodded to my wife that evening to pull the trigger on trying another company because this was obviously not getting better. Upon further research, we discovered that Verizon basically sold their Californa, Texas, and Florida operations to this new company for 8.6 billion dollars; whree's our cut? I hate to hear what happened to the fourteen-state landline business they sold; the customers probably have brain cancer by now.
However, this all worked out for the best because we ended up going with a company that is going in the opposite direction of the Verizon landslide and is actually improving since we last had them three years ago. Time Warner Cable signed us to a no contract deal at the same price as Verizon with quadruple the internet speed, fifty more channels, and a $300 gift card. Praise the WiFi gods!