Hate BT? Need Broadband? Change Your Landline for a Dongle!
Look at the future, folks, no more BT??
Dongling in freedom from BT!
Goodbye, British Telecom, Can’t Say I’ll Miss Ya!
Will you imagine for a moment how victims of the Inquisition felt when they were released without being condemned? Or how a kidnapped yachtsman feels when the Somali shackles are removed, along with the bandage covering his eyes, and he finds out his ransom has been paid and he is going home? Or a person under the threat of a life-threatening affliction must feel when he hears the words, “miraculous remission?”
Well, you get the idea, then, how I felt this week when I finally decided enough was enough and I threw off the yolk of our swinish communication system, British Telecom - BT (badly treated!).
It’s as hard to decide to jettison your land-line as a baby would feel if he had any say in cutting the umbilical cord. Most people couldn’t countenance doing without their telephone, although it often stands there mute in the hall, bedroom or lounge, merely accruing it’s far-too-large bi-monthly line rental charge and waiting for the unwary to pick it up and increase the bill manifold.
But it’s not the money: really. It’s having to deal with these sociopathic morons from time to time and never, NEVER getting any satisfaction, Well, perhaps once you have the luck to meet an accommodating Asian whose mum and dad loved him, enabling him to treat others this way all his life. But generally the contact begins with you having to wait on the line as you press innumerable numbers - if that’s not an oxymoron - until finally some real ’oxy-moron’ comes on the line speaking what might be Parsee with a Yorkshire accent. I always got the feeling they would say anything to get you off the line so they could finish their curry roll, or whatever the fast-food is in Rangipur. “Oh, yes sir, you can forget the bill for the next 20 years, sirrr!” “Yessir, we’ll come out to pick up the BT vision box that you just slammed against the wall and now lies there in 1000 pieces, and give you the reward money, don’t worry, sirrr!” They can promise anything because, hey, would you care what problems some fat, old, British pensioner had with his telephone service 8,000 miles away? You would? You must have a nice mum and dad. Perhaps if the philosophy of the company you work for was actually to help their customers instead of grab as much money they could, and do as little in return, the employees would feel more like trying to do something.
Two things proved to be the last straws for me during Christmas. One was that after 10 years of dutifully paying my bills - often late, but always before disconnection - the swine cut my telephone off on CHRISTMAS EVE! Yes, you read correctly, and about 9:00 PM. Now, don’t try to tell me that isn’t done on purpose by someone you might have sworn-at somewhere along the line.
Of course, the mantra was “Sorry, sir, but we don’t do it, the computer does.” Anyone tired of hearing that? “Yes, you effing twit, but who programs the computers to do just that?” “There’s no need for bad language, sir!” (Actually he said, “we don’t like to doing de sweering, suh“) Oh, yes there is, it was that or a stress related cardiac arrest and names will never hurt you.
I decided right there and then I wasn’t going to put up with this nonsense any more by multi-billion dollar company who you would think valued the thousands I had paid to them over the last 10 years, but who obviously could give a fig. So they didn’t get the payment they called and asked me for; I tried to get it across to Mr. Patel that I didn’t want the service any more, but my words didn’t register with him as my debit card number wasn’t included with my fine speech. (I have tried unsuccessfully several times to rid myself of their land line, their lousy vision box, their broadband and the home hub, but no one has ever taken me seriously!).
Then, while I was quietly stewing last Wednesday night and perhaps deciding - again - to forgive and forget and soldier-on with BT, they served me with the coup-de-grace. An announcement interrupted the last frame of the snooker match I was engrossed-in on the TV, saying, more or less, “press button (a) if you are the account holder, blah, blah, blah. I did, and it said, “To restore your vision service, call such and such a number to arrange payment.” Right in the middle of Ronnie winning the match! At 9:30 at night!
That was the end. Mr. Temper ripped the box off the TV and threw it across the room where it released a few obviously less important bits in mid-flight and took on a lop-sided appearance on the kitchen draining board. The home hub followed, then the telephone handset (which I recovered realizing it was mine!) I dug my old Freeview box out of the cupboard; put my cell phone (mobile) comfortably on hand and switched the laptop off for the night. No broadband. Hmmmm This did give me pause.
Hands up readers who know what comes next in this merry and interesting saga?
OK, I will admit, it wasn’t a good fairy or caring angel that whispered helpful information into my slumbering lug-holes.
Time to fess up and say I had been looking into Mobile Broadband Dongles for a few weeks, ever since I got my last phone bill and wept in dismay.
If there is anyone left out there who doesn’t know about mobile broadband and the little receiver you plug into a USB socket on your PC or laptop - the dongle - (or USB stick as they are also called), all the mobile phone providers supply them and the web is inundated with information (Just Google “mobile broadband dongles”)
I also have to fess something else up (fees up something else?). Shhhhhhh now! I already had the dongle which I had bought from T-Mobile three days previously when they cut the phone off, but had sat and looked at for a while wondering if I should burn the (BT) bridge and finally make the leap into uncharted waters! It only cost me 19 pounds plus 10 pounds worth of time. For 29 quid I had got rid of the monkey on my back and could call my soul my own. The dongle works fine, easy to use, downloads itself and a kid could use it. I have used it several times a day for nearly a week, and haven’t even touched the 2 quid I originally downloaded from my tenner. These won’t suit everyone I suppose: If you stay permanently wired to your hard drive, downloading videos and toones all day long, a dongle will prove more expensive than BT plus regular broadband. But one thing seems to be sure. In a very few years, there will by no more landlines. They are a thing of the past and all communication will be mobile. I expect they will be combination phones and broadband, fusing all your communication needs into one handy, small package which you will pay for as needed without needing to ruin some poor BT employee's day in Bombay. Heck, you might even want to make the switch now, I did and no worries so far. Now if BT wants their bloody equipment, they will have to contact me and arrange to pick it up, and their bill? Maybe 3 quid a month will suit Hee hee hee!