I’m sitting in a Panera (thank GOD for you, Panera) with all the other laptop warriors wishing I had a pair of headphones to drown out the sound of a bleached blonde selling a Ponzi pitch to a frumpy middle-aged couple. Seriously, when anybody shows you the pyramid diagram and gives you the subscription shpiel, big fireworks should explode over your head spelling out the word SCAM. Or, maybe SUCKER.
So far, it’s Big Monopoly Carriers 2, Bill 0. Our DSL modem, a Westel unit stamped with a Bell Atlantic logo that dates back to the early days of DSL service at my old house circa 1998, finally crapped out yesterday at 3PM. A half-hour of dropped calls, one conversation with a perky CSR in Bangalore, and $39.99 later, we’ll have a new modem in 6-8 business days. I think one of the reasons they shipped customer service overseas is that it becomes painfully evident the person on the phone can’t do anything to speed up the process, even when threatened with cancellation of service. I’m tempted to call the cable company to see how long it would take to get someone out to install a cable modem, but I’d bet it would be about the same.
Speaking of Comcast, they sent a tech guy out to a consulting client of mine to hook up a new cable modem with digital voice. When faced with an Airport Express, he balked, loaded some kind of proprietary Comcast setting on her laptop to get it online, then cleared out. My client’s Airport Express won’t pick up a DHCP address from the modem, nor will my laptop, and I’m stumped. All efforts to renew the address from the command line met with the same result. Even sharing the connection wirelessly from her laptop did not work, which tells me something’s funky with Comcast. But, then, is that really a surprise?
The bottom line is that my email connectivity will be spotty for the next week or so while the new modem gets shipped by donkey from Tasmania.