Sunday, December 17, 2017

Not This Shit Again…

OK, so basically I’m without a wired internet connection again. Spectrum is the only option here, and they just kept pissing me off. The intermittent problem grew exponentially worse, and they wanted to charge me to come out and fix it.

You have to understand that there is a 15′ length of coax cord from the box on the side of my house to the internet modem. I purchased a very high quality RG-6 cable and installed it myself. That coax cord is firmly attached, and doesn’t sway or move. The idea that it could be this line is laughable.

Then there is the modem itself. I guess in a world where anything is possible, it could be the modem, but the spectrum customer support rep says that from their end, the modem seems to be working normally. They insist that there’s a problem with the line.

OK… So where is the problem? Well, it’s on the line outside my house. You can even see the cable swaying down a bit lower than it used to. But spectrum wouldn’t send anyone out to fix it until I agreed to let them into my house. I said no, because there’s no reason to come into my house… unless I’m missing something.

Turns out, once they get inside your house they will touch your equipment to check for other issues. At that moment, you just got charged for the service call. Even if all they did was unscrew the coax, blow on it, and screw it back into your modem, they just serviced your stuff, and you will get screwed with the truck roll charges. You won’t even realize you got charged until the next bill, and then you waste hours of your life calling them in an attempt to get those charges removed. Good luck with that while you enjoy being put on indefinite hold. It’s a scam, and they’re good at it.

But I’ve got my own scam. I cancel them, wait a few weeks, call them back and sign up for their “everything but the kitchen sink” package with free installation and a 30 day satisfaction guarantee. Even though I DO NOT WATCH TV, or need another phone line, I have to order the whole enchilada to get that free installation. Now they have to make sure that everything is working for FREE, and after 28 days or so, I’ll cancel again because I’m not going to be satisfied with a TV service and phone line that I do not use. Now I just have to wait another few weeks, call up and order their internet with the special $44.99 “new customer” rates.

So it’s come to this. Maybe if Spectrum wasn’t a fucking monopoly, they might try a little harder to not be a bunch of scammy scumbags. All they had to do was send out a fucking truck to fix the cable coming off the telephone poll, and I wouldn’t be forced into fucking with them like this.

Fuck Spectrum.

Wait a minute… How are you still getting on the internet?

Oh, that’s easy. I have a wireless hotspot device. I unplug the cable modem from the back of my router and plug in a bridge device that turns my wireless hotspot’s WiFi signal back into ethernet. The router just thinks it’s a plain ol’ internet connection, and my whole house has reliable internet again. Even the phone calls over magicJack still work/sound great!

But aren’t wireless data plans more expensive than cable?

Absolutely! Wireless doesn’t come cheap. That’s why I have to keep trying to get Spectrum to work for me. In the long run, Spectrum is cheaper… even if they are assholes.


OK, so the hotspot is through T-Mobile. This time I opted for their 2GB plan, and after you use up the 2GB, they drop your speed down to “2G” speeds. Turns out, they drop it down to that of a dialup 14.4 modem. It’s been about 5 days, and I’ve already gone through the 2GB of “high speed” data. So you may be wondering, “Just how bad is the 2G speed?” Well, it’s a surprisingly mixed bag.

Using T-Mobile’s “unlimited” 2G speed is good enough to listen to Pandora. The magicJack is still doing fine with no noticeable drop in call quality. Alexa (AKA echo dot) easily plays music, streams iHeartradio, and otherwise functions normally. I can shop Amazon, read Wikipedia, Google things, and even manage this website. I’m kind of amazed at how well a lot of things are working.

What I can’t do is video. YouTube is basically unwatchable, and Netflix is pretty infuriating. Even animated GIFs are considerably painful.

Now this is with T-Mobile’s cheapest monthly plan of $20 a month. Sure, I could throw money at them and get more high speed data, but I want to try this “slow speed” internet for a while. I mean, just think about it: $20 a month, I can read websites, listen to music, and make phone calls. It’s actually not a bad deal, and once a month I get 2GB worth of high speed data that I can use for whatever.

Then again… I do like watching YouTube videos and Netflix, so I may be coughing up the extra cash for more of the LTE network before the 30 days is up.



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