A Little Static on the Line?

Some stuff…..

Filters. Namely DSL/telephone filters. These have been the bane of my world this week.

The other day I spent the day as usual, online here and there, off and on, until nighttime when I turned everything off and went to bed. Nothing new there. Nothing out of the ordinary.

When I woke up the next day (I believe this was Sunday night/Monday morning), I turned on my computer upstairs and my Internet Access was out. Drat!

I waited.

This sometimes happens with Veriz0n, the internet will go out for a short period for some reason or other, I know not what, but it will always pop back on again without much of a wait.

Not this day. I waited all day. I kept trying my laptop to see if it was working — nope. Out.

So, I decided to move on to Plan B. That drastic plan that nobody EVER wants to visit – calling Veriz0n on the phone and asking them for help.

Now we all know that many employees of these companies don’t live here in the U.S. but are scattered far and wide, namely in places in India,etc. I know that because when I ask their names, to put into my notes which I take down, they always have Indian-names, and this was no exception. Not that there’s anything wrong with Indians – no, I like them, in fact, but the whole outsourcing thing is what gripes my grits, but we won’t go there today.

After trying to connect with a real person for about 15 minutes at Veriz0n, I got disconnected. By that point I was screaming at the wall, at my room, at my computer, and at the phone. I was losing it.

Paul came in and sat by me. I calmed myself down and dialed the telephone number again and went through all the prompts until miraculously I connected with a real voice. I wrote his name down, and it was, indeed, an Indian-sounding name, and he was very nice and polite and very intelligible to me. I did have to ask him to repeat things a few times but not nearly as many times as I usually do.

After explaining my problem, he went about trying to do tests from “his end” (heh! Other Side of the World!!) and he could find nothing on their end of things to be wrong! The last resort was to schedule a repairman to come out to the house and sort thru things here for the problem.

He told me the cost for this particular remedy, involving the repairman coming to the house, would be $90 for the first 30 minutes and then if it took longer (why wouldn’t it????), it would be another $45 for every 30 minutes thereafter. Yikes! At first I thought he’d said $19 for the first 30 minutes but when he said it twice, my voice kind of got louder and I said “WHAT????? DID YOU SAY NINETY DOLLARS FOR THIRTY MINUTES???”

“Yes” said he.

I looked over at Paul (and remember I had my speaker phone on so he could hear us both over the speaker phone) and said “You, my love, have chosen the wrong occupation!”

Anyway…we scheduled the repairman for between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. the following day (Tuesday). Anytime between those hours…not “morning” or “afternoon” but someone had to be here that whole time. AND, he asked if we had any pets and I told him about Frick and Frack here and he said that they MUST be tied up/restrained/put into a room and the door locked before the man would come in. Oh-Kay…..

Later that evening, Paul and I were having supper quietly in the eating room off the kitchen when I started ruminating about all the telephones in this house. We have four of them. Well, really five. But four telephone jacks. One upstairs, one in the living room, one in the breakfast/supper room, and one down in the basement.

The basement!!!!!!!!

That phone line we had installed when we moved in here in 1987. We used to use it but then stopped because the old Princess style phone was really old and wasn’t working very well. So no phone had been plugged in there for years and years.

Up until recently. We came by another Princess phone from someone or somewhere and plugged it in, thinking it would be good for Paul to have a phone in the basement while he’s working down there on his lobster gear. The thing is that he never hears it ring and I have to get it and yell down to him…blah-blah-blah…

The Indian telephone man had asked me if ALL the phones had those filters on them and yes, I had gone around and put filters on all the phones back a few years ago.

All. Except. The. Phone. In. The. Basement!!!

A lightbulb went off over my head in the little cloud, and I went (hobbled – I don’t do stairs very well) down the cellar stairs and over to the old Princess phone and unplugged it from the jack.

Back (hobbling) up the stairs, over to my laptop, and Miracle-of-Miracles! I had internet connection for the first time all day!!!

That was it!

It’s been working ever since.

Mr. India had given me a toll-free number to call if I had any more questions, or if I needed to cancel the appointment, and that was front and center in my mind…cancel that expensive appointment.

That phone call took me a total of 38 minutes to accomplish. I did get right to a real live voice and asked them to cancel my appointment with the repairman, and I told him how I’d fixed the problem, all in one breath, but he wasn’t letting go of that nice juicy repair service call all that easily. He kept asking me to hold…and he’d come back and ask questions… and hold again… but I couldn’t just hang up because I was afraid he wouldn’t cancel it. So I waited and finally, at 38 minutes into that call, he let me go.

There. Problem solved!

The moral of this story is make sure any phone lines you have are equipped with filters. We live in the Dark Ages here and are still working with LAND LINES in our home. I know some of you (the younger ones) may not even know what a Land Line is, but suffice it to say we don’t do smart phones or the like here. We have one cellular phone (a Jitterbug flip phone with no fancy stuff on it) between us and Paul uses it now rather than me. We’ll probably go to our graves being the dinosaurs that we are in the world of technology but that’s just the way it is here.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…



P.S. I can’t let this day go by without saying that I heard Ashley Judd and her husband of 11 years, Dario Franchitti, are divorcing soon, and I was very saddened as I always have loved her and he’s from Scotland and probably one of the most handsome men I’ve ever seen, and I always thought they had a storybook marriage, but guess not.

The other bit of news is that Ashley Judd is thinking of running for Senate from Kentucky — against Mitch McConnell, probably the most powerful Republican in the Senate. That should be interesting. And it leaves me wondering if this divorce has something to do with her plans of entering politics… stay tuned I guess.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog…

He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world…

When all other friends desert, he remains.”

~ George V. Vest ~

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15 Responses to A Little Static on the Line?

  1. Bex says:

    Heck, TS, I’d do it for a mere $85/hour – what a bargain!


  2. TS says:

    I can see a whole new career path for you, Bex’ Hotline. Call in for $90 an hour and get assistance with your phone filters…


  3. Bex says:

    The only reason I know about putting images in web pages is because I originally had WebTV and I learned HTML way back then and built web pages that way from scratch. So every single feature of a page had to have an HTML tag of some sort and that got quite complicated. Nowadays, with JS and others like it, it’s so easy to do a web page, and the HTML is mostly all taken care of, so something simple like inserting an image is a piece of cake to a person who built pages from the bottom up.

    As for computers and their workings, I lag way behind most computer users. LIke Eric, I know just enough to do what I want to do and not much more. I am amazed how much most people do know about the interior workings of their computers.

    And BTW, to put an image in your Title box, just click on Settings, and insert the URL of the image into the Box called “Title” (it must be a jpg or a gif I think and already have a URL) and just put in “(carat=) (where the _ is above is really a space and not an underline.)

    There are many sites you can go to and save that teach beginning HTML and give all the tags for making a web page.


  4. TopsyTurvy says:

    *grin* Bex, you’re so modest about not knowing computers. I bet half the people on Journalscape don’t know how to put a picture into their Title bar.


  5. Reenie says:

    I enjoyed this post so much. You had my sympathies, but you also had me laughing. Ahem, hope that�s okay. 🙂

    Vishal, my beautiful Indian neighbor here at Hillsboro house, helped me with a Comcast call to try to figure out the reasons for me not having cable reception. After at least an hour of frustration and waiting and useless suggestions, we were disconnected. Vishal is one of the most even-tempered people I�ve ever met… and he blew a fuse. Hmm, I don�t think they make fuses anymore. He railed on and on. I�m sure you see the irony I heard.

    Anyway, so glad you solved the mystery!


  6. Bex says:

    Thanks everyone for your considered comments and suggestions.

    Nina, that’s interesting about free Google phone service but for us, and especially Paul who doesn’t do computers, it wouldn’t work. Do you need to “call” via your computer? I don’t know the details but I might investigate it anyway. We don’t want to get rid of our land lines only because of Paul not doing computers or internet at all. And I hate talking on the phone so he’s basically the phone user here.

    I did look up to see about in-house repair service insurance with Veriz0n, and it would cost me about $240/year for that – extra on my bill – and I can’t really justify that much extra at this time. But I thank you all for your suggestions and comments, as always.


  7. Nina Camic says:

    Just to be totally modern, you can set up a google line on your computer — free calls anywhere in the US. That’s when I finally said good bye to my land line.

    I hate HATE HATE it when something happens to the computer or the Internet. Thankfully, the problems don’t come nearly as often as they once did. Ten years ago, calling the Internet provider was like a weekly thing. Now it’s a rare event. And that’s a good thing!


  8. Smartiplants says:

    Sure glad you were able to get it resolved! What a headache it is to have to do those over the phone support calls. I detest them! Fortunately they don’t happen all that often. I know a lot of people these days have done away with their house phones but we still have ours plus the cell phones. Primarily because my mom in law lives with us and she needs the land line for her email machine and her caption call phone for hard of hearing.


  9. Bex says:

    Actually, I don’t mind speaking with people with some foreign accents, namely British or Indian, mainly because I spent many years doing medical transcription and where do you suppose all the new doctors are coming from? Yep, India, Russia, etc. Lots of them. I have been transcribing those voices for a while now (not anymore, but before retirement).

    I had never heard of land-line in-house repair insurance before. How much do they charge per year for that? Not sure it would be worth it, but on the other hand… this service call that I cancelled would surely have gone over $120 probably if someone had had to show up.


  10. sandy freel says:

    I had the same thing happen..
    Thanks for the head up call so not to worry me with no email.


  11. Carol says:

    I pay that little extra on my bill for the inside service insurance. It really does help if someone has to come to the house. It is frustrating going through all the steps to get to a real person to talk to.


  12. karen cheesbro dicicco says:

    You are brave to talk to India. I have tired of that stuff and there is a law now that they have to transfer you to United States if you ask. It works out so much easier. Also, ask for a manager or someone higher up if you are not liking what you hear.
    I know it gets complicated but if you know a young person, invite them over so they can program your tv remote to all work with one. They can do this in a nano second.


  13. l'empress says:

    Now you have explained why I won’t deal with V…zn. Absolutely no customer service skills.

    When I lost my internet — and my TV — last month, I called the other company. They said they would send out a technician, no charge, because I have inside line insurance on my land line.

    The guy came, found the problem, fixed it, was kind and friendly, and went on his way. Nothng to sign.

    The monthly bill arrived — with a $99 additional charge. I phoned, got connected to a representative in our area, who looked at the bills, said I was absolutely right and removed the charge. She checked with me to see if I wanted an upgrade but didn’t push when I explained why not.

    It’s not wonderful, but it’s a helluva lot better than what you had to go through.


  14. Bex says:

    Same here, Eric. Even though I’ve been using computers for many many years, the complexity of things has gone way beyond my level of understanding. I am amazed what your average computer user knows about complicated things when I go on message boards looking up an answer to some little question… it blows my mind how technical so many people have become about computers. But not I!

    We do have DSL but that’s as new-fangled as we’ve gotten. I should say “I” have it because Paul is so NOT into any of this that he keeps saying that, when I die, all this stuff is going out of here, the bills will go down drastically if he is here alone. Even the TV set he can’t work by himself anymore – I need three remotes when watching a TV and/or a DVD here, one for the TV, one for the cable box, and one for the DVD player! He doesn’t have a clue…


  15. Eric Mayer says:

    Glad you were able to resolve that problem yourself. I love computers/Internet except when something goes wrong. Dealing with customer assistance can be a nightmare.

    We remain in the Stone Age here. Dial-up, no cell phone. A bit over twenty years ago when I got my first home computer I had some interest in learning how it worked, but as the years have gone by things have gotten more and more complicated and beyond my understanding. Now I’m lucky to be able to keep up with what I need to know just to do what I need to do.


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