My Amish absence

4 06 2007

Thanks to the inbuilt WordPress stats I was able to discover that a few people actually bother to subscribe to my feed (insomnia has no bounds, it seems). Despite being unable to access the Internet since my last post, a few of those readers actually still checked the feed for new posts, and because of this it is only right that I offer an explanation. Obviously I’ve not been able to access the Internet for almost an entire month and that is why I have been unable to update the blog. Which came as some frustration for me as I had made a promise to myself when I started this blog (which is not my first) to post every day, regardless of actually having anything pressing to say. The whole concept of a blog is that it should be regularly updated and the reason for the death of my earlier attempts had been that I got lazy, stopped posting and in the end gave up on them. Having sworn I wouldn’t fall into that trap again, I was rather annoyed to find that due to factors out of my control, I couldn’t keep up with my promise.

Yet that doesn’t begin to explain the full reason behind my absence, and anger the entire situation caused me is worthy of a rant. Having finally had enough of my ISP’s terrible service (constant dropped connections, speeds well below what was advertised, flaky DNS and PPP authentication servers etc) I decided to switch. The truth is the only reason I hadn’t left them sooner (my contract with them was able to be terminated with no more than a month’s notice from its inception) was sheer laziness on my part (it’s a bit of a constant theme, you may have noticed). I contacted a new telephone provider (because my ISP and telephone service is bundled) and they assured me that once I placed an order with them, they would take care of contacting the old service provider to inform them of the switch. In fairness to them, this happened and I got a letter from my old provider stating that my service would end on the 11th, and luckily enough I was also told by the new provider that they’d begin service to me on the 11th, so it was supposed to be an entirely seamless crossover.

You’ll no doubt be shocked to hear it wasn’t. As is typical of their shabby organisation my old provider had failed to transfer the service over to the new one on time, and not only had they not notified me of this, they actually cut off my service on the 11th, as was supposed to happen. So not only was the new provider not able to take control (as my line hadn’t been released) but the old provider had cancelled my account and stated that under no circumstances could they reinstate my service temporarily until the transfer was actually completed. The new provider assured me that the old one should have been providing me service right up until the transfer but the reality was I was without not only Internet service, but telephone service, from the 11th until yesterday. And that was after numerous trips to the payphone to argue with both providers and force them to hurry things up after the stuff-up. God knows what would have happened had I not been the assertive type.

It was strange living in a world without telephone or Internet, practically non-contactable except by a select few who have my mobile telephone number (and my mobile telephone company had stuffed up over a billing issue leaving me without any minutes to dial out). It was like being Amish. Funnily enough in a strange way it gave me a greater appreciation for these things we take for granted, and so far I’ve made the most of every second I’m on-line. Previously I’d waste time doing useless things but now I have a new-found respect for the great and vast interweb. The experience itself was priceless, but even so my old ISP still tried to double-bill me for my last month.

To say that I’ve been angrier than a bull with swollen testicles for the last month would be a gross understatement. The phrase “understatement of the century” has become very overused and cliche in recent years but in this case it’s apt.


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