No, I haven’t fallen down the rabbit hole!
The trouble began last Wednesday in the middle of the night. An outage brought to us compliments of that paragon of internet providers, AT&T (/snark). No 24/7 customer assistance from AT&T, boys and girls, so we had to wait until 8 a.m. to try to find out exactly what was happening. When M got one of those lovely folks in India on the line, a check of our connection determined that the problem did not reside with us. They weren’t sure, but it appeared to be an extensive outage. Area-wide, as it turned out. Why did it not surprise us that AT&T had not informed their reps up front about the outage? Furthermore, any attempt to get additional information about what was happening proved fruitless. One would think the customer service personnel would have a special number they could use to contact the home office in the U.S. But, no-o-o-o! They have the same 800 number we have, and they had no better luck getting through than we did.
What really riled us about what turned out to be a very long outage was not the fact that it happened – systems do go down, as was the case recently with Blackberry — but that AT&T never saw fit to put on a recording to inform and update customers about what was happening. What one got when dialing the 800 number was a recording thanking us for our patronage and patience and telling us to hold on for the next available representative. Then music, then back to the recording, etc., etc. No use hanging on as it was like waiting for Godot!
Seventeen hours later, we were finally back on line. However, the connection was iffy. We would be connected for a while and then lose the connection. Not that this was something new for us. AT&T has never been a particularly reliable provider, and since we lose our connection with some regularity, M has become a master at reconnecting us without having to call AT&T for help. Also, when it comes to speed, AT&T’s DSL is very slow. Not as slow as dial-up was, but slow.
I’ll digress for a moment to answer the question you may be asking: Why are we still using AT&T? We have talked about switching to a different provider. However, FIOS is not available in our area, and the other provider is Cablevision. And if there is a company that I dislike more than AT&T, it’s Cablevision. Actually, I despise Cablevision! But that’s a rant for another post.
Since the connection was so unstable, M checked with AT&T again to see if they were still having problems. The rep checked things out and determined that AT&T was not at fault.
M and I each have our own computer in separate rooms connected by WiFi. The modem and router are connected to his computer, while the receiver is connected to mine. If the problem didn’t reside with AT&T, M now figured it must be related to the WiFi, especially since he was having less difficulty reconnecting than I was. On Friday, he called Linksys. They determined that we had a malfunctioning router. Since it was still under warranty, the replacement would be free-of-charge as long as we sent back the old one once the new one arrived.
Linksys is in California. It would take three business days to receive the router. Unfortunately for us, a weekend and the MLK, Jr., holiday intervened. Thus, it took almost a week for it to arrive.
In the interim, the router totally died, and M had to connect his computer directly to the modem in order to get on line. Since my computer had become useless isofar as getting on line was concerned, I did use his computer to check my favorite sites; however, it’s inconvenient for posting here, especially when including photographs.
UPS delivered the router this afternoon. With the help of a Linksys tech, M installed it and got us back on line — with a solid connection. Yippee!