July 15th, 2002


ISP Nonsense

I knew it! I knew it! I knew that as soon as I paid my one-time-only $4.95 setup fee to set up an account with my new "free" backup ISP, BowieNet would start working!

The idiots who told me this morning they'd get it fixed right away were still lying, yet again, because when I got home from work it still wasn't working. But I called them up to yell at them one more time before preparing to use the "free" place for the first time, and I expressed considerably greater wrath than I can normally ever be induced to express to anyone, and the guy put me on hold to go confer with his boss for 10 minutes about what to do about that freak in Sacramento who's been stalking them at all hours for a week now and absolutely refuses to go away. When he came back, he had a new and rather important series of questions for me:

CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Do you use the internet a lot?
ME: Yes!
CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Like, really, really a lot?
ME: Yes!
CUSTOMER SUPPORT: No, but I mean, like, absolutely constantly?
ME: Yes! I do! That's why I'm extremely annoyed that I haven't been able to access it from home for an entire week now!
CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Hmm. Well, there is one thing it might be I suppose.
ME: What?
CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Well, you might try adding a "1" to your username.
ME: A "1"? Why?
CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Well, we have this program we just started, where users are technically limited to 200 hours per month. But of course the money you paid is for full time access, so it's not that we're actually going to limit your time to that or anything. It's just that after your 200 hours are up, you have to add a "1" to your username for it to give you another 200 hours.
ME: . . . [Insert speechless mind-boggling here]

So, it's not like they bothered informing anyone of this 200 hour limit. In fact, it's not even like when people call them up and ask to know why their internet access isn't working anymore, they're at all willing to divulge this little bit of top secret information on any of my first 16 phone calls to them. So basically, they were just too cheap to give me an entire month worth of access for my month's worth of money, so they just decided to shut my access off, and then when I go and surprise them by getting angry about that, they finally decide they'd better divulge their little secret to me, but first they'd like to put off divulging that for a week so that they can save a week's worth of money off of my account.

Plus, it was only about July 8th when I apparently exceeded my "200 hour" limit. Eight days times 24 hours equals 192 hours, and I know I can't be on the internet more than 24 hours per day. I'm usually not on it when I'm asleep or at work, either, so either they start their counting in mid-month or else they just count wrong. If I exceed the 200 hour limit again within the same month, what do I do then? Will adding a "2" work, or will I have to call them up and play telephone tag with them for another week to wrangle the next secret password out of them? And what if they have somebody else somewhere who's already signed up with the username "gayle1" or "gayle2"?

The mind boggles, I tell you.

But anyhow. I have now been transformed against my will into "gayle1" and I now have INTERNET ACCESS! But I really do not relish the idea of having to periodically rename myself each month. These people are absolute idiots.
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