I've just had a little word from a friend, concerning Internet Providor Service Companies (IPS, for short!)
Nowadays, they are all going barmy, each one trying to under price the other, promising the world for 2 times nothing, and (if my new one is anything to go by) finally short circuiting or blowing up or just not working!
Of course, they insist on being paid, whether it's working or not!
The main problems (for those of you who may be just getting into it) are the following:
If you have (as I do) the option "Telephone" then the idea is great! You can telephone to any phone (land lines only-handies and special numbers extra- Europe wide - in USA and Canada, landlines AND handies) FREE and unlimited ("free" means that the service is included in your subscription fee monthly). If the wife (or someone else) monopolises your phone, then you can still phone, directly from your PC, free of charge! A very useful addition, when it works! From your PC, you can also send SMS messages (you have to buy them first from your IPS) also very useful, 'cos you can use the PC keyboard rather than the tiny handy phone keys!
These systems all include unlimited "Internet Connexion", a requirement for both the Telephone Services (normal and via PC) and of course for "surfing".
In brief, all you pay (apart from your monthly fee) are calls to "special" numbers (like 0800 etc), which are billed seperately.
UNFORTUNATELY - the drawback is that your IPS takes over your landline, and you are dependant upon them for any telephone line at all, and since your Internet connection passes through the telephone lines, if they break down, anywhere along the way, then you've got NOUGHT!
The only way to get help or information from your IPS is to use either somebody else's phone, or your own "handy" (if you've got one! If you haven't then don't worry, SURPRISE! SURPRISE! your IPS will provide one, together with 10 free minutes per month, more time costing a fortune! Or they will sell you a "normal" subscription to one of their handy options!)
Don't put all your eggs in one basket, one was taught, but to have at least 2 baskets, in this case, costs a small fortune!
The IPS also offer all sorts of dangling carrots, all of which you can have free of charge on the Internet anyway, and often much better than that which your IPS offers!
Another of the biggest problems of these IPS is that, invariably, when they do an update to the (normally external) modem, it tends NOT to take the "few minutes" they say, but HOURS!
My own IPS (which is rather a catastrophy, but I'll have to stick with it for the moment) have "updated" or "repaired" something, somewhere, which has resulted in my being cut off from EVERYTHING 2 days in succession, between 11.45hrs (midday-ish) and "sometime in the night following" - results?
When I DO get to go back online, I've got to rush to try and get things done (like this posting) before the damn thing breaks down again, and, of course, I've got an enormous list of unanswered incoming mail, together with endless spam stuff, all of which has to be checked, swiftly, to make sure no errors have occurred!
Another problem is that, in general, when an ISP provider "updates", "repairs" or whatever, they tend to reinstall as well, so when you go back online (at their pleasure) you'll find that things have changed! Suddenly your home page is your ISP's home page, you can't get into the one or the other programmes, your browser has been changed, and lots of other little things changed, like browser settings etc. The only thing to do is to change back again, as you require them!
Like my friend, I fear that ignorance and incompetence is at the root base of these problems, but there is one OVERRIDING cause, and that is making money! After all, a call to the help line/centre will cost me just the unimportant sum of 0,34cts PER MINUTE, only to be hung up on after about 20 minutes of useless information.
I'm rapidly beleiving that my server "N9uf.fr - Cegetel" has moved out, like BT and others, to Calcutta, or some Seychelles Island where labour is cheap, and they speak French - BADLY!
Well - I've got to stick with this Mafia Mob, at least until next year, but - if things don't change, then you won't see my proverbial little a***e for dust, on my way OUT!
*If you've got a horror story as well, then post a comment about it, or send me an email describing it! Maybe that way, we can build up an impressive dossier regarding these, often, criminal organizations called "ISP" providors!
(iwmpop) Mr. le Marquis. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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