Monday, October 13, 2008

Why The Stone Age Is Fine By Me

"Dial-up? You're on dial-up?"

Okay, so I got tired of the utter disbelief when, on occasion, I was forced to admit that yes...I had NOT advanced to the age of high speed Internet service. My reasons ran thusly:

1. Earthlink, my ISP, didn't have DSL available in my neighborhood.
2. I abhor the idea of giving my cable company and/or my phone company more money. As far as I'm concerned, they're already a rip-off. Besides, I wanted to keep my email address.

One day, about two years ago, Earthlink called me up, offering me high speed access. I spent a 1/2 hour on the phone, answering their questions. They ended the conversation with: "Okay, within 3 days, you should hear back from us, letting you know whether the service is available in your area." ????? I thought that was the reason for the call! Three days passed and I got a recorded message on my home voicemail: "Sorry. Not available yet." Hey, thanks for wasting my time.

Anyway, so you know the drill. About once every hour on the hour I get messages from all-of-the-above touting their new services. Bundle this, wrap that. Ad infinitum.

Finally, I broke down. Earthlink was advertising DSL specifically to my address! Yippee! I checked the website and YES! Available!

One small item held me back with which I'm sure you can all relate--no matter what you do, no matter how many precautions you take--SOMEHOW, the transition is never smooth, right? Whether it's the lack of hardware (um, do I have something called Ethernet?), or new software they make you install (why doesn't my desktop look like it used to?). Whatever. Something's gonna go wrong. You can rely on it.

Still...I figured, I'm relatively safe. I can always use the dial-up connection.

I pressed the purchase button.

Immediately, I get an email telling me Time Warner will be contacting me about setting up installation. Well, you can imagine how this news made my heart sink. Time Warner?? Ya mean here I avoided using my cable system all those years and now my new DSL is coming cable system?

Not a good omen.

So, I admit...I procrastinated making the call. For weeks.

Then, Saturday night, I'm tooling along the information highway, all happy with my dial-up connection, and I hear the ping of an incoming email.

Hm. It's a warning from Earthlink. I've exceeded my 20-hour dial-up limit by 67 hours at the rate of an additional dollar per hour.


Turns out....well, you get it. Now that I'm officially a "DSL customer," my dial-up is no longer limitless. Who knew? (Don't say it--I'm sure it's in the small print somewhere.)

Guess I'd better schedule that friggin' installation (which, by the way, I was supposed to be able perform myself).

I TOLD YA I liked the Stone Age better.

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