Monday, November 24, 2008

The Gory Details

Please note I spared y'all the day-to-day saga of the switch to high speed until that last post. Actually, after the first couple weeks of on-site visits, calls to Earthlink and Time Warner, live chats via the Internet, yada yada, I pretty much gave up. Figured I'd wait until the BILL was due, then politely explain why I was choosing not to PAY IT.

Sure enough, when I contacted the billing department at Time Warner on Friday, they instantly set up yet ANOTHER tech visit for first thing Saturday morning. Yuck. My favorite thing in the world. An appointment (at my home, no less) at 8 in the morning.


Decided to give it the old college try.

Promptly at 8, my phone rang. "I'm parked in your driveway," the TW tech informed me.

"Give me a minute to throw on some clothes," was my answer.

Yes, sans makeup, I opened the door and let him in. I think his name was Brian. Or Ryan. Something like that. Anyway, he went to work, performing the same old diagnostics his forerunners tried. Then he decided he needed his "earthlink book"--except he didn't have one, so he called in reinforcements. Two more guys showed up within minutes.

Now I had three tech guys standing in front of my computer, scratching their heads. (I was dying to take a photo for the blog, but didn't wanna embarrass them--I'm so nice!!) Eventually, the whole thing was taking so long, guys 2 and 3 left to handle Brian/Ryan's next appointment.

Meanwhile, Brian/Ryan resorted to desperate measures: he ran a new cable directly from the street up through my 2nd story window. Nada.

Next he called "Tier 3" support. Apparently, these are Time Warner's really big guns on the tech front. After listening to Brian/Ryan claim he'd exhausted every option imaginable, they all agreed it must be Earthlink's fault.

Where have we heard this before??

My memory of what followed is a bit hazy. I believe there was another call to Earthlink involved, but I can't quite remember the outcome. All I DO know, is that in the end, we were back with Tier 3, who I'm pretty sure is capable of beaming wireless death rays to targets of their choice. Anyway, all of a sudden, I saw Yahoo Messenger pop up on the monitor. "I'm connected," I told Brian, all excited.

He grabbed his phone and asked Tier 3 guy what he'd just done.

From my end, I heard garble garble, then Brian/Ryan turned to me. "They took off the Earthlink code."


"Meaning, you're connected through Road Runner."

Uh-oh. This did NOT sound promising. "What about my Earthlink email account?"

More garble garble, both on the phone end and in person. "Let's try it," Brian/Ryan suggested.

Tried it. Worked like a charm. Still, I KNEW IN MY HEART, this was probably the last I'd see of earthlink.

Sure enough. Brian/Ryan scurried out of there like a guy on a bad date. Three hours later, I went to check email and earthlink didn't know me from Adam. Not on Outlook Express. Not on the webserver. Not even one last email saying our five year relationship had been fun, but now it was time for him to move on.

See, the ONE criteria I had for upgrading was....I wanted to keep my email address. Not just for convenience, but because I have emailed submissions to agents and editors out there, some of whom use only email for their responses. Okay. I realize that on the OFF-CHANCE one of them can't live without my book, they'll find me via snail mail. But what of the partials? The maybe's? Well, here's hoping they use that SASE. And for the electronic submissions where there WAS no SASE, I guess I can send another email...but experience tells me those follow-ups get lost in the ozone.

But, I digress. On with the story.

So there I was without an email address to my name (except for one I use on Yahoo). I went to Roadrunner's site to set one up only to learn that I should have been given one when I "signed up for the service." Hello! Never signed up! Searched all over for a phone number. Tried "live chat" but...duh...needed an EMAIL ADDRESS to use the feature. Finally got ahold of a human who was able to give me the address, but not the password (how convenient!). She transferred me to another human who, after several fasle starts, finally figured out how to reset it.

Fortunately, I was savvy enough to successfully add the new address to Outlook, then I spent the next hour updating all my Yahoo groups, sending a blanket email to my address book, trying to remember all the places (iTunes, Yahoo webhosting, Blogger, etc.) that are anchored by my sad former email address.

I'm sure I missed a few.

Probably even a lot.

I guess we'll never know what the problem with Earthlink was, but I'm thinking their ad campaign to entice dial-up customers to switch to high speed cable is be a major bust if they all turn out like me--former customers.

Oh, the icing on the cake?? Got an email from earthlink today addressed to my company's account, but referencing my phone contact this past Saturday. (Guess maybe they had the company account as an alternate contact address.) Anyway, they asked me to take an on-line survey regarding my satisfaction with how they handled my problem...

You can imagine how much FUN I had with THAT!!

P.S. I suppose this post was about as fascinating as someone's childbirthing story. Sorry.

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