It's starting to seem like I spend all my time apologizing to you for not posting more often. This time, it had more to do with persistent lack of home Internet service than anything else. It was out for about 4.5 days recently, and I wasn't about to break into my office building over the New Year respite in order to add content. I like you folks, but c'mon.
It's because of my ongoing connectivity woes (and the fact I'm currently able to get online) that I dedicate this post to Time Warner Cable of New York or, as I think of them, the Goniffs. For those of you not in the know, goniff is Yiddish for thief. I'd prefer shyster (one who deals unethically or unscrupulously), but that term is so associated with lawyers that I might confuse people.
I've had three, possibly four, service appointments with Time Warner since signing up for RoadRunner and cable TV, and all of them have been Internet-related. This doesn't even count the tech-support calls that were handled by phone. Each time I was told a different story about what wasn't working. First, the cable was too long and the signal was degrading over the extra distance. Then it was a splitter that was installed for no reason outside the apartment -- with nothing connected to it, so I can't even say somebody was stealing my cable. Next, my modem was bad.
This last time, I got two different stories on the same call. When I'd had enough of no Internet, I called and explained my situation. I was told, despite massive evidence to the contrary, that my router was conflicting with RoadRunner, causing some sort of mystical IP loop that left me unable to connect. I was worn down at this point, and agreed to let them bring me their own hardware which I would rent the same way I do the cable box. That was before they got to the apartment. This time, they told me (actually, they told Meaghan's sister Emily, who arrived today from North Carolina and was immediately put to work waiting for the repair truck) that I had a weak signal and I'd have to move my book cases before they could fix it.
Weak signal. AFTER cutting out 10m of extra cable. AFTER removing a pointless splitter. AFTER telling me their hardware and whatnot wasn't compatible with my Linksys router -- probably the most popular brand in the United States if not the world. AFTER walking into the apartment and discovering that the connection was, in fact, working. (It came back to life shortly after I called for service. Convenient, no?)
Can you feel the waves of heat and hate radiating off my head right now? I'm convinced Time Warner Cable trains its technicians and CSRs as completely as Friendly's restaurants train their wait staff, which is to say not at all. Except perhaps they get a course in toying with customers. Oh, they're good at that. It feels like RoadRunner is operated by Wile E. Coyote, and I'm sick of them. They get one more chance, and then it's off to DSL land. I'm not even going to play my "I'm a CRM journalist, appease me or I will crucify you in print" trump card. I will just walk away. And then crucify them in print.