Sunday, May 30, 2010

Erica's Adventures In Saudi Arabia

Erica has some great adventures in Saudi Arabia, catching Spike the uromastyx (giant lizard), catching a Bufo dhufarensis (toad), and finding Cistanche flowers. Great stuff.

Related: kid in a claw game - Sarah, aged 3, Learns About Soap - Backyard Wildlife: Great Spreadwing Damselfly

Friday, May 07, 2010

Earthlink/Covad - Failure after Failure and No Desire to Improve

Earthlink supplies my internet connection (via Covad). the connection is remarkably bad. Normally it will fail several times a month but for relatively short periods of time when I actually want to use it (under an hour). As I say very bad but given teh monopolistic behavaior of the alternatives I haven't switched. Who actually choses to subject themselves the Verizon or Comcast if they have any way of avoiding it?

For several days the connections has become 3rd world like. Down over 1/3 of the time for 3 days.

Here are some example ping results from teh last few days
8562 packets transmitted, 5621 received, 34% packet loss, time 8570442ms
135 packets transmitted, 3 received, 97% packet loss, time 134157ms
140 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 139189ms
346 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 345519ms
281 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 280259ms

Calling up for support I have learned over the years is useless. they force you through all sorts of obvious steps to waste time that I have already told them I tried and failed. Every time they go through the same steps of forcing you to remove your router, test out this and that and every time it does nothing. The connection is somehow broken, having nothing to do with my local setup but they never will explore that problem. All they will do is go through the steps and find out wow the connection doesn't work. No kidding. They now add an amazingly horrible push button hell that fails to provide sensible options - press 1 if you service works, press 2 if you want to check on your email.... repeated over and over - no actual option.

Yesterday - since the service is obviously broken I gave up and spent 2 hours trying to deal with them. the sum total of that was 2 hours wasted and the "support" person just hung up after getting tired of seeing that the options they were trying failed as I told them they would. Not surprisingly Earthlink just dropped the matter. No follow up by them on the "service" they were providing. I called back twice and asked for them to tell me what had been done, what steps they took after hanging up (or if the call really was just disconnected... in which case we all know no-one interested in service would then just abandon the service because the call was disconnected...). Nothing is the answer. And again, I asked. Again more nothing.

They have devolved to be so bad that I have to consider using 2 companies that have "service" records only rivaled by soviet era collectives. What a sad state of affairs we have created that we force people to rely on such horrible service if they want to have a connection to the internet.

What fixes the problem of the broken connection Earthlink and Covad provide me. Wait. That is it. The only thing that helps is waiting. Normally that means every month or two I just don't get to use the internet when I want. The last 3 days it has meant I don't get to use it for many hours on end (over 6 yesterday) or it is repeatedly interrupted for 2-25 minutes and then comes back then breaks then comes back. All the fiddling with settings and rebooting and... accomplishes nothing. Just behave like a soviet citizen in 1979 and be happy you have electricity occasionally is Earthlink/covads answer. Unfortunately my options are to use some other soviet style customer service company. How sad for me.

Related: Customer Service is Important - AT&T's Attempt to Take Away Consumer's Rights Denied - Is Poor Service the Industry Standard?