Out With The Trash

Two wicked storms and an 8 hour straight shot from Cleveland means we’re back from vacation.  All things considered, it was no where near the time we had in Yellowstone last year.  Some of that can be blamed on the uncooperative weather but mostly a total lack of wildlife to photograph.  Looks like I will have to work on finding good fodder for the blog in the upcoming year.  I’ll have more details on the trip coming up, but it is the 29th and guess who needs another post?  Figured a standby was in order tonight – this is mainly due to suffering from a mild case of heat exhaustion tonight and need to get some fluids and sleep, so off to the post.

If you visited previously, you may have seen a mention that I lost my Internet connection for a period of time.  Having moved to the country a few years back, one of the negatives was having to get rid of cable Internet and go with more archaic on ramps to the Information Superhighway.  Our phone coverage only guaranteed 14.4 due to old wiring and the technician even admitted that was pushing it with all the noise on the line.  Our Verizon card gets one bar if you stand on one foot and spread your arms out in the correct dimensions, but as a backup we also installed a satellite provider.  At the time, Wild Blue was about the only option and it was actually being run out of a small town about 45 minutes away from us.  Paying the extra fee to get 1.5M downloads (correction, paying the extra fee to never reach 1.5M but at least get an average slightly above crap).  Sometime on a Thursday, our access stopped working.  Being vulnerable to weather issues, we decided to wait it out – Friday – no luck, Saturday still no luck, Sunday officially frustrated.  Time to make a call to the home office.  Linda made the call which prompted a quite colorful text message to me summarizing her experience.  Turns out they could not care less whether their service was working and informed us that a service call would be ~$75/hr and that started from the moment they left their building (45 minutes away).  Minimally, we requested that they ping our satellite router to see if they could see it from their end giving us some indication where to start looking to resolve the missing bytes.  Nope, they refused and then started the argument that there was a storm showing on their radar and that was probably the cause – note, it was perfectly sunny that day and this problem had been occurring during other good days.  Pointing this out to them resulted in a very interesting comment.  Essentially, they told us to go find someone else to try and fix it.  When Linda told me this, I was literally stunned.  Here we were, a long time user of their service, a customer paying a premium for a higher transfer rate (which on average we rarely got) and basically just asking them if they can verify that our satellite connection to their uplink was working.  Any guesses what happens when a service provider tells me to go find someone else to fix their product?  Well, we did go find someone else, another service provider.  Four days later, the Wild Blue dish pole was ripped out of the ground and another company’s put in its place – that would be another service provider that actually appreciated our money.  So now Wild Blue was kicked to the curb and I am happy to say we are back online with Hughes which is significantly snappier than our former solution.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Wild Blue for such great advice, although you might want rethink that business model.