Tuesday, October 16, 2007

choose your poison

Okay, so I ordered DSL last night and scheduled service to start Friday. I figured that would give enough time for the modem to arrive.

I come home to find a note on my doorknob saying AT&T had come by to do the upgrade to my phone line. This had never been scheduled. I'm quite surprised they came the very next day, but if they don't tell me when they're coming, they're not going to be able to do much.

This does not bode well.

The ISP I'm leaving, RCN, sold all its San Francisco and Peninsula customers to an outfit called Astound!. The exclamation point is theirs, not mine. I'm not excited about this at all. Their site is not astound.com, but rather astound.net -- these guys couldn't even get their own .com domain.

Their website makes them look quite fly-by-night. The public-domain photos of happy-people models and the enormous font is indistinguishable from the scores of far-downstream ISPs that host spammers and provide spotty service.

They could be perfectly good, and in fact they had better be, because SF is a demanding market. However, obviously, I won't be finding out.

My annual billing period ends Sept 27th and I received their bill yesterday, Oct 15th. Rather a bit late. Fortunately they hadn't yet charged the autopay. I phoned them to close the account and waited, listening to elevator music that sounded scratchy and very distant, like it was coming through a Philco radio in 1936. On Pluto. They didn't have the courtesy to have a hold-time approximation. I had the sinking feeling I was facing an hour of easy listening.

Fortunately it was about 15 minutes, and the guy I spoke with actually offered to close the account. I wonder if they're doing a lot of account closing.

My website immediately disappeared. Apparently Astound has the users' server already. However, I can still log in to my old account. Good thing.

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