Thursday, December 07, 2006

Internet Providers - Service or Disservice?

When you first got your computer and went online, how did you go about finding your provider and were you satisfied with that group? Was your service too expensive, a good buy; did you get good connectivity all the time? Any problems with that provider or subsequent ones if you did like I did and eventually dumped the first one?

My first provider for the first two years or so, was pretty good, overall though, as I found out later a bit pricey. Not as high as AOL or MSN, but close - it ran me $20 a month but there was no restriction on the number of hours I was online.

However, after about two years with that company, they sold out to another provider and that was when my problems started. Frequently, I would have a problem logging on to the internet and would get a message about checking my password, etc., and trying again. However, to use the "help" feature available from Windows, the instructions when you got that type of message only applied if you had an account with MSN so that was no help. Plus, these problems almost always occurred about five minutes after 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday and that company had no service help available except from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday! So, if my connection went out at that time of day, my ability to go on line was cut completely until 9 a.m. the next morning unless it happened on a Friday or Saturday and then, I was offline all weekend till 9 a.m. Monday! Very frustrating this was for me - as I would have to call their office and the girl there would do some magic trick to allow me to access again and I would be fine - until the next time....

So after about two years of being frustrated with this activity, my next-door neighbor told me about another provider, one that charged only a mere $10.95 a month and I could sign up for them with no problem whatsoever, so I did that.

That company - the same one I am still using - is Peoplepc.com. And, there are times when things work fairly well but there are also times when this company has to be the most frustrating internet provider ever!

The lady who is the moderator/owner - whatever you care to call her - of the Writer's group I belong to also has this same provider and recently she has been griping a lot in our message board about an issue that seems to be a plague with this particular provider - frequent disconnects!

This is a royal pain in the behind! You can be surfing, going great guns and boom - no connection. Or you are in the middle of a chat with someone you've been trying to hook up with and talk to for quite a while and in the middle of your chat, the connection just goes out on you - no warning, just disconnects.

I've had it do that to me while I am downloading a program that takes forever to download anyway with dial-up and you have to go back most times and start from scratch again. Once in a blue moon you hit it lucky in a download situation and the program will pick up where it left off on the download but for me, those experiences have been pretty rare.

For quite some time now too, I have been having a problem with my e-mail. I use Eudora and often I click into check my e-mail and it dies out on me because it says it can not connect to my server. I asked a friend about this issue - wanted to know is this something with Eudora, my computer or my provider and he told me that too is a provider issue!

So, aside from the cheaper cost of Peoplepc.com compared to some other companies - although I have since heard of a few others who charge in the less than $12.00 a month range and the folks using them had no complaints - I wonder at times if my bargain basement connection is really a bargain after all.

Don't tell me to forget about dial-up completely and to go with DSL or some other high speed connection. For openers, you have to have that available in your particular area and where I live -out in the boondocks - it isn't available in all areas here as yet. Getting closer though as I have heard recently now that some folks who live up on the hill of the village where I live (of course, you might know my house is in the valley, between two mountains) who have been able to get a DSL connection. But another drawback too is that my computer may not be able to deal with DSL and I may need to wait until I can get a bigger and better computer too. In that case, well it's going to be a good long time then before I can hook up using DSL.

But you can bet your bottom dollar, first chance I can get a fast connection and hopefully, one that is very reliable - or at least a lot more so than Peoplepc.com - I'll be switching over my provider again!

I won't mind if you tell me about your providers and how good they are or how bad this or that one was or is just as long as you don't start telling me that I need to switch providers right now because in that case, you will only tick me off more than I already am because of my issues with the provider I currently have. No need to rub salt in my wounds there you know - keep in mind I may not be ABLE to go with a different provider at this point in time -either due to the service not being available in my area or my computer's capacity right now not being able to handle it either. You can tell me how great this or that company is but please just don't say it to me in a manner I might perceive as somewhat demeaning.

Now - tell me about your providers - but only under the above conditions mentioned in the above paragraph! OKAY?

2 comments:

Linda L Rucker said...

You have my deepest sympathy! I can not reiterate enough, If I ever have to go back to dial-up, I will literally go insane and kill something!"

TechieR said...

pennswoods.net was a wonderful provider when I had dial-up. they had helpful, responsive tech support most normal hours of the day. I did billing once a year by check so they discounted me a month or two because they didn't have to send me bills. they were very flexible and reliable. at the time, it cost about $12-13/month if I do the math.

forget earthstinks.... don't even get me going on their buyout of csrlink/upline/onemain! I'm suppressing the rant.

the only reason I left pennswoods.net was because I needed DSL due to increased internet responsibilities or another phone line and it finally became available in my area.