It takes a LOT to make me fall out of love with something. Usually this implies deliberate and pure bull-headed incompetence from a company over a long period of time. Even so, most of the time, the mistakes that make me angry with them very rarely remain so; they are fixed quickly or superseded with new features that make me forgive them (see: Sansa). However, the past three days is the first time I've fell out of love with a company BECAUSE OF THE PRODUCT IT SELLS. That's right, if you've been following my Twitter, you'd have guessed what I'm talking about.
My Internet connection is non-existent. Or rather, it claims to be Broadband, but is actually wireless dialup, and we all know just how bad dialup is. Couple that with the inconsistencies of wireless and it can only end in murder. Or suicide. Or whatever you choose.
The problem began somewhere middle of last year, but began reaching epic, trying my patience levels somewhere in November. Considering it was Nanowrimo, I was content to merely be connected most of the time. Disconnections in IRC and almost non-existent MSN connections were fine by me, because really, I didn't need the distractions. Sometimes, I couldn't get connected but a call and/or switching the modem on and off would do the trick. I figured things would get better in time.
I was wrong. I was so completely wrong, I'm ashamed to admit that I was once a P1 supporter and fangirl. Things didn't get better.
They got worse.
I started having random disconnections to certain sites. Downloads at night were impossible. Refreshing became a common theme. So was restarting my modem. Still, I was satisfied. 26 days out of 31 and I was connected satisfactorily most of the time. It was still within bearable limits.
In January, I called their hotline to complain and was told that the base station I was connected to was under maintenance. They were aware of the station's many issues and was looking to fix everything by END OF FEBRUARY. Please remember the date. It's VERY IMPORTANT.
So I was patient. I couldn't upload much to my server and had difficulties downloading and sometimes, holding a conversation, but they were aware of my problems. February came, I complained again about the connection, and for most of February, my connection was SHIT. So much that they actually gave me a waiver for the whole month.
At this point I was thinking maybe they were sincere. After all, P1's customer support was top-notch. Their Twitter team had responded to most of my queries and complaints well, and they were always to assist me. I could hold on for a few more days, even if I had to scream at their people a few times cause P1 insisted on dying right when I needed it NOT to (in the middle of serious conversations, confirming freelancing details, researching, etc, you get the drift). I also exchanged my modem as I could not hard reset it. All set, I thought I would be completely fine, ready for February's end when I would get my stable connection back. I was wrong.
February 28 came.
I thought my troubles were solved. For most of Sunday, I could surf with little problems. Timeouts were few and far. Then night came. I was talking to a few people on GTalk when my connection died without warning. No worries, I thought. Restarted the modem, refreshed the page, restarted the PC, all the usual tech support stuff.
No dice. The modem was green, but absolutely NO HTTP traffic was going through, for some strange reason. The most affected was anything with to do with the GOOGLE domain. GTalk, GMail, GDocs. Nothing was loading. NOT EVEN SEARCH. I had to do hard refreshes multiple times to get what I wanted. By this time, it was too late to call the helpline, because apparently P1 doesn't believe that anyone will surf the Internet from 11pm to 6am.
The next day I bitched on Twitter a little. It was not too bad as I could still reach my destination after a few tries, but it was most certainly frustrating. I lost my temper completely yesterday when I came home from dinner.
On March 1, 2010, I could not access ANYTHING. Gtalk was infrequent. 4 out of 5 tweets NEVER made it to my main page. Pidgin and MSN? Nothing. Couldn't access a lot of pages. Couldn't even get to GOOGLE SEARCH. Google, damnit! If there was one thing you could count upon, it was Google.
I bitched about it on my Twitter. It was painstaking, because I had to ensure my tweets went through. Most of the time, they didn't, as my client would disconnect the moment I tried to send a message. The only thing that worked was IRC, of all things!
The wonderful thing about working in tech support previously is that you understand part of the issues you'd face. Considering that I kept getting white pages, I suspect it was the P1's routing table that was giving them problems. They had done the same thing to me last year when I couldn't open Dragonica and a few pages, but apparently they decided to go a step further. They decided to ban Google.
Now, I've uninstalled and reinstalled my Anti-Viruses. I have NO firewalls running. I even did a hard reinstall of Firefox, removing all the profiles, add-ons etc just to ensure that it was not a problem on my end. From what I can see, I can access everything that I couldn't access with DiGi, rather than with P1. I mean, if I can access all these pages with no problems on the same computer but a different connection, that implies that the fault lies on the ISP side.
Today, the tech support guy called. For the first time in years, I did not laugh when talking to him. I am angry. Angry at the broken promises. At the COMPLETE INCOMPETENCE THAT IS THE P1 ENGINEERING TEAM AND THEIR $&^@&@#! MICHAEL LAI. You see, Timothy told me to try a completely different base station, as they were having issues with the base station that I am usually connected to.
Here's the fun part: Moving my modem to a different part of the house was completely useless. Plugging it in and getting to the modem page, I realise a beautiful, wonderful thing. One that made me want to weep yet skin humans with a rusty knife, all to alleviate the pain in my soul.
I was still connected to the old base station even when I faced the new one, and I couldn't even get into Google Buzz, which I can on my DiGi 3G connection. So, to the P1 team:
The Internet is literally my lifeline, you fucktards. Unlike you, I don't spend all my time merely socialising and watching YouTube. I actually write, do research, and make full use of the Internet, like how it's supposed to. And it happens that my weapon of choice is Google.
SO WHEN YOU NINCOMPOOPS BAN GOOGLE AND THEN INSIST THAT IT'S THE BASESTATION'S FAULT, TELL ME WHY I CAN'T ACCESS GOOGLE EVEN THOUGH I MOVED MY MODEM ELSEWHERE AND I'M USING A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COMPUTER! WHY CAN I NOT ACCESS THAT WHICH I NEED TO WORK AND LIVE?
I DON'T WANT YOUR MONEY. I DON'T WANT YOUR APOLOGIES. I WANT A WORKING CONNECTION THAT WAS PROMISED TO ME. FUCKING HELL WHY DO I HAVE TO USE A SECOND BROADBAND ACCOUNT TO POST? POTONG? YOU POTONG YOUR BRAINS IS IT?
Fucking wankers. It's not a fault with the base station. It's yours! It's one thing if I can't access non-Google related websites (even LJ), but Google? Which has a very simple interface, redundant servers, and generally is almost always the last website to go down because they've got redundancies everywhere?
YOU FUCKING LIARS.
Someone, somehow, somewhere, screwed up my connection. From what I know, I'm not the only one afflicted with this non-Google friendly disease. YOUR IP ROUTING IS SCREWED UP, P1! JUST FIX IT ALREADY! ADMIT YOU MADE A STUPID FUCK UP. YOUR DNS SERVERS ARE SHIT AND YOUR ROUTING TABLE IS USELESS.
Just fix the bloody connection, P1. Or else I'm cancelling my contract and taking my business elsewhere, AND Taking you to Small Claims Tribunal to claim back the moneys paid to you the past 4 months.
PS: To edit and post this entry, I had to use DiGi 3G simply because your connection couldn't last at all. How awesome is that, P1?
Original entry as appearing at Reach Into Your Soul.