PSA for October 17, 2017

So here’s my lesson learned for the week. I share this with you all so you can learn from my mistakes.

In this modern age of technology, internet service providers (ISPs) are a must-have. Without a internet at home, I cannot stream binge Netflix, check my email or Facebook or any other social media, work on my blog, lose hours on Pinterest. And did I mention Netflix? Sure, I can use my phone and my data plan to do these things, but that becomes burdensome and potentially expensive (or at least slow when AT&T decides I’ve logged enough time). Plus, streaming TV on a small screen just isn’t the same.

Like many urban dwellers, I get my internet service from my cable provider. It’s a package deal because somehow it’s cheaper to do both cable and internet (or all 3 if you also get phone) than just one service. (It’s the kind of math I don’t understand, but there you go.)

So I had cable and internet through Cox Communications, the local service provider for my area. When I originally signed up for service, Cox talked me into a big package by promising me a gift card after 3 months of service.

WRONG!

No, you only got the gift card if you signed up for the triple-package (cable/internet/phone) and my account showed my service changed from the triple to the double-package. (That is not what they told me when I signed up, but apparently “[I] misunderstood.”)

My irritation revolves around cable. I had this big package with eleventy-billion stations and of course, a larger-than-I-wanted-to-pay bill. I actually watch about 6 stations because there is never anything on the other eleventy-billion-minus-six that interests me. (Honestly, I prefer to wait until the entire season of a show hits Netflix and binge the whole thing in commercial-free bliss.) So when they told me I “misunderstood” about the gift card option, I immediately said, well then I want to cancel cable. 

Now this is Cox Communications. And if you’re familiar with Cox, you know that unlike Comcast, Cox doesn’t give two cents whether you cancel or not. You try to cancel with Comcast and they will miraculously find you a new deal or a slightly different package that costs less. Not Cox. The Cox representative simply said “Okay, please hold while I cancel your cable.”

After putting me on hold several times for a total of ten minutes, the representative finally came back with a “I have cancelled your cable service.” And then she dropped the next bomb. “With no cable, the price of your internet service will be $110.”

WTF?!?

That was not that much less than what I was paying for both cable + internet. When I expressed this, she told me the cheapest internet-only service she could offer me would still be $80.

Seriously? Um, no. $80 is like Comcast’s bestest internet option. I had paid around $40 for my run ‘o the mill internet with Comcast. (Of course, cable/internet prices, like gasoline, varies by zip code. A lesson I learned last year when I moved from one zip code to another even though I was still in the same city.)

So I immediately said, I want to cancel internet. Just cancel the whole thing.

Again, Cox doesn’t argue because clearly the customer is always right. The thing I didn’t consider was that Cox cancelled all my services right then because I didn’t provide an alternative shut-off date.

But at the time, I didn’t think about it. I was just irritated and wanted to be done with Cox and the ridiculously large bill. I already had priced Verizon’s Fios (which luckily is available in my area). And once I was off the phone with Cox, I turned around and called Verizon to set-up service.

The Verizon rep was fantastic. I explained what I wanted and he walked through the various packages with me. And Verizon offers this neat-o option where you can choose your TV stations (they have 6 different pre-set packages based on interests, so I’m not loaded down with those stations I never watch).

But here’s the hitch. This all happened last Tuesday. The earliest the Verizon tech could come out and set it all up today, a week later.

Seven (7) whole days without internet.

SEVEN WHOLE DAYS WITHOUT BINGING NETFLIX!

Okay, yes, I realize this is a total first world problem. And I clearly I overcame the lack of internet by going to my friend’s house and using her internet (because I posted on this blog yesterday) and by taking my Chromebook to the local Starbucks (thank goodness for coffeehouse wifi).

But learn from my mistake. If you’re going to change ISPs, schedule the install for your new one before cancelling your current one. Don’t be forced to live a week without Netflix.

You’re welcome.

 

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Where is Home?

My colleagues and I have been debating the question where is home?

On the one hand, we have K who vehemently believes that home is where you live right now. For K, this is a very black and white issue with a wrong answer and a right answer.

On the other, we have nearly everyone else who considers that home is not necessarily where you live right now, but is different for each one of us with no correct answer.

This debate got me thinking about what home is and how my concept of home today has changed from what home meant to me 10, 15, or even 20 years ago. Continue reading

Perfect on Paper

When writing about yourself, your story is just that . . . your story. You script your life to meet whatever end you need. You can neglect the bad, highlight the awesome, and accentuate the funny.

In other words, you can be perfect . . . at least on paper.

Or you attempt to do the above but fail . . . sometimes spectacularly so (and sometimes crash and burn amidst the bad grammar).

This is especially true in dating profiles. Continue reading

Pumpkin Spice, Ghosts, & Novel Writing

It’s that time of year.

No, I’m not talking about PSL* time at Starbucks . . . and every other place that sells coffee or pastries or really any food product that pumpkin flavor can be added. (Really, Trader Joe’s, pumpkin flavored tortilla chips?) The pumpkin spice craze has gone a bit too far IMO, but I digress.

And no, it’s not that fall has arrived. Or that it’s the season of all things paranormal with Halloween right around the corner. Or that it’s the start of the countdown to the Christmas holidays.

Nope. It’s NaNoWriMo Time!  Continue reading

New Fave Author: John Scalzi

Everyone once in a while, I will put an inquiry out on Facebook for new reads. (Because I don’t have enough in my actual to-read pile (only 18) or on my Goodreads to-read shelf (a mere 345)).

Among the many recommendations I got a few months ago was John Scalzi’s Redshirts.

13055592.jpg Continue reading

Have You Heard About PageHabit?

I receive newsletters from several of my favorite modern authors. I got one today from one such fave author and in it, he gave his newsletter subscribers a heads’ up that he is doing a limited run of an annotated edition of one of his new books via PageHabit.

<SQUEE!!!> Continue reading