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Monday, July 22, 2019

Life on the Wild Frontier


Who needs 21st century technology to have fun?
Sorry, but there's no actual blog posts today and there may not be one for several more days.
On Friday , a technician from Frontier was screwing around with a junction box near our home and managed to knock out our phone, television, and Internet service.
After multiple phone calls, each lasting at least an hour with most of that time on hold, Frontier says they won't even come out to look at the problem until this coming Wednesday. That's six days without any service and no apparent regret on the part of Frontier.
Yet.
I'm sorry for the inconvenience , but I'm too old  and pissed off to try  writing a Blog  on this stupid smartphone. And no, I still can't have any darn alcohol!
I assure you I haven't been kidnapped, or silenced, or gotten into any black limousines with Hillary Clinton. I'll be back as soon as possible, and in the meanwhile if you have any thoughts about how to screw over Frontier, by all means leave them in the comments section!








56 comments:

Dan said...

Well, krep.
That's all right. We'll keep on checking in on the chance you go hang out in a starbucks for the wifi and sharps container.
I wonder if there's a way to hook up a regular keyboard to a smartphone?

Unknown said...

Bill them for lost revenue????

REM1875 said...

Technology is overrated anyways ..........Pretend ya got hit by a twister ....or see how much your relatives and kids have aged in the last 20 years.
When life hands ya lemons squeeze what can into alcohol and whip the rind at who ever did it to ya ...... not sure which self help or holy book that comes from.... but it's there ... I am pretty sure ...... sorta ....

What the hell is frontier doing in your part of the metroplex ...... they are usually in counties where the population ain't big enuff to get anyone to investigate ....or pay attention to em....

Jim Lane said...

Their attitude sounds about like Hughesnet, my satellite Internet provider. ANY kind of service call has to come through a "vendor"; the closest one to me is the next state over, and regardless of who's at fault, *I* have to pay for the service call, even if it's just to "remind" the satellite that I'm a paying customer after it "forgets" me. And no, in the rural mid-south where I live, there is no other Internet provider---period---unless I want to try tethering my computers, TV and Kindles to my Verizon cell phone account. No thanks!

Wish I could wave a magic wand (or a bottle of good Scotch!) and make your troubles go away, Stilt. Good luck!

TMay said...

Sounds pretty standard. I see posts from Salinas that they have ATT and a service said to try theirs and they can have both for 30 days and they said yes. Then found out after the worker left that the worker cut the lines for ATT. Then a person posted and said "No you can't use both, it is a dedicated line, and you have to make a decision on the one you choose to use", which info one would think the competing business would know, and you would think that lying to the customer first off does not a happy customer make. It is probably related to the way the second business set up compensation. Hi-Tech is cut throat IMHO.
And I won't go into my computer and
e-photo woes.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

I'm currently using fiberoptics courtesy of my local electric cooperative. Ten times as fast, half the price of cable or AT&T. Might want to look into that...

Or you could bob for apples on a chair. It's all good.

Anonymous said...

I've had my share of problems with phone service where the line goes down and they take days to start the repair, or they fix it for it to go out again the next day, so frequently that it is just not worth having a phone.

I've found that if it is not a metered service (like electricity where the power goes out and the meter stops turning) but a 'subscription' service, where you pay a monthly fee, you get their attention by deducting the days where you have no service from the bill. Any attempt to collect those days is met with a threat to notify all the neighbors of the deduct so they can do the same thing.

Generally it's just small change, but it sure makes an impression.

Ray

Fish Out of Water said...

Sounds like another example of the lack of choices/inequality of internet access and service between the urban areas and 'out there '.

Jbook40 said...

Are you sure you haven’t been silenced?
I am pretty sure Frontier is run by one of those East Coast Liberals.

jpb252 said...

I have relatives in rural Arizona who also use Frontier as it's the only game in town (or actually out of town) and they all have their own horror stories. My condolences.

WoodworkerDon said...

My internet connection goes out from time to time. I don't know where you are technology wise, but I turn my smart phone into a 'hotspot' then link my computer Wi-Fi to it. a little slower but it works fine.

Keith said...

File a complaint with the state public utilities commission.

Jerome Boyle said...

Completely off topic... you wrote about your attack of the jerkies, with your arms and legs flailing about as you slept. I am dealing with something akin to that. At it's worst, my left eye lid, my left chest, arm and leg jerk like I've been shocked. (It is hard to eat soup) Have recently beat it back to just the leg, but I don't dare try to nap. After trying a number of medications, some of which caused remarkable side-effects, I have settled on 4 ropinirole (sp) and one large melatonin, before before trying to sleep. I start the dosage at 3:00 PM and get to sleep by midnight. This would be swell if I didn't get up at 5:00 AM. BUT I AM SLEEPING! Have you any suggestions? I don't know anymore than my leech does, so I am pretty much stumped.
PS: Thank you for you good works. Jerome Boyle

Fred Ciampi said...

After having frontier net and going through the same trials and tribulations I discovered what is referred to as a hot spot. I got mine from Sprint. It is about the size as a pack of cigarettes but only a quarter inch thick. It is just like a mini wi-fi. Might be worth checking out. One cautionary note; DO NOT LET THE STORE SELL YOU ONE MADE IN CHINA!!!!!! I went through several, they kept swelling up and getting really warm. I finally ended up with one made in Viet Nam. Works great.

Happy hunting.

Anonymous said...

I'm a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) for my country neighbors. No one would give us good net connections in our country setting, so I built a system to supply me and it has also made 100+ neighbors happy.

Keeping people connected is a real issue and you have a valid complaint but I tell my customers that the net is nice to have but no one is running their "Iron Lung" on it. If it goes down we will get it ASAP but sometimes it is out of our control (like when a tornado goes through the neighborhood.) IF the net goes down pretend it is 1985 and read a book or talk with someone.

Hope you are getting better from the gut issue.

Warm regards,

Zot

p.s Years ago I was stationed at Eglin AFB in the Florida panhandle. Many cars had a bumper sticker the "Shit Happens." A new base commander decided that was not for polite company and ordered them removed. It took no time for new stickers to appear that exactly matched the size and type face with the words "Guano Occurs." Guano DOES Occur often in real life. Z

Dastardly Dan said...

1) As Keith said, get the State Public Service Commission on the phone and be a royal PITA. Repeat the calls until the problem is fixed.
2) When I have had similar problems and promises to have it fixed within 30 days, I've told the provider that I work from home and my work requires internet access. I've seen wait times go from 5 days to 3 hours.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

I'm sorry you're going through all that! My jerky movements have improved a lot although are very much with me in that weird State halfway between sleeping and waking. My doctors have never figured out anything in no particular combination of medications has seem to have an effect for me. But after over a year it's trending better, so I'm just trying to be happy with that. Good luck!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Readers, thank you for all of the support and suggestions. I do intend to make a royal pain in the ass of myself , not just until this is fixed but afterwards too. I appreciate the suggestion of using my phone as a hotspot, only I'm a cheap old bastard and use a TracFone which doesn't have that capability.

I'm stuck with Frontier service because they bought out our previous provider, and it was an immediate disaster. They had no training or ability to handle the service needs of what they took on. This has been an ongoing disaster but they've pushed me too far now. A Six-Day backlog on repair service when there has been no natural disaster or emergency shows plainly they're not Staffing up enough to do the job competently. I will be in touch with every Regulatory Commission and am considering putting a giant Banner in my front yard announcing that Frontier sucks. I also plan to bill them for the new glasses I will surely need after squinting at this damn little keyboard for days on end.

Speaking of which , I'm sorry about the teeny tiny text today but it's the best I can do.

Rod said...

Remind them that they think YOU are pissed off? WE are pissed off; and we are legion.

If this came to you through the back door today, not the front.. it's because we are south of you today and not north as usual. In fact: Houston/Katy, TX.

cridge said...

I have friend who lives a block from a Frontier repair facility and it took 10days to have a repair completed.

Anonymous said...

Alas, Frontier isn't a very healthy organization.

They had us on hold for 9 weeks for an upgrade that on the installation date the technician confessed they couldn't deliver. Two months of thumb drive shuffling with another location over their hollow promises. Turned out Frontier couldn't afford the central hub upgrades they promised and were taking sales orders to use. The Frontier gear never went in and there was no new availability date.

Even with the old level of service the internet and supposedly POTS landline were down often. Frontier was kind enough to send me texts, as if we didn't already know when we had been cut off from the outside world by another of Frontier's failures.

Did I mentioned that I started tracking my time on phone calls with Frontier and when we bailed I had over ten hours of phone time with Frontier trying to get the services they promised.

Took but a few days to get everything moved to the cable company. I still cannot even pay off Frontier as they went loopy reverting my account to the previous homeowner, subdividing it between operating partners, and suddenly I now longer have Frontier & Company's permission to access and manage my own account.

A second Frontier service in a location where they are the only hardwire option for phone and internet has been as frustrating. Frontier service outages at least once ever 48 hours ranging from just enough to reboot the security system to dead internet. At one point they decided we needed a new underground wire, which apparently involved their nameless subcontractor (mis)using his ditchwitchy thing to sever the connections for nine of our neighbors when he apparently confused turning "left" with "stage left" or some other location debacle.

Predictions are that Frontier is challenged enough that restructuring/regrouping/merging is in the cards. Mostly likely any change will improve the end consumer's experiences.

So the question becomes whether to ride the transition out, or switch to a stable & responsive provider (if you can)?

I could go on about my Frontier calls to service coordinators obviously moonlighting taking Frontier calls while standing in the midst of a noisy daycare, customer service folk who spent a half hour or more with me to tell me "I don't know how to fix that" and who had no resources or script to even pass me on. Or being put on hold long enough to watch the phases of the moon change....

Good Luck and enjoy your "downtime" courtesy of Frontier!

KY said...

As a former employee of AT&T we used to laugh at the "independents" as we called them,(Frontier, General, etc.) but now AT&T is no different. Verizon is no better and was in fact a crappy independent at one time that took the plunge and went all in on cellular. I am in KY and our state idiots at the PSC let them out of their franchise agreement so we have NO advocate to complain to. (I can't imagine how much money changed hands over that decision.) AT&T and Verizon do not want landline service anymore, especially out in the sticks. They want you to disconnect and go full cellular so they can abandon their old dilapidated copper cable routes when the last customer disconnects. This explains why they give you a ridiculous service appointment to restore service. Couple that with offshore reps that can't speak or understand English but can apologize fluently in 15 languages and you know they don't care, even a little bit. That leaves bottom feeders like Frontier who are buying up the old poorly maintained copper cable networks. They never did provide any level of service so they don't understand what your problem is and of course they don't care either. The only real solution is a crooked politician who will threaten them with consequences they aren't willing to suffer. The other possibility is to move to a "concentration camp", also known as a large city where they actually want to provide service to millions of lemmings that live there. As a once respected politician said, "I feel your pain".

The Redhead said...

I'm with Rod. We ARE Legion. And we miss you.

Sortahwitte said...

Harley!.....Harley! Wake up, son and light off the B-1. We got a job in Dallas! Someplace called frontier or somethingorother. What's the location? Well, hell, I don't know. I'm sure we can find it. These people have committed a mental assault and general screwery on our brother Stilt. It's time for the mother of all paybacks. 4, 500 pounders should do it. Don't screw with old people. They don't really mind going back to prison. It beats a rest home all to hell.

John said...

We are out here in the Teas Hill Country in ranch land (50 mile round trip to the grocery store) but fortunate to have a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) that provides great service and consistent bandwidth. It's relatively expensive but worth every penny to me.

The advice to get setup with a mobile hotspot is a good one.

eny said...

Been there with Frontier. The first year we had Frontier I had over 48 hours logged on the phone( talking and on hold)with various problems in a three month period !

Terry said...

Stilt, we are always happy to hear from you no matter how tiny the print! Thanks!

Terry

Lindy said...

The independence of a server being an encrypted butt makes for misery, but keep being the agitator. Love you posts looking forward to plug in time. nd a thousand poxes on frontier....

Unknown said...

Good luck.

I look forward to seeing your blog again in a couple of weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!

Duke of URL VFM#391 said...

Surely there a good shyster-grade lawyer near you, one who would love to take Frontier on for a 50% contingency fee...

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain: I gottem too.
Question: Why do the English drink warm beer?
Answer: They all have Lucas brand refrigerators and Frontier as their electrical power supplier.

Tim said...

Since you have a smart phone, you can probably set it up to be a WIFI hotspot, and then connect your computer to your own WIFI hotspot to access the internet. I do that when I'm on the road or local WIFI is down. Sometimes it is a bit slower, but it does work. I have an Android phone, and it is pretty easy to set up.

John the Econ said...

So did this tech take out the whole neighborhood, or just you? If it was the whole neighborhood, their lackadaisical attitude is astounding. If it's just you, it just shows how committed they are to you as an individual customer.

Kinda a metaphor for how "single payer" health care is going to be treating you in a few years.

Just for amusement, I might try calling their sales line instead of the customer service line. It's always amused me that telecommunications providers advertise how quickly they can get you signed up and on line, often within 24 hours. Once you're a customer, that enthusiasm for rapidity disappears. At least get them to comp you for at least a month.

The only suggesting for screwing over your provider would be firing them, but that decision would probably be based upon what your alternatives are.

While living at our former environs in the southeast nearly two decades ago, we ditched most of our POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) land-lines for VOIP (we were early adopters of the technology) because of cost. (At the time, a fully-featured VOIP line was half the cost of a basic-level POTS service) I did keep one POTS line as "redundancy" in case our cable Internet service failed. Over time, our remaining POTS line started suffering a slow death. (Slowly increasing noise and availability until there was dial tone at all) I had called AT&T previously to report the line's diminishing performance. Once it was gone for good, I was told it would be a better part of a week to restore it. At that point, I thought "I'm paying $40 a month for this kind of 'redundancy'?" I waved AT&T goodbye, and converted that remaining line to VOIP as well, and consider our cell phones our "redundancy". (Most of my current VOIP lines are costing <$6 a month)

I've got "unlimited" data on my cell phone. ($60 a month) Should our cable Internet go down for any significant amount of time, (which it's only done once in the last 5 years) I can run most of my office network off my cell phone and at least get my work done.

In the meantime, I hope you can survive your banishment back to the '80s without alcohol. We'll be standing by...

John the Econ said...

@Dan asks, "I wonder if there's a way to hook up a regular keyboard to a smartphone?"

Yes, there is: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R8GUN1K/ Although I see that the one I have is not currently available, there are plenty of other types available.

I carry this in my "travel" bag because I detest having to type at any significant length on my phone or tablet. I've been using these since my "Palm Pilot" days of the late '90s.

Tethering: Unfortunately, not all phones or carriers permit it, especially the discount brands. It's dumb, since data is data and how you consume it shouldn't matter to the carrier, but they want to eke out every penny they can. I have it on my Cricket plan, but I had to upgrade to the $60/month plan from my former $30/month plan.

DavidD said...

Bobbing for apples floating in a washtub full of water would be even more fun, though.

Brie Camembert said...

I guess that you just need a private server in your basement. Nudge, nudge, wink wink.

Colby Muenster said...

Hoo boy! And I thought Spectrum was bad. Every time we call them with a problem, they spend at least 30 minutes on the "This MUST be your fault, reset your router" train, then will begrudgingly agree to send a tech out, who usually shows up the next day. The last time a tech came, he immediately jumped on the "your fault" train, then after 40 minutes of farting around, found that the outside cable had a splice full of water. He tried to blame THAT on us too. "Why'd you put this splice in?" says he. Says me, "You a-holes put that splice in. Why the eff would I cut then splice the cable?!"

At any rate, hope you get your service back soon!

In the meantime, I'd suggest a nice campout. Go pitch your tent in Frontier's front lobby.

Anonymous said...

Since Frontier took over Verizon my service has been crap. If it rains, there is static on the line so bad you can't use it for a few dry days, and right now the internet is so slow I can't log on to most anything before it times out.

Dan said...

@John the Econ -- Thanks for the tip. That's in the neighborhood of that which I seek. (Was going to say "what I'm looking for" but I was admonished previously that a preposition is something one should not end a sentence with.) (/s)

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Fred if you could tell me what brand and model you got that you like, I'd be very interested!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Readers, it's great to read your comments and suggestions and War Stories during this, my hour of need. You guys are keeping the Jarlsberg family from going all Donner Party.

Sorry about the teeny tiny type on the blog post today but I have no idea how to change that. Also I'm doing all of this by voice dictation so if the wording turns a little more surreal than usual please forgive me.

The idea of a smartphone being used as a hotspot is very appealing but I have a cheap ass TracFone and there's no way to make that work.

I will definitely be looking into what ever technological backups I might be able to use in the future.

I spoke to a customer service representative today, and I use the term service in its most hilarious sense, and I got no further trying to resolve this. However I just might have made a recording of the entire call in which the customer service guy admits that a 6-day weight is not uncommon with Frontier.

I've also since learned that the Connecticut office is even more screwed up and what we have here in North Texas. So much so that Frontier employees can't wear their t-shirts with company logos when going out to lunch because they will be verbally attacked by outraged customers.

I will also be looking into the VoIP options for phone service if only to deny Frontier as much money as possible.

I apologize for not being able to respond one-on-one to all of your comments but I sure am enjoying reading them. Keep them coming!

Unknown said...

Dr. Jarlsberg, you must be in SW Florida, perhaps Cape Coral. A friend there has been without internet services since Wednesday.

Others, in SoCal are fit to be tied whatwith constant interruption of internet. I think its the govt testing a new operation. No, I am not a conspiracy nut, why do you ask?

Rick

Fred Ciampi said...

Stilt, my Hotspot is a Franklin R850 Mobile Hotspot. I got mine from Sprint but most cellular providers carry them. You can go to the cell store and be online within 37 minutes of getting home. Here's the manual for it; https://www.calyxinstitute.org/sites/all/documents/franklin_r850_mobile_hotspot_ug.pdf
Happy hunting.

Valvenator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valvenator said...

I'm really surprised at how well the voice dictation works.
I only noticed one boo-boo where wait became weight, other than that...?

Joseph ET said...

My work around when I have small text to deal with is to copy the text, then paste it into a blank email or blank document. Then I can enlarge it to my liking. Also works on small images up to a point. Chrome browser has an extension called "reader view" which I find useful to read many web news pages.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Readers, well there's been no progress whatsoever as of Tuesday morning. No one is calling and no one is offering to do any repair work. Looks like it will indeed be sometime Wednesday before Frontier bothers to offer actual service to a flyspeck such as myself.

The anxiety that this situation is causing was only Amplified yesterday evening when I learned that my daughter what's involved in what could have been, but wasn't, a serious car accident. She spun out at high speed on a highway, but fortunately there was no Collision with another car and she ended up with no damage although pretty shaken from finally coming to a stop facing oncoming traffic. Had the worst happened, it certainly would have been inconvenient not to have phone or internet service. Not that Frontier apparently gives a damn.

Let me repeat that I really appreciate all the comments here , and I hope you folks can put up with the voice translation thing I'm doing on my smartphone. It's not perfect but it's better than tapping out code on the pipes of the Hanoi Hilton.

Fred Ciampi said...

Did ya look into the hotspot thingy? BTW, if you do go that route, get the program with unlimited data. Happy hunting. And a pox upon frontier. And a fi to them. So there.

Sortahwitte said...

So glad to hear daughter is OK. I know morse code if it comes to that.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Fred, I haven't looked into that device yet because I think it probably requires a service plan with a phone company,right?

Sortawitte, rather than using Morse code I'm thinking of smoke signals. Don't ask what I plan to set on fire in order to get the smoke.

Fred Ciampi said...

AhhhhhhHa, yes it does. _ .... ._ _ ... .._ _._. _._ ...

John the Econ said...

I just said a little prayer of thanks that Daughter Jarlsberg's guardian angel was on duty yesterday evening. Thankful that a scare was the worst of it.

As for your ongoing disconnectivity issue: In addition to communicating with your local PUC, (public utility commission) I'd find out when Frontier's franchise is up for review or renewal. (My guess based upon their current lackadaisical attitude is that it is "no time soon") Put that on your calendar along with your notes from this stellar customer no-service experience. You may have to wait awhile for your revenge, but you will get some.

Years ago in our former environs, I ran the neighborhood listserv where people suffering mediocre service from Comcast could commiserate. I was eventually contacted by and coordinated with some state legislators who were happy to help on the issue.

You never responded as to if this was a "Jarlsberg only" event, or the whole neighborhood.

Fred Ciampi said...

One more thing; you also have a 7 day 'buyers remorse' window. Yay.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

John the econ, I seem to be the only one in the neighborhood afflicted. I'm about 95% sure that it was actually Frontier that cut off my service by mistake. My internet was working when I took my dog for a walk, on that walk I saw a frontier service man working on a circuit box by the street, and when I got home all of my services had magically disappeared.

Had it been a general outage I'm sure our Collective neighborhood would have had more clout in getting repair. But since it's just me they decided it would be my turn in the barrel for 6 days.

I will most certainly be contacting all supervising entities in the future, and you can damn well bet I will be at the next hearing talking about their franchise renewal. I will probably try to gather additional complaints from Neighbors, and it doesn't seem like that will be very hard to do.

Your observation that this is a good metaphor for Medicare and other forms of total government control is really on the nose. I'm mad as hell and yet I'm essentially powerless. There are no other good alternatives and the people in charge don't really care if I quit their services or not. Which is why I'll have to make the extra effort to become a massive pain in their asses.

Alan said...

Here's how stupid I am. I paid Frontier for a whole year, $480 total, for a POTS phone that never worked one single day. I just kept on thinking that they would fix it and they never did. For a whole year.

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