Old phone company-new phone company, and other miscellaneous traumas

Everything was just hunky-dory fine. We had Verizon for our land line phone, cell phones, the internet with DSL, and that tied into Direct TV.  We’d had this arrangement for years and years. Occasionally we asked for more.  Why couldn’t we get FIOS?  It was a Verizon product.  “Sorry”, said Verizon, “your house is at the end of a service area and too far from our central office”.  They also added that they would need to upgrade lines in my 60 year old neighborhood and, well, that wasn’t going to happen. Oh well.

Still, things seemed to OK.  Some computer problems.  Some issues with slow computer uploads or slow sending. Nothing major. Then, during a routine check-up with our computer tech, we were told how slow DSL was compared to newer methods.  But, to get a better method we would need to ditch our current service and we know from past experience that new phone lines and internet in a house with 2 PCs, an iPad, a laptop, a mobile hot-spot, 2 mobile phones, and 1 landline never is smooth.  Fate, however, tipped our hand.  Verizon had sold its internet to AOL and its land line to Frontier.  Ugh, change.  We were going to have to change.  My attention deficit overloads at the mention of the word “change”.

The first information we got from Frontier seemed hopeful – new lines, upgrades, better service.  Then, they actually took over.  My neighborhood is well linked via the Nextdoor.com website and there were plenty of stories about billing problems, loss of landline service for a month or more, and erratic internet connections.  Nevertheless, we waited and waited.  When our computer person again encouraged us to switch, and Frontier made it clear that the promised changes were not weeks away but perhaps a year or two, we made the big change.  We switched to Charter/Spectrum for landline and cable.  We set an appointment for 3 p.m. on a Thursday.

Who would need to know about the switch?  We’d heard that you could keep your Verizon.net email address for a while, but after that you would need to change to AOL.  Whether or not that was/is true, we chose to change to email not linked with a service provider.  New addresses and the long process of letting friends, web pages, newsletters, etc. know of the new address began.  When we changed our email address with the company that services our house alarm and sends its quarterly bill electronically, Hubby thought it good to give them a call to confirm they had the new address and that they would notify us of a problem both via landline and cell.  The alarm company checked and discovered that they did indeed have the new email address but with the new service there would be an analog/digital issue and it would need to be solved with a $150 piece of equipment.  The service tech would be at our house at 10 a.m. the day of the big landline/cable install.  He arrived, spent a long time getting everything to work, and left – after knocking a box of 500 plastic forks off a shelf, which hit a basket holding odds and ends, and that hit a vase which hit the tile floor and broke into many small pieces.  The tech apologized profusely. I got the broom, he insisted on cleaning up the mess.  Step 1 handled.

2:25 p.m. the Charter/Spectrum installer called. Could he come early?  Sure.  He was there in 5 minutes.  The 1-hour install turned into a 3-hour install.  We have 5 televisions, plus the networked computers.  He was here to hook up the landline and cable service, not troubleshoot the computer system.  Nevertheless, when he left everything seemed to be working. It was an illusion.  TVs were fine.  Computers were not. Of course it took a bit to figure all of this out because we had to give our computers, laptop, iPad, and cell phones the new network password.

Our computer tech worked over the phone with us for over an hour and everything seemed to be working well, again. Hubby called Frontier and told them to stop our service. Then something happened just before going to bed – I wasn’t able to print to any of the 3 printers. It had been a long technically challenging day and a good night’s sleep called louder than a computer glitch.

The next morning, I broke the news to hubby that I couldn’t print.  We were able to fix a bit ourselves and then got our computer tech on the line and he took over my computer and cleaned up some things.  Still though, not everything was working.  Hubby called Charter/Spectrum, demanded to talk to a supervisor and said “NO, next week is not OK”.  They scheduled someone for that afternoon. Luckily the iPad and laptop were working using our portable hot spot for internet links so we could continue working.

When the install/repair person arrived he tried everything he knew to do but the PC to printers link was just not working.  In frustration he called the office and they sent out another person.  That took 20 minutes.  That person walked into the house, looked at the office, and asked “did you set up the printers with the new IP address”? Duuuuu.  A . . . um . . . . no.  What new IP address?  He went to the computer, looked at printer setup, put in the new info and boom, each computer was able to print to at least one of the printers.  However, he explained, he is a phone/cable installer and not a computer specialist.  Sorry.

So now it is a week later and our computer tech is in house, working at getting each computer to print via each of the three printers, installing Microsoft 10, and performing a general cleanup of the computers.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I’ve sent out email to my personal contacts asking them to delete my Verizon email and giving them my new email, and have a good start on the newsletters and catalogs.  Nothing makes you realize how much “stuff’ you subscribe to than needing to change the email address to which they send it.

Can you relate?  How do you handle email changes?

Every Day Is A Good Day.  VJ

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