It was like being back in the Dark Ages

Monday evening, I came home and found that my DSL service (DSL Designs, and I’m not providing a link on purpose) was down. I wasn’t surprised to be unable to reach a human being at my ISP, because it’s a small operation, but the recording on their service number said that it was a Verizon problem and they were working on it and it’d be fixed soon. So we decided to catch up on some of the backlog of stuff waiting on the TiVo — no problem. A couple of hours later, the phone rang — it was the Rabbi asking if I might be able to help her, because the Temple’s Internet connectivity was down. I thought they were using a different ISP and said that my ISP claimed Verizon was having problems — so she decided that the problem could wait till the morning.

I had to stay home on Tuesday morning — and there was still no DSL. So I used a modem to call into work (one of the nice things about Lotus Notes is that you don’t need continuous connectivity to deal with e-mail); I called the Temple and found out that yes, they were on DSL Designs, too, and they were still down. So I called tech support, and they’d changed the recording; it now said that service was down “due to a discrepancy with Verizon” and that service would be restored later in the day.

The message said the same thing Tuesday evening. I called Verizon to try to get the real scoop, and all that the tech there could tell me was that the service had been suspended — the actual connection was just fine, but no data was being allowed to flow.

No change to the recording on Wednesday. Wednesday evening, I drove over to their office, which was closed; there was a note on the door saying the same thing as the recording said.

Thursday morning dawned, and there was no change. I decided that I should start trying to find an alternate ISP; since I hadn’t had very good luck with Verizon resellers, I tried Verizon itself (same price, by the way), but they said that their ISP was at capacity and they couldn’t help me (though when and if DSL Designs released the lines they owned, they might be able to provide service). I didn’t want to wait forever (our only access to the ‘net was via dial-up to work, which wasn’t appropriate to set up on Jeffrey’s machine), so I asked around at work and heard that Speakeasy was pretty good, so I called them. Someone answered on the first ring, and my order is now in the works (fortunately, I have two phone lines at home, so I can order DSL on the other line instead of having to wait for service to be released).

I came home Thursday — still no service. But the recording at DSL Designs had changed! Now it said, “The Judge has ruled. All DSL Designs/Verizon customers will have service restored by noon tomorrow, and we’ll be open to take your calls tomorrow.” I was skeptical.

We went off to see Michael Chabon give a reading with commentary at Villa Montalvo. It was excellent, and made me want to read more of his books. So when we got home, I wanted to order them from Amazon. I opened up the laptop, and, to my amazement, I had high-speed connectivity again!

And it was still up and running this morning. But DSL Designs is still not answering their phone (you can get into their system, but whether you call sales, service, or billing, you get told, “sorry, we’re closed; you can leave a message”). If I can figure out how to contact them, I’ll cancel the service — I’ve paid through the end of the month, and Speakeasy should be up by then. I hope. If not, I guess I can get by for a few days without real access at home…as long as the TiVo is working, anyway.

Shabbat Shalom!