Wednesday, May 28, 2003

The breaking point

Sure enough, 7PM came and went yesterday with no DSL and no update. When I called Speakeasy, the tech I got actually had the audacity to suggest that Verizon's (an East Coast company) commitment of 7PM meant 7PM Pacific.

I told him in somewhat miffed tones that it didn't even matter what time zone we were referring to - they missed the commit time, period. I then went on to state, in a statement to him, a voicemail to his (new since Friday) boss, and an e-mail to the head of the company, the following:

"Verizon missed the deadline. Covad has given you no update. Speakeasy has reassigned the manager who was handling my case before the weekend. This appears hopeless.

The bottom line is this: I can't deal directly with Covad or Verizon. Only Speakeasy. Therefore, I consider this mess to be your fault. If it is not fixed by this time (7:00 PM EDT) tomorrow, May 28, then I will rid myself of your company by any means necessary. If you want the modem back, I'll gladly send it back - smashed and stuffed in an envelope. I have lost all measure of patience with Speakeasy.

You have one day to keep my business, assuming you still want it. If that's the case, I suggest you start calling folks from your vendors now. At home. In their beds. My office is next door to the local CO. I should see trucks lined up when I go to work tomorrow. Personally, I don't think you can do it. Surprise me."

In other words, this relationship is hopelessly broken. Tonight, I'll remove the modem, since there's no way they'll actually get this working. I will then put it in a bag, and place it under the tire of my van, where it will hopefully be crunched nicely.

If that fails, I have a sledgehammer. But that's more work. The remains will go into a very small box and be shipped to Speakeasy's Seattle headquarters. I'll wait until next Wednesday, take the cable modem, and live with the dynamic IP address. When we move, instead of transferring my Speakeasy service, I'll just find another ISP.

The shame and irony of this is that Speakeasy actually has a fairly good reputation among DSL ISP's. And I've had nothing but luck getting provisioned by other DSL providers in the past. The problem lies somewhere in the complicated relationship between Speakeasy, Verizon, and the go-between, Covad. But I have to pay the price for it. Since I'm the customer, that can't be tolerated.

However, I'm not going to just let it die after today's actions. I will be making sure people know just how bad this experience can be. I'll also make sure that the regulators in this state know just how bad this experience can be - if enough people with bad experiences let the appropriate state authorities know about it, perhaps they just might listen and stop the Baby Bells from trampling everyone in their path. But probably not.

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