Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Last year I posted this account of my dealings up to that point with Qwest and their heartfelt dedication to incompetence. Well, recently we were able to dump Qwest in favor of Comcast, in a "the enemy of my enemy" kind of situation. So here's an update of the dealings with Qwest since the last post.

I detailed the situation with our two accounts; after I finally convinced Qwest that we didn't need two phone numbers, we got them to cancel the temporary account. However, in what was admittedly our bad, we inadvertantly paid three months worth of bills to the wrong account, after we forgot to update our bank's autopay. This meant another round of calls between myself, Qwest and the bank; the bank had to send Qwest records showing that the payments had been made (even though they were showing in Qwest's system, just on the wrong account). Qwest swore that they would simply redirect those payments to the correct account. After another month worth of twice-weekly phone calls, they did.

For the most part, we were happy with our satellite and DVR service. Oh, sure, there were fewer HD channels, and I missed the Video-On-Demand that Comcast offered, but at least...wait, what was the appeal again? Oh yeah, saving money.

Then came the day that the local HD channels stopped working. ONLY the local channels, mind you (not counting the local HD channels they didn't offer), the other HD stuff came in just fine. So I did some Googling and found our how to reset the receiver. When that didn't work, I finally bit the bullet and called.

I explained to their CSR what the problem was, and what I had tried to correct it. So naturally, the first thing she did was to start talking me through the process of resetting the receiver. Well, whatever, maybe this person at the company knows something the internet doesn't. Why do I still fall for that idea?

Just like before, the resetting didn't work. After I convinced the CSR that resetting the receiver a third time wouldn't work, they agreed to send out a technician. Imagine my surprise when the tech actually showed up on time, and hey presto, got the problem (whatever it was) solved. So once again, we were able to watch CSI, Lost, My Name Is Earl, and additional CSIs in glorious, bandwidth-throttled, artifacty, high-definition.

Until the channels went out again a month later.

This time I didn't bother with Qwest, I just went ahead and bought an antenna. Yes, it was a specially designed, high-tech piece of machinery, designed to offer the best HD signal available.

But it was still rabbit ears.

In the 21st century, when I'm paying a buttload every month for HD satellite service, I still gotta put a pair of rabbit ears on my TV. And they never worked right. I'd get NBC perfectly, only to find that CBS is now fuzzier than my head after a night out.

(in our next installment, I detail why the satellite dish sat inside our apartment for months, and how Qwest proved to be a sore loser)

And actually, not cheaper.
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