Advice

The best advice I’ve received regarding the tech-sector job situation came via someone I hadn’t talked to in a long time. At the end of the conversation with Jason, I realized that as long as I loved working with computers (which I do), my determination to be the best I could be (how trite) would enable me to survive. Cause I’m not doing this for money – I’m doing this because I truly enjoy working with computers. I enjoy interacting with them and thinking up interesting solutions…

It’s been somewhat of an on/off period in terms of writing. Causes? Chalk some down to SimCity 4 and the Palm Desktop again. I still haven’t got repeating tasks working, but besides that I think I’ve used almost every feature I really need. Now I just need the info to go with it ;) On the day that I bought my Palm I ordered a pack of Writeshield Zire 71 screen protectors. After a lengthy conversation with the people at PocketPCTechs they determined that the Zire 71 was the exact (or very close to excat) match. Being as a I live in Canada and didn’t want to pay the duty when buying from the States, I ordered from HandHeldCanada.

Now HHCanada’s website is _not_ Mozilla/Opera friendly. In fact, whatever they’re using as the backend was written with IE in mind. Besides that however, when I received my package from them, I found that they’d shipped me the wrong package! Fortunately, their customer service seems (so far) to be very helpful. They’ve asked me to ship the package back (they pay postage) and they’ll ship me my correct package. Maybe I’m expecting too little from retailers. I definitely expected some form of hasslement ;) Yeah, I know hasslement isn’t a word…

Let’s hope that they ship the replacement screen protectors on Tuesday itself – I’m worried about wrecking the screen on my PDA.

Now Cybernet…. Ah…there’s a different story with regards to customer service. During my last term at Waterloo I ordered internet access from Cybernet. Why? In Waterloo Rogers is dog slow and Bell (at that time) had a 5GB cap. Since I routinely downloaded Linux ISOs, I felt that this would be an issue. Cybernet offered a 12 GB cap for the same price. So far so good… When I picked up the DSL modem at Cybernet, I noticed that there were _no_ DSL line filters. Somewhat surprised, I asked for one but was expressly told that “Rental modems don’t come with filters” Hmm. At any rate, I nicked a line filter from my home and used that instead ;) I also asked when I had to return the DSL modem. I was told that I had up to two weeks _after_ the disconnection date to return the modem.

The problem happened when I tried to disconnect my service. First I asked the procedure to return the modem. My service ended on the 6th, so imagine my surprise when the lady on the line told me to return the modem before then. !!! What?! I said that I’d been told I had two weeks to return the modem. Uhuh – return before the 6th or face a $10 charge for keeping the modem. She spun me a long story about how if I was allowed to return the modem ‘late’ they were being depreived of revenue. Maybe she doesn’t know Rogers has a more sensible policy of allowing their customers to return their modem in a certain period _after_ their service is done.

At any rate, I was going into exams and was in no mood to argue, so I swallowed my dissatisfaction and said that I’d bear the $10 charge. That would have been the end of that, had it not been for…the line filter. She asked me to send back all the cables with the modem, as well as the line filter I’d been given. At this line, alarm bells starting clanging in my head. “Excuse me, you’ve made a mistake. I never received a line filter from Cybernet – I had to get my own. In fact, I was specifically told that rental modems do not come with line filters.” She disagreed and stated that I _must_ have receieved a line filter and I had to return it (or pay up). By now I was thoroughly pissed and dug me heels in. I categorically refused to send back _my_ line filter or pay any money for a line filter I’d never recieved and had been told I wasn’t entitled to. After a good amount of back and forth, she gave in and told me to just send whatever I had (stressing “all” the cables).

This entire incident left a bad taste in my mouth – so much so that I talked to Justin and said that I would never order from Cybernet again because of the rude way I’d been treated. In fact, the way she was going on, one would think I was out after their cables and line filters…. Man… Was that the end of it? No. When my Dad went to return the modem (cause I was writing an exam) they demanded a line filter from him _AGAIN_. I mean, WTH?! Knowing that I’d taken one of our own line filters, he too refused to back down.

Ok people – get your story straight – either rental modems have or don’t have line filters. If they don’t have line filters – don’t demand them from customers!

Things to take away from this:
– Ask very carefully when you have to send back your DSL modem (before or after termination date). Ask if there are any fees. GET THIS IN WRITING!
– Make sure the ISP sends you a list of equipment you are entitled to. Again, in writing. If you’re getting access from Cybernet – make sure you get their line filter. DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
– Take anything else away from this writeup – the above two are the only pieces of advice I am giving…

Comments

  1. The Voice - October 13, 2003 @ 21:50

    Yeah, ISPs suck! You remember how we didn’t have internet for a month? Hence, I’ve sworn off Primus as an ISP… and now Cybernet vicariously through you. Since Bell brought back their unlimited upload/download, they seem to be the best bet for DSL

  2. Allen George - October 15, 2003 @ 23:50

    Agreed. Here are two sites I have found very useful:

    http://www.rbua.org
    http://www.canadianisp.com

    You better believe some negative feedback’s going on canadianisp.com

    At this moment you’re right, with unlimited upload/download and a nice steady connection speed they are definitely the ones to go to for DSL. Incidentally, do you use DSL or cable at your house? We’re using DSL here, but that’s because we don’t have/want cable tv…

  3. The_Voice - October 17, 2003 @ 13:55

    We’re using DSL at home, but that’s mainly because it involves less hassle from the man, and because we don’t upload very much… yet.

    Yo, G-Dawg, I’m looking to get a laptop for the new year, as it’d be easier than moving my comp back and forth from school, and considering that the laptops at dell.ca are HALF what I paid for my comp but nearly 3 times more powerful. What do you recommend.

    OH!!! And my brother is seriously considering getting a decent priced Palm/PDA. I figured you’d be the best bet to ask about that bit of info… drop me a line at pgvildys@pgvildys.com with your dieas on that… keep in mind he’s looking to spend under $500 CAD.

  4. Allen George - October 18, 2003 @ 18:15

    No problem Paul!

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