Midwest Knit Girl

Phone Service – Not

Posted on: October 25, 2007

Last week (starting 10/17 to be specific) we began getting odd phone calls. The phone rings, we (well, one of us) answer it, and it’s not for either of us. It’s for Bob. But there is no Bob here. We’ve since had conversations with Bob. Read on.

Bob moved out of our city some years ago and took his old phone number with him. For some reason last week when Bob used his phone to call out from his house our phone would read ‘line in use’. Which is kind of freaky when the two who are in the household are next to each other and neither one is on the phone. Hmm. So hubby picks it up and discovers there’s someone talking. He tells this guy to get off the phone because he’s thinking that Bob (we actually don’t know his name at this point) has boosted his phone signal illegally like they used to do in the cb days. (For those who are too young to know what cb means, here’s a link for you at wikipedia.) For about 3 days all parties were getting annoyed. We’d answer the phone thinking it’s for us (silly us) but it was someone asking for Bob. We’d go to use the phone and it would say ‘line in use’. What the heck?

That’s when we realized we had lost caller id and then we lost the dial tone altogether yet could still hearing a weird ringing sound, like a phone ringing, in the background and a lot of static anytime we picked it up. Then about that same time we lost the internet.

1. We’ve had 4 technicians out here and Bob has had them as well (we now like Bob, he’s in just as much of a mess as we are).

2. The phone wires/cable in our neighborhood are OLD. Super duper old. Which also means that there’s no more room to add any other numbers (we thought and asked tech number 4 if we just switched to a new number and new connection that all the bad stuff would go away, not so).

3. Tech number 1 thought he had it all figured out. But he didn’t. Though he did find out that Bob lived a lot farther away from us than originally thought (we were under the impression he was just a block or so away).

4. Tech number 2 also thought he figured it all out when what was done was now undone, seemingly, again (lost the internet after tech 1 was here which is why I’ve had sporadic and short posts as I’m afraid to type for too long). Though I credit tech 2 for realizing that a wire was broken along the big cable at the top of the post and fixing it. He too thought all was well. Then we lost the dial tone and internet that night. Again. But see number 5 below, we didn’t lose the dial tone and internet until after tech number 3 stopped by. Curious, yes? I’m just noting…

5. Tech number 3 came along right after tech number 2 saying he had just received the call. We didn’t want him touching anything since at that time everything was working. He said he had to do his tests and then he’d leave. So he did. He left. Everything stopped again. Then the phone started to work and we had caller id back but no internet. Fortunately at this point, I didn’t really give a rip about the internet because I’ve been sick but it was pissing me off that no one could fix the problem completely. Then we lost the dial tone again.

6. Tech number 4 actually decided to check the freaking modem and the dsl connection to see if something was wrong there. Brilliant! Yep. Errors on the dsl connection (which I think just cost us $85 bucks because it’s not covered by what they call linebacker but you can bet with all of this hassle they’ll be crediting our account for all the problems, think about it, we didn’t have reliable phone service or internet for 6 days so I want credit for that AND if they should charge that $85 they’ll be crediting us that as well). He checked outside and determined that ta da!! The phone cables can’t take anymore wires in our neighborhood so that access will be intermittent for internet until they can figure out a way to get it on a line that’s not full. So what’s happening now is that so long as the cable isn’t ‘busy’ so to speak, we’ll get internet access. What’s weird is that we’ve had dsl since May so why is this happening NOW? He couldn’t say but was very apologetic – sincerely so.

Before he left, tech number 4 said two things – one, he’s going to contact the cable guys and get them going NOW on this and two, when the dust settles and all is taken care of that I call the phone company and request demand a big credit. Damn straight, mister. 

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