Monday, 31 December 2007

A new year, a new start.....

As I am writing this, the world is gradually leaving 2007 behind and moving towards the year 2008. A new year and a reason for a lot of people to think things will changes. Or at least they think they will change them. Yes, the new years resolutions. A good time to start new things but in all fairness, probably not al lot is going to change. Of course there is the kissing and shacking hands with people you hardly know and all the fireworks (and booze) and all those people who will smoke their 'last' cigaret.... But, even tough that's a lot of fun, we'll really just be moving from a monday to a tuesday. The earth is not going to flip upside down, birds will not start to speak and you will not grow another pair of arms. Or at least I don't hope so. But there will be a few changes. Namely prices.

Yes. A new year is the best time for big companies and also the state to change their prices. And funny enough never in your advantage. A few euros here a % or 2 there and you'll be paying an extra 50 euro's a month. And there's not a lot you can do about it. Well, except for that one greedy, idiotic company that said that: 'if you are not happy with the price change you can cancel your subscription before the 1st of January free of any charge'. I took that chance with both hands and gave my internet provider the booth. But why would I want to switch to another internet provider....

Well, it actually is not because of the money. Yes, I will be paying 20 euro's less (13,95 instead of 33.95 ...) for almost the same service but it's more because of the way the kept treating me. I am really happy with regular costumers and try to treat them the best way I can. However, internet providers somehow do not like them. My new provider even tells me that the first year is cheaper and that I should switch to another provider after a year or I'm going to pay more for the same.... strange. But at least they don't lie about it. No, my current (ex)provider likes to screw over their regular costumers. I have been with them for about 5 years, always payed right on time and never shouted to their annoying tele-marketeers that kept bothering me with all kinds of nonsense. But still they found it necessary to poke me up the a-hole.

Yes, 5 years. Or maybe even more. I lost track of time with them. All I know I was one of the first that signed up for their services. They said they couldn't ensure everything would run smoothly because it was all new, but they were going to do their best. Well, I couldn't expect more and considered myself one of the brave to accompany them on that bold journey, to put it very dramatically. Well, all didn't run smooth. But I didn't have other options and they were kind of the best I could get eventough they were kind of expensive. And for them to turn the prices up was kind of logical if they wanted to improve their services. And making everything even more expensive when everything was running good (at least, that is what they claimed) wasn't that strange, because they had to pay for al those investments. Then they changed the subscriptions and I got more for the same price.... more of nothing, but to them that still is more. So I wanted to downgrade but I couldn't get the cheapest because that was only for new clients. But I could go down one step and get the same as I had for less. And it costed me only 30 euro, for them to push 1 button. Then they wanted me to pay automatically. Right after they had send me a completely wrong bill, I thought that wasn't a smart thing to do. The fine for not paying automatically wasn't that high but somehow got more and more.... And after a while I was almost paying the same for my downgraded version as I had for the faster one.

But I could life with all that. It wasn't until 2 months ago I got a letter that really pissed me off. 'A gift for our loyal clients' it said on the front. I was flabbergasted. After all those years I get something? I opened the letter and did get something. A kick in the cohonas that is. If I would sign up for their telephone services I would have to pay less for my internet. No, not free telephone. Less for my internet and free telephone. (Do note that free phone does not mean you get to phone for free....) That might sounds great to you but in my mind thats blackmail. I don't want a phone. I have a cellphone with already to much minutes left. And because I don't want a phone... I get to pay more for my internet then everybody else. That's like going to a petrol station and only getting a discount if you buy meat from them. If you are a vegetarian you'll be getting your petrol somewhere else, right? Well, I was going to get my petrol... uhm.. internet somewhere else. So where to go. I went straight to my mobilephone provider, which now also provided internet services. Haha, sweet irony.

Done? Not exactly. There is this thing called silent prolongation. When I had downgraded, my provider had made it so that I would automatically get a 1 year contract that would be prolonged with another year (every year) without me having to get a notification of that. Every 2 years I get a new cellphone because I sign up for another 2 years of cellphone service but internet.... they kind of steel that from you by not telling you. And your stuck too. And there is this thing that if you switch, your new provider buys you out from your old provider, but somehow it was not going to work in my case. I was stuck but was not going to give up. My old provider even called me (maybe they think I need a phone because I might like to annoy people over the phone as much as they do) with the same offer as in the letter, which I actually even considered for a moment. But I was not going to give up and I was going to terminate my contract one way or another. And then there was the letter. After all these years of bills and stupid 'don't you want more' letters, I got something I needed. A letter with the text '... terminate free of charge' in it. I read the letter and laughed my ass off. They said that they had to change the prices for the first time because of all the the things they had improved costed al that much more money. Haha. They forget that I am a loyal regular costumer, who has seen numerous price changes and no improvement at all. But what ever, I had my letter.

So now we get to terminate the contract. Yes well, uhm.... First I checked the site with info on the free of charge termination. It showed a phone number to call to terminate, which I called. The funny thing is, the only reason I would need a landline phone for is to call them, but the free phone is not free when you call their numbers. Interesting, isn't it. Anyway, the number I had called told me after 5 minutes of nonsense that it was not the right number to call. Right. Then I called their overall number. 6 minutes later I was going to get connected to the right person. BUT, they where extremely busy so it could take up to 15 minutes. Scare tactics 1 on 1? Within 2 minutes I was talking to a very friendly lady. I told her I wanted to terminate my contract, she asked me if I didn't want another contract. I said no, she asked me if I really didn't want a phone line. I told her I didn't want a phone and was not willing to pay more for less. Their and then I kind of broke her logic and she was going to terminate my contract. You would think. 'Oh dear. This is going to be a problem': she said. 'Your silent prolongation was on the 6th of december' which I replayed with: 'I got this letter...' 'Oh, ok. I didn't know you got that letter because not everybody got that letter' she said. The letter with information that is also on the site..... Damn, they are persistent. But termination was going to happen. On the 1st of January I would be free. I would get a letter and a box and we would be done.

And they lived happily ever after..... NOT. No box. No letter. But I did get a bill for next month. Say what. Termination on the 1st of January, bill for 1st of January to 31st of January. That kind of got me confused. So after christmas I went to their shop. The shop where you can only get information and buy stuff but they can't solve problems for you. Smart, because else it would be one mega big building with thousands of employes. I asked the girl behind the counter what my status was as a client and why the bill was sent and she told me my internet would be terminated on the first and I had to pay the bill so they could give me back the money later. I did my zombie impression and said 'Hu?' she repeated her answer, I said 'ok, thank you...' and stumbled out of the shop. Pay for something you are not getting, I still don't get it. And not paying it either, but that's for next time. But anyway, 2 people told me it was done. Getting my new contract I would call a calculated chance.

So after all this I will be getting my new internet on the 21st. Yes the 21st of January. I knew it was going to take 3 weeks to install but because of al the nonsense and waiting it was to big a chance to order my internet sooner. 3 weeks of no internet. It sucks. I'll be annoying my mother and friends with constantly checkin my mail at their place, but still replays will take a while and no updates on blog or online portfolio for a while. So I'll leave you with my ravings and rantings for you to enjoy......

I just hope I will be online on the 21st and everything will work out fine. It just gets more and more difficult to do most simplest of things..... That would be a good new years resolution for a lot of people.

ps. Just before I tried to send this they canceled me. That is at 16.12 I am paying for another 8 hours I am not getting. I am so happy I got rid of these guys. To bad I didn't cancel my tv license with them.

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