rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Support Your Local ISP, If You Can Find It.

There's been some confusion with my Internet Service Provider recently. When I got the e-mail notifying me of my bill for December, it asked for double the usual amount. After exchanging e-mails with them, I realized that they had not cashed my October check until early November, and had not yet received my check for November. Thus, they took my October payment to be my November payment, and now their records show that I made no payment for October. Today, the Postal Service returned the letter containing my November check. The company had changed addresses (for the second time in the last few months) and had not filed a forwarding address with the post office. Worse, I decided to convert to an annual payment system (cheaper by five dollars a month) in order to avoid this sort of confusion for a while, and mailed it out two days ago -- to the old address. After I checked the most recent e-mail, I saw that they had indeed given their new address, but had not drawn attention to it in any way, and thus I had overlooked it. Rats! Now they will think that I have missed two payments. I hope they don't decide to cut off my service. I still have Juno as a backup, but it would be a major hassle to go around changing my e-mail address for everything. At least ChicoNet is a local company, and I can call them (toll free!) on Monday to see if the whole mess can be straightened out.

But then the fact that they have kept their new offices for only two months, and are now using a post office box as their mailing address does not inspire much confidence in the company's potential for survival. I'm beginning to wonder if converting to an annual service is a good idea. It looks as though I'll be hanging on to my Juno account for a few more months, just in case. I really prefer the local company, since they don't download badly coded ads onto my hard drive, and don't do stupid things such as refuse to accept e-mail from LJ's servers. (Juno finally quit doing that, by the way, and I could once again get my LJ replies from them, if I had to use their service.) But, if ChicoNet goes away, it looks as though I'll be hunting for a new ISP yet again. Crap. I wish I could just get broadband, but it's too expensive.

While on the subject of flakiness, I had an odd experience with LJ last night. The Xolibur scheme vanished, and the BML pages suddenly turned into something else. I thought the site was breaking, or that I had accidentally changed some setting or another, so I filed a support request. I was told that when the site is very busy, some users experience that. The Xcolibur default suddenly is replaced by the Lynx scheme. I'd never had that happen before, and it was early in the morning, so the site probably wasn't all that busy, but it's all gone back to normal now, so I'll just write it off to a haunted server.

The rain continues. It is less cold than it was, so I suppose there's not much chance of it turning to snow. The continuing overcast means that I didn't get to see Venus this evening. It is appearing in the southwest these evenings, very bright and growing brighter. If you live in a place where the sky is clear, go out and take a look (although most of you live east of California, so Venus has probably already set for tonight. Look for it tomorrow.) Now, I am going to go make some tea and listen to the rain for a while.

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