Monday, March 28, 2011

Verizon DSL, FiOS And A Tip For Windows.

I've had Verizon DSL ever since I've moved out here. It's been great and does what it needs to do for only $23.99 a month. Sometimes, it does feel a bit laggy, especially when the kids visit, but we know how to deal with that and are used to it.

Last week my DSL did not work for 3 days, and it was after the one hour of over an inch rainfall. Naturally, this can cause moisture affecting the connection at the pole.

I decided, let me call Verizon to see if the Pomona/Claremont area has experienced any problems due to the rain. Well, that failed as I got a person from India on the phone. I am trying to ask a simple question for something local, but this person cannot help and they're reading a screen for every thing I say. I know all the procedures for DSL re-setting and explained what I did to them. Instead of getting irritated and call this person names, I said, fine, I'll do what you say again. And naturally, I did and it was the same routine. As she read the thank you and blah blah, she basically said she'll send a tech out... in SIX DAYS!

I told her, look, do you have a number I can call in case it works by then, I have a feeling it will. She gave me a number and I wrote it down. About 3 days later, all was well and the internet was fine. I wanted to wait a few days though, because when it wasn't working, it would seem to work for about 2 minutes then disconnect for hours again.

This morning was the appointment for the tech who was scheduled at 8am. I called their office around 7am to let them know it has been fine for 3 days. They said the tech is out already and to wait for his call. He arrived and called from his van, so I explained it to him and he didn't have to come in.

What a waste of time and money, this is complete bullshit. Not only for the fact that I had to wait six days, but Verizon is actually wasting money when they can have the local office's number on hand to verify a simple problem question that applies to the area.

And my rant now continues into the FiOS upgrade they're trying to force on us. I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but I believe they're 'hiccuping' the old DSL users so that you sort of have to upgrade to FiOS. Just like Microsoft does to old windows users when a new version is released, by constantly 'updating' your old system to a slow crawl.

While they say it'll be $39.99 for a year, it will then bump up to $59.99, more than double what I'm paying now. As a matter of fact, I took my computer to a friend who has FiOS and did some heavy downloading to test it. Yes, it is faster, but it farts along. What I mean, currently I download anywhere between 20K to 125k a second, whereas FiOS can go to 400K or so. But while it's downloading at 400k, it tends to fluctuate, it at one point went down to 19K for a while. Then back to 90k, then 200k, then back to 19k again. It was during the day and perhaps time does matter. My point is, unless I'm downloading gigabytes of stuff a day, it's pointless.

The funny thing was, after the tech left, I decided to do some surfing. It was fine for about 20 minutes, then it started to hang and sometimes lead to connection failures. I almost screamed and said this is going to be a really bad day. I did the following and it's back to normal, in fact, it seems faster! All thanks to the power of Google, not outsourced customer service.

So here's a little tip in case you're ever in my situation, or really, if your internet seems to hang quite a bit for no reason. This error will show if you ever try to 'Repair' your connection:

Windows could not finish repairing the problem because the following operation could not be completed:
Clearing the ARP cache
For assistance, contact the person who manages your network

The Microsoft Windows ARP cache will occasionally become corrupt and need to be cleared. The first symptom you are likely to notice is that connections to web pages will time out and fail. To fix this error, go to Start, Run, type CMD.EXE and then type NETSH and finally type INTERFACE IP DELETE ARPCACHE. You should get an OK prompt.

If you do get an error, you can visit the website I stole this help tip from, as there is another way to do it and this post is already way too long: Tech-Faq's ARP clear

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