in which i survive three days without internet, or how rogers (maybe) punishes former customers

Sometime late on Thursday night into Friday morning, our internet went down. This is the worst possible time for such an event, as internet is our lifeline to baseball, and the Boston Red Sox are on their way (I hope) (I believe) to winning the World Series.

From the sound of things, there were problems at some major internet hubs in the area, with massive outages affecting parts of Mississauga, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, and so on.

What was the problem? When could we expect service to resume? TekSavvy wasn't able to tell me... because Rogers wouldn't tell them.

I have been Rogers-free since March of 2012, and I have been extremely pleased with TekSavvy. TekSavvy's customer service is excellent, their tech support is excellent and local, and they deliver more internet for less money. I pay about 30% less for unlimited service at a higher speed; that is, I paid Rogers 30% more for capped usage at a slower speed.

The only sticking point is that TekSavvy is a re-seller. They contract with Rogers and other cable and DSL providers to use networks and technicians. And Rogers doesn't make it easy. During this recent (and unusual) outage, TekSavvy said "the vendor" (i.e. Rogers) was giving them no information on what was happening or when the issue might be resolved.

When I woke up to no internet on Friday morning, I told myself, there was no game that day, and we had until 8:00 on Saturday. It seemed highly unlikely that we'd be without internet for that long.

On Saturday morning, we still didn't have internet, and I was getting worried. Our Halloween program at the library kept my mind off waiting, and when I came home on Saturday, I rushed to the computer. Still nothing.

By Saturday evening, hours before the start of World Series Game 3, I was a bit panicked. I have a smartphone, so I could see my email. Our home phone is VoIP, but I can live without a home phone for a while. But... baseball!!

Saturday at 8:00, and still nothing. A friend who is a Red Sox diehard texted me play-by-play of the game! (My hero!)

Sunday morning, still nothing. TekSavvy still has no word from Rogers.

Sometime during the day, we realized that the sports radio station in Toronto would probably be carrying the national World Series broadcast. I'm so accustomed to thinking of radio on the internet - that's how I listen to the local Red Sox announcers - that I had forgotten about regular, non-internet radio. The Toronto station probably didn't broadcast all the playoffs, but the World Series would be on for sure. And it was. I happen to love baseball on the radio, so I was happy and relieved.

And Sunday night, while listening to the game, I absentmindedly turned on the TV and saw that the Roku streaming device had a connection. We came back online late Sunday night, about 72 hours after losing access.

So, does Rogers screw with TekSavvy and TekSavvy customers?

On one end of the spectrum we have total innocence and coincidence: Rogers had a huge outage, and although TekSavvy was not kept informed, TekSavvy customers were in no worse shape than Rogers customers. On the other end we have total conspiracy: Rogers targets TekSavvy, making TekSavvy customers unhappy with their second-rate, discount service, and more likely to switch (or switch back) to Rogers.

In the middle, we have a gray area where the outage affects everyone, but Rogers conveniently puts TekSavvy at the bottom of its to-do list, and makes sure it gets to everyone and everything else first.

Here's a possible precedent. About 12 years ago, my phone service was "slammed" - that's when a telco illegally switches your phone service without your permission. After the surreptitious switch, they either charge you exorbitant amounts for calls, or charge you a termination fee to leave. Or, if you don't look closely at your phone bill, you just pay them and continue doing so. My service was switched to an AT&T affiliate. The AT&T customer service representative assured me that it must have been an accident, because a reputable company like AT&T had no interest in stealing anyone's business.

After my service was switched back, I reported the slam to the FCC. The FCC rep told me that AT&T was the number one slammer: it slams thousands upon thousands of customers every year.

You can draw your own conclusions about Rogers.

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