One or the other…

I did not have any internet connection until the end of 2006, I think when, for my birthday (or Christmas), my missus and daughter registered with a service provider and got me this external modem…

Huawei external modem

It was the cheapest package – RM68.00 a month but it was good enough for me and I was able to do everything that I wanted.

Then, my daughter, who was in Sungai Petani at the time, complained about how poor and unreliable the wireless broadband connection in her teacher training institute was so I went and registered with the same provider so that she could have internet connection of her own as and when it pleased her. I took up the RM98.00 package for her so as to be sure that she would not have any problem with the connection and this modem came with it…

Vodafone external modem

At the end of 2009, before she went over to New Zealand, we decided to terminate one of the accounts and we decided that the cheaper one that I was using would be the one to go – we were thinking that when subsequently, she would have to go back to Sungai Petani for her final year, she would be able to use this one again.

Unfortunately, the modem decided to call it a day so I moved the SIM card to the old modem and thus, I was able to go on enjoying the connection.

However, if you may recall from this post, I had a problem with the connection and in frustration, I took up another package of my own and this time, I got this modem…

Celcom external modem

The following week, I went to settle the problem with my daughter’s connection – I got a new SIM card – they replaced the old faulty one with a new one free of charge and I went and bought this new modem which cost RM128.00…

ZTE external modem

I am keeping my daughter’s account alive so that when she comes home today, she can have instant internet connection and she can bring this modem with her to Sungai Petani when the new semester starts in 2012. At least, it is not so bulky – being small and handy and she would not have to go through the hassle of bringing along and connecting the wire all the time.

The connection has not been very good lately (unlike when I first started going online via this provider – probably there were very few subscribers then) – as a matter of fact, lately, I’ve been paying for 3G broadband connection but most of the time, I am online using EDGE or GPRS – their mobile phone line. One good thing that has come out of this is the fact that I have become a very very patient man.

Then, the other night, there was completely no connection whatsoever – using their own CELCOM external modem…but I was still able to go online using the ZTE’s modem but only with their GPRS connection. So, I called their customer care service to find out what the problem was.

I pressed 1 for ENGLISH and did all the other steps exactly as I was told. After a few minutes listening to all kinds of adverts and promos, a girl’s voice came on the line. I explained to her the problem and then she asked me to hang on. So it was back to the adverts and promos – the same ones over and over again and after what seemed like an eternity (I was considering whether I should hang up and call again), the girl came back…and told me that there was a service schedule (I think she meant scheduled servicing)…and everything would be fine again by 12 noon the following day.

I asked her whether we would be given a rebate for the lost time – seeing that they would be taking so long and why the customers were not informed via sms – we would get a lot of those asking us to buy extra bandwidth and a whole lot of such things…and she could not explain to me why I could go online using my daughter’s line and modem…and not my own – with their own CELCOM’s modem. The girl was struggling with the language and barely managed to give some vague and evasive answers all the while and eventually she switched code and spoke to me in Malay…

That was the last straw! I scolded her for not being proficient in English and I had pressed 1 for English. If I had wanted to  speak in Malay, I would have pressed another number…and I was so tempted to say, “You ingat you ini jual nasi lemak ke apa?” but I was civil enough to refrain from doing so having been forewarned that the conversation would be recorded and to be fair, my nasi lemak lady can speak fluent English! So I just went on ranting to my heart’s content, “You cannot speak proper English and you want to work for an internet company? Bla…bla…bla…”

The next day, I found out that it was NOT a scheduled maintenance thing – there was something wrong with their fibre optic that day and thus all connections were interrupted and they were in the process of repairing it. That girl could have told me that…but perhaps, she was too handicapped by her limited command of English to enable her to do so.

Now connection is back to NORMAL and mind you, that does not, in any way, mean that it is good…if you get what I mean. Sigh!!!