Saturday, October 6, 2012

Internet Outage

I feel like having a tantrum, and sadly I don't have a tiara to go with it.

Our Internet connection inexplicably died yesterday morning, just as I was beginning my standard daily round of blog-reading. It was very strange: One minute it worked, the next it didn't. I shut down my computer and the router, rebooted everything, and nothing seemed to help. Finally I called BT, our Internet provider, and the guy at the call center walked me through some diagnostics that finally revealed we do, indeed, have some kind of network problem. Theoretically BT is fixing it. I'm told it could take 48 hours.

Being disconnected is really not that bad. In fact, in some ways, it's kind of nice -- an enforced Internet vacation. But as is often said, you don't realize how much you depend on the Internet until you don't have it anymore! If there's an upside, it's that we're on a break from school until Wednesday, so for the next few days I won't need a connection to do my job.

Now I'm sitting in a Starbucks a few blocks from our flat, sipping a pumpkin spice latte, listening to Ella Fitzgerald singing "Cheek to Cheek" and being thankful for free coffeehouse wifi.

By the way, here's my beef about call centers in England: Many times, companies and utilities here make you pay to talk to someone at a call center. For example, BT charged me 14 pence per minute to talk to their call center yesterday -- and a good chunk of time I spent on hold waiting to connect to an agent. The same thing happened when I had to call Dave's health insurance company to discuss a claim a few days ago. I think it's fairly outrageous to make me pay to correct a problem caused by someone else, but apparently that's how they do things here.

Last night I went down to Greenwich for a pub outing with Sally and Mike, and the visiting Kim and her friends. It's always great to connect with distant blog pals when they come through town! I also popped into a bookstore and picked up a couple of amusing London photo books by this blogger, and I'm thinking, if he can do it, why can't I? Indeed. Motivational food for thought.

Dave and I are off tonight to see "Looper," the new Bruce Willis flick, and maybe have some Thai food. Tomorrow we plan to check out Brighton, on the southern coast of England. Photos to follow, if and when our Internet connection is restored!


  1. Can't wait to see your pictures!

  2. Hah, funny play on that silly reality show Toddler and Tiaras! It should be Tantrums and Tiaras! And hey, you might look pretty good in a tiara!

    mmm, pumpkin spice latte! Soon we'll be fixing ourselves a autumn drink that we just started making. It's lemon infused vodka, cointreau, apricot nectar, vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

    I hope they fix your internet!

    Can't wait for pics of Brighton!

  3. I've heard that Starbucks is having a shortage of the pumpkin syrup for their lattes - glad you got to have one!

    I think I would be pretty twitchy without internet access after about 24 hours. I THINK I could last that long without having to find free Wi-Fi. Maybe.

  4. P.S. I'm curious to hear what you thought of Looper!

  5. DANG! The internet has a problem there- that happened to me when I was there and I thought it was my new laptop. It took two days to get sorted! Starbuck's is good for something! Your photo is very funny- the two go together so well.

  6. Is the 14 pence a minute the cost of your mobile phone call or would it cost that as well if you were calling on a standard home phone? I know in Australia it is expensive to call such companies on my mobile phone as they usually keep me on hold for at least 15 minutes, whereas it is only 18cents regardless of time on hold if I use my home phone. I'm also looking forward to photos of brighton as I had a lovely visit there in 2000

  7. Oh my gosh, how can they justify charging to call a "call center"? That really is outrageous.