08 April 2017

phone follies

Our relationship with CenturyLink was strained big-time when our move was not handled properly. I sent them a note on their website that we were moving, but we still received a bill. Two calls and six months later we were finally disconnected - only to get a collections call several months later, and a ding on our credit just as our home loan closed. Strained indeed.

We've been using two cell phones plus a cell-based home number for a year or so.. but this past winter our signal has been really poor. To my chagrin we chose to return to a land-line for our home number; given no real choice, we had kept our internet with CLink. We shifted our home/cell # to a SIM card, picked a new home number, and it was 'installed' last month. An internet+home phone offer online offered a $100 gift card as inducement, but to my infinite lack of surprise our install was a change not new service = no gift card for us.

For about five days all went well - but then our internet flaked out And our new phone stopped working. A service call placed the blame squarely inside our home, meaning that without their monthly extortion / LineBacker coverage the expense to us would be a Big Deal. We said Hake NO, disconnected our new service and went with VoIP instead. PhonePower accepted the new number and ported it over, and all was well.

For about three days.

Apparently CLink pulled the number after PPower made it work, but before the 'official' install date! How it functioned for several days without being installed, I'll never know - but nothing about this surprises me any more.

So we now have three cell numbers + a new phone number that vanished* + a VoIP home number. 
For three people, that's just silly.. but for now we'll see how it goes. The newly-ported cell number is hooked to different cell towers than the other two (T-mobile not ATT) so it could conceivably capture a better signal than the other two. That might lead to new SIM cards all around - or just as likely I toss the whole bunch and go Luddite after I go bald from tearing out my hair.

*Update - I just called someone with caller ID, and the fully-operational voIP number is the 'vanished' one! AAAaaarrRRGH!

2nd update - c-Link turned us off for non payment the same day pPower was "installing" our new phone. We have contacted Hughes Net and will cut the clink cord next week. Good Riddance.

We also ordered a WeBoost 3g signal-plucker to assist our cell phones. 
One or more of these will bring us back into contact with the connected world; whether it's worth doing will wait to be seen!

18Apr updates. The VoIP phone calls out but would not be reached from Elsewhere by either of the two numbers; it finally worked (once at least) this morning. The WeBoost system is working well in test mode i.e. cables everywhere and lashed to an outside post with a bungee cord. A more permanent fix will follow soon.

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