1 EAGLETON NOTES: Dotage and Broadband

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Thursday 9 May 2024

Dotage and Broadband

I might be considered to be in my dotage and I might still be deaf as a post. I'm hoping that the latter will be remedied next Monday (the former being incapable of a remedy) and that the 1½ litres of warm olive oil in my right ear and the Otex in my left ear will have done the trick and the nurse can syringe my orifices successfully. Until then I can't even hear the keys being struck on the laptop. 

However, I am really peed off today. I was up at 0630 with the intention of having a really productive day. After having abluted (which, rhymingly, is the ablative absolute) I started checking my emails. Then my broadband started dropping again. It's been doing this for ages and it's very annoying. I tested the speed when it came back and it was 4mbps download. I'm supposed to get about 30mbps but I've NEVER had more than 23 and I consider 15mbps pretty good as a rule. 

It was 7am. wotthehellarchiewotthehell why not waste some time seeing if I could get something done about it. I have had a Vodafone mobile phone since 1990 and have always been very satisfied with the service and value for money. When I started with Vodafone Broadband a few years ago it was great. Any problems (the line blew down one day for example) you picked up the phone and instantly spoke to someone. Forget it. You "speak" to chatbot or noone. (which given that I'm temporarily deaf is probably a Good Thing). However the algorithms don't contemplate the possibility that one may be having a sporadic fault so after ¾ hour of fruitless going around in circles it offered me the opportunity to speak to someone.......and then closed down. 

However when I tested my speeds again they were the best for months and, so far, my connection hasn't dropped out for over 30 minutes. 

As a post script I should add that I have discovered that if I put my earbuds in I can actually just hear someone on my phone so can at least communicate on the mobile phone if absolutely necessary. 

35 comments:

  1. Oh how I understand your frustration, Graham. I find it so incredibly annoying when the only way to sort out a problem is to speak to someone over the telephone as I invariably cannot hear them clearly enough on the landline to carry out a sensible conversation. I shall have to use my Bluetooth hearing aids more and add a lot more credit to my pay-as-you-go mobile in order to hang on for an hour or more waiting for a customer service adviser to answer !

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    1. We use Vodafone Pay As You Go 1 service on our mobile - after the first call of the day charged at £1 all remaining calls that day are free. We've also looked at their Big Value bundles for mobile internet - I currently get 7Gb/month for £5/month.

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    2. JayCee I was really making the point that the use of the Vodafone ChatBot gets one absolutely nowhere these days and that speaking to a real person is almost impossible.

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  2. 'wotthehellarchiewotthehell' intrigued me, so I looked it up. Fascinating!
    I hope your ear problems are soon sorted.

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    1. Janice, I fell in love with Archie and Mehitablel many years ago.

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  3. You’ll be glad to get your hearing back to normal, Graham. Then you’ll be able to speak to people with strange accents in foreign countries who can’t help us at all, but learn to repeat our names ad Infinitum, inquire whether there is anything else they can help us with and wish us a nice day.

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    1. David, the problem is with Vodafone at the moment you can't even get that far.

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  4. I didn't suspect ear wax. I thought it was more serious. I'm pleased to be wrong. 30mb/s is not that great but I think enough to watch videos. I don't know about your area of the world but here local websites are burying or removing their phone numbers on their websites. Clicking 'Contact' is no longer revealing phone numbers. It is more efficient to Google the name of the organisation and 'phone number'. Many things can be done online, but not everything.

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    1. Andrew, if I got 30mbps I'd be deliriously happy. That is what I'm supposed to receive. I usually get about 13 bps. These days the house runs on things which need wifi and soon all our telephones will come over the airwaves too. There will be no physical lines to the houses. I hadn't noticed the absence of phone numbers replaced by 'contact' but having a quick look that does seem to be the case.

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  5. Ugh. Broadband was, for a time, a real issue here. I spent hours on the phone with Breezeline, and this was no exaggeration. They seemed most preoccupied with assuring me that there was no problem. They showed me a link that I could test my own internet speed, and I followed their instructions, and every 20 seconds the reading showed me that yes, my internet speed was adequate. Aggravating because I was still having all manner of problems using my wifi. It occured to me and I changed the frequency of the readings, receiving them every second instead of every 20 seconds. The problem would clearly be seen. You could see that my internet speed was lagging, dropping, picking up, lagging again multiple times in that 20 second cycle. The worst part? There is no alternative service provider. Breezeline is the only one. No competition. They finally did get the situation sorted out but it took months. I filed a complaint with the FCC.

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    1. Debby, we have multiple providers but they all use the same infrastructure to the house and it's all maintained by the one company - Openreach. Unfortunately the public cannot communicate directly with Openreach.

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  6. How frustrating, Graham. Sometimes we have to just turn everything off here - computer, modem, wifi, and restart to get it going again.
    My new hearing aids are helping on my phone with bluetooth so I can hear better but they seem to be slowing down my phone when it comes to videos on Instagram or YouTube so I will have to check into that. Altho, I do ask myself how important that is considering I never watched videos on my phone for most of my life but now that I can, I sort of enjoy it! ;)

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    1. Ellen, the 'turn everything off' routine applies here too on occasion. Unfortunately my house runs on the wifi system from printers to light controls and all the computer gadgetry. Sometimes I wish that I hadn't become such a gadget geek.

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  7. Glad to know that with earbuds you can use your mobile phone if necessary. (As little as I normally use mine for talking these days, I know it would worry me if I could not use it for voice calls at all!) Hope you'll find yourself back among the Hearing next week - and that your broadband keeps working as well! I'm wondering now and then if I'm really getting the speed I'm paying for; but considering that I use it for several different devices I guess it's not all easy to say... (?)

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    1. Monica, you should be able to tell on your phone or lptop using an appropriate pp what the spped is and so long as it's the speed itself you are testingthe number of things using it should not affect the incoming speed itself.

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  8. Your Broadband sounds so annoying. I'm very fortunate here in that I can hook into son's business line and it is fantastic. I do hope your hearing comes back with the appointment. My other son had something similar recently and when his ears cleared he was blown away by being able to hear all sorts of little noises (it apparently takes the brain a little while to adjust to sounds again).

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    1. Margaret, the broadband is annoying. I'm just counting the hours now to the hoped for ear remedy .

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  9. Suction is the preferred method on mainland UK for clearing earwax and syringing is rarely carried out these days. The suction clinic where I go does not require any softening agents to be used beforehand. It is just suck and go. I hope your broadband remains stable.

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    1. Rachel, I'm not sure what method they will use at the clinic I'm attending on Monday.

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  10. Sorry you are having a time of it. Good vibes things are smoother for you audio, video & whateverio

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  11. I hope your internet problems are now resolved. And that before long you are hearing again.
    Meanwhile, I'm having connection problems and can't publish my comment.

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    1. Pauline, the internet has been okay today for the short while I've been using it but I'm not holding my breath.

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  12. I hope your hearing comes back. When we are hard of hearing we start shutting down. I stopped listening to the radio.

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    1. Thanks, Red. I'm hoping that I only have a ew more days of impairment.

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  13. It sounds to me as if you need some compensation. If you're paying for a certain service, that's what you should receive. I would send them a stern letter.

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    1. Cro, Vodafone were paying out at one time when they discovered a fault (which, ironically, I hadn't noticed, but recently they have done nothing to acknowledge our problem never mind remedy it.

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  14. It is very annoying when something we rely on doesn't work as usual, especially when you know YOU have done nothing "wrong".
    Of course I rely on a stable internet connection for work, so if that should fall through, I would have to travel to the office every day, wasting a lot of time just to get there and back.
    Back from our holiday since yesterday lunchtime, I now have a long list of posts to read before I start writing my own, but I don't think I'll read and comment all the way back to where I left off. Anyway, good to know your ears will be sorted out tomorrow and your hearding will be restored.

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    1. Meike, I can now hear again! Hallelujah! I'm fortunate in that my internet is not essential for work and I can always switch my iPhone to 4G and use it as a personal hotspot for the laptop. The rest of the house that depends on wifi is not critical although so much relies on it these days including the televisions.

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  15. Sorry to hear about your ears. I've gone deaf in my old age and it sure is annoying even with top class hearing aides, Nothing worse than a dodgy internet speed, especially whe trying to watch the soccer. Hope you have a better week.

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    1. Diane, I'm sorry to hear that you have hearing difficulties. I can certainly now appreciate what that entails. I'm pleased to say that I'm now back in the land of the hearing.

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  16. Aimz, Eagleton in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland is about as rural as you can get (like Stewart Island). The point is that Vodafone here used to have a great personal technician service but it is now all automated as are the majority of the large providers these days. In theory you can eventually get through to a technician but trying to do that in practice is virtually impossible.

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  17. Chat bots are stupid! it takes forever of silly messaging and you probably end up with a person anyway.
    I'm fascinated about your house being run by gadgets and wi-fi. Does it make life more convenient?

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