I am now connected to the internet again after BT cut me off from it for six days; bad scran to their management and all their shareholders.
I reported the fault at 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday 8th and since then have spent a total of eight hours on the telephone to what BT wittily call their Home Fault Help Line. At least, that was where it all began; two days and three or four calls later it had been established that the fault was at the exchange, and as the days went by I made new friends in various increasingly high-powered departments of the organisation, feeling greatly relieved when I was told that my problem had been moved upstairs to a high level Specialist Team in the Engineer's Department.
"Aha!", I thought, "now we're getting somewhere; these top people will get me back on line in a jiffy"; that was three days ago. I never actually got to speak to one of these real experts: after a chat with some lesser beings one of them would say "If you don't mind holding on please, sir, I'll get through to my colleague and find out the situation and then I'll come back and let you know"; then I would get music-on-hold again and after ten minutes he would come back and tell me the same thing I had heard the previous day, perhaps something like: "The Specialist Team have it in hand and have ordered a replacement part; this will take from one to three working days".
Very often I was required during the button game ("If you are suicidal, press 4", etc.) to key in my phone number once or twice (on one occasion four times) before I got to speak to a real person, who would then ask me what my phone number was.
At least the calls were to free numbers. I switched to hands-free while the music played and this meant that I didn't have to go into a trance while I waited: I could fill in the weary hours with such things as watching on TV the 1962 film of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. This has Ralph Richardson's embittered actor, Katharine Hepburn's drug-addicted wife and their sons, one an alcoholic and the other consumptive, tearing each other apart in 1912 Connecticut: a veritable light-hearted feast of fun and gaiety compared to my conversations with BT.
Everyone tells me that I should find another ISP. Well, yes, I suppose so, but I have had ADSL for nine years now and my experiences with other ISPs and webhosts have not led me to believe that any of them are much better than BT; some would certainly be worse. In fairness I have to say that over the last six years I have had only one other period of down-time, and that was a brief one.