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Do you want dsl? I'll bet you do. Just one problem. You have to go through the phone company to get it. That, and dsl companies who don't understand the concept of paying their DAMN BILLS. Hear my horror. (Warning: Not nice words to follow, one of which isn't allowed in the NY Times).

To Wit:

I placed an order in with Flashcom in late July of 2000. Now, I made the foolish error of placing the order two days before Verizon went on strike, so the two-month initial delay was expected. But Flashcom's handling of the affair was ridiculous.

I'd considered canceling prior to the date I actually did, but the fact of the matter was that Verizon (i.e. Bell Atlantic) was always the stumbling block. But the continual delays and poor response was troubling. On 11/23, when I wanted an update, I discovered their 'new' hours. A few days later, when I called to see when the THIRD attempt at wiring from the CO could occur, I was put on hold, and stayed there for 1.5 hours. I gave up and went for lunch. I tried again an hour later, and then Flashcom just hangs up on you after a message that said they couldn't talk to you.

So even though I wanted to cancel my order, I couldn't, since they DIDN'T EVEN ANSWER THE PHONE. Scanning Deja.com (now groups.google.com), what should I find when searching Usenet but posts by similarly disgruntled folks, giving a link to your tale of woe. Following it, I find the number of the only clueful person at Flashcom, and voila!, my order is cancelled. Or so I think. I call back two days later, and they don't know what's happened. I recancel, and this time it stays cancelled. I was never charged, but the point still stands, and it was only incompetence that I wasn't.

I ordered from another company, Megapath, and thanks to Verizon's intervention, it only took them close to five months and six outside wiring visits to actually install my dsl line. They crashed my ISDN line to do it, but there you go.

Mind you, Verizon took six tries to install my ISDN line the first time I got that, so what do I know? Apparently, it's too much to FREAKING ASK that they send trained subcontractors, instead of these butt-crack rejects I normally get. The one clueful technician I see at my house is a guy who normally runs T1 lines on the local fiber loop. Why was he sent to my house? To check my PSTN line.

Does anyone else here see something screwed up in this equation? The last mile problem in telecommunications certainly isn't a technology problem, it's a business one. Now you know why the telcoms are terrified of local competition....because they couldn't compete due to their own damn incompetence.


You know, it's been months, and I'm still cheesed off. Don't get me started on the resolution of my last ISDN bill, and how badly Verizon F****D THAT UP.

OK, I'm done now.

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