Past performance is no guarantee of future results

A few months ago I decided it was time to switch over to a wireless network at home. To say this was a bit stressful is a real understatement. It took many hours, much speaking through gritted teeth, a lot of stomping about, several bouts of shouting and a rather enormously large gin and tonic before I finally got everything to work.

Then a few weeks ago I decided it was high time to ditch used-to-be-Pipex-but-now-crappy-Tiscali. But when my new ISP sent me a new router with rather minimalistic instructions I remembered the last time and decided I couldn’t face that particular task just then. I left it in its box until the weekend. But you can’t put these things off forever, so on Saturday I braced myself, inserted the disk as instructed and…

…it played a step by step video of what to do. The ultimate idiot’s guide. (Ideal for me then!) Then it installed all the settings automatically. I normally get nervous about things installing automatically, I’m always convinced that something else will get totally buggered up as a result. Well, usually something else does get totally buggered up as a result doesn’t it? But surprisingly everything seemed OK. So I took a deep breath and repeated the process twice more for two more laptops.

New ISP, new router, everything working. How odd. And how marvelous. Added bonus 1: the new router is much more powerful than the old one. Added bonus 2: I didn’t need to succumb to a combination of rage and gin to get it working. Great result all round.

Of course I knew there would be a payback today. I knew that when I switched on my school laptop at work today, the myriad settings that it requires to connect to the school network would have been pushed somewhat out of joint. After all, this has happened many times before.

I switched on, waited for the connection to fail and prepared myself to do the embarrassed shuffle whilst making my special prepared “Oops” speech to the network staff. But everything worked. No connection problems at all. Very odd indeed.

Even more strange, the peculiar and seemingly insoluble glitch that has prevented me from being able to access my students’ directories on the school network has suddenly vanished. Now that’s extremely odd. But very splendid, have you any idea how much time that will save me when I’m assessing their ICT coursework?

And I only choose Sky because they were cheap. So far, so good.

4 comments to Past performance is no guarantee of future results

  • Presumably you already have Sky TV though?

    And *how* did you get any sense out of Pipex to get a MAC code? Did you just wait hours on the expensive phone number? No matter what time of day I call I just get, “We are eperiencing greater than average numbers of calls…” Their email service is the worst I have *ever* experienced (ie they take a week to reply then ask you for all sorts of info they already have, or you’ve alaready given them). They ignore letters, even sent recorded delivery.

  • We did already have Sky. Actually the only time I had problems with the TV, their customer service was great.

    No luck whatsoever with Pipex in terms of customer service. They used to be OK, but not in recent years.

    However since until this week we had two phone lines, sacking them was very simple. I’ve got rid of the phone line that their connection is on, Sky’s broadband is on the other line that we’re keeping. Pipex have of course ignored my letters. From now on I’ll probably ignore theirs.

  • Yes, I too have 2 phone lines and I’m thinking of doing exactly what you’ve done – because one simply cannot get any sense out of Pipex.

    One problem I have, though, is that I pay by credit card (when I joined them in pre-Tiscali days they didn’t let one pay any other way, whereas now they only let one pay by direct debit). Given that one can’t stop a continuous authority credit card payment, I can see them taking unauthorised payments forever – and closing a credit card won’t stop that either.

    An impossilbe situation – but it makes me feel slightly better that I’m not the only one having this problem with them!

  • I took a different approach when I moved from Orange/freeserve to BT.

    I just ignored the big box of electronic stuff that they sent me and typed the new userid/password into my Netgear router.

    And “pizzing”, it all worked.

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