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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chp 577. Home is where the Wifi is

So FINALLY, eight months after I moved to Pune to start a new career, I finally got a new broadband connection at home!

That means I managed to survive for 8 months without any internet at home!!!

The first thing I did after moving to Pune was look for an ISP. At first I couldn't make up my mind. Shall I go for Hathway? YOU Broadband? Tikona? Airtel? So many to choose from! So many different plans. Shall I go for an unlimited plan with lesser speed, or binge in the joys of a lightning fast connection but with FUP and bandwidth limitation?

It was only months later that I realized I was living in a false Utopia. After all, this is Pune. Not freaking Mumbai. Towards the end, I didn't really care what Internet Service Provider or what plan I was taking. I just needed some damn ISP with any damn plan, because any plan is better than NO plan. Yup, that was the problem I faced. Even though I was staying in the middle of Koregaon Park, a supposedly upmarket vicinity here in Pune, getting a broadband connection was no walk in the K.Park!

First, the YOU Broadband guys came, promised me a great experience, I paid the installation charge and first month bill cost, and they said they would come and install it within a week. A month later they called to tell me it was not possible to give me a new connection. Just like that, no reason given. WTF. They said they would refund the advance I paid, and I spent almost half a day searching for their damn office to collect my cheque (their office location according to Google Maps was wrong by at least a mile). And later I lost that freaking cheque too, so that's like 3000+ bucks down the drain. Fuck you, YouBroadband.

The same thing happened with Hathway and Tikona. "Yes sir yes sir, we shall give you a new connection immediately", only to be followed by, "No sir no sir, we're very sorry but turns out we cannot give out new connections right now". One common excuse I kept hearing was, "Sorry sir, we don't have permission to dig across the main road". I mean seriously? Shouldn't you have figured that out first before signing me up? I was so frustrated that I started growing a thick hide. I started becoming accustomed to disappointments. When I decided to try one more time and approached Reliance, I got the usual, "Don't worry saar, we are not like those other people" promise, and the sales agent vowed to install it within a week. I paid the advance amount again. A month later, still no connection.

Their excuse? It seems, there were currently no empty slots available for a new connection. Yeah, then why the fuck did you make me pay for the advance??? And then I got the standard, "Very sorry sir, we will refund you the money, please come and collect your cheque from our office located at an obscure address".

I was so sick and tired of running from one office to the other collecting refunds and spending so much unnecessary energy and time on things that were of no fault of mine. I couldn't help but think I was being taken advantage of... I tried to control my temper but ended up screaming on the phone, "Fuck the refund!". The Reliance person probably thought I was speaking in Marathi as that meant something else... I continued, "You know what, don't give me a refund. I don't need a refund. Just... just hold on to my registration and give me a new connection whenever you have a vacant slot."

I hung up.

A month passed. Another month went by. And then suddenly, Reliance called me up one fine day - "Sir, we finally have a vacant slot for you!" Oh that was great news indeed, but experience taught me never to be optimistic about anything here in Pune, so I trod with caution... "Aaaand? So you'll come to my place to fix the new connection?"

And that's when it happened again.

"Yes we can come sir. Only thing na sir, we don't have modems right now sir. So you'll have to pay for a new modem sir..."

I was like, "Whaaaat!!?? Didn't my plan include the modem as well? I already paid for all that three months ago!"

"Yes sir, but currently we don't have any new modems to spare..."

"How much would that cost me?"

"Around 3000 bucks sir. I can bring it with me when I come."

"And will this amount be refunded to me once you have a new official modem available? Because I already paid for that modem as a part of my initial advance payment..."

"No sir, you will not be refunded because this is your own private modem. Also sir, please confirm quickly if you are buying the new modem so we can come and install the new connection today itself. If you don't confirm soon, others who are also in queue waiting for an empty slot will take your place and you'll again have to wait..."

At this part, I just choked. I couldn't speak anymore because I was so fucking angry. No words could come out of my mouth, so I just gave the phone to my friend Abhilash and he blasted and abused the hell out of the Reliance guy so much that the dude just disconnected. We didn't even bother to call him back... Damn, that was such a cheap move man. Of course they could be genuinely out of new modems too (which is very unlikely considering this is Reliance we're talking about) but most of my colleagues felt I was being taken for a ride just because I'm from Mizoram, but they were happy I didn't give in to it. Yeah I was desperate for a new connection, and I really didn't mind paying 3k extra after waiting for 3 months, but the way I was being forced into doing that was not right at all.

Two more months passed by. Two months of extreme boredom at home due to no internet connectivity. Suddenly, last weekend, my doorbell rang. It was the same Reliance salesman! Before I could say or do anything (I dunno, maybe high-five him, with a chair, on his face), he blurted out saying he had lost my phone number and that there was a vacant slot again and that their engineer would come by later to install my new connection. And just like that he was gone.


Again I kept my cool. I told myself I was going to be happy only when everything had been done.

Since it was Saturday, I cancelled my other plans and waited for the engineer the whole day. In the evening, the Reliance sales guy called me again, telling me the engineer was on his way to my house but the traffic cops caught him for driving without a license. I mean, what are the odds of that happening again and again to me???

I hung up, least he started asking me to pay for that guy's traffic fine.

The next day, Sunday, my doorbell rang again. It was the engineer! He apologized for not being able to make it the previous day because of the traffic cops, and even though Sunday was a holiday for him, he was instructed to give me a new connection as I was apparently on a "high priority" back in their office, hence the reason he came on a Sunday. He also mentioned that they finally got new batch of modems the previous day only, hence the reason why they couldn't give me a new connection all this time...

Again, wow. Should I or should I not believe him? It's pretty much like the story of the boy who cried wolf, eh? Anyhoo, he quickly got to work, fixing the connection at the terrace and then connecting it to my system, and within an hour or so, I FINALLY HAD INTERNET on my home PC.

And so, that is how I am now enjoying a 4MBps connection from the sweet comfort of my home. You may think, why just 4MBps? Because it is unlimited. All the other Reliance plans with 50MBps and 100MBps came with certain thresholds. Being a heavy user, I am more inclined towards large data capacity rather than faster speed, especially since I spend 80% of my time in office anyway. Finally, after eight months of wait, my life can now slowly get back to normal.

This is the first blog post I'm updating from my new home connection, and here's hoping I'll be able to update many more in the coming months and increase my blog count :D

Cheers! :D

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