Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The Joys of Spring! Or The Trials of Internet!

Spring has most definitely come here.
The new green is most prolific.
The chestnuts trees are having their moment of glory.
And the mesembryanthemums are wonderful in the sun.

And with the spring have come the people whose job it is to knock on doors and tout for business. Among others there has been a man with an almost incomprehensible accent trying to interest me in a special offer on gas provision. Unfortunately, when I worked out what he was on about I realised it was no good. You had to sign up for his offer for two years and our lease only lasts until September.

R-Galicia, Internet provider also came knocking. They thought we were already subscribers but that must have been the previous tenants so they went on to try to persuade us to join them with a special offer. We could have telephone connection, cable TV, Internet and free calls to selected numbers within Spain, prices varying according to the combination you chose. We queried the cost of a fixed telephone connection as that was the big stumbling block when first we hunted around for an Internet provider. Completely free, they told us, part of the package, no need to go to Telefonica.

Now for the last couple of weeks our mobile internet has been erratic to say the least, leaving us disconnected for hours, and once for days, at a time. Impossible to check e-mail, download the Guardian's sudoku or check the spelling of words like
mesembryanthemums. We have had to go back to visiting WIFI cafes. I have taken to calling it Internet Somewhere-or-Other as it has been so hard to find. What a pity R-Galicia were not making their so attractive offer before back in September when we signed our contract with Orange!


Having spent half an hour this morning listening to advice which did not work from the Orange servicio de atencion al cliente, this afternoon I took the computer and its mobile modem along to The Phone House where we originally signed our Orange contract. I wanted to show someone face to face what our problem was. The helpful Phone House people expressed some scepticism about their ability to help but were prepared to lend a sympathetic ear and if possible offer advice.

In the event the system, rather like an awkward child, decided to perform beautifully in the shop down near the harbour. It jumped through all the requisite hoops: connected immediately, gave fast access to Google, Hotmail, various newspapers online, Facebook, this blog and any number of other sites. None of this I'll just lull you into a false sense of security and then drop the connection.

The Phone House lady and I sighed and agreed that that was the way of computers and their systems. Maybe it just needed to go out for a walk, take the air!

Back home, I am trying a new location for the computer in the flat. So far, so good! Fingers and toes crossed!

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