Well, it IS the season of storms out here in Kansas, and it’s ridiculous how much damage they can cause. Now, I’m not sure if I blogged about it or not, but a few months ago, storms caused some damage to my beloved bradford pear tree. Part of the tree fell on our roof, and we had to cut the limb off. However, the tree was still fine; it was just missing a bit of itself.
Well, this storm decided to take care of that. It started out innocently enough. Some rain, some wind, some lightning. Then it went nuts. Tons of wind, blowing in EVERY direction. Crazy! When it was over, we went to survey the damage, and my brother found something devastating. My beloved bradford pear, the one I’ve watched grow from a tiny little plant into a massive tree that I loved to photograph each year, had split. And, if not cut down, would do some serious damage the next time the wind blew. This meant it had to go.
Since our tree, and a few neighbor trees, were damaged by the wind, and most of the town (us excluded) were without power, we decided to check out the damage. There was a tree that had broken in the park, causing some damage to the roof of the gazebo. There were trees across roadways, trees on top of houses, and trees inside of garages. It was insane. I got a few photos of the damage, so below are my six favourite shots.
Sad, sad stuff. Our town is starting to get back to normal, but the lagoon doesn’t open until Saturday, so much of the brush and limbs are still hanging around town.
One thing that is REALLY upsetting, though, is our internet provider. See, we’re with Embarq. Or I guess now it’s called CenturyLink. Anyway, CenturyLink has consistently been a bad company. It has consistently been screwy, and had really poor customer service.
Well, in the storm, our internet went out. We assumed it was storm-related, so we called the company. Both my mother and I have jobs that are online positions, and I have some school-related work that is submitted online as well. So when I don’t have internet, I’m rather screwed.
We called the company, and they said “No, it wasn’t the storm, you need a new router.” So they promised that the new router would not cost us a dime. It was just going to be a quick replacement. One that would take more than a day for them to get to us.
Our repairman arrived. He told us the man on the phone was wrong, that it WAS storm related, but also that, due to us needing a replacement modem, we would have to go on the new plan. They no longer sold modems. They now lease them. This means, in order to get a new modem and stay with their company, we must pay $5.00 per month to have a router. That’s dumb.
Well, since their company has always had a monopoly in our area, we had no real choice but to get the modem, and pay the money. So we did. In the two or so days we have had the new modem (which, by the way, is costing us money it shouldn’t), we have had to re-set it 14 times, because our internet keeps going down.
Here’s the funny part. While the repairman was here, he got several calls asking him to repair modems. All of them were from people who had the old modem that the company wants everyone to switch off of, no longer having service. The company used the guise of the storm to force people who hadn’t yet switched over, into switching over, by cutting their service and saying it was a “power surge.” Bull.
Well, we did some investigating today, and there’s a newer company in town that also offers phone, internet, and television service. We called our current company and gave them notice, saying we are soon going to be cutting them off and switching to a new service provider, and exactly why we are electing to do so.
She said “Well, you’re under contract. You can’t leave.” My mother, being the amazing woman she is, said “When you added a new fee without first informing us you were planning to do so, you breached your end of the contract we agreed upon.” The woman on the phone said, I kid you not, “Ma’am, the contract only works if you decide to leave us early, not if we decide to change your service. It is a one-way contract. If you leave us, you pay the $99 cancellation fee, but we are able to modify it however we like without informing you.” Really? That’s how contracts work these days? I was unaware there were one-sided contracts out there. Hmm.
My mother informed her that contracts don’t work that way, so the lady checked with her supervisor and said “Oh. I guess that does make your contract void, if we change things. I guess you’re not under contract.” Well, we also discussed with this woman that, in the event we do cancel our service, will someone come out to pick up our router? She said “No, you will get a shipping envelope and you will pay to have it shipped to us.” This company finds every way to nickel and dime their customers they can.
If given the choice, please, don’t choose CenturyLink. They’re horrible.