It was when we moved into the last apartment in September 2008 that I last started a battle with TPSA to get a connection to their internet service. You will recall that it did not go well.
In November last year, knowing we would be moving into our new place in late December we visited the TPSA sklep in Arkadia to make a request for connection to both telephone and internet in our new place. We did what we could in the shop but could not complete the process because their computer system was down. The guy said he would call Marta and let her know when the contract was ready to sign. The process of creating a contract took more than a month, largely thanks to a problem with our address or something, meaning that our application in their computer system had developed a bug and nobody knew how to fix it. Eventually we signed a contract, sometime before we moved in.
Firstly, a Livebox arrived by courier, that was fast. We then waited for an engineer to come round and check that our sockets had a connection and were able to do whatever was needed. This part only took a week or two and they confirmed, after some adjustments, that everything was in good order.
We then slipped through the looking glass and into the strange world that is TPSA customer service. A nice guy called me and asked if I needed some help with setting things up. I said that would be great because there were a number of issues I’d like to discuss about the best way to organise the connections. He said someone would call me, nobody did. I called the 801 505 505 helpline and asked where the person was who was supposed to be coming to help. The lady told me quite bluntly that nobody would have told me that because you have to set it up yourself and it’s easy. After much back and forth she would not accept that anyone should, could or would come and help. We parted company not on the best terms. A day later another nice person called wanting to make an appointment to come to our place and help with the installation. We agreed the following day at 11:00. Nobody arrived. No phone call to explain. This pattern repeated itself twice more and then I gave up.
I connected the Livebox myself ignoring the fact that the software is only available for Windoze, in fact ignoring the software completely. Various lights flashed red and green. I visited the registration page on the internet. It told me to enter some details I would have got from a registration process but I could not because I could get to the registration page because the ADSL was not synchronised. From here on it all gets a bit confusing because I think we have two, or possibly three parts of TPSA acting completely separately and as all their numbers are blocked and as nobody ever bothers to explain exactly who they are or why they are calling you never quite know to what they are responding.
I know one of the “blocked number” crowd called, saying he was going to come round on 28th December and help get it all working. He also didn’t turn up nor call to say he wasn’t coming.
I know I took a deep breath and called 801 505 505 again on 30th December. This time I got a nice guy who explained they needed to synchronise my ADSL and gave me a “job number”. Someone called and said they would be round the next day, Sat. Dec 31st @ 15:00 to help. I asked if he was REALLY going to come round or if he was just another joker like the last four guys who called? He said he would definitely be there. He didn’t turn up at our apartment either but then maybe he was only supposed to visit the box in the street? But if he was only visiting the box, why agree a time with me? Who knows what the hell they are doing.
Anyway, nothing happened, the Livebox is not living and still has red flashing lights for internet so I called again this morning. They were grateful that I am so patient but the bad news is that the max speed we can have is 2 Mb and the contract is for 6 Mb therefore there will have to be a new contract and start that whole process one more time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently someone will call regarding the new contract, but not today.
EDIT Jan 6 – no call yet but did get a helpful SMS saying we only have four days left to register our equipment.
This is doubly annoying because there have been plenty of discussions about the speed over the past couple of months. Shortly after we applied and before the contract arrived someone called to say max speed at that address was 1 Mb because the line is made from old shoelaces. I told them that this was strange because we are already living on the street and we have 2 Mb. They were confused and went away. The engineers who checked the line said 2 Mb was easy-peasy and we might even get 6 Mb. Eventually they agree that 2 Mb is possible but this requires a whole new contract and another couple of months waiting no doubt.
So here we are. Living in the capital city of one of Europe’s largest countries and yet in the end I expect it will take TPSA four months, yes, one third of a year, to connect a family to internet at a speed most people in the remotest parts of third world countries would laugh at.
As for a working telephone, we’re not really sure what is happening on that front. When we made the application we applied for two things 1/ a phone connection and 2/ an internet connection. The guy even gave us a list of phone numbers we could choose from. We have heard absolutely nothing about the phone line. All we have is a contract for neostrada internet that has the tag ‘DUO’ at the end and gives us a number for our ‘neofon’. Apparently, this might be a telephone line using VOIP (voice over internet protocol) meaning we can use the internet connection for phone calls in and out. I’ll believe it when I see it. Right now it just seems like another opportunity for TPSA to screw something up.
God, I wish there was an alternative to this bullshit!
Thank goodness that we knew this will be painful and purchased a SIM card mobile router gadget from T-Mobile, which is the only reason we are able to connect to anything today.