Category Archives: Rogers Cable TV Service

Only Child Tallies 2015 and previews 2016

Only child ponders 2015 and 2016

Only child ponders 2015 and 2016

I know I’m a day early posting but I’m experimenting – might change to Mondays for weekly postings after last week. Then I wrote the post on Monday but set it to go live Tuesday at noon. But I wasn’t too clear about when exactly I was writing and with the weather timing, it became confusing when it was posted as I had set it.

2015 has finally come to an end. It was a roller-coaster year all over and personally. Here are a few highlights of the bad and good – not just personal. And I promise it will only be some – if I put all in, it might fill the proverbial book.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (in no particular order)

Health:

In the past 13 months four friends have been diagnozed with cancer. The first of them is clear after one year. And my friend next door has a very aggressive lung cancer and is now undergoing chemo-therapy. I will talk about this more in another post about cancer. As for me, I have had to deal with an on-again-off-again respiratory infection for five months, going 85 per cent deaf for six days, new and old allergies (including a local allergic reaction to a wasp sting, an injury from a fall, and a dental emergency. Plus some of my usual health issues. Getting old is no fun. But wait a minute – my friend with cancer is only 50.

Weather – all over it is catastrophic – too much rain, too much snow, floods, floods, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and the like, too dry weather, forest fires, etc. etc. You name it and somewhere on this earth it is happening. Don’t believe me or think I’m exaggerating? Go to the The Weather Network and check it out. My take here is it is a combination of green gas/climate effect and to quote what the lady on the bus back in May said “God controls the weather.”

On a personal level with weather, water got in the basement three times from rain – not a lot. But it isn’t supposed to be happening because it was all waterproofed nearly five years ago. It worked for nearly two years, then stopped. Attempts to get the contractor to fix it haven’t worked, so I mention his name to warn people not to hire him. Nigel Applewaite.

House repair problems – from iced eavestroughs and downspouts, to unlevelled toolshed, to broken rain barrels, to electrical upgrades, etc. etc. The latest – discovered New Years Day 2016 – a window with a non-working lock – suddenly – this is a year and a half old window with a lifetime warranty (well longer than I will live anyway). I have to phone the window company today and being the untrusting person I am from previous experience – there could very well be problems with how it gets fixed/if it needs replacing and if they try to charge me, saying I damaged it, which I didn’t. It stopped working; it’s defective.

Consumer issues – mostly with utilities from the long (month and a half) business with Rogers Cable taking 8 visits to find out the cause of the on-again-off again no service. I pay  my bills so that is not it. What it was is a cable outside between the poles – which I kept telling each of the seven technicians (one was sent for two calls – not two in a row) who came. Only the last one listened – a seasoned technician. He checked outside – yes, a cable needed replacing and he called in for the service technicians who do that to come in. Cable TV service was up and running within a couple of days. In November and early December , the digital cable adapter has been acting up – they are documenting that and it can be replaced if necessary. If so, I may have to pull my senior ticket to get someone to come here and install it for free. I haven’t a clue how to do that. But I’m hoping all the reception works fine.

The other utility screw-up was when I had to change my Enercare heating protection plan to the more expensive boiler one. Unknown to me, years ago. one of the previous companies (Enercare took it over) had signed me up for the wrong plan. The fellow I talked to said I could get the discount for the first year because it was a new plan for me. I also booked a furnace cleaning – included in the plan. A few weeks later after I received an email about this plan with the full rate being charged, I phoned Enercare. Not only had my furnace cleaning appointment mysteriously disappeared, they were saying I wasn’t allowed the discount for the plan itself. I kicked up a big fuss and finally got a supervisor, who said they would check the recording of when I was signed up and get back to me. I was told I couldn’t book a furnace cleaning until then, but I called in again and did so. And I wasn’t pleased with this techs cleaning summary – he never said anything except that all was okay – until I got the electronic version of the checking – my furnace which is 13 years old got a rating for a 20-year old furnace. But I finally heard back about the heating protection plan. Yes, I had been promised the discount, so I have it.

Computer problems – including the old desktop computer with Windows XP finally not able to handle all programs. My son, Martin to the rescue who helped me get signed up with another Dell Lease . Microsoft’s bad move trying to shove Windows 10 at those of us who have either Windows 7 (that’s me) or Windows 8.1 on our computers, including “accidently” downloading it on some people’s computers. That, plus any new PC will have Windows 10, and the not-so-good screen setup for good lighting and vision (tied into Windows) and trying out my son’s Mac laptop has convinced me to lease a Mac laptop this coming fall when the PC laptop lease expires.

Public transit problems – from city subway and other upgrades to service disruptions to VIA rail never failing to screw up the service when I return from holiday – no matter how my travel itinerary is set up. This latter has actually happened in 2015, 2014 and 2013.

Never enough time to do what’s important – partly because of having to deal with some of the above such as the consumer and house issues.

That’s a sampling.

On the good side for 2015, I will mention now and elaborate in next week’s post on a few of them.

  1. My family, especially my son, Martin and his partner Juni – for their support, help, etc.
  2. My friends – same reason and for just being my friends – Margaret, Nola, Tanya, Marlene, Diane, Bob, Sheila, Reccia, Ellen, Rosemary, etc.
  3. My neighbours for their help – some are friends, too.
  4. My writing and getting books published, writing books, promoting my books including presentations with other crime writers,  my writing group, my clients – the list is endless here.
  5. My health – what works – I can still walk, hear, see (the latter two have some “getting old” features), talk (some people probably wish otherwise).
  6. Good books to read
  7. Good TV programs to watch.
  8. Cooking, trying new recipes, and eating, too.
  9. Walking around and exploring Toronto.
  10. My garden – despite tree problems. I miss the garden now in the cold snowy winter weather. Spring to fall going out in my garden even just to sit calms my nerves, gives me hope and peace, that not all is bad in the world.

These are only a few. May we all have a good, prosperous and interesting 2016 without a lot of the bad stuff from 2015 or new bad stuff.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under cancer, Complaining tactics, Computer problems, Extreme Weather, Family and Friends, Faulty Contractors, Floods, Gardening and depression, God, Health, Help and Support, Martin Crawford, Only child, Public Transit, Railways, Rogers Cable TV Service, Time management, TTC bus and bus station upgrades, VIA Rail, Weather

Only Child says Mercury Retrograde caused communication problems

Mercury in Retrograde at work.

Mercury in Retrograde at work

I call it the polar vortex of communications going haywire. I’m referring to Mercury in Retrograde – three or four times a year the planet Mercury goes retrograde. And before you think that’s woo-woo and/or I’m crazy, it’s not all astrology. There is some science involved.

Mercury is a planet which spins around the earth. Like we humans, it needs to slow down and does so three or four times a year. During those times it appears that it is actually stopping and then spinning backwards. The latter isn’t actually happening. That is when electrical and electronic devices and services can go bonkers.

Blaming Mercury in retrograde for that is where some sceptics draw the line. Here is my non-technical, non-scientific explanation. There are electronic waves out there in space and they have a lot to do with radio, TV (think satellites) and digital devices such as computer Internet and cell phone reception. And like anything else in our world, it does not all work perfectly 100 per cent of the time. Weather, of course, can interfere. But so can the planets.

Think about the influences of our moon – equinoxes on different occasions in and around planet earth. So, why not Mercury (and other planets for that matter)? When Mercury is in in retrograde I believe it slows down or even stops/interrupts communication services.

What’s been happening to me the past few weeks is a good example. This current phase of Mercury Retrograde began January 21, 2015. Since then I’ve had a wave (pun intended) of interrupted reception in my cable TV service, my Kobo e-reader froze, there have been computer problems (some weird) on both my desktop PC and laptop and my area of Toronto had an 8-minute power outage just after midnight one night.

That comes to four electronic/electric mishap items – although all but the power outage have branches.

When the Kobo reader froze last week (only the second time in its two year age), the usual unfreeze method of sliding the power “button” to the off and holding it for 10 seconds didn’t work. The techie support at Kobo had me taking a small paper clip, bending it and inserting it into a tiny hole at the bottom of the reader. It worked. I was in the middle of a murder mystery in the Julia Spencer-Fleming series so you can imagine how grateful I was.

The computers have had programs freezing, programs needing replacement or updates. My computer techie is making another visit tomorrow morning for another of these occurrences on the laptop.

The Rogers cable TV service is turning into a bad saga. Big company with too many departments and people. The problem with the cable TV service – sporadically it would pixel, garble the voices and then go to black with the message “We have detected a service interruption. Please call your service provider.” I did – seven times so far and seven techies (two of them the same ones) showed up and all had different ideas. My friend next door was also having the same reception problem but only with her TV upstairs – the downstairs one was working fine. A similar thing happened – but encompassing more of us on the street- in fall 2013. It dragged on with the parade of techies in and out until Rogers finally got some smarts and figured out it was a defective cable up the poles behind one of the houses and fixed it. Then I hadn’t said anything, but non-techie me had figured out it had to be a cable.

So this time I’m speaking out when each techie walks through the door. One has replaced one cable up the pole behind my neighbours (both our service is connected to that). However, these are all old cables outside and all should be replaced.

Each techie had different ideas what was the cause but unfortunately when they arrived the service had returned. I called when there was the actual service disruption but they won’t send a techie right away to catch it. So far, besides the new cable out back, the techies have done the following: replaced the digital cable TV adapter (the old one was working fine), updated some connecting device in the cable box outside on the house wall, replaced a cable from the digital box to the TV, and one “bright” techie decided I had too much reception (because I have only the one cable device with Rogers – the TV) and put something on the TV to adapter cable to decrease the reception. Makes sense, right? One of the following techies removed the device.

The most recent techie (yesterday), a senior techie, actually tested the TV reception with a device which he placed in front of the TV and then he did some settings with the remote. All seemed to be working then. (Of course, the reception had come back – it was three days since I had called in the problem to Rogers technical support). He also moved the electrical connection of the adapter from one electrical outlet to another because he said he had found that was the cause at another residence. He even knocked on my next-door neighbours to ask her about her TV reception and she said it was okay then.

This techie also said he had found nothing, but to try the electric outlet plug-in change for a few days and if the service is disrupted again to phone in and make sure I ask for outside maintenance or I could be charged if a techie again comes to the door to come inside.

What? I pay enough monthly for the service and part of that service is free techie fixes. I told him this and pulled my senior’s card.

If this techie is right and it was the electrical outlet, I will be grateful and do the equivalent of eating crow. But I will need at least three months of uninterrupted cable TV service before I even remotely believe that.

Meantime I have searched the Internet and collected info and contact info on the Rogers Cable executives – CEO and Vice-president of communications. And I also have the contact information for a media consumer advocate – for future complaint reference.

This round of Mercury in Retrograde is supposed to end February 11. We shall see what we shall see here.

I still am filled with trepidation when I turn on my TV and computers. Experience has taught me not to be complacent and not to take anything for granted. For there lies the way of getting the rug pulled from under you.

Unfortunately, that is the way of the world these days, a world I’m disliking more and more each day.

I am interested if any of you have experienced “communication” problems lately. It is not just devices but communication with others. For more information on Mercury in Retrograde, go to http://astrostyle.com/learn-astrology/mercury-retrograde/#sthash.Isy4UkBm.dpuf There are even do’s and don’t’s to survive Mercury Retrogades.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Leave a comment

Filed under Hydro power outage, Kobo e-reader freezes, Mercury in Retrograde, Only child, Problems, Rogers Cable TV Service

Only Child calls “hope’ a four-letter word

Only Child gears up to deal with 2015 stuff

Only Child gears up to deal with 2015 stuff

Looks like 2015 is turning into a repeat of 2014 (and 2013) – some just more of the same.

I’m talking about the bad and the ugly.

Yes, I did my overall overhaul of what I do, want to do and have to do and what I can kick out of my life. Trouble is the crap that comes at us “from outside” as I call it, the unexpected problems, are still charging at me (and I presume others) full force. You can’t really boot that out of your life. You have to deal with it and that wastes your time and causes a lot of stress.

Yes (again) I did pray to God for certain things not to happen and for help. Cotton or wool in the ears I suppose at his end.

Without going into a long detailed rant, the Rogers Cable TV service has started intermittent disruption – not just my TV service but at least Tanya and Alex’s next door. So far I’ve had three different technicians here. Despite my vocal (including one of those surveys) with my suggestion – fix all the damn old outside cables on the street, not piecemeal when something goes wrong, Rogers isn’t listening and the problems seem to persist. We had a big play out of this situation for over a month in late fall 2013. Rogers is to blame for this, but God is not listening to my asks for help once and for all here.

The weather – that horrible mix on Saturday (and yes, some freezing rain, although worst in Montreal – despite my prayers on not having that happen – this time it was for more than just me). And now most of Canada is in the deep freeze and getting colder into tomorrow. So, I spent Sunday (before the deep freeze began overnight Sunday) running around doing errands so I could stay put for the most part this week. I had something important to get out in the regular mail (not something that could go by email) which needed weighing for postage, for my business, but being Sunday, presumably the Lord’s Day, Canada Post substations were not open – at least the post office part and one that showed up on the Canada Post locator map wasn’t there. The one near me had no signs inside or outside the store about the Post Office part being closed Sundays. Sunday closure is their prerogative, but they need to let the customer know with signs. I had to find out from the clerk at the regular cash and I was not polite to him when I found out. I sicced Canada Post on this substation.

These and other things happening steal my time and make my health worse.

And of course diminish my hope for 2015.

But I’m not wallowing around in despair. There are thing I enjoy doing and want to do this year. So, I am facing the hard facts. When you get right down to it, you have only yourself to depend on – plus close family and friends you can trust. Or to paraphrase Ringo Starr’s song – you have to get by with some help from (family and) friends.

Not God. “Ask and you shall receive” and “God helps those who help themselves” seem to be fairy tales. So,  I need to forget about hope as such. Hope has now been added to my list of four-letter words which include pray, snow, rain, hell, crap, and damn.

I have to remember my motto – when I see it (or not, as the case may be) then I will believe it.

And not give up.

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Leave a comment

Filed under Beliefs, Believing, Family and Friends, Health, Mail Delivery Canada, Planning, Problems, Rogers Cable TV Service, Sharon A. Crawford, Weather, Winter Weather

Only Child continues consumer agitating– Rogers Cable TV and Day-Timer

Only Child  rests before doing more battle with companies screwing the consumer

Only Child rests before doing more battle with companies screwing the consumer

My consumer agitation and advocating continues. Every week I pick up at least one more company or government agency to add to my (s)hit list.

The Rogers Cable TV saga continues. Last week the tech service guy showed and because the service had kicked back in again before his arrival, he did a cursory check of the TV, digital adapter box, cables downstairs (just stared at them) and the outside box on the brick wall. He said the problem was because Rogers is doing the final upgrades for all digital service and went into a rant about one area of Toronto’s (not my area) service disruption and many calls from the apartments in that area.

Wrong diagnosis. The past weekend the cable service went again – from Friday until yesterday afternoon (Monday). Friday I phoned yet again and complained and after insisting, I  talked to the same supervisor of two weeks ago. He said it was not service upgrades but a street problem if more than one person on the street had the problem. (I had already phoned Tanya next door). I told Richard the supervisor that the service was fine across the street as I had also checked with a friend there. He figured it was a loose old cable or maybe one where some water got in. He said he would try to escalate my Monday appointment (for later Saturday and/or Sunday) but that didn’t happen.

Monday afternoon two tech service guys showed up and said there had also been a call from No.9 on my street and they figured it was something in the cable over the end of the backyard behind No. 5.

Do you think? I had been hammering at the techies who came before to check the damn cables at the end of the backyards because I figured it could be there. None of the other two listened to me. Hey, I’m just a customer, not a techie, so what do I know? Turns out I was right. These two guys did check out the back cables – they were there for some time – and  checked right across the back of our properties. They said maintenance would be called in and service should be 100 per cent within 48 hours, although there could be a bit more disruption before then. But as I had not service when they arrived, one of them fiddled with the cable going into the digital adapter box and got the service working.

It was nice to be able to watch some TV last evening. So far I’ve missed Blue Bloods, The Mentalist, Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Heartbeats (or parts of them), Bones and a new Christmas movie. I got about $21. and some odd cents off my bill I just paid. And I pulled the senior card and am getting an extra $10 off each month for a year. The bill I paid last week was less than what I paid when I first moved here 15 years ago. It’s the least Rogers could do.

I was ready to go to Rogers head office in midtown Toronto and picket.

The latest consumer issue is the Day-Timers I have been ordering annually for at least 25 years from the company of the same name. The Day-Timer company  used to be in Niagara Falls and now they are down in Florida – at least the call centre is – that I think may be new this year. And the company has the nerve to still call themselves Day-Timer Canada? Well, they are out of stock of my standard order and won’t have more in until January 8 and it will take up to two weeks to get shipped to me. By tortoise I presume. They offered me a choice of a couple of other similar Day-Timers (one Day-Timer per month and similar setup of two pages for each day) both now in stock. I didn’t like the first choice and the second one only a little better. I kicked up a fuss about all this so they are waiving the shipping charges. While the guy was getting this all set up I did an online search of Staples (who used to carry Day-Timers but at a higher price) but they don’t anymore. So I went with second choice and no shipping charges.

But I’m not happy. I don’t recommend doing business with Day-Timer of any country. If you are a company carrying appointment books and planners it kind of helps if you have plenty  in stock to get to the customer before the year starts.

And before anyone tells me to go online for my calendar/planners – been there, tried that. Don’t like it. Not having a smart phone or any other kind of cell plus, I’m not online 24/7 – by choice. Throw in what the Day-Timer guy said. My particular planner sold out fast this year because more people were ordering them this year.

So technology apparently isn’t ruling everywhere.

No wonder I’m cranky24/7.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Leave a comment

Filed under Consumer action, Daytimer, Only child, Rogers Cable TV Service