Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Time Out

Here’s a picture of George when he was just a puppy. It was taken last September, shortly after he came into our lives. He was born in Ellsworth, Maine and we traveled to Connecticut to meet his owners and pick him up. He was about 9 weeks old at the time I took this picture with our old Sony Cybershot.
He looks like he’s in time out, doesn’t he?
Well, I’m in Time Out right now with my internet provider. I swear to you, that’s what they told me when I called today to find out what was wrong with my service. I feel like a naughty child or something. You see, I am new to the world of satellite internet and bought the value package that Wild Blue internet offered. I found Wild Blue through my DirecTV service. I’m not very happy with my Wild Blue.
In my naiveness, I purchased the least expensive package that the company offered, thinking that the only difference between the three available packages was the speed of the uploads and downloads. I had no idea there was a cap on how much information one could upload and download within a month’s time. And in the 27 days that I’ve had the service, it’s only been working well for about a week. And in this time, I’ve gone over my allotment and am now in a probation period, not being permitted anything more than a certain download speed and upload speed. I had no warning, no e-mail, and no knowledge that this was going to happen. And the only way to get out of it is to comply by doing something that I really don’t understand, which is to only download 70% of my capacity. What the freak this means, I have no idea. I’d love to quit the contract, but there’s no doing that either. Apparently, you have to buy out of the contract. Or drop dead.
If you visit blogs, Myspace pages, Facebook pages, U-Tube downloads, this eats a lot of your monthly allotment. I’m not happy about this. My son, who is living here part-time visits 2 of these sites a lot and my husband has a penchant for U-Tube. He loves to download clips of old concerts and cute border collie tricks.
So I’m in Time Out and I’m not happy about it. Has anyone else in the blogging world had a similar experience? I should have gone with HughesNet, or maybe the grass is always greener . . .
Regardless, I’m now going to have to upgrade and spend another $30 per month to get the bigger package. It’s all such a racket, isn’t it? But this is what it’s like living in the country. It’d be nice to have a phone card thing like Sprint or Verizon offer, but my cell phone reception isn’t too great here, either. Hey, aside from all this, Country Life is great!
Remember to visit Kacey’s photo contest over at Wine On the Keyboard. I’m not asking you to vote for my entry. There’s some really cute ones in her contest this month and it’s just fun to check out the entries and vote!

17 comments:

Rich said...

Kate, Sorry you are having such a hard time. But may be by you getting this out in the open someone will have an answer as to how to get out of the contract or a solution as to downloading. This really stinks that they not only slow the speed down but put you in “Time Out”!!! You should have 30 days to get out of the contract. If there is anyone that has a law degree Please HELP Kate !!!!!!!!

Mental P Mama said...

Really...what a racket. That should not be legal. On the bright side, look at that precious puppy! Hope to see your time out ends soon.

Treasia said...

I have never heard of such a thing. I would have been like you and just assumed it meant the speed of your computer. I wish I knew how to help.

Mike said...

I have Wild Blue too.

Regarding the service not working... You need to get a technician back out there to repoint your dish. I had mine installed in the middle of the winter with over four feet of snow on the ground and have never had a problem. (until this morning but I'll cover that later) I'm betting that your dish is not aimed very well, or securely. Insist that when they come they bring at least TWO signal meters. My installer could not get a strong signal and was ready to give up and leave it as it was. He grabbed a second meter and got a great signal. Those devices tend to fail since they get beat up in the back of trucks and vans.

Regarding bandwidth limits... I'm a web developer and full time blogger. So bandwidth is an issue. I knew going in there were limitations, but where I live there are no other options. Even dial up doesn't work because the phone lines are so bad. My neighbor use dial up and says he's lucky to connect once a day. Even then the line usually drops.

If you sign into your wild blue login you can see a real time view of your last 30 days usage. I check it a few times a day as I've added a widget that displays usage on my google homepage. Whenever I approach 70% I know I need to keep an eye on the meter. I'm definitely what you'd call a power user, but I'm still on the lowest plan. My biggest tip is to get an RSS reader. This way you do not have to reload all the decorative images on every site you visit regularly. YouTube is something you must cut back on. You don't have to stop altogether, but be cautious.

As for my problem today... I thought it was the heavy cloud layer and rain, but when I went out to my dish I noticed a few trees grew dramatically overnight, along with the weight of the rain on them they were right above the dish. As soon as I cleared the limbs all was fine. I used to install larger commercial dishes, and the one thing I remembered is that the signal tends to come in at a higher angle than you'd expect. So branches in front of the dish are not as likely to cause problems as those just above and in front of it.

Ok now that I've written my quota let me know if you have any questions.

mike said...

Sorry I wanted to add. The fact that it was installed in the winter made it a very difficult installation. My dish is mounted in the ground on the edge of the woods. They had to dig out all the snow and a hole 24 inches deep in the frozen ground. Yet it still worked excellently.

Also, in regard to the RSS reader. I currently subscribe and keep up with nearly 300 different blogs. I haven't gone above 68% usage since I got my dish 5 months ago.

One more tip. I know you upload many images. This is probably where you went over in usage. Make sure you resize your images before you upload them to whatever size they are going to be displayed at. If you have a laptop save the big uploads and downloads for your next visit to a coffee shop, or other store that has free wifi.

Ok one last thing... HugesNet also limits bandwidth. They have higher limits, but provide a lower normal speed. There will always be limits on satellite as it's is a very costly service to operate. In fact most broadband services have limits. Even cable and DSL. the difference is they are either so high most people don't hit them, or the services don't enforce them.

Country Girl said...

Wow, Mike! Thanks for all the tips. I'd like to talk to you about some of them. Am at work now, but I'll have some time later. And yes, I definitely make all my pictures smaller. Much smaller. There's still so much I don't know . . .

~ C.G.

Mike said...

I'm not sure if Blogger shows site Admins the email addresses of commenters... if it does feel free to drop me a line. If not I'm subscribed to this posts comment feed so I'll be updated if you reply here.

Shimmy Mom said...

How is it that companies have figured out how to get us coming and going? Sometimes I think the Amish might be smarter than we give them credit for. Then again, they can't blog so we're just stuck with "THE MAN"!
Sorry about your internet yuckies.

Christine said...

Oh man, Kate! That stinks!! What is this about quotas and crap? Don't they realize this is 2008?!? I know you are out in the country (I used to be too 6 years ago) but hell-and-tarnation, putting a quota... Stupid! That means that even for you, you can't visit the heavy-image photography sites and photoblogs and such, huh?

UGH! Are you in your 30 day window to get out of the contract? Seems to me that *they* have broken the contract themselves by NOT providing the service that they promised.

You spent alot of money for the equipment and now this... seems they are trying to rob you.

GRRRR...

BTW, that puppy picture reminds me so much of my Tanna. I'll have to scan a photo of him in one day for you to see my boy.

noble pig said...

Yeah unfortuneatly with the internet stuff it's like..just give me the biggest, best and fastest package you have otherwise it really cuts into the enjoyment of using it. If pages are not going to load quickly then forget it. We spend so much time on the web it's worth it but unfortuneatly expensive.

Hilary said...

Ugh.. sorry for your connection woes. It might also help to check around for chatter - forums or newsgroups that might be discussing how to get out of the contract. I had been thinking that satellite could be a good thing.. now I'm not so sure.

Gorgeous pic of George!

Egghead said...

How frustrating! It is like cel phone contracts having to buy out the contract. GRRR!

Kacey said...

wow, that's terrible. I've never heard of limits like that. Wow, we'd SO go over them every month. Good luck getting this all figured out. I hate internet problems!

Mike said...

As I mentioned satellite users are not the only one affected, and now even wired services are enforcing limits. Article Here

brneyedgal967 said...

Yes, bandwidth limits are a racket. And total BS in my opinion. You just might have to unleash the bitch within and see if that gets you anywhere. LOL

Anesha said...

Hi Nice Blog . I don't really know a lot about spine anatomy or art, but that's just my 2 cents. Really great job though, Krudman! Keep up the good work!

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