In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Data dearth

We had a big storm yesterday so I worked from home. With a VPN into the office, I can log into either of my desktop machines, and then do anything that I could if I were in the office. It’s remarkably convenient.

The problem was that soon after 9 am, my connection to the Internet went down. In fact, it’s still down.

The National Capital Freenet has been my ISP for over three years now and things have gone very smoothly. The only hiccups I’ve had were when my modem died, and when I dumped my landline, forcing me to go from a regular ADSL connection to a ‘dry’ ADSL connection.

I like everything about the NCF, except the support. It’s a non-profit organization that’s staffed by volunteers. Therefore, the place closes at 5 pm, and even during office hours, responses aren’t exactly speedy. My experience yesterday has me re-evaluation my arrangement with the NCF. I realize that my monthly bill has increased to the point where the plans offered by Bell and Rogers aren’t a lot more expensive. I rail against dealing with either of them again, but I’m reminded that I had no Internet connectivity for a full ten days when I switched to a dry ADSL connection.

Service is certainly more prompt from the big providers. I recall that I once lost connectivity when I was with Rogers. They determined that the modem needed replacement. It was a Friday and the support guy asked me if he could schedule a support visit for the next day. I readily agreed and a tech brought me a new modem the next day.

What I need from the NCF is to have my expectation set. When I have a problem, how quickly should I expect a response, understanding that they are available only during business hours? With that information, I can decide if I can stay with them or if I must go back to one of the evil big two providers.

As it stands right now, I opened a ticket 25 hours ago. I followed up with a phone call 21 hours ago and had to leave a voicemail message. I’ve received no response of any kind to the ticket or the call. If the service weren’t so trouble-free, there would be no decision to make, but it has been so I’ll mull it over and see where that takes me.






  1. Shawn

    These guys are great. And when you have a problem, they deal with the asses at Bell, not you.

    • Rick

      They’ll be the first ISP I try if I do switch. The NCF purchases their service from Techsavvy so I should already be good to go in terms of hardware and configuration. The monthly fee will be a few dollars more but the 24/7 service number will make up for it. We’re coming up on 48 hours of my trouble ticket submission without any contact in response, so I’ll be calling Techsavvy soon…

      • Brent

        I have heard good things about Techsavvy too. If my issues with Primus (new usage caps) don’t work out, I will be switching to them too. Primus has good support and a reasonable download speed. I used to have a 2 Gb per month limit, but that was lifted a few months ago and is currently unlimited. They are proposing a 25 Gb per month limit on my current plan, with an extra 40 Gb with a $5 /mo increase. Reasonable, but not as good as Techavvy (100 Gb/mo for about the same cost)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén