When I tied the knot on July 12, 1980 I purchased a home, signed my first and only telephone contract, my first and only electricity contract and my one and only water supply contract. Thirty years later, I still have the same water supplier (IDAAN), the same electric company (ENSA) but a new telephone company (Cable Onda). And by the way, I still have the same wife and the same home.
What happened? Why did the pattern changed? Well, to tell you a long story short, the lousy service of Cable & Wireless got into my nerves. I just couldn’t take it any more and I called it quits.
For over thirty years I’ve had my quarrerls with former Intel (Instituto Nacional de Telecomunicaciones) and later C&W who purchased 48 percent of Intel during the Administration of Ernesto “Toro” Balladares. I erroneously thought the quality of the service would get better, since C&W was an international private company, pioneering in state-of-the art telecommunications technology. Wrong assumption. Cable & Wiress was a mediocre and sometimes deceiving international entity. I have my reasons to make these strong negative statements
It would be too long to explain all the differences I had with C&W. However, I would like to focus on the last straw that brought the camel to its knees. On September 20th of this year, my 4 MB Internet ADSL connection dropped to a crawl. I was obtaining a broadband Internet speed between 700 k and 1.3 MB; however I was billed for 4 MB—$29.95 per month. That was not morally right. Besides, my land line went dead several times, or had a thundring static the rest of the time. Still I was billed $6.40 which was my monthly rate for a retired person. Again, this was not morally right.
I called several times and they sent “experts” to fix the problem. These “experts” knew more about Albert Einstein’s relativity theory, than they do about telephones or Internet connections. They said, “your softwares are too heavy”, “your computer is too old”, “it’s raining too much”, “the wires are getting worn out”, and a whole lot of other “expert” opinions. But the problem was still there, and I was still coughing the full rate bills.
Last Wednesday I called Cable Onda and asked for their rates: $11.96 per month for a phone land line with unlimited calls made within the country with the exception for Almirante, Puerto Armuelles and Farallón. (That’s fine, I don’t call these places.) The rate for a 4 MB broadband Internet connection was $28.95—one dollar less than C&W. I said, “Fine, let’s do it.” and I signed the contract that same day. Mr Edwin Escala, a sales rep, drove to my residence with the papers to sign. That was it. I was hooked and ready to go at 10:00 a.m. last Friday. Response time: 48 hours! Unbelievable for a Third World country.
The quality of my phone is clear. Let me correct that—crystal clear. The speed of my Internet connection is 4.155 MB; a bit more than the 4 MB they are billing me for. I know this sounds too good to be true; but it is. Oh…and I get one month free of charge as a special promotion bonus. Yahoo!
Yesteday morning, I went to C&W and returned their modem which looks like a cheap Chinese toy and requested that my services be terminated that same day. I paid $93.35 which was my unpaid balance up to October 30, 2010. When I was driving back home from C&W, I felt like a free man. I had broken the ties with a villain that had taken advantange of my patience for more than three decades. Enough is enough. “A man’s gotto do what a man’s gotto do.” And that was it.
Now I’m surfing the Web at a speed of over 4 MB and talking with my friends with a crystal clear phone tone. Yup, it was time to say, “Hello Cable Onda, Goodby Cable & Wireless”. Good Day.