My Pet Peeves with Netsolir.

I bought my first modem on the August of 2001, three days before my first year at the high-school was to start. With the help of a good friend who used to live in the neighbourhood, I purchased my first Internet connection from Netsolir. To this day, I have been a loyal post-paid customer of Netsolir.

By the time this article finds its way to my low volume blog archive, I would have moved to a different, more reliable ISP. I have long given up on the services Netsolir provides. But what took me so long to make this decision once and for all was my generosity to give them one more chance to prove themselves to me that they are worth the money and time I put to and on them. I feel I have been more generous than I should be, for their services show no perceptible signs of improvements — on the contrary, their services continue to deteroriate over time, and add up to the annoyance and frustration I have to suffer as a result of which.

Months earlier from now, I realised I wasn’t getting eny e-mails to the e-mail account that I have with my ISP. And that happened during the time when the mailing lists to which I had been subscribed to with that e-mail address were all getting flooded with e-mails. A few days later I came to the realisation that every single e-mail I had sent, using Netsolir’s SMTP server, never really got off the mail queue running on the servers. I was angry. I investigated the problem by opening up a raw session with the SMTP host, and discovered that the POSTFIX MTA (mail transport agent) running on my ISP’s mail servers was in fact pushing messages into its queue. I waited a few more days, thinking that something that might have deferred the sending of the messages might have caused the messages to be left off in the queue and would fix itself. But, nothing came and went, despite the agonising wait. I tried budging the technical support personnels, but got nowhere with them, as the only advice I continually got was that of re-setting my Outlook Express settings and trying again. I’m positive I did not mistake the technical support number for the customer support, unless someone had took the trouble of mapping the two numbers the other way around. Days came and went, and I was without any e-mails. I could not send anything. I knew I had received some very important e-mails during that black-out, and only hoped that I would get them back as soon as whatever was wrong with the mail servers got fixed (by itself, or by someone). It indeed did get fixed, but, praise my misery, the mail queue handler dropped almost all of the e-mails that may have tried to find their way into my mailbox. I was furious, and I did not know what to do, and I had lost some exceedingly important e-mails, about which I have no information to date. I tried to put it all behind me.

And I did. Until, it happened again. And this time, it persisted to a whole week during which I neither got an e-mail, nor could send any. Struggling with the technical support staff, I finally managed to convince them something was wrong — an understatement, yes. In return, I was only told that my complaint will be forwarded upstairs and will be solved in no time. In time to come, I would notice that by “no time” they meant another three quarters of a week.

Everything went back to normal. Until — yes, that bloody until again — I shocking discovered that I could not access my account management page at the ISP’s home-page because, simply and stupidly, I was not using Internet Explorer, version this or that. I had a look at the source of the page which was causing the message box to appear, and fair enough, I saw a silly, unacceptably lame javascript tag which prevented browsers that did not send a browser-identification string with “Internet Explorer” in it anywhere from accessing the website further. I tried faking the browser-identification string with
Konqueror, as Firefox still does not support that feature, but all I could get through to was the initial login prompt — it just wouldn’t verify my login credentials and allow me access to something I have paid with my dad’s hard earned money for. I was enraged, and made the technical support staff at my ISP feel it, not just once, not even twice or thrice, by as many as six times. Months have lapsed since my last call to the technical support, and I still cannot access my account management page — I still cannot find how many hours I have consumed and how many are left. And I just don’t have it in me to get up and call technical support again. I would feel insulted if I did.

Despite all that, I gave them one last chance — call me stupid, but that is how far I am willing to go with a commitment I made years ago. Only this time I knew for sure that that was going to be the last straw. And, indeed, it was the straw that broke it all. For the last two days now, I’m continuously being haunted by DNS name resolution problems. The only fix is to overwrite the dynamically assigned primary and secondary DNS addresses to those of other reliable service providers over the Internet. And, unsurprisingly, it all of a sudden starts to work with the new DNS addresses. That is just the last bloody straw. As soon as my account expires some time this month, I will bid farewell to Netsolir and to my commitment with it which I had made years ago. A man can only bear so much. Like I said, giving them another chance and expecting they would out of nowhere fix themselves would be a blow to my self-esteem — it would insult me more than anything else equally insulting.

Thank you and goodbye!

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