Well this is a two parter folks, as this blog entry definitely has two distinctly unbelievable elements as far as I am concerned.

First up, Cox Communications, my wonderful cable provider by whom I access the internet and keep this site staggering along decided to fry my modem on Sunday, leaving me without service until Tuesday night. Now I will say right now that Brian in the complaints department worked very hard to ensure I remained a happy customer. The only problem is before I reached Brian, Laura and I had to suffer two days without service and over two hours repeating the issue to Cox support staff, who failed to support us in the most amazing way.

When we first moved into the house we paid for preferred high speed cable internet service, and it has been brilliant compared to the DSL I had in England. Okay so once in a while it vanishes for a few hours, but then again don’t we all. Unfortunately on Sunday it cooked my cable modem, turning the normal array of lights into a single glowing message of doom. I tested, I restarted, I troubleshot, but it was plain to see that the device had had it.

The first call took an hour an a half, and started with the words “My cable modem has stopped working, and I’ve done to fix it”. After performing the same list of items for a second (more like 5th) time with a phone crooked under my shoulder, it was 90 minutes later before the helpdesk tech said “Your modem has stopped working, we can send an engineer out next Saturday”…. I almost exploded, as today was Monday I had expected a Tuesday or Wednesday callout, not a week later. After much fighting they agreed that if Laura or I went to our local Cox store and picked up a new modem, then we could fit it ourselves. Fair enough, so can you tell me the number of the store so I can warn them I’m coming, and ensure they have the item in stock? Oh no, they don’t have phones in the stores, and have no way of contacting them…

At this point I let Laura make the visit because I was afraid of what I’d do to the Cox representative if their sales staff were as “helpful” as the helpdesk team. Good thing I did, with a cable modem costing $50-$150, they wanted to charge us $15 per month to lease a new one, and wouldn’t refund us for the old/dead unit. Insane… So a quick trip to BestBuy (kind of like Currys, but 200% bigger and with better prices) and we bought our own and had it all set up… presto we’re back!

Brian did come in at the end and credit our cable account with the cost of our new modem, but by then my opinion of Cox support had already plummeted far lower than their current tv commercials would have you want to believe.

Second up, I saw a story on the BBC website at the weekend which made me almost fall out of my chair in disbelief. As if the roads are not yet dangerous enough with the moronic activities of the drivers described in the post below, but there is a new threat to drivers in the UK, and coming to a street near you soon. These scum, and there is no better word, think the best way to a quick buck is to force a car accident to occur, and then make fake claims on your insurance.

You can read the full story here: ‘Cash for crash’ scam targets drivers

Fortunately the two occasions where I have discovered that strange claims have been made against me (both incidents were not my fault and were settled without insurance claims being made, and in the case of the second without any damage to my vehicle or money changing hands) I have managed to negotiate a reasonable and fair settlement.

    So be careful out there, as it seems the risks on the roads have just got even more exciting.

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