Great Works Internet Doesn’t Works so Great

Dear mom,

I strive to buy local like you raised me to do. I love it. I love Coffee by Design, not Starbucks. I love Ruski’s, not TGI Fridays. I like Miss Portland soon, not Denny’s ever. Ok, mom, seriously, don’t you get the point? I freakin love buying local.

Maybe the only thing I love more than that, however, is super duper fast internet. So much as show me that ‘loading’ bar and my blood pressure rises like an upside submarine. Internet cuts out mid-download? I will bite the head off a headless horseman. Yeah, I take it seriously. More seriously than Mother’s Day, and remember that time I surprised you on Mother’s Day with three clones of myself to cook you breakfast in bed while I spun a round of Frisbee golf but it’s the thought that counts and cloning isn’t easy? Remember?

Great Works Internet, or GWI, is a Mom and Pop internet provider. Now, you might think that’s a bad idea, after all, how can your parents provide you with blazing hot internet access? Well, you’d be 100% right. It’s a bad idea. Some things are not meant to be Mom and Pop. NASA space shuttles. Skimpy undergarment manufacturing. Elevator repair. Leave it to thems who know what’s up. The Portland Point was notified of GWI’s sub-par (see: Frisbee golf reference earlier!) by a local Portland Tipster (you can be one too!). I will quote, and even though I will type it in quotes, it is paraphrasing as God himself intended paraphrasing to be when he invented the word ‘paraphrasing’:

“Portland Pointster, I gotta tell you, GWI sucks. Okay, so you know how you want internet to be consistently available? These [upstanding gentleman who perform maritals with women who have had children] give me all sorts of [shit] when i call them up to complain about the absurdly slow speed and spotty service. What do they tell me when I say that I am not get the 5 MB/sec download speed I’m paying for but am instead suffering through lowly ~1.5 MB/sec? What do they tell me? They tell me: ‘yeah, you’re definitely not getting 5 MB/sec.’ What do they say when I ask why? ‘Oh,’ they paraphrasingly tell me, ‘yeah, internet is slower in the East End. Bad wires. Yeah, just some bad wires up there.’ And then I says to the admittedly nice and respectful gentleman on the other end of the phone – and that is something you can expect in Portland for the most part – ‘and another thing, what’s up with the “no bills” you’re not sending me and the automatic charging of my credit card?’ The ANARGOTOEOTP says: “yeah, we don’t do bills, we’re an internet company! How could we provide you with a bill? And haven’t you been getting all those emails we been sending you to your spiffy GWI email? And do you have a problem with us just auto-charging you?’ At this point,

Sorry, I have to take a break from paraphrasing. This is getting tiring.

Okay, back to the paraphrasing, um, at this point, I’m thinking, wait, hold the phone, hold the sluggish internet, why can’t you send an e-bill? Do you… my internet provider… know what that is? The only payment option is “automatically charge my card without sending me a bill.”

Back to me. As I was absorbing this anecdote, which was sent to us at (just saying), I started realizing that sometimes you just want something reliable, and sometimes it’s worth not going local. GWI, if you provide internet service, you better have online e-bill paying, you better have a sweet email server if you expect people to use it, you better have ‘as advertised’ internet speed no matter where in Portland we live. Portland ain’t all that big, you can provide reliable service anywhere or you’ll die not trying. The anonymous tippers assure us that they chose GWI because of its being a local business. But you can’t expect us to blindly Go Local with crappy service. We may value all things Maine, but we have some standards.

Published in: on August 19, 2008 at 1:17 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey, thanks for the link to portland daily photo! I have added a link to here as well. I was going to get GWI a couple months ago (after my free unlocked wireless connection disappeared) and had over a month of waiting for them and fairpoint to work together to get my line set up outside the apartment. Then I find out that the wiring inside the apartment needs to be worked on. Grrr. I cancalled with GWI as I am moving Sept. 1st (to a better part of Portland) and will probably start shopping around for internet again and will likely go with Time Warner’s Road Runner. Anyhow, that’s my GWI story.

  2. I have to disagree. I have been very happy with GWI for the last year and love the fact that I am not contributing money to one of the media conglomerates that have been swallowing up all the independent radio, tv and print media. Maybe I live a neighborhood with “better wiring” (West End), but speed has not bee an issue with my DSL. When I had Time Warner cable it was fast when no one was using their cable, but forget it if it was high traffic time or ” American Idol ” or some other silly mega popular tv show was on at the moment.
    Customer and technical service were great, would answer non internet questions for computeramuses like me, and lived in Saco instead of Mumbai, India. i could even ask for my favorite techiesr by name.
    As for billing, they all want your credit card, and who needs to waste more trees for a paper bill? To top it off, there DSL and clear as bell landline phone, unlike internet phone service, was cheaper than TW, Verizon, etc.
    I say, Buy Local

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