DSL Karma

I was unable to get the DSL re-established when I moved in here. It was an idiotic decision based on people working for computers, instead of the other way around. If you’re really interested in the whole story, read the extended version.

I’ve been following the collapse of DirecTV DSL with a terrible schadenfreude, and it’s all because they screwed with me.

Beware, other technology providers; don’t screw me over, or this could happen to you, too.

For the ugly details: when touring this house, I noted with approval the seller had a DSL modem hooled up and running, through a provider I had never heard of, DirecTV DSL (having nothing whatever to do with TV or satellites), just DSL service. In fact, I confirmed this with the seller, visited him here and watched it work.

In preparation for moving, the seller and I filled out paperwork to transfer the service from him to me, so when we moved in we’d be online seamlessly. We missed the icky little detail about the phone number: you cannot change the DSL number. No problem, I’ll just re-sign up with DirecTV for DSL service here (DirDSL from now on). Shouldn’t be too hard, I have the seller’s modem (now my modem), still plugged into the wall.

Call DirDSL: cannot have it. Between the seller getting DSL service and now, Southwestern Bell rolled back the allowable distances from the Central Office (CO), down to about 12,000 feet; I might as well moved to the moon as far as they were concerned, with 21,000 feet to the box now. They were unmoved by my protestations that it was in the house, and it worked. In fact, they couldn’t over-ride their computers to give me service if they wanted to (two told me as much).

The next idea, theirs, was to get the old phone number back, “…then it’s just a service order to fix the service…” and then we’re in business. What the heck, I was in the military, I know that when things have to get done but the rules say otherwise, there’s always a way around the rules. No problem, get the old number. Right.

Right. Seller (great person) offers to give up the old number, and so I call Southwestern Bell (SWB) to get the number back. Several remarkably unsympathetic (and a couple of very sympathetic) calls later, I just cannot have the old number for 90 days. Doesn’t matter that the reason for not re-issuing the number is to give the prior owner first access to it, despite his statement that he didn’t want or need it. There is no way to get the old number back, without 90 days going by.

90 days was December 1st, when DirecTV DSL announced they were going out of business.

Joke’s on them.


  1. It’s like stepping into some sort of Bizarro world…I can almost – ALMOST – understand a government bureaucracy f**king with people like this, but a for-profit business? Jerks. Unmitigated jerks.

    My heart goes out to you guys.

    Having said that…I’ll repeat my earlier advice: MOVE, ALLEN, MOVE! It’s your only hope! It’s almost ironic – I’m in Great Falls, Montana, population ~60,000, hundreds of miles from any “major” city, and yet cable-modem and DSL is available here. In fact – when I got my orders to move here, in March 2002, the *very first thing* that I did was check on high-speed access…and the sigh of relief that I exhaled upon finding out that high-speed was available was probably heard for miles…