10 October, 2006

The China Internet Saga

Well, this mystery (and misery) may finally be solved! After 10 days with no internet connection at my apartment, I think today may be the day I can plug back in.

Here's the run down, if you care to be bored...

  • Day 1 (September 30) - I report that my internet connection is gone, to my real estate guy (William).
  • Day 2 (October 1) - William calls me and says that I need to pay my phone bill (which had been shut off a week prior). I can pay at ANY bank in China. New process to me, was never told I needed to worry about this, but OK, I'll do it.
  • Day 3 (October 2) - I go off hunting for a bank that will allow me to pay my phone bill. ALL CLOSED. It's "National Holiday" in China...banks are all closed until Sunday, October 8.
  • Days 4-8 - I am sick and suffer with no internet at home...wander down to SPR coffee at various points for an hour's worth of catching up
  • Dav 9 - BANKS ARE OPEN! I wait in line for 2 hours with a number (178) in my hand to pay my phone bill. Guess how much the bill was ......... $6USD !!! I can't believe my phone (and, supposedly my internet) were both shut off for six bucks.
    • I go home to test the phone...WORKS ... internet ... WTF, not working - William gets another call
  • Day 10 - William calls me to tell me that the internet has been out in my apartment complex (didn't say for how long). He then tells me that it's out in Block D ... jackass, I'm in Block A. So, after calling his BS on that one, he finally tells me that the landlord "forgot" to pay the internet bill and will do it tomorrow (today). Guess what landlord, I'm going to "forget" to transfer the rent to you on time...and maybe not give you 100% of it!

So, after being BS'd by everyone for 10 days, my internet should finally be working when I get home tonight. To ensure this doesn't happen again, I told William that if it happens again, I will deduct 50% of the rent for that month. So, the landlord actually paid for one year of internet service, so this doesn't happen again. I doubt it was because of my threat, but I like to think that it is, because money talks more here than anywhere else I've seen.

Lesson learned...the phone is not connected to the internet (for me anyway) & money is connected to getting people to do (or not to do) things in China.

PS...don't forget to pay the $6 phone bill next month.

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