Sunday, 2 December 2012

Normal blogging is back (I hope)

Apologies for lack of posts, but Orangutan (as I mockingly called Orange, our telecoms 'provider') has just restored ul. Trombity's links to the outside world. No fixed telephone nor internet since Thursday night. In October, we were sold a Livebox ('10MB internet, WiFi around the house, free phone calls to anywhere in the EU, 290 channels of TV* etc etc, all for a fixed 113 złotys a month') package, but what the salesman failed to mention was that the old analogue phone line would be cut off for good and replaced with VoIP (voice over internet protocol), which is of a lower audio quality and of questionable reliability.

The Livebox internet has its pluses (we can use WiFi devices such as Eddie's iPhone or my laptop with it) and its minuses (it often quits working for minutes at a time, or longer). The wireless phone handsets we have won't work with the Livebox, the phone is therefore anchored to the desktop computer. All in all, a less satisfactory solution than the rosy picture I was sold by the salesman over the phone.

Orangutan has called several times with 'customer satisfaction surveys'; my overall response is - you are rubbish. I don't mind paying a lot of money for Rolls-Royce service. I don't mind paying peanuts for crap service. But I do mind paying double the money that a typical UK triple-play package costs and getting half the download speed coupled with dismal reliability. [More on the subject here.]

The problem with Poland's telecoms is that when the Polish state treasury 'privatised' Telekomunikacja Polska S.A., they sold it to France's public-sector telecoms operator, France Telecom, which has renamed itself to sound more friendly, to Orange. Now Orange was originally a British brand (once wholly owned by British Aerospace Systems), through many hands (from Hong Kong, Germany) it has made its way to France, where the word also means a fruit and a colour. In Polish, it is neither (pomarańcz, the fruit, pomarańczowy, adj. the colour.) Should Orange (the name of the telecoms company) be pronounced by Poles in the original English style (oryndż) or in the French of the brand's current owners (oranź)?

Many of the firm's Polish-speaking call-centre operatives simply refer to it as 'o-RAN-geh' (and why ever not?) - from which it is not too big a linguistic leap to 'Orangutan', and I'll let my readers make the necessary semiotic connection.

* Of zero interest to us - the TV decoder is sitting in its unopened box under the stairs.

This time last year:
The meaning of Clarkson 
(or - the fuss that kicks off when a British media pundit recommends shooting government officials)

This time two years ago:
Today, not so good.

This time three years ago:
In which I walk to work

This time five years ago:
Act 1, Scene 1, a blasted heath


Neighbour said...


1 km down the road to Jeziorki station, Netia phone and internet works perfectly well, on TPSA (tfu,Orange) wiring (Netia don't have thier own infrastructure so they lease it from Francuska Dojarka).

Time to change...

Best regards,

Anonymous said...

Michael - we are still saddled with 1mb. No chance for anything faster for the foreseeable future. UGH!

One important item - about once every couple of weeks pull the power out from the live box so the cache in it clears. If it gets too 'full' it will really slow things up. No idea why it does not have a 'self clearing' mechanism but it doesn't. The tip believe it or not was given to me by one of their VIP engineering folks when we had a problem and it really helps.