It all began with the apartment owner’s fateful words: “I’m not sure if the building has cable; I think so.”
I should have run for the hills. If there is one thing I absolutely need at home, it is an internet connection. Preferably a very, very fast one. At the time, however, that was the last thing on my mind. We had finally found an apartment in a perfect location, with a kitchen (hooray!), at a decent rent, and with plenty of space for our needs. I figured I could work out the internet issues later.
We moved in at the beginning of February. A few days after moving in, I started researching internet options. I settled on a company that advertised cable internet with month-to-month service at a low rate. I put our address into their website, and it said that they could provide us with cable service. They had good reviews online, and I could avoid the 12- or 24-month contract that most providers required. I called, and they set an appointment to come the next day. It was wonderful!
Until the technician arrived. He took one look at our outlets and informed me that we had satellite service and no cable connection. Of course, the owner had no desire to install a cable connection. I spent a bit of time on the phone trying to communicate with the very pleasant but absolutely non-English-speaking customer service representative, and with a lot of broken German I managed to explain the situation and cancel our order.
Round 2: DSL options. After sifting through a ridiculous amount of information about DSL service (confusing even before putting it through Google translate), I found what looked like a good option. Again, I could get month-to-month service at a reasonable rate for us. I walked over to the local store, talked through the options, and signed up. Then I waited. For 2.5 weeks.
Finally I received the modem and the technician came over to check our phone lines. Of course, by the end of the day our modem still wasn’t getting a DSL connection. A colleague from my husband’s office kindly volunteered to help us sort it out, and after a phone call to tech support we had another appointment set up with the technician. He came, made some changes, and … still nothing. Another round with customer service, and we are now waiting for a new modem to arrive.
If this doesn’t work, I don’t know what we will do. The internet company swears that the connection is there, and the Telekom technician swears that the line is working. In the meantime, I am using internet at a snail’s pace by tethering our (ancient) smartphone and hoping that soon I will have a fast enough connection to do more than just the bare essentials online.