Quietly Complaining

I’m switching from DSL to cable internet.  It’s not so much that I prefer cable internet (in fact, I like the ease of the home DSL install) but our house is in the middle of town and conveniently too far from the central offices on either side of town.  It’s only like a 2 block stretch, and I’m smack dab in the middle of it.

What this boils down to is this: the level of DSL service I’m paying for is up to 7 megs, but what I’m getting if I’m lucky is 3 megs.  My wife tried to watch a streaming Netflix movie on the Xbox 360 the other day, and every 4 minutes it stopped to rebuffer.  Lame.

So I spent the next couple of days talking to various salespeople for our local cable internet provider and I figure I might as well switch to their VoIP service rather than Vonage because I can get a bundled deal.  Might as well.  The home phone is literally only around so that telemarketers and credit card companies have another number to call rather than my cell phone.  So lets just port the number…

Porting the number is where the fail begins.

The first two salespeople I spoke with put me on hold when finding out there was some sort of problem with porting the number.  One even told me I’d just have to get a new number.  Then they offered to investigate further, so I gave them a callback number and…they never called back.

The last guy I talked to put me on hold while he escalated the issue up a couple of levels, and then told me that it didn’t appear like they could port the number even though it looked like they could on the surface.

While on hold, I came to the realization that maybe the problem isn’t with the cable internet provider and their digital phone team.  Maybe it’s a problem with Vonage.

Oh, Vonage.

So I tell the salesguy to just put an order in for the cable internet, and I’ll keep Vonage until I figure out what on earth is going on.  He’s nice enough to comp me the install fee for my troubles.

Getting off the phone, I post this to Twitter:

@Vonage_Voice number portability #fail. Apparently you’re holding my number hostage and I can’t port it to another VoIP service. Boo.

Literally not a minute later, and I get an email notification stating that Vonage_Voice is following me on Twitter, and a minute after that I see:

@tfj Can you please DM me your name and best number to reach you? Can have this looked into for you.


I send him my contact information, and he lets me know that someone will get a hold of me that evening or first thing tomorrow.

In the morning I get a call from Vonage’s Executive Response Team.  The woman on the phone tells me she got the ticket first thing this morning, but realized that since I’m on the west coast, I probably wouldn’t appreciate a call at 5am.  Very kind of her.

She explains the situation.  Since I didn’t port a number into the Vonage universe, but instead took a new number when I signed up, that the number I have is held with one of their resellers under the name Vonage Holdings (or something along these lines, I forget exactly).  She lets me know exactly what I need to do to port a number out from Vonage, and sends me an email with all the same info.

So I’m still with Vonage.

Ultimately, I may still switch to something else.  Google Voice looks promising but I’m waiting a few months to see how well it pans out.

But props to Vonage for their speedy resolution to my problem.  No calling support and waiting for somebody that didn’t want to tell me what I wanted to hear; no filling out a random online support form and not getting an email back.

Just a quiet little tweet that rings in the ears of the corporate giants.

Computer Fixin' Software

Windows Update Stalling/Stuck/Hang at “Searching for Updates”

No time for introductions.

I spent way too much time today trying for get Windows Update to work on a laptop.  When the “Searching for updates” screen would come on, sometimes the progress bar would be empty, other times it would run and run until it failed.

I tried CCleaner and reinstalled the Windows Update Components.  Multiple times.  Still nothing.

C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log showed a “SendRequestUsingProxy failed” message.  What?  I’m not using a proxy.

I find bits of Norton around, so I run the Norton Removal Tool.  I also end up removing Trend Micro’s PC-Cillin, thinking that it might be blocking the updates.  No good.

HijackThis doesn’t even show a proxy being set anywhere.  So what’s the deal?

FInally…Google returns this gem of a page:

Advanced Method B

8.    Type the following commands. Press ENTER after each command.

a.     proxycfg -d
b.     net stop wuauserv
c.     net start wuauserv
d.     exit

And there it is. I ran proxycfg all by itself and saw this mysterious IP address for a proxy. showed that it returns to BestBuy…hmm.

So finally: “Installation complete.  You must restart your computer for the updates to take effect.”  On to more important things.