by Melinda Gallo

A new modem, but no home phone

Only two weeks ago, I called FastWeb to tell them that I was having problems with my Internet connection. The woman at the other end of the phone went through the support question drill to make sure I had plugged in my modem and that I had tried restarting it. She told me that she'd be sending out a tecnico (technician) to check everything out the next morning. He arrived a half hour early for our appointment, but called me from the parking lot below our apartment to make sure I was home.

He huffed and puffed up the stairs, replaced one of the parts in the modem, and sat on his cellphone complaining about how long it took to get my modem to work. While I was trying to work on my computer, he explained to me how the modem I have is useless because it always has problems. By the time he left our place, my Internet was back up, but within an hour my home phone, which is part of the FastWeb service, was down again. I didn't call back because I need my Internet much more than I need the phone.

This morning when I got to my computer, my Internet was not working again. I looked at my modem, which seemed to have lights that lampeggiavano (were blinking) erratically. I called tech support and they told me that I'll need to go to a local shop and sostituire (replace) the modem. The tecnico who came a few weeks ago told me that I'd have to eventually sostituire the modem. The guy gave me the name and phone number of two shops and told me to call before going just in case they can't sostituire my modem for me.

I called the one shop that is closer to our place and the guy told me to call back in the afternoon because his Internet was down and he was unable to go to the FastWeb website to check anything. I called the other shop, which is much farther away, they said that they couldn't even sostituire my modem. I waited until the afternoon in the hopes that the first shop would get their Internet connection, but they didn't.

I decided to call FastWeb back. I had already lost my patience because I had already been without a good Internet connection for six hours and I couldn't do much work. The guy at FastWeb gave me four other phone numbers, which surprised me because the guy I had this morning said there were only two places I could go in all of Florence.

I called the number of the shop that was closest to our apartment and asked him if I could sostituire my FastWeb modem. Alessandro told me after my brief phone conversation that I sounded almost rude. I didn't understand at first, but he explained that I'm supposed to explain my entire problem and then say that I want to sostituire my FastWeb modem. I did cut to the chase and only asked him the latter. I felt a bit bad, but at least the guy on the other end didn't appear to be offended.

Alessandro immediately drove me there and I brought my old modem with all the cables. When I was at the man's shop, I asked him if I needed to do anything else to get the new modem to work, but he told me that I would just need to hook it up to the wall and I'd be set to go.

I should've known that nothing is ever that simple, but I believed him. When I got home, I plugged my new modem into the wall and reset it a few times. Nothing seemed to work. I took a break for a few hours and hoped the problem would resolve itself. When it didn't, I called the tech support again at FastWeb. The woman said that I was supposed to call FastWeb back to give them the Mac address on the back of the modem as soon as I got it. I was furious with the guy at the shop where I got my modem and almost called him up to complain, but I became more interested in getting my Internet connection working again.

I thought that my modem would work immediately, but the "Voce (Voice)" light didn't go on and I still couldn't connect to the Internet. The woman told me that she'd put a note in my pratica (record) to say that a tecnico will look at the connection again. I was actually unhappy for replacing my modem because this morning my old modem worked intermittently and now it wasn't working at all, so I couldn't even connect for five minutes to the Internet.

After walking around my entire apartment with my computer open to see if there were any open WiFi networks nearby, my own Internet finally began to work again. I saw the "Voce" light on the modem lampeggiava (was blinking), so I tried the home phone, but it still wasn't working.

Now, I have a new modem and can connect to Internet, but my FastWeb home phone isn't working. I don't even want to call them for fear that my Internet will stop working again. I can live without my home phone as most people call me on my cell anyway, but I can't live without Internet.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!