Have you ever met anyone who’s been happy with their internet service? Yeah, neither have I. I’m pretty sure when internet service providers send out customer feedback questions, their 1 to 10 scales go from “I hate you” to “It’s fine, I guess”. For me, it’s been a love-hate relationship with my internet provider. Well, I’d actually call it more of a hate-hate relationship. I hate them, and I think that they must hate me too based on the service they offer. They do love the money that I reluctantly pay them every month though. I, and everyone I know, have to constantly endure slow internet speeds with no bright future of higher speeds in sight, and for this reason I choose to rant about internet service providers.
When I only get actual internet service around 60-70% of the time, with random blackouts disrupting my ability to watch True Detective, I can’t help but wonder if I’m actually living in America. America, the land of the free, the land of opportunity. I should have the freedom and opportunity to use the internet that I fucking pay for whenever I want. You know what kinds of countries have random blackouts in service? Third-world countries. That shit shouldn’t happen here. Whenever the internet is working, it seems to be crawling like a tortoise born without back legs. Therefore, whenever the internet is working, I still can’t watch goddamn True Detective because it only plays for ten seconds at a time before lagging and needing to load more. An hour of commercial-free TV takes me two hours to watch. That shit ain’t right.
The best trick these assholes play on us is when they send out some poor slob who unwittingly signed his soul over to the devil by taking a job as a service technician. In my experience, my internet is either moving at speeds akin to dial-up in the late '90s or not moving at all, unless one of these people are physically in my apartment. Whenever these guys show up, it’s like someone at the ISP control room, which looks like the room where they get ready to fire the main laser on the Death Star, flips a switch that gives me perfect internet access for about an hour. This is just enough time for the guy to come in, turn the modem off and on again, pretend to plug some things in, tell you that he can’t find anything wrong with the service, and charge me $40.
With such terrible popular opinion, the question of who are the human faces of these companies inevitably arises. I don’t know for sure, but I like to picture the board of directors of my particular internet provider as a combination of dark-cloaked lizard people and Cobra Commander lookalikes standing menacingly around a stone table engulfed in flames on the outer rim of Satan’s asshole. A quick google search tells me that “Satan’s asshole” is apparently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My point here is that I don’t think any of them have real human faces, because that would require them to be human. No self-respecting person could charge as much as they do to offer quality as poor as it is.
The real reason why they charge so much and offer such low quality comes down to supply and demand. Everyone demands it, and they’re the only supplier. It’s really true. Most people can only chose between two or three different internet suppliers at most, and many people can only chose one (like me). This is what most economists call a “monopoly.” A monopoly, for those unfamiliar, is a popular board game where players try to fuck the other players out of their money and end up with all the money to themselves. While this is a fun way to teach children about the grim reality that life isn’t fair and you have to hurt people you love to become successful, monopolies also happen in the business world. They are the category of businesses that have eaten up the whole market share of an industry, so no other competitors can survive or enter the market. With competition eliminated, they can charge whatever they want, because people who need their product will have no other real option than to pay it. Since they go against the basic ideals of capitalism, like how competition is good for the consumer, they are not supposed to exist in the US. However, they clearly do, and it makes me angry. Two of the largest and shittiest companies, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, are trying to merge with each other right now in an attempt to establish what would be a real monopoly. Since it seems that the bigger an internet company gets, the worse their service actually becomes, we should all be hoping that the US Senate kills the deal. Since that requires the US government to do something intelligent, I don’t see it happening.
I think we can all agree that these internet providers are some of the worst companies that we have to deal with. They constantly treat their customers like crap, don’t respond well to customer issues and demands, and overcharge for terrible service. In fact, I have half a mind to cancel my internet completely and free myself from their chains. Wait, fuck that. I need the internet to look at cat pictures.
Henry "That's Not My Name" Henry is currently being held in an undisclosed location.