Finally — after far too much sturm und drang — we’re back up and running! Well, mostly. The most important parts, at least.

As of the last major update, I’d told Speakeasy to take a flying leap. After getting done with that, I called Qwest to see what they could do directly (our other option is Comcast, who I just can’t trust my ‘net service to). Qwest was quite helpful, and told me that they’d be able to have a DSL ‘net connection and DirecTV service installed and active on Wednesday the 30th, with VoIP phone service up and running a few days after that. That sounded reasonable to me (it was the same timeframe Speakeasy would have given me if I’d been willing to give them yet another chance), so I gave it a go.

On Monday, Prairie and I got to talked, and decided that it’d be a good thing to make sure the DirecTV install tech was going to bring a tripod mount for the satellite dish, as we’re not allowed to mount anything directly to the building. I called DirecTV, verified that a tripod would be in the truck, and then the service rep told me that if I wanted, I could upgrade one of the DirecTV receivers to a DVR version for free. Free is always a nice price, so I said sure, go ahead.

Wednesday was supposed to be the “go” day: DirecTV between 8am and noon, a Qwest tech on site to do the physical connection by 5pm, and the DSL modem hardware arriving sometime that day (it’s sent directly from Qwest, rather than having the tech bring it with him). Prairie went off to work, and I sat here at home and waited for the DirecTV tech.

And waited. And waited. And eventually, noon came and went, and there’d been no sign of the tech. I called DirecTV, and things immediately went all pear-shaped, as the first person I talked to told me that she could find no record of me in the system, and dumped me off on someone else who was in another department and was of even less help. I called back, got a different representative, and they were able to find me — only to tell me that, though I hadn’t been informed of this during the call, when I upgraded to the DVR receiver, the rep had had to cancel my original install and reschedule it for Sunday, Aug. 3rd. There’s nothing I can do about this, unfortunately — and I was quite vocal about this being a pretty sour first experience with DirecTV — so that will be happening Sunday morning. Still, the TV is the least important of the three pieces of the communication puzzle.

After venting to Prairie for a few minutes, I took a walk to calm down and check the mail to see if the box from Qwest with the DSL modem had arrived. It wasn’t in the mail, but when I got back to the apartment, there was a Qwest truck sitting in our parking spot. The tech had just finished up hooking up the DSL connection, and he said that we were live, all we needed was the DSL modem. Qwest ships those by UPS, so it should show up before 5pm. So far so good — I knew that at least part of the process had worked correctly — so he went on his way, and I waited for UPS.

And waited. And waited. At 5pm, I went down to check to see if UPS had given them a box for me without putting a note on my door. Nope, no go. Back home, and by 5:30, I was back on the line with Qwest to see what the story was with the hardware. The guy on the phone clicks around a bit, and then tells me that there’d been “a delay” with the package, but it was in UPS’s hands and should be arriving Thursday (the next day). Well, okay — not terribly thrilling, but at least it was on the way, and he was able to give me a tracking number so that I could check up on it if I could find a way to get to Qwest’s website.

This morning, I used the WiFi network at Prairie’s office to check the tracking number. It turns out that according to UPS, they picked the package up at 7:35pm in Denver, CO. This would have been just after I got off the phone with the representative who’d told me there’d been a “delay” — apparently, the “delay” was simply not sending the package out on time, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’d been reading the tracking number to me off the bill on the package before running it down to the mailroom!

On the bright side, though, they did ship the box next day air, so it arrived at the apartment complex while I was coming back from Prairie’s office. As an added bonus, the box had the VoIP modem as well as the DSL modem, so after a few minutes plugging in cables and fiddling with configuration details, I was finally back online, and able to place telephone calls without chewing through the minutes on my pre-paid cell phone. It took two weeks after physically moving into the building (and a month and a half after starting the original service transfer process with Speakeasy), multiple friendly and not-so-friendly calls to the various companies dealing with various screwups, bailing out of one company and getting set up on another, and burning through at least $50 worth of pre-paid cell phone minutes, but it’s done.

So. Two pieces down — internet and telephone — and one to go — DirecTV. We’ll see how that goes come Sunday.