Posted by on March 16, 2021

Epilogue: Switching Over

         About two weeks ago this blog carried the story of how we (Evelyn and I) became Xfinity customers after several frustrating experiences trying to get Verizon to activate the “On Demand” feature of our cable TV box (see “Verizon Vent,” 3/4/21).

         I should have known, having been thru these kinds of things before, that switching over would not be the end of the frustrations.  There was the Xfinity activation process to deal with.

         We had to wait about five days or so for Xfinity to free up one of their technicians to do the deed.  On Tuesday, March 9, “Gary” showed up to get us up and running.  He was polite and respectful (put the “booties” on each time he had to enter the house).  Things were going swimmingly.

         Three hours later (close to dinnertime) he declared everything set up.

         HOWEVER … I noticed that he had put the main cable box in the master bedroom and one of the auxiliary boxes in the TV room, where we watch most of our programs.  I asked him to  switch those around.  He explained that it would involve running a whole new cable, and that it would have to go under the house (or under the carpet, or some such nonsense.  I was too taken aback to absorb the whole story).  Besides, as I pointed out, it was close to dinnertime and very likely close to the end of his work day.  In other words, he couldn’t care less about where the boxes were placed and certainly didn’t want to run the risk of working past quitting time.  He just wanted to get the heck home.

         So, there I was, left with two boxes in rooms in which I didn’t want them.  But that was just the beginning.  Only after this installation was completed did I remember how many devices were going to be affected by the new router (you don’t think of this stuff in the heat of frustration).  First, I had to re-program my laptop so I could connect with the Internet.  That took me a while before I remembered how I connected with my phone’s hot spot when we were on vacation.  That connection went well, all things considered.

         Then I discovered that my printer wouldn’t respond to the computer when I tried to print something.  It would copy documents I placed on its glass, but seemed dumbfounded by the computer’s command to print.  It took two days, but after I decided (with much fear and trembling) first to uninstall the printer, it somehow became easy to re-install it so it worked with the new router.  That was a biggie.

         The one that took me completely by surprise was our thermostat!  It didn’t occur to me that Nest thermostats rely on being able to “talk” to the house’s Internet system, and so I found a whole slew of new symbols, letters, and numbers on the thermostat that I had no idea had been there before.  Now that’s operating as it should.

         I visited the local Xfinity store (mere minutes from our house, as opposed to the 25-minute drive I had to make three times to Verizon in Camden, DE) a couple of days later because I had forgotten that Karlyn also wanted a box in her bedroom.  That was the easiest part of this whole saga.  The kid in the store handed me a box with all the components in it and basically said, “There ya go!”  While I was there – and while he was being so helpful – I asked him about the two cable boxes that are in the wrong rooms of the house.  I told him Gary’s story of having to run a whole separate cable to make that happen and admitted to being totally gun-shy about trying to make the switch myself for fear of blowing something up.  The kid in the store assured me that if I could make the switch in under 30 minutes, I wouldn’t have to re-program/re-boot the boxes, and to make that switch was no more complicated than attaching the cables to the proper inputs on the boxes.

         I just love living in this high-tech age where our machines make life so much more simple and convenient.

Posted in: Writings