How the Grinch (I mean TDS) stole what little Christmas cheer we had—an OPINION
By Jason Van Tatenhove.
It was never going to be an extravagant holiday season for us. To be completely frank, we haven’t had many extravagant holidays. But we all must take our Zen where we can find it. This year has been tight, and there were times that I feared we might have a complete goose egg of a Christmas. But I published a book and a novella and sold some artwork before the holiday, which allowed me to purchase a significant gift for each of my two daughters still living in the house. But there wasn’t much left to go around after those purchases. I warned the girls that this would most likely be a lean Christmas season. We would have to rely on cooking together and spending a little time with our circle of family and a few close-knit friends, maybe watching some of the classic holiday specials and new movies being released.
I felt it was an excellent year to wax nostalgic with the crowning jewel of the Christmas Hollywood releases in the new Matrix flix that we had planned our small holiday gatherings around.
We had purchased the HBO+ streaming service in preparation for this, went and got a modest spread of food, and invited a couple of our closest (and vaccinated) family friends over for the event.
Unfortunately, 2021 had to get in one last parting blow before the end of the year (just to add insult to injury.) TDS our local internet provider once again (and again, and again) went on the fritz! There would be no holiday Keanu Reeves fix for us.
Since the intense winds kicked up last week, we have not been able to maintain a solid internet connection that allows us to stream a movie, attend a telehealth appointment or use some of the cloud-based services I use in my writing, unless I tether my cell phone or go to a business in town that I can use their internet. My daughter has had to miss all her online counseling appointments in the past week. Indeed, even our landline (VOIP) phone service has been affected. While calls can come in, none of the callers can hear our responses.
My unsuccessful hero’s quest to save what little of the holiday we had left began yesterday with unending, unfruitful calls to one of their many and seemingly everchanging customer support lines. I gave up after an hour or so yesterday. But I awoke with renewed vigor and decided to begin my quest anew. I began this morning’s failure by being placed into yet another endless technical support call loop that ended with being disconnected after a good 30 minutes on hold. So, I decided to take a more real-world approach and walk to the local office as I could not get through to the technical support line. I knew in my heart that there must be some noble techno-wizard that would take up my cause to give my daughters a holiday break where they could forget about the troubles of a collapsing modern world overrun by pandemics and natural disaster and enjoy just a little of the Christmas joy Keanu and the new Matrix would bring.
I was wrong.
Upon entering the techno-wizards lair, there sat a stout sentry guarding all the magics of the internet at the front desk who looked at me with disinterested annoyance that I dare enter his lair. I regaled him with the story of my plight to save Christmas for my daughters with Sir Keanu.
I was met with a quick and cold response. After a flurry of keystrokes at his computer, he assured me there were no issues in my area. When I suggested, it may be an issue that is farther reaching than just my own house. That several people in my neighborhood have relayed to me that they are experiencing the same issues; a couple of them even live on the same street as we do.
The only help I was offered was yet another technical support line number.
Now I will admit on this line; I was able to speak with a knowledgeable tech, who concluded that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. They even offered to send a technician out for free (which was a change for the better from last year.) But not until the week after the holiday season.
For those of you that are not local Estes Park TDS customers, it is easy enough to get a feel for the level of customer service given by the company just by googling Estes Park TDS customer reviews. I found reading these reviews quite therapeutic after fruitlessly wasting yet another morning of my time. Here are a few I have cherry-picked for your reading pleasure that I will place at the end of this article.
It’s not like the company is hurting according to their 2020 Annual Report; their Net Income rose $122 Million from the year before. There is much talk in the report about expanding and improving infrastructure to avoid these ongoing issues, and maybe they are. I just haven’t seen anything tangible here locally that would lead me to believe they actually are.
So, after this holiday season, I will undertake yet another noble quest, that of finding a new internet provider. I feel I will be much more successful in this new adventure and maybe even get to indulge in a little Keanu Reeves therapy in a world gone mad.
Here are some of the eloquently entertaining customer reviews I found on my failed quest:
There are so many more reviews just like these; just search and see for yourself.