Net Neutrality

If you live in the US and care about the Internet, it is time for you to contact your senators and congresspeople to ask them to support the 2015 Open Internet Order and block the proposed FCC plan to trust the ISPs to put an open Internet ahead of profit. A vote on the plan by the FCC is scheduled for mid-December.

The hope is that Congress will consider the issue and attempt to protect open access to the Internet. To that end, the Electronic Freedom Foundation has created a tool to make it easy for you to contact your senators and representatives in Washington about the issue. Check it out here. I encourage you to make your voice heard.


Net Neutrality

If you are based in the US, this is a vitally important issue!

What is it? According to The Guardian

Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) treat everyone’s data equally, whether that’s an email from your mom, a bank transfer, or a streamed episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. It means that ISPs don’t get to choose which data is sent more quickly and which sites get blocked or throttled (for example slowing the delivery of a TV show because it’s streamed by a video company that competes with a subsidiary of the ISP) and who has to pay extra. For this reason some have described net neutrality as the “first amendment of the internet”.

Why does it matter? According to Mozilla,

Net neutrality is fundamental to free speech. Without net neutrality, big companies could censor your voice and make it harder to speak up online. Net neutrality has been called the “First Amendment of the Internet.”

Net neutrality is fundamental to competition. Without net neutrality, big Internet service providers can choose which services and content load quickly, and which move at a glacial pace. That means the big guys can afford to buy their way in, while the little guys are muscled out.

Net neutrality is fundamental to innovation. Without net neutrality, creators and entrepreneurs could struggle to reach new users. Investment in new ideas would dry up, and the Internet would start to look more and more like cable TV: so many channels, but with nothing on.

Net neutrality is fundamental to user choice. Without net neutrality, ISPs could decide you’ve watched too many cat videos in one day, and throttle your Internet speeds — leaving you behind on the latest Maru memes.

What can you do? Visit one or more of these sites to get ideas:

Or watch this segment by John Oliver on YouTube.

We don’t have a lot of time to make our voices heard. Please take a minute to let the FCC and Congress know how you feel about this issue.




OK, I’m sad again!

On January 18 I received an email from Kobo stating that my replacement ereader would be shipped. So today, when I still hadn’t heard anything more, I called to inquire. I got through to someone and, after a lot of back and forth, she was able to get me a UPS tracking number. Apparently it was shipped on 1/20. That was way to long for me not to have received it. When I tried tracking the package on UPS, their site tells me that a shipping label was created on 1/19 and when it arrives at their facility they will update the tracking information. So I started a text chat with Kobo. The woman was very nice and referred my problem to the “device replacement department.” So within 24-48 business hours I should hear something back from them. Maybe.

I still prefer Kobo ereaders to Kindle, but their customer service is bad. The people I have dealt with have been nice, but they haven’t been able to solve my problem in over 3 weeks! It’s crazy.

I couldn’t be happier!

I wrote about how my Kobo had died, so I wanted to give you an update and give credit where credit is due.

In spite of my misgivings, I decided to contact customer service. I hated to do it because of all the really, really bad experiences I have had with them since I got my first Kobo in August, 2011. But I did it because… Why not?

I completed the online contact info and was told to call. So I called.  I was told that the wait was more than 50 minutes and that I could hold or leave a call back number if I preferred. So I did. That was yesterday early afternoon, and 24 hours later, I had heard nothing. (I guess I should be grateful I hadn’t decided to hold all that time! I would have been really tired!) So I called again.  And again I was told it would be more than 50 minutes or I could leave a call back. So I did. Again!

And then I checked the email I had gotten from them after I had initially contacted them online. It gave me a chat option. So I clicked. And waited several minutes to get someone to chat with. But finally I did.

At first I thought I was going to be really irritated because he wasn’t listening to me. But I went through all the steps he asked me to — even though I had done all of them several times prior to contacting Kobo in the first place. We ended the chat because I had to charge my ereader for an hour and then try all the steps we had gone through again.  I charged and tried, and I still had no luck.  So I started another chat.

This second chat went much better. We tried a couple m things that resulted in absolutely no change in the status of my ereader.  And then he said I qualified for a replacement. So I said, COOL!

Actually, they are more than replacing my ereader. They are being very generous.  And once again, I am glad I have a Kobo.  Or I will be as soon as the new one arrives!

So what did I learn from this?

  1. To try to solve issues rather than just giving up
  2. To try to contact them (and maybe all customer service people) by chat rather than phone because it is less frustrating
  3. That typing gave me time to temper my usual somewhat harsh responses when dealing with customer service people who are just doing their job and have no way of knowing I am a competent adult who has already tried every possible solution she could find online

So when I get my new Kobo, I will tell you all about it!



I’m so sad…

My Kobo died this morning. I am trying a couple things, but so far there has been no luck.  From my dealings with Kobo Customer Service a while back with my old Kobo, I know better than to try to talk to them about this one.

I can read all my Kobo books on my tablet or my phone, but I really like using dedicated ereaders. I won’t buy another Kobo, in spite of how much I want to like them.  Actually, I like them. I just don’t like their ereaders anymore, and I HATE their customer service.

There aren’t a lot of other options out there, so I will probably just make do with what I have. But I won’t be happy about it!