Published Categorised as Brain Power, Personal, Internet and Computers

Decisions require emotions, so writes Lisa Cron in Story Genius. Maybe that’s why for years my decision-making skill vanished. It returned bit by bit. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, I asked fewer and fewer people for advice. Yeah, I had fewer to ask, but I also told myself not to ask every single person I knew but only so-and-so or three relevant to the decision.

Somewhere in the last few years, I returned to my pre-injury way. I don’t know what men do, but healthy women talk things out, not to have someone else tell them what to do but to figure out the issue through conversation. So it was irritating for my neurodoc to say he couldn’t make the decision for me, as if talking things out with him was me trying to get him to do that instead of engaging in normal decision-making.

But this past week or two, I sure would like him — or anyone! — to make the decision for me.

I’m not prone to caving in to pressure tactics. But Bell has upped their skillset, using a variety of deception practices skating on the edge of outright falsehood, pleasantness, short hold times, and the usual practice of keeping you talking for so long that by the time they transfer you to the department you asked for, you’re exhausted. I feel discouraged by my paralysis over what to do and fear of making the wrong decision. I’ve lost hours of time and days of energy to dealing with Bell, time and energy I’d planned on studying Story Genius for my writing craft book club. Brain injury and fatigue makes it harder to deal with deceptive practices when they come at you from an unexpected direction.

I wouldn’t be in this position if the fucking Feds and CRTC had done their jobs and protected Canadians from Big Telcos’ monopolistic practices.

The CRTC gave Bell Canada 6 months to offer fibre wholesaling to third-party telecom companies. Bell responded petulantly by capping their fibre internet to 3Gbps from their pre-November 8Gbps (higher?) and by, it seems to me, speeding up their migration of phone lines from copper to optical so as to capture third-party customers before the smaller companies can offer optical fibre internet.

I remember when I first heard about fibre. The idea of using light to conduct phone signals awed me. I couldn’t wait for Bell to convert our lines. For some reason, I thought that would happen soon. But that was decades ago now, and today, I wish they’d piss off and let me keep my copper lines.

Ramryge angels at Gloucester Cathedral, England

Brain injury grief is

extraordinary grief

research proves

needs healing.

Deregulation and choice doesn’t always make life better. Regulation kept monopolies in check; now they have free reign to rein in smaller companies’ offerings, steal their customers, and squish them. Despite CRTC and CSS “protections,” the CRTC still caves to the Big Telcos, and we’re left navigating the nice sharks.

The Feds threw a bone to low-income Canadians. Rogers offers their own program. The rest provide Canada’s Connecting Families program. This is so helpful that while the CRTC mandates a minimum 50Mbps being available to all Canadians, the Feds offer a max of 20Mbps for low-cost internet. And they don’t let people with disabilities apply as a category. Seniors and families only. More proof the Trudeau government hates people with disabilities.

In any case 20Mbps for $20/month is one heck of a pathetic pricing negotiated by the Feds. Who did they send to the Telcos to negotiate this? An overloaded law school student who hates tech??

But back to my decision. On threat of losing my home phone, whose affordable bill I negotiated with Bell over a decade ago, I was persuaded to sign up for a bundle with fibe TV that I don’t want in order to keep my phone and not lose internet. In person and over the phone, Bell told me they’re migrating us to fibre from copper and I may lose my home phone number if I don’t sign up for a bundle.

Deceptive much?

I process slowly; the more unexpected and cognitively challenging the event, the slower I process. Inevitably, my brain wakes me up in the wee hours to say, initial process completed, research more now! I found this:

Fear glares at intellect, daring it to act against it. My intellect looked at Bell’s page on copper migration to fibre, saw Bell had lied to me about losing my home phone, but I still caved in to fear and haven’t yet cancelled the bundle they took an hour to persuade me to get, knocking down my arguments one by one, counting on the fact I wouldn’t have all the facts over CRTC decisions handy in my memory. Googling while fending off the unexpected is not my skillset.

In the wee hours today, I found many forums over the last few years about Bell’s migration with posters wondering if they could resist, how to keep their services the same, or how to ensure installation didn’t upend their homes. Posters ranged from very tech savvy to adult children advocating for their elderly parents. I’ve also listened over the years to all the problems my relatives have had with their Bell fibe service and counted myself lucky I’d avoided it. Ha!

Under the total bullshit that market economy always leads to lower prices, even savvy Canadians are being railroaded into unwanted services before Bell is forced to wholesale fibre to third parties who offer you what you want at prices you can afford.

My Duck logo walking on my books in pink and blue shading.



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