Monthly Archives: February 2009

Why I will be leaving Demon Internet

I had the following conversation with Demon Internet’s “customer support”

Alex has joined the session
Connected to chat server, an agent will be with you shortly
CustomerService05 has joined the session
Alex: I have been limited by the fair use policy. I would like to have the limit removed. If I was to upgrade to Business 8000 would that work and how long would it take? Thanks, Alex.
CustomerService05: Hello, welcome to Demon Customer Service you are through to Priya.
Alex: Hi Priya
CustomerService05: Please bear with me while I load up your account details.
Alex: No problem
CustomerService05: Could you please confirm the security word on the account.Your’s mother’s name?
Alex: Xxxxx
CustomerService05: Sorry your mother’s name?
CustomerService05: Thank you.
CustomerService05: Please bear with me.
CustomerService05: The present Download usage for your service is 84.0GB
CustomerService05: You are not supposed to exceed more than 60GB
Alex: I have not received any message from Demon about this.
Alex: I contacted Technical support and then Technical support tested the line… THere was no fault on the line.
CustomerService05: Please stop downloading for next two weeks and the download usage should go back to 60Gb or evven lesser and then you can upgrade the service.
Alex: And then I asked him to check if the Fair Use Policy had kicked in.
CustomerService05: Faif Usage Polocy has nothing to do with the line test.
Alex: Which it had. But nobody had informed me.
CustomerService05: Since the service is restricted, you will not be able to upgrade the service.
CustomerService05: i am sorry for the inconvenience.
Alex: I have been a customer of Demon since 1995! And nobody from your company even had the grace to tell me that I was having a problem!
Alex: Why wasn’t I informed when I got to 60Gb?
Alex: I am seriously considering leaving Demon!
CustomerService05: Since the tool is under maintenance, the notification could not be sent.
Alex: But I offer to pay you more money a month to avoid this problem and you say I can’t!
Alex: Then I tried to call your customer service number which doesn’t work!
Alex: If the tool is under maintenence then you should inform your users that there is a risk that they could be going over their limit without realising
Alex: How long has the tool been under maintenance?
CustomerService05: Just about 2 weeks back.
Alex: And so because of your issue I have to now have no service for two weeks?
CustomerService05: You should have monitored it from your end as well.
Alex: Why? It says in your terms of service that I will be informed by e-mail.
CustomerService05: I agree. But since we had a problem we could not send the notification. However, I am sorry, the restrictions cannot be removed.
Alex: Why can I not upgrade my account at a cost of almost double per month to an account which doesn’t have the Fair Use Policy? That’s the other thing I don’t get?
CustomerService05: At this moment you will not be able to do that . Once the restrictions have been removed, you can upgrade the service.
Alex: Why can’t they be removed? Do Demon not control their own servers?
CustomerService05: It is system managed and cannot be removed manually.
Alex: Why can’t I do that? Why would I want to upgrade my service when I am not in this situation?
CustomerService05: Please stop downloading for a couple of weeks and then later you can upgrade the service.
CustomerService05: If you place the reqwuest for the upgrade now the request will be rejected in the first place.
Alex: Are you not a company with a plan to make money? I don’t understand this?
Alex: I can not see the point of this restriction? I want a service, you tell me it is not available from you at any price?
Alex: So I suppose I shall be taking my service to another provider. This is a great shame!
Alex: I have been a customer of Demon for 14 years!
CustomerService05: I am sorry but we will have to follow the procedures.
Alex: I can’t have no internet for 2 weeks! It’s simply unacceptable!
CustomerService05: Try checking the usage frequently and once you find it is gone beyond 60 Gb then you can place the requst.
Alex: I don’t blame you. I know there are procedures in place for some reason. But I would like to speak to somebody who has some discretion.
Alex: I won’t want to get the new package then I need to get myself out of this situation today. That’s what is so frustrating.
CustomerService05: You can speak to our Technical Suppot team on 0845 272 0040 -3
CustomerService05: That is the option 3.
Alex: Would they be able to remove the restriction?
CustomerService05: They will not be able to remove the restrictions but I suggest that you speak to them.
Alex: Thank you I will call them now.
CustomerService05: Is there anything else I can help you with?
Alex: I don’t think so 😦
CustomerService05: Thank you for using Demon Text Chat. If there is anything further we can assist you with please feel free to return to the textchat service. We are always striving to improve our services, in order to do this we value your comments. You can leave feedback by completing our Customer Satisfaction Survey at
CustomerService05 has left the session

I then called Technical Support who agreed that it didn’t make much sense and forwarded me to Customer Support on the phone (which was luckily quite quick – presumably because they aren’t taking any external calls because the line is down).

I tried to explain to them my one central point:

Demon has two services (I care about):

Demon HomeOffice 8000 which costs £21.99 per month and has a fair usage policy.


Demon Business 8000 which costs £46.99 per month and has no fair usage policy.

But Demon won’t let me upgrade to the account without a fair usage policy until I am back in compliance with the fair usage policy of the account I want to leave.

Demon? I WANT TO GIVE YOU MONEY. If you say no to insanely loyal customers who get themselves into this situation and instead of leaving immediately say, “I know I’ll pay over double instead” you have LOST YOUR MINDS. And you are clearly not a business!

I think I shall be going to Be. Not that it solves my problem for the next two weeks.

Across the bridge – Part 1

James dropped his cigarette butt to the floor, trod it carefully into the ground and looked around for somewhere to place it. As he picked up the butt he could feel the cold cobbles sucking heat out of his hands. His gloves didn’t seem to be helping at all, or rather they weren’t helping enough. There wasn’t a bin and so he flicked the butt into the river. James silently cursed himself for not thinking of this first, he could have done without bending over. And somehow he always liked the way a lit cigarette looked as it flew through the year, rather like a very cheap firework.

James walked up the path towards the bridge. From the darkness suddenly came a voice, “Who’s that?”

James heard the noise of a lamp being unhooded as he saw a wild tangle of hair and beard revealed. Somewhere from within a voice spoke again.

“You aren’t crossing the bridge tonight.”
“I am.”

“It ain’t a question. It would be murder to let you cross. From mid-point to far side it is completely iced over. There’s no way you can cross it.”
“But I must cross. I am already late for an appointment.”

“What kind of man holds appointments at this time of night?”

”I do not need to prove what kind of man I am to you.”

”That you don’t, I suppose.”

James made to move forward but the old man’s hand was upon his arm. In the low light his hand looked completely white as it tightly gripped his overcoat.

“You’ll have company in the grave tonight. An old man set off just 5 minutes ago.”
James realised who it might be and whispered, “Julius?”.
“Did you know him?”
“Not yet,” said James. He wrestled free of the old man’s arm and ran on to the bridge.

The tragedy of the self mong

I am a magpie for little phrases and verbal ticks. I don’t just store them away, I also find myself using them quite a lot. I do think that some of my conversations would be close to incomprehensible to strangers.

These little phrases and oddities are the special sauce that oils the conversation. They are half-remembered phrases that evolve into a life of their own. Perhaps you would like an example?

Katherine is quite likely to call something that is broken, “busted”. So first I picked up busted, then because I’m a tinker I would say, “that’s a bit Charlie from Busted”. Busted having been at one stage been a popular beat combo. This would be most regularly used to describe oneself so it would be, “I’m feeling a bit Charlie from Busted”. Which essentially means, “I’m feeling a bit peaky”. Then it started to get shortened to just “Charlie”. However I know somebody called Charlie. At one point when I said something about Charlie, Katherine said, “is that Charlie from busted or Charlie from your school”. Which of course means that the phrase is now “Charlie from your school.”

So hopefully you get the idea with all of that. Bearing that in mind, here are some of the other phrases that have been swirling around, coming from all sorts of places.

The tragedy of the self mong

The word mong is clearly very offensive and not a good thing. If you are unaware it refers to people who have Downs Syndrome as being mongoloid in appearance. And particularly it associates being stupid or doing stupid things with having downs syndrome. When I was at school that was the de rigeur choice of insult along with spaz of course. Not good. If it’s any help, as I was a weedy geek at school (versus the rotund geek that I am now) these words were mainly used about me rather than by me. I don’t remember using them, but I’d guess I did. With all that said, there was another thing that people did which was to put ones tongue between ones teeth and lower lip and make an “uuuurgh” noise. This was “to mong” somebody. And again it was used as an insult along the lines of “you’re an idiot”. But the worst thing you could do is make this childish face and then realise moments later, generally still while you were making the face, that the stupid one who had misunderstood the situation was you. This was the tragic self-mong as the face fell realising that this insult had backfired. Although now we realise that every mong is tragic.

Small Doggy Style

This is the moment, earlier on in the process of… well you get the idea, where the man hasn’t quite focused on the correct area and seems to be more interested in the leg for some reason. Well, I think I’ll leave that there.

Monkey Sheets

This is what you say when the bed is a bit cold when you get in. More precisely what you say when you get in to bed is, “oooh ahhh oooh ahhh ooooh ah, this bed is a bit Monkey Sheets”.

Shat on the queen

This is a phrase you can use to describe the look someone gives you when you say something which they find truly extraordinary and somewhat unsavory. For example, when I told Katherine’s mother that I didn’t take sugar on my weetabix she looked at me like I’d shat on the queen.

Columbo of Amazon

This is what Katherine accuses me of being, because I always want to buy “just one more thing”.

On Geeks

I have, from time to time, been called a geek. [Surely not? – Ed] It’s one of those things that is liable to happen. And it happens because I am one. Sometimes I even go so far as to refer to myself as a geek. Recently, however, I have started to question this practice. I know what I mean when I say it, but do they?

Some people in the general public seem to think that the words geek and nerd are interchangeable but they aren’t. At least not to me. To me, a geek is the kind of person who likes to take things apart to see how they work, the kind of person who builds something just to see if they can. But the nerd is quite different. The nerd is the completist, the train spotter, the one who isn’t happy until they have all of something.

Now I will admit to certain nerdish tendencies, but it isn’t my driving force. Instead I tend to get a bit bored of completing sets. I want to be off exploring the next new exciting thing. And doing that is pure geek.

A geek story from my history is that I really wanted to start a blog, but I didn’t really know what one was. But I didn’t research it. I didn’t sit down and studiously figure out the best way of creating one. I simply wrote a bit of software that did it for me. It was terrible, but it worked. And I loved doing it. Then a reader told me that what I was doing was a blog, so I looked up the word on google and found blogger. You can still see on this site, in the older archive, the pre blogger site.

A nerd story from work is from a colleague. She is in charge of accounts and she is very precise and needs everything ordered. She is like that not just in her job where she has to be, but also at home, where she keeps a four-year forcast of her and her husband’s finances. She has different tabs on her spreadsheet for birthday presents and Christmas presents. It’s all budgeted for. It makes her feel better to know that everything has a place and everything an order.

I’m not saying that one is better than the other, I’m just saying that it’s important to know the difference.

So are you a geek or a nerd?