Earlier this week while no one was home, someone came and disconnected our DSL. Suddenly we had no internet at all.
Of course, it was our friends at Vodafone. Yes, we always paid on time; in fact we have seen on their screens that our credit is at the absolute highest level. And yes, we still had a contract, until October 2013 in fact! (We'd thought it was only until October 2012!)
The problem is that when they ended one of our contracts, they chose the wrong one to end. The two DSL contracts were through two branches of Vodafone, "DSL" and "Mobilfunk", neither of which seems to actually realize the other exists. When they canceled one of our accounts to end our four-year streak of paying twice for one service, they canceled the "DSL" one. So, when the account ended, they sent someone to disconnect us, even though we still had the "Mobilfunk" one. (Sorry for all the irritating quotation marks, but I want to be clear about when I am talking about "DSL" the Vodafone branch vs. DSL the service we are paying for. Despite the misleading names we were indeed paying for DSL service through a company named "Mobilfunk".)
After lots of arguing over the phone about the situation, we were advised by a Vodafone "Mobilfunk" tech that they could not reconnect our DSL, because only the "DSL" branch can authorize this action, and "DSL" refused (via phone) to do this because our contract is not with them. So, really, when they canceled one of our accounts it should have been the "Mobilfunk" one, not the "DSL" one, but of course no one over there has any idea about anything, really, so ...this happened. The tech further advised us that the only reasonable way to resolve the situation was to completely cancel our remaining DSL account (the "Mobilfunk" one) and just start over. So, it was canceled too.
And we are not starting over with Vodafone again. But, that's another problem.
Since we already have O2 for our cell phone contracts, we decided to use them for DSL too. So, we went in to get all set up with them, and it turns out that it takes
to connect the line and actually have DSL at our apartment. How Germans are able to accept this level of customer service, which is shitty beyond the capacity of the English language to describe (and we can be pretty colorful, I'd say), so, so, UNBELIEVABLY absurd, I do not understand. At all. Why, Germany. Why do you just take the dry rusty pole in a very uncomfortable place. WHY.
So, we had to pay an extra gazillion Euro to buy a surf stick so we can actually access email, plan trips, monitor our bank account, and all the other functions that make internet access non-optional in the modern world. And, surf stick access is a lot slower than DSL, and it's limited, so ...ugh. Just ugh.
In the rest of Vodafone news, we have submitted yet another request to have our money refunded and are awaiting the official results, at which point we will take them to the VZ to see if they can help us out (assuming it will be rejected).
Honestly, Germany is a very freaking awesome place to live, but sometimes you wouldn't know it...