Chronic DOT Net

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 2: Chapter 3]

Re: [Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 9, 2021 5:15 PM

On 2021-01-09 21:30, Chronic Support wrote:


We currently have an AT&T technician outside your building trying to get access to your MPOE.

Best regards,


Voicemail from Chronic employee, 1-9-21: click here to listen.

I had to step out for 20 minutes to walk my rescue doggies, then get some groceries. I haven’t even eaten breakfast yet because so busy (the DSL land line problem just adds to the burden), and it’s now after 3 PM. Otherwise, I’ve been home all day. I didn’t hear anyone call up to my window, and I hadn’t bothered to look out because I did NOT expect a Chronic tech to show up. Now that I’ve received your email, I see NO ONE outside. What good is this time stamp on the email when it states “21:30,” which I believe is 9:30 PM?” So I don’t even know WHEN your post arrived.

PS: Did you realize when I first signed up, Chronic assigned me a different phone number than the one I already had, even though I requested to keep the same number? I was real careful in the sign-up process to choose my current number. But the way your online form application works (or does NOT work) you cannot go back and check if you made a mistake, and could correct it. I DO recall that part of the form is not worded very well, and is confusing. But as I just said, I couldn’t get back to it in order to affirm that problem. So when I called about putting my original number into my new Chronic account, I was told it will take around three weeks to change it. Which for some strange reason also meant I wouldn’t have a working Internet connection for just as long…though a seperate problem, they weirdly coincided. I asked can I get reimbursed for almost a month’s time where I had to live withOUT Internet access, even though I’m paying for it…and the mistake is Chronic’s in the first place? They said “No we can’t.” Come to think of it, that may have been yourself!

So, now that this present debacle is going on, I am reminded of this earlier one, right off the bat when I signed up. There IS no one from Chronic outside…I guess I shouldn’t expect him or her to show up until around or shortly after 10 PM, because your post is dated 21:30 and you said they’ll be over in about a half hour…and I guess this is some kind of time warp thingy we’re dealing with? So because there is probably a short in the wires I may also lose my Internet connection again?

Right when I’ve never needed both Internet service and land line service more than ever in my entire life! Right when I finally have the rare chance of climbing out of an almost poverty level existence, where I need to seek out a literary agent and many other connections via TELEPHONE and leave them messages on their voicemail and wait for them to get back to me…and I REALLY need Internet access to post my new tales which I’m coming up with at least three times a week, in order to make the most of this present, golden opportunity that may never come again? UNBELIEVABLE.

[Dear Chronic forum reader: If you don’t believe I’m that talented as an author, that I’m just a crazy old coot…perhaps you should hold your judgment until AFTER reading a few of my Brindlekin Tales. Because, who knows? I may not even HAVE any Internet access at any moment, just like I no longer have my DSL phone…and lose all the new connections and support I’ve struggled so hard to make, in hopes of turning my tales into a literary success! All thanks to Chronic’s shoddy treatment of a relatively new customer (I’m into my second year, but so help me I’ll be dammed if I go for a third!) Be that as it may, I think in its own weird way, this is HILARIOUS, such that I’m gonna create an entirely NEW chapter all about this cyber dilemma and call it “Chronic DOT net.” Check it out if you have the time (chapter 21); this may be my last chance to access cyberspace, for quite some while…’cause NO ONE from Chronic has gotten back to me, and it’s now 12:48 AM. I don’t even believe anyone from either AT&T or Chronic ever dropped by. But OMG who am I to think that I’m at least as important as anyone else…mea culpa! They certainly didn’t wait around, ’cause I woulda been back within 20 minutes, probably much sooner!]

Re: [Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 10, 2021 11:52 AM

Please note that my Internet connection has deteriorated to the point where my ability to connect is sporadic and more frequent as of last night. Therefore my posting this update could only be done once a window opened, so that I could get through. IOW, your tech service may not be able to reach me at all, or, if so, I probably will NOT be able to reply in a timely fashion. Okay, having said that, here is something very important I have to explain to you:

There was absolutely no indication that either an AT&T or tech person ever showed up. No note stuck to the front gate, no voicemail followup by EITHER one of them. And I am home ALL the time, except for a brief walk with my rescue dogs, or to pick up some groceries or sundry items from a corner shop just two blocks down Noe Street. At the absolute MOST I’m never away from my “hovel” (which is what I call my dump of a single room here on Market Street in the Castro) more than twenty minutes (but often less) twice a day within working hours (9 AM to 5 PM that is). All they had to do was call up to my window, which is right above the front gate, “Zeke!” or “AT&T here” or “Chronic here!” The other (perhaps better) option is to ring up the building manager via the menu selection on the intercom right beside the gate. Seems to me that, if either one arrived, they just stood around for a minute or so without doing either, and took off!

This is inexcusable, seeing as Chronic still has numerous customers who subscribe to their lowest tier service, because low income…which is 10 MB broadband via DSL. Who also are less likely to AFFORD a smartphone with cell service beCAUSE of a sparse budget. Under such circumstances, Chronic administration should be fully prepared to service such customers who may not have a basic line of communication via a smartphone, or a land line (should that also go down, as it has for me). I’d say such emergencies are RARE anyway, and will be little skin off’s teeth. In my case, all a techie has to do is hang around for a short while, if both calling up to my window and trying to contact the building manager via intercom, do not pan out. Which is highly unusual, I might add. For if I don’t answer by poking my head out the window, I am either out with the doggies and/or picking up groceries, and GUARANTEE that I will be back shortly. This means that one of your service people can show up ANY time without first giving notice, during working hours, and by following the simple instructions I just presented, he or she WILL be able to enter the building and perform the needed repair. FYI:

When I first got my Chronic service set up, your staff was most accommodating to my particular situation of not owning a smartphone, by arranging with one of their techies, to email me when he was soon to arrive, and I could email him back to let him know I’ll be waiting at the front gate. Also, he was instructed to call up to my window, if I weren’t there at the moment. As a result, installation went smoothly. Very nice fellow, BTW, but offhand I don’t remember his name.

Essentially, by treating my emergency so flippantly, you are basically SABOTAGING my budding career right when it’s getting off the ground!

I have recently adopted two lovely dogs of dachshund and terrier mix from a homeless friend…thus ending their miserable existence being exposed to bitterly cold nights (and days, this is sure a prolonged cold snap) and the erratic mood swings of their (fortunately former) bipolar guardian who has been verbally and physically abusing them in small, but increasingly frequent and harsh increments, over the past several months. The story of how I achieved ownership over the pups, and the many tales around them and their vagrant owner, are what my Brindlekin Tales are all about. It is a work in progress, and available for anyone, anywhere on this planet, to read each latest chapter that I upload every two days or so. Anyone on the planet, that is, with an Internet connection which, ironically, now threatens to elude me at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME.

All my writings I consider in the public domain right off the bat, BTW. All chapters presently completed are right there on my WordPress site:

I also have set up a “Help Me Help 2 Homeless Doggies” GoFundMe project, as well as an “Amazon Doggy Wish List.” Both of which charitable sites are easily accessible via an image link on my web log…you can’t miss it.

Everything I’m trying to accomplish is basically now on hold, thanks to Chronic’s fumbling and blase regard. I can no longer update my social media accounts, my WordPress blog where I post my chapters (and other tales not related to Brindlekin stuff, but nonetheless inspiring and important), nor keep communication flowing on my work-in-progress with either my growing number of fans or anyone with hopeful connections for standard publication and other opportunities for both a lucrative outcome and/or expanding recognition for my good works. This includes running and promoting my GoFundMe and Wish List projects…without which I cannot continue to afford caring for these beautiful doggies, seeing as my only regular source of income is Social Security. In sum:

Now that I’ve made crystal clear to the good-but-clueless folks at Chronic, my particular (and most likely unique) situation…may God help you if you refuse to rectify this potentially tragic outcome by getting your asses out here to my residence ASAP. I mean, what the fuck am I paying through the nose for in the first place, to a company that projects a strong sense of community, customer satisfaction, and rapid turnover in resolving connection issues? I repeat:


Thank you for your (kind?) attention in this matter. And I pray for a speedy resolution, because of how IMPORTANT my projects as an LGBT street activist, author and dog rescuer truly are!

Re: [Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 11, 2021 4:34 PM

Hello Zeke,

I apologize for the delay in getting your service repaired. Unfortunately we don’t have the best control over whether ATT is willing to stay for us to contact the end user. We can try sending a chronic technician but if the issue is between the mpoe and street we’ll need to get ATT out again. If there’s a good way to immediately contact you please let me know and I can add it as a point of contact for ATT showing up. In the meantime I’ve gone ahead and resent the request to ATT to get the line looked at. Their estimated repair timeframe is between now and 8pm on the 12th. Another way to help ensure att is able to get access is if you’re able to leave a note or something on the door for them or if you could be make sure that access to the MPOE is unlocked and available.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Best regards,

Yma Deville – Perfidy & Eschatology Lead
Chronic Inc, 666 Beelzebub Way Satan Rosa, Ca
Sun-Sat 8am to 10pm Support: 666-666-6666

Well, my voicemail still works…can’t they just call me when they’re gonna arrive soon, like anywhere between 10 minutes and a half hour from now? My Chronic phone service will instantly route the call to voice mail, and my Chronic webmail updates every five minutes. Or, the tech person can email me, as the other option. Than I can meet him or her at the front gate. That seems to be the best solution.

Re: [Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 11, 2021 7:49 PM

Okay, I taped a folded message on the front gate with “AT&T” on the outside, in block letters. Inside, it says “MPOE is unlocked in the basement, anyone will let you in. Or call up to my window above the gate and on the left: ‘Zeke! AT&T here!’ Or you can buzz manager Kevin Bond via the intercom menu. Thanks! Happy Nude Ear!”

Re: [Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 12, 1:10 PM


An AT&T technician showed up and supposedly fixed the problem…ha, ha, just joking. He got in some way other than calling up to my window (maybe I was out, walking the doggies), because I was NOT aware he showed up at all, until I got this voicemail from “Tosh” at

Voicemail from Chronic employee, 1-12-21: click here to listen.

He left his phone number which, of course, I can NOT access, because my DSL land line is STILL dead. He failed to give me an email, so I’m back to contacting Support. This is part of the problem, and is entirely Chronic’s fault…by not informing anyone who assists with a complaint, that the particular customer has no phone access (including no cell service), and may STILL lack said access even AFTER AT&T has (ahem) “resolved” the problem. And as a result, the confusion and frustration heaped upon customers in this situation just pile on.

Please note that I do NOT want anyone in my room because I have recently adopted two doggies off the street, and they don’t need the disturbance of strangers. I’m SURE the source of the malfunction is outside my domicile, anyway. And I QUESTION if the AT&T worker really did his or her job…because they failed to do so on my initial switchover to Chronic, causing me an almost three-week delay before I could use Chronic services (which I might add, was Chronic’s fault as well, due to not getting back to me for a LONG time, so I had to resort to posting the issue on their Twitter page, which finally got their attention, and problem resolved…but boy was that an uphill FIGHT all the way, for which AT&T is only partly to blame).

Be that as it may, it is super EASY to access my building (and the MPOE) without contacting me first, or even informing me of when a Chronic tech will be arriving. (Which is not always a good thing, for such easy access makes it equally simple for any derelict, vagabond, thief or prowler to enter my building without even breaking in!) They can either call up to my window, contact the building manager, Kevin Bond, via the intercom menu, or just wait a minute or two for a resident who’s coming or going, to let them in.

My Internet connection is presently subpar: Chronic speed test shows my download rate to be 2.7 Mbps. And I am NOT doing any torrent downloading, or using a VPN to cause that slowdown. I’m thinking that DSL may not cut it in the long run, due to a really ancient MPOE that is more knotty than Medusa’s hair. Plus the partially open roof structure that goes all the way to the basement, exposes the MPOE to frequent dampness and possibly, rainfall dripping over it through leaks in the shabby stairs right above. Here’s a pic of the MPOE; if you cringe, I’ll understand:

This is happening to me at the WORST possible time, demanding a focus that I simply CAN’T afford right now. My writing, self-promoting (including seeking the best literary agent, as well as posting several days a week, my latest tale to a growing base of followers), along with caring for two, newly adopted doggies…and relying on GoFundMe and my Amazon Doggy Wish List to feed and provide for them in other ways, which services I could NOT access if my Internet connection decides to finally go south.

If things keep diddling along as they already are, I will have to find some other way to connect…probably through an Android tablet with unlimited 3G and 2G, that allows tethering at no extra cost, and does not have cell service. In which case I will BREAK my contract with Chronic, whether they agree to it or not. The law IS on my side. If I have to, I’ll get a NEW debit card, so Chronic can no longer make automatic withdrawals.

Of course I’d prefer to maintain my Chronic account, but not under such a difficult condition, in a city that is supposed to be the epicenter of high tech, though actual experience by countless customers exposes a rather irresponsible and corrupt underbelly. While Chronic may be the LEAST corrupted, they still leave much to be desired, largely because of their dependence upon AT&T, but not completely…which REQUIRES all customers to pay for a land line, whether they want it or not.

I REALLY don’t have the time for this…and my important projects are all suffering to an extreme, because of this Kafkaesque charade.

Most sincerely,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin
Veteran LGBT activist, homeless advocate, author and dog rescuer since before the dawn of Futurama.

PS: Wifi for my android tablet and non-cell-service smartphone is sporadic, at best, keeps crapping out even though I’ve reset the network several times. And there is also the very SERIOUS matter of a neighbor down my hallway allowing her son’s guests to hang out IN that hallway and RIGHT BEFORE MY DOOR for several hours once or twice a week, because she’s “helping” another mom who can’t be home for that time period, when they get out of school. So they make lots of noise, even argue and scream at times, and I have absolutely NO privacy, they see me whenever I exit and enter, and worst of all: THEY REFUSE TO WEAR A MASK! And I HAVE NO PHONE SERVICE which is vital under such a circumstance, in order to document this with calls to the health department and other pertinent agencies. At least I can call 911 with the smartphone, but that’s a bandaid. This horrific situation has been going on for months, even though I confronted the building manager and the guilty party TWICE within a period of five weeks, four and three months back. SO I NEED A WORKING PHONE, AND I NEED IT BAD.

Re: [ Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 14, 2021 4:21 PM

On 2021-01-15 03:27, Chronic Support wrote:


You just received an email with a link to schedule your appointment. This dispatch would not require anyone to enter your home however the technician may need some help from you inside. It looks like no appointments are available on the calendar until 01/29. We would like to expedite it for you since its been an ongoing issue. Please let me know if you will be available in next few days so I can call over to our dispatch team and get an appointment set up.

Best Wishes,

Spinster P. – Comorbidity & Pestilence
Chronic Inc, 666 Beelzebub Way Satan Rosa, Ca
Sun-Sat 8am to 10pm Support: 666-666-6666

I am available any day from tomorrow through forever. Go ahead and expedite an appointment. I will be glad to assist anywhere in my building except my actual room. Since I have no telephone or cell phone, the worker can email me when he or she is soon going to arrive…within a half hour, with 20 minutes or 10, whatever. My webmail refreshes every five minutes. They can also call up to my window, which is right above the front gate and just to the left, and say: “Chronic is here!” I might be out walking my doggies. If no answer from my window, he or she can contact the building manager, Kevin Bond, via the intercom menu, and he’ll let you in. If I’m out, I will be back very shortly, and they can wait in the lobby. Also, just standing by the gate will get the techie inside, by asking a resident who is entering or exiting, to allow entry. At any rate, I’ll probably be here, and if I receive an email, I will be sure to be at the front gate when a Chronic headache shows up.

Thanks, Spinster!

My latest message to the Chronic forum, dated 1/14/21:


Okay, two days have now passed without so much as a peep from Chronic support. Finally, today this email from them arrived, stating:

“It looks like no appointments are available on the calendar until 01/29. We would like to expedite it for you since it’s been an ongoing issue.”

I was glad to hear from them, about getting my particular problem resolved ASAP. However, I’d like to point out that, normally, a customer will have to wait at least two weeks before resolving a connect issue? This sounds more like the way AT&T and Comcast behave…not a smaller, supposedly “community oriented” company that prides itself on a fast resolution! Unbelievable! That would turn ANY problem into an ongoing issue!

Latest update from Chronic’s forum, Fri. Jan 15, 2021 9:35 am:

Hi ezekielk,

Per my email earlier, we have a dispatch for you between 12pm and 4pm today. It is strongly recommended you don’t leave the property during the dispatch time. Our techs in the field do not have access to email so I asked that they call me when when they are inbound and then I will email you to let you know when they are on the way. But our techs will only wait up till 15 minutes if the customer is not on site. So it is fairly critical to be there during the dispatch window. Regardless, we got them on their way today and it shouldn’t be too hard to thread the proverbial dispatch timing needle.

Fantastic, thank you! I WILL be on site (a.k.a. “home”)…and if you really do follow up with an email as to a more specific time slot, I WILL be at the front gate, awaiting their arrival. And if the doggies’ need to poop’n’pee is urgent at that time, I will only walk them three or four doors from my residence, in either direction, keeping an eye out for a Chronic vehicle.

Please realize I’ve been making a big stink because not only am I in the middle of making my climb towards popularity of my tales via cyberspace and seeking a top notch agent…but also because I’ve become embroiled with a serious matter in my apartment building, where I MUST have a phone to find an attorney and keep in touch, as well as contact various legal and gov’t agencies in order to build my case, and protect my own person along with my two lovely rescue dogs. This is clearly laid out in my blog entry called “Letter to the Landlord:”

IOW: access to both the Internet and a telephone are tantamount to not just achieving success as an author and activist, but to my very well-being and even survival. I APOLOGIZE if this has caused some Chronic nerves to jangle, but I’m sure now you understand my desperate pleas. Thank you for your kind attention and patience…and taking action.

Re: [Chronic #6259025] Re: Chronic Appointment Confirmation
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 15, 2021 11:40 AM

Hi Zeke,

Fantastic, it’ll be nice to get someone on site and get this sorted. I know it has been a pretty rough ride. Our techs are MILES more reliable than outside techs, so you won’t have to worry about us not showing up. Between the two of us lining up the details as much as we have this should be a slam dunk.

Warm regards,

Lucifer K. – Customer Boil & Wart Remover
Chronic Inc, 666 Beelzebub Way Satan Rosa, Ca
Sun-Sat 8am to 10pm Support: 666-666-6666

Amazing, thank you. This is a most UNIQUE situation I am in, as the Fates enjoy mucking with me rather often, putting me in precarious and seemingly impossible scenarios (sometimes quite embarassing, as well). This is but the latest one, and among the very worst, if not THE worst.

Re: Fwd: Re: Chronic Appointment Confirmation
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: January 15, 3021 12:35 PM

Your correspondent at Chronic seems to have a fair amount on the ball; let’s hope he delivers!

Let’s hope he does. I really don’t WANT to lambaste them, or have my phone remain dead, and, possibly, my Internet service die out, as well. I’m trying to staunch an oncoming travesty that threatens to wipe out my entire life, as well as that of the doggies. This is quite an intimate war with the devil, so to speak! We do NOT need such a horror to unfold!

  • Zeke

Re: [Chronic #6259239] Chronic Dispatch
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 15, 2021 3:14 PM

Hello, the technician for your Chronic dispatch is on his way and is about 10 minutes away from arrival.

Okay, Jonathan from Chronic came out today, did a great job of looking into the matter…but it looks like AT&T will have to come out again, because the Internet connection remains flaky. So he’s gonna try to arrange showing up WITH them, this Thursday, the 21st at 1 PM. He tested out the dial tone, it’s working, so I’ll need to see if a new extension cord will to the trick…if not that, then a new analog phone which I can order from Amazon for under 13 bucks. I will get the cord thing done later today, keeping my fingers crossed that it will work.

I’m guessing when both Internet and DSL went down, a short damaged either the cord or the phone itself. Thanks for your attention, again. Problem is, w/o phone access over the next few days, I may be up shit creek, due to harassment of certain residents’ visitors in this building, who aimlessly wander my hallways, and whom the manager is doing NOTHING to stop it.

Re: [Chronic #6259239] Chronic Dispatch
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 15, 2021 4:01 PM

DSL phone line works again. Turns out I needed a new extension cord…I guess because when the Internet and phone lines went down, it shorted out the telephone cord. Dumb thing is, I DID try another cord, but no cigar. I have three spare cords stashed away, but I only tried one. So a few moments ago I tried yet another cord, and now it’s fine. Chronic techs still need to get my Internet connection back up to snuff, and they’ll probably return with an AT&T tech this coming Thursday. Hopefully, my Internet access will remain workable till then…it’s down to 2.7 Mbps, which is fine with me for what I do online: Youtube Studio, Worpress blogging, Facebook and Twitter posting…and tons of email and listserv participation.

But I AM particularly relieved to have phone access again, due to a conflict in my apartment building with another resident’s loitering-in-the-hallway-right-in-front-of-my-door visitors, and the manager, who chooses to do nothing about it. My line needs to stay open, so I can begin documenting the offenses against me (including risk of exposure to COVID-19 by not one, but several, people who don’t even live in my building). by contacting various agencies, including the health department, police department, etc. As well as finding, and staying in contact with, an attorney.

Re: [Chronic #6259239] Chronic Dispatch
From: Tara Roosevelt
To: Zeke Krahlin
Date: January 15, 2021 4:48 PM

The suspense is killing me!!!

On 1/15/2021 1:02 PM, Zeke Krahlin wrote:

{{ On 2021-01-15 20:49, Chronic Support wrote:

Hello, the technician for your chronic dispatch is on his way and is about 10 minutes away from arrival. }}

Wonderful, I’ll be out front in a jiff.

I’m tellin’ ya Tara, these real-life sagas I’ve been writing the past few months, are cliffhangers around every corner! Brindlekin Tales is gonna be a real blockbuster of a book. Then come the movies. Then the comic books and online gaming. And, of course, all the toys and dolls they will propagate. And clothing I guess, but I haven’t thought much about THAT aspect. Cruella de Vil’s brindle coats and capes? All synthetic, of course, or I’ll moider ’em! Taco & Wiley slippers? Don’t forget the Brindlekin app! – Zeke

My latest message to the Chronic forum, dated 1/16/21:

This is peculiar. Since installing a working phone cable, my Internet download speed is now a whopping 6.78 Mbps…so, back to normal. Are you telling me that a thwarted connection to the landline phone can mess with my Interwebs speed? I need my coffee.

Re: [Chronic #6259239] Chronic Dispatch
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 16, 2021 6:07 PM

Hello, Zeke!

I’m glad you were able to solve the no dial tone issue. We have our technician and an AT&T technician scheduled to go back out this Thursday the 21st at 1pm to address the internet connection issue.

Best regards,


Great…I’ll make sure to be home at that time and day…it’s on my calendar now. Strange thing is: my download speed dived to around 2.7 Mbps, after my DSL flaked out. But as soon as I replaced the extension cord, my download speed climbed back up to almost normal: 6.5 Mbps! Just 1 Mbps lower than the average. Doesn’t make sense to me that a bad or nonexistent phone line would sabotage my Internet speed. Coincidence, perhaps?

Thank you, Isolde.

My latest messages to the Chronic forum, dated 1/17/21:

by voluptuousmelvin » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:43 pm

Yup–anything that interferes with the line’s operation can affect your speeds. A short that affects the voice line very likely will affect Internet throughput.

by ezekielk » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:52 pm

Well, this is the first time anyone informed me about that. Chronic never did, including the worker who came out to do “repairs.” So the cord was old, shorted out, causing my Internet download speed to plummet, after being out for almost an hour…while the land line stayed out. A simple cord replacement was all that was needed. If they told me to try a new cord in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to go through all this anxiety and waste of my, and their, time! Well that was quite a scary ride…like when I was a kid getting on a roller coaster for the first time.

Thank you for your insight, Voluptuous Melvin.

by voluptuous Melvin » Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:37 pm

It’s tricky to diagnose, Zeke. The Chronic equipment often can detect the location of a short that’s outside the home, but the equipment has challenges troubleshooting when the issue is within the home. Phone cords don’t fail that often, and usually, the Chronic folks work from most likely suspect to least likely.

by ezekielk » Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:08 pm

Of course phone cords don’t fail that often…that’s why it happened to me! Shit always happens to me, but not to anyone else. I feel like the world’s sin eater.

Thanks for your reply.

by voluptuous Melvin » Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:37 pm

It’s tricky to diagnose.

by ezekielk » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:15 pm

I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t make sense. The FIRST thing Chronic should do is tell the DSL customer something like:

“This is rare, but it happens. So the first thing you should do is replace your telephone cord, because sometimes that’s all that needs to be done.”

Look at all the time and work wasted because that simple instruction was never given! My impression is that since DSL is going the way of the dailup modem, technicians are losing basic knowledge around DSL. Furthermore, I’d say that a sudden drop of both Internet and phone is a sign that, yes, replace the phone line and see what happens next. For that WOULD be the “most likely suspect.” Sounds to me like you’re just making excuses. What, in my case, after hearing my original complaint, would YOU say is the most likely suspect?

I have a hunch there is NO need to send a technician out to my place again, including AT&T. I’m guessing there IS no more of my line being “a lot slower and all over the place,” as Jacob stated early in this thread, now that I have installed a new phone line. Shouldn’t that be checked now, before going through the motions of another visit? I mean, you’d THINK that, after I reported everything’s working fine again, someone at Chronic would do another remote check, to see if everything’s all cleared up. So why hasn’t that happened? It would save your company both money and time.

My latest message exchange to the Chronic forum, dated 1/19/21 through 1/21/22:

by voluptuousmelvin » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:57 pm

It’s not my company. I’m just another customer.

I had to replace the DSL filter on my line several times.That’s not even in the Chronic technicians’ script, because they’re not expected to fail at all, yet mine did. Chronic sent me several to have on hand so that I could make a replacement when the line became unstable.


by ezekielk » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:40 pm

I hope they didn’t drag things out for you, before resolving the issue! The DSL line is not expected to fail, yet it happened to you more than once? Incredilble.

by georgehr » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:28 pm

That is the unfortunate fact about copper infrastructure has numerous points of possible failure and is essentially assembled of various parts and elements that are in some cases quite old. While it is easy in hindsight to ask “why was this not asked first?” voluptuous Melvin is correct, the telephone cord being at fault is rare and less likely than the things we suggest first. Furthermore, it is typically poorly received for us to suggest the customer’s equipment is at fault as a first order of business. We will typically only begin suggesting customer equipment after having ruled out our own.


by ezekielk » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:01 pm

georgehr wrote:

Furthermore, it is typically poorly received for us to suggest the customer’s equipment is at fault as a first order of business. We will typically only begin suggesting customer equipment after having ruled out our own.

I disagree, because replacing the telephone cord is the SIMPLEST thing to try, so should be tested out first, before anything else. It is also EASY to do…so easy in fact, no technician is required. And if it doesn’t solve the problem, you can move on to other things which may be more costly and time consuming to resolve. A new cord costs very little…so little, in fact, Chronic could provide it for “free,” as part of the service already paid for by the customer (assuming he’s using a Chronic assigned gateway). I don’t think the customer would be the least bit offended, if worded diplomatically. And you’d have a VERY happy customer as a result of resolved the issue so promptly, if that’s all the problem was.

In fact, it strikes me that a failed cord is probably more common than one might think, due to its constantly being moved around, stepped on, and accidentally yanked. Same goes for the DSL line, in some cases.

At any rate, I’ll be sure to be home tomorrow at 1 o’clock sharp, to welcome the Chronic and AT&T techs with open arms! Though no one from Chronic has emailed me yet, to verify the appointment.


by voluptuousmelvin » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:49 pm

ezekielk wrote:

I hope they didn’t drag things out for you…

Chronic support was very responsive and put a lot of time into working with the line (I had Fusion X2 service, over copper). The line would work awesomely for a while, but then, on the line graphs, I could see where the sync rates on line 1 would go crazy. Chronic technicians visited my house several times, Chronic and AT&T ran diagnostics many times, Chronic and AT&T did vendor meets, and so forth.

The worst part is the issues with the erratic sync rates were intermittent, mostly occurring April through October. From November through March, the line was mostly stable.

Chronic tests showed AC current was present on my line, and theorized that it might be due to the PanaChronic cordless phone I had hooked up. We agreed, however, that the cordless phone uses DC current–that’s what the wall wart provides to it! This was verified when I left the phone unplugged and the current was still detected on the line.

Techs tried typical steps such as limiting the bit rate, and yet at some point, intermittent noise would occur, and then it would resync even lower. We finally agreed that no matter how low the cap, when the noise occurred, the resync would be lower than the cap. so we left it uncapped. I learned to check the sync stats periodically and record them, so that Chronic would have the information. I got into the habit of forcing the modem to resync multiple times a week. Most of the time, it would immediately sync at the usual rate, but sometimes I simply could not get it to sync and be stable.

One trick that I learned was to unplug everything: the MPOE test jack, the DSL filter, the phone line to the modem (at both ends), and the phone line to the phone (at both ends). On more than one occasion, this seemed to get it to sync when it was having issues. I started wondering if the various connections might be corroding, and unplugging and plugging might be cleaning the contacts. shrug

One day, out of frustration, I grabbed another filter out of the box and plugged it in, and for several weeks, the line stayed stable. When it went unstable again, I tried changing to another filter, and subsequently, the line was stable for another few weeks.

BTW, AT&T swapped pairs several times, and even did a port swap at the CO, and the issues persisted.

My theory is that somewhere along the path for line 1, the copper got close to some sort of equipment that threw out a strong EMF field, used extensively during the summer, and occasionally in the winter… perhaps a pool or hot tub pump, or something similar? I was about 4,500 feet from the CO (although occasionally Chronic’s test equipment suggested that I was 7,500 feet–I suspect it sometimes got confused by whatever was causing the problems).

Chronic never gave up. Unfortunately, their hands were tied by using AT&T’s infrastructure, so some dispatches depended on the latter’s availability, and that wasn’t during a pandemic when many more households were demanding instant service. And AT&T is trying to abandon its copper network, so some technicians were more helpful than others.

I’ve since moved from that house. At my current home, I’m on IPBB X2, and I’m about 300 feet from the VRAD. I can trace the line its entire length, and I can verify that it’s not routed near anything that should be causing noise on the line.


by ezekielk » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:37 pm

Well, that was such an amazing true story, so rich with detail, I am gobsmacked! You just made my day, my friend. It so happens I had to call 911 on a neighbor’s bullying teenage son tonight, who threatened to beat me up! This is the result of my sending a certified letter of complaint to the property owner (a big realty firm) about his “friends” hanging out in the hallway once or so per week for like two or three hours, being noisy, talking gansta (thus intimidating), and NOT WEARING A MASK! The manager did nothing about it, despite the two times I brought it up to him. So I sent my letter to the property owners, and a cc to the building manager, and to the son’s mom. Thus, this altercation ensued. He tried to intimidate me, but no such luck. I remained calm and stood my ground through it all, while his pathetic pipsqueak of a Universalist Unitarian mother stood nearby, wringing her hands.

So I returned to my hovel (that’s what I call my single room) and dialed 911…and thanking God that it’s working again, or I’d be up shit creek without a paddle! The cops FINALLY showed up, were very cordial, attentive and professional, and talked to these stupid neighbors, while I waited in my room for the cops to return and give me a report. They basically said they warned them they are breaking the law in several ways, which is what I hoped they would say, as this was a good show of force to let them know I am NOT scared, just royally pissed. Her son is a big, athletic dude, 6’1″, all of 17 years old, and I am a scrawny, white 70-year-old eccentric author only 5’7′ in height. So it was a VERY interesting day, topped off by a most incredlble true event re. your outrageous experience with Chronic ISP. I’m composing INCREDIBLE tales these days, and I invite anyone here, to take a gander:


by voluptuousmelvin » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:59 pm

I think that if anyone deserves fault in my experience, it’s the owner of the poorly maintained copper. As I mentioned, Chronic was very responsive and kept pushing AT&T, but there’s only so far that one can push a mountain.


by ezekielk » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:05 am

I can agree with that part, thanks for the telling of a most interesting cyber-debacle. My situation is, however, quite different…and thank Cthulhu for that. It was basically a simple part that failed, and AT&T, the eternal scapegoat, had nothing to do with it.


by ezekielk » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:29 am

My connection and DSL phone line are now working properly. But I’m afraid if I hadn’t made a big stink about it, I would’ve had to wait in line until the end of the month, before any tech person would even come out. That doesn’t seem fair for any customer…let alone myself who, without phone access, would’ve been in really deep doo-doo, because I’ve suddenly gotten embroiled with some vulgar neighbor down the hallway who’s harassing me and the doggies. If my DSL phone line were still not working, I wouldn’t have been able to call 911 (as I have been threatened with violence), or contact the property owners, or even the building manager for that matter. Also, I wouldn’t have been able to continue my search for a literary agent, or update my stories on social media for almost three weeks, and perform other tasks vital to my vocation…at a crucial moment in my efforts to expand my readership fan base, which has just begun to take off. All that would’ve collapsed, without access to either a telephone, or the Internet.

So, while I”d like to say “thank you immensely,” I cannot do that, in all honesty. The technicians who came out were all excellent, BTW…I give them the highest rating, realizing they are not responsible for the convoluted infrastructure mostly controlled by monopolies, that we must all deal with. I suppose most customers have some sort of emergency backup for their Internet and phone, which is, obviously, a smartphone or tablet with cell service. Especially one which can be tethered. Or one can use a bluetooth keyboard and, perhaps, an external bluetooth monitor. So now I know what I’m gonna spend a chunk of my next stimulus check on. I can NOT afford to be without a phone or Internet connection for even a single day, as things are moving so fast in my life right now. This would NOT have been the case, but for the pandemic, because, before then, I could readily go to a coffeehouse or library and use public wifi. Which is why I’ve also invested in a VPN. But now, things are rather different. In fact, public wifi had been my ONLY access to cyberspace for at least several years by now…and I was perfectly happy with that.

I subscribed to as my first broadband service ever…figuring I can manage the expense, even though my sole income is Social Securty. (Rent control has saved my life; if not for that, I’d have died on the streets a long time ago.) But once the pandemic hit three months after I began using Chronic, I realized what a stroke of good luck that was, timing-wise. So, lesson learned:

You can’t even rely on a single source for your internet OR your phone line..ALL Internet services based on DSL are gonna be a headache sometimes, for connection problems. But as far as all available ISPs out there in the Bay Area, Chronic is probably the best option overall.

Thus, I’ve reached the point where I MUST get a smartphone with cell service…I’ve held out long enough. This is gonna be difficult, financial wise, though the next stimulus check will be a godsend. Of course, I’ll look for the cheapest possible deal.

Thank you for everyone’s patient and kind input here, BTW. My New Year’s gift to everyone living on this planet, is a hilarious, short, satirical sci-fi piece called “2021 is going to be a FANTASTIC year!” If you’re in need right now for a good belly laugh (and who isn’t) click here and you’re on your way to chuckleville:

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