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Comment: Re:We don't. (Score 1) 479 479

I just had a most unpleasant experience with tech support which took the better part of a week to resolve, including many hangups. Why? Because there was water on my phone line. Not a problem with my equipment, but they wouldn't believe an IT professional that it was on their end.

Comment: Re:hit zero (Score 1) 479 479

I sent in an email once. I got an autoresponse that emails were lower priority than phone calls and that I would get a response within 7 business days. So... I call BS.

Also, the chat service doesn't work if your internet/phone is out. That is usually why I call, it's not like I just want to say hi or something.

Comment: Re:Just take it in (Score 1) 479 479

What if it is a problem with the line itself? Or if you don't use their crappy modem/router, but instead have your own professional gear that they won't look at?

I had a problem with my connection after the recent rains here. My landline was occasionally noisy with static, and my internet would drop out around the same time, no explanation. It had never done anything like that before. I called tech support and told them I had water on the line and needed someone to come out. They told me it was just my cordless telephone, maybe the filter was broken or something, and that I should leave it unplugged for 24 hours and check my internet connection. I couldn't absolutely rule out their explanation, even though it seemed unlikely, given all the rain and the fact that I know what water on the line sounds like. So I followed their advice, and the next day my router logs unsurprisingly showed that it had cut out several times.

I call them back again, happy to let them know that it wasn't my phone, and expecting that they would send someone out. This time they told me it must be my modem, and that I should unplug my modem and let them know if my phone was still full of static. I told them that made no sense, and that furthermore, I wasn't going to sit on the phone for 2 hours listening for an intermittent static sound that happens for 5 minutes every two hours. I demanded that they send someone out to fix my line. They tried then to convince me that it was the wiring in my house, and they would fix it for me for a fee. I told them that there was no house wiring. The only wiring was a two foot long phone wire drilled directly through the wall and into the phone box outside. No other wiring. I got hung up repeatedly, and was more than once told that if it was so intermittent, it shouldn't be an issue. Nevermind that I often am working on servers from my home in many different parts of the world, and transferring data files that sometimes take a few hours to complete. THey actually tried to pass it off as acceptable. They also told me to move my phone outside and try to use it directly from the box and see if there was static. Again, I had to patiently explain that it was something that only happens every two hours or so and that I'm not going to sit out there to diagnose their problem for them. Nevermind that I already told them there was only two feet of wire from the box to the jack inside, and it was very unlikely the problem was there.

Long story short: After five days of repeatedly calling them, they finally acquiesced and sent out a guy to look at the line. It had a ground on it due to water in the line. I honestly don't know what I could have done to get them out sooner and fix it. They wanted me to buy a new modem at my expense to rule out modem issues before they would send someone out. I escalated almost every call, and got hung up on several times.

Comment: Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 1) 1032 1032

I agree that after taking out the loans, he should have done everything he could to get rid of them. He didn't. He was "above" taking a job, even for just a few years, to help him get rid of the loans. He also attended a private school, which was a bad decision if he couldn't afford it, both then and now. (Note: Some high-dollar private schools, like Harvard and Vanderbilt, will not allow you to take on debt. If you can't pay the tuition, they call it even as long as you keep your grades up and work in the cafeteria or something). He also doesn't say when he defaulted, which is really important since you can't get rid of student debt through bankruptcy anymore. Advising millenials to default is sentencing them to an entire lifetime of bad credit, not just 7 years of rebuilding. So yeah, I think he's an idiot, and he's doing more harm than good.

But he does have one thing in common with a lot of people getting themselves into trouble today: He was 17 when he first took out the money, and he was doing something that likely every adult had told him for his whole life: Go to college! Go to college! It's a good investment!

Flashforward to today, and kids still hear that. Is going to a $50k/year private school to study latin a good investment in your future? No, probably not. But the counterargument I hold is true: That it is a good investment for the public to enable that student to study Latin by creating a public university that is affordable. But nowadays, public universities are getting so expensive that even that is not a very good investment outside of STEM degrees because you will need to immediately start making payments of $1500/month.

I still find it hard to blame the students when they make decisions at 17 or 18 based on what the adults around them are telling them (go to college! Get any degree!). And judging by this thread, a lot of people are clueless as to the true costs of modern college. My financial advisor told me that at current rate of tuition inflation, I will need to have 150k saved to pay for for my child to go to college. At a public, in-state university. I have started saving early, and I can probably afford it, but most can't. And I find that reprehensible, considering it is supposed to be a public university.

Comment: Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 1) 1032 1032

Ad hominem. I have zero debt and do quite well for myself. I could survive for a long time without changing a thing if I suddenly lost my job. I tend to think I'm fairly decent at it. I have been very poor in the past, though, and I have a semblance of empathy for people that are struggling. It is not nearly as easy as everyone makes it sound to pull yourself up.

Even removing these "luxuries", you still have to pay for room and board. That is not a luxury and costs more than the school itself. BOoks and room and board alone brings the four year cost to around $65k. That's if you live like a monk in your dorm room and eat exclusively cafeteria food. Realistically, we are talking $70-80k over 4 years.

Comment: Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 1) 1032 1032

WHere I live, in-state tuition is officially $6,664 for a resident. But then on the university's page, it also adds in 8700 for room/board, 1072 for books, and essentially 3800 for 'miscellaneous', because you might just occasionally want to go to a movie or drive a car. Granted, those are 'luxuries'. Still, the university recommends you have $20k/year. Which is $80k for a four year degree. Not $100k, but it is pushing towards it in a 'cheap' state. If you happen to have parents that will let you live at home and are nearby the school, you can do it for a lot cheaper. But not all people have that luxury.

So tuition is not the whole story. Show me a UC website that says you realistically need less than $50k to go to school there....

Comment: Re:One word summary. (Score 1) 1032 1032

Public universities can still easily cost over $100k after 4 years. I am saying that we do a very poor job of subsidizing undergraduate education costs. And although graduate school costs are also quite high, I am really only talking about undergraduate costs. It should be as low-cost as possible. University of California was, in fact, free for in-state students for a long time.

Even if free, you still won't have any of your own money to spend and start a life. I doubt many people would choose a lifestyle of collecting 10 different undergraduate degrees as a career. Even so, I'd be fine with reducing or eliminating subsidies to students who already had a degree, if that makes you feel better. My point is that a basic undergraduate education should be available, and you don't need ten undergraduate degrees before you can claim you are finally "educated".

Comment: Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 0) 1032 1032

I honestly don't mean to create that dichotomy, and I applaud you on your efforts. In fact, I wish more people did things the way you are.

I just don't feel that a university education, for anything, should cost upwards of $100k for a PUBLIC school.

The author made some poor decisions, and went to a private school to boot. I have less sympathy for him than others, but I generally don't fault young people (who are prone to make mistakes) for going out and trying to get an education.

"Experience has proved that some people indeed know everything." -- Russell Baker