Dear Speakeasy,

This is the e-mail I was hoping never to have to write: the final confirmation that it’s really over between us. I’ve given our relationship a lot of thought lately, and I’ve decided once and for all that you and I are just not meant to be.

I know it’s upsetting to lose me, and I don’t want to kick you while you’re down, but I think it’s important that you realize: it’s not me, it’s you.

It all started out so well—our honeymoon on the Upper East Side, when it took a single try (after a mere week’s wait) for you to get me up and running. Back in those days your install team really seemed to care—I even vaguely recall getting a hand-crafted e-mail response out of an install coordinator. Your inflated pricing seemed like a bargain for all that great service. Who wants to deal with Verizon anyway?

Things began to sour when I moved to Brooklyn. If you don’t like Brooklyn you should just have said so, and we could have ended things civilly. I have the sneaking suspicion that Brooklyn wasn’t the only problem though. Your install team didn’t respond to e-mails anymore. You rescheduled Install appointments without telling me; couldn’t quite manage to update my contact information when I requested it; billed me for a “missed appointment” that I spent a perfectly good sick day to be at home for.

Through all of it though, I kept loving you. I thought of the static IP address; the tech-friendly use policies; the still-helpful customer service people. Despite the horror of almost a month without broadband, I stuck with it. I gave you my best. I wrote you long e-mails with friendly suggestions on how to improve your install process.

Once the install purgatory was over with, everything was wonderful again. Alright, so you weren’t quite as fast as you used to be, but at least you were chugging away at it. I dreaded the day moving would come between us again.

Inevitably though, moving day rolled around. I was reassured by your upbeat “Moving? No Problem!” attitude. You promised me an install date within a week of my move. You whispered sweet “keep your IP address” nothings in my ear. I was made hopeful—nay, confident.

It was all going so well. On the evening of my install date I swung open my front door, whistling a happy “I’ve got broadband” tune, and headed straight over to plug in my router. Alas, illumination of the DSL light was not forthcoming. I called you to find out what had gone wrong. Surely there had been some minor hiccup that you could sort out in short order.

Unfortunately, it seemed that you had entered my order incorrectly into your system. The nice young man I spoke to apologized profusely, promised to fix everything up, and (once I had suggested it) offered me some interim dial-up to tide me over the week until my next installation date.

It just so happened that a couple of days later, I stopped in at your website to see how things were coming along. While I was there, I just so happened to notice that instead of one install date, I now had two install dates—and the first was for that very day.

Momentarily thrilled, I poured over the installation details… only to find that you were planning to send a technician to my apartment to install a service that I did not want and had never requested. Frantic, I called my install coordinator.

Ha, fat chance of getting through to an install coordinator. I still suspect that they’re imaginary—your way of pretending that you’re giving me good service, when in fact you’re giving me the equivalent of Verizon’s automated phone service (“If you’re calling about superfudgalicious Internet service, please say ‘superfudgalicious Internet service’.” To which I say, “Fuck You. 0000000”).

Still frantic, I called install general. I was reassured that the order would be cancelled. Technicians would be recalled. My install would go ahead in a week, as scheduled.

Here’s where it gets ugly. I returned home to my DSL-free apartment to find that, despite all the promises, a technician had indeed paid a visit that day. And had managed to disconnect my phone service. I was alone, with no DSL, no phone, and (hence) no dial-up.

I’ll admit it—I lost it. I kicked and screamed. I called you all of the bad names I could think of. I tried to call you from my cellphone to let it all out on some poor schmuck working the night shift, but you put me on indefinite hold. (That was probably smart.) I tried to sleep, but my mind wouldn’t stop churning out plans for revenge. I tossed and turned. Finally, normal business hours rolled around.

You know the rest. You didn’t argue much. I have a sinking feeling that although you agreed that there had been failures on your part, you’ll be sending me a bill for an “early termination fee” or some such. Here’s your prior notice: I won’t be paying that. Ever.

What I found most telling in our final conversation was your suggestion that I call Verizon to have my phone service restored. It suddenly became clear how little you know me. For the record, approximately 50% of the reason I stayed with you as long as I did was to avoid calling Verizon. If I wanted to call Verizon, I could get DSL for half the price you charge.

So that’s it then. It’s over. Despite it all, I still wish the best for you. Maybe you can learn from this little incident, and find happiness with someone else. Myself, I called Verizon. They’re installing their dirt-cheap, “what’s a static IP?”, “you’ll have to install our software” DSL service next week.

Still crying in my oatmeal,