Returning to Germany following my thirty-two years in Switzerland I had a free choice. For me the reasoning to re-join the Deutsche Telekom was as follows: In 2000 it was the only company offering both telephone and internet services. In addition even nowadays Telekom still operates all hardware infrastructure that the new companies are exploiting.
My relation with Telekom was not without marital conflicts. The correspondence with my provider fills a thick ring binder. In particular the speed of my internet connection is a permanent subject of dispute. My latest grievance was about a limitation in the number of e-mails I was allowed to sent. When I tried to send messages to a number of groups I sometimes got the following message: 550 5.7.1 Send quota exceeded, try again in 25436 seconds which meant that the following morning I was OK again. Still, this was annoying so I had my contract with Telekom changed. For a modest monthly fee of 1.5 euros they increased the size of my mailbox (what I do not need) and raised my limit for sending e-mails to a number that I shall never even come close to.
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And suddenly I felt myself beamed back into the 1990s when on RTL-television the comedians The Three with Their Caps (Die drei mit der [Telekom] Mütze) teased Telekom's lousy service and blunders. I spent nearly one hour on the line where they first told me that their colleagues had sold me the wrong product. That I denied for I had read all the small print with the promise of a nearly unlimited number of e-mails to be sent. Talking to a second guy he claimed that they had simply forgotten to change my e-mail account to the new rate. A third person said that they had not done anything at all up to now.
The following morning I stepped into one of Freiburg's four Telekom's local service points. It took the lady behind the counter half an hour to sort out the mess with the promise that in three days everything will be in order. And it was.