When it works it is wondrous, convenient, and saves a lot of time. Today I was attempting to move funds between accounts that I own at two different banks. Both banks have mechanisms in place to do it. ..... It wouldn't work from either side - pulling funds to the bank where I wanted the funds nor pushing them from the bank where they are at the minute. [and both banks are full service multi-national.] I can solve it, but it means getting into my car and driving...
One or the realities of rural life is that there will be occasions when the lights go out. Squirrels chew wires, or, as it was yesterday, ice storms happen, and either tree branches fall or cars skid into poles. I don't worry too much about it, there's a pretty good sized generator here and enough fuel to run it to keep my furnace and refrigeration going for more than a day. Since I live within visual distance of the town hall/ fire house, that covers me for 99% of all occasions.
Yesterday around 5:15, we flickered and then went out. We looked outside and it was the whole neighborhood. The only light was from the firehouse, up and running on their automated emergency generator. The house was warm enough that I wasn't immediately concerned about the temperature, didn't bother with our generator, and hunkered down under a throw on the couch to wait it out. My son Matt found the candles and fired them.
After about forty five minutes, I received a text message on my cell. It said, "We have detected that you don't have service, and we're working to restore it." OK, that was friendly on their part. A bit later, there was a second message from the same provider, "The problem is with your utility company and our cable service to you will be back as soon as they are able to restore power." "Duhhhh," Since I was sitting in the dark, I think I sort of knew that, but it was nice to know that they were on top of things. [And it was certainly better than trying to call them.]
The lights came back on after an hour and a half, the house had lost about three degrees, and the most serious damage was that I had to reset the clocks on the microwave and stove.