Thursday, September 18, 2014

Internet Providers

I am often asked who to use for internet.  The answer is I wish I could do without.  Truth be told they're all a bunch of idiots.  NO, you cry, Say it isn't so!! Not only do I say it but I will proceed to prove it.

The whole thing started while we were working on a new website.  The information couldn't be uploaded to our offsite server because Comcast had decided to replace a router somewhere along the line and lo and behold, the routing tables were jacked.  It's not a new thing, it does happen from time to time.

Years ago, same story different day, AT&T/Nortel did the same thing, changed a router with a bad table.  We were not their customers, the traffic was just being served by them, but we were having issues reaching a different set of locations. The thing is, when this happens, there are ways to track WHERE the failure is occurring.  In this case, using public tools, we tracked the location and owner of the router in question which was Nortel in Canada.  We called customer service. Customer service then put us in touch with the technicians in the router's physical location, and the problem was immediately solved.  They were a bit incredulous, I must say, to find that the problem had been brought to them, but fix it they did.

On to present day.  Comcast, whom we do business with, in the same circumstances is incapable of putting ANYONE in touch with their technicians.  Imagine that.  Can't do it.  I'm not buying it but that's what happened.  The problem was there, though the reps on the phone were perfectly incapable of grasping it, and even less able to help.  They tried to sell us a new modem instead.  So here we are, on a deadline, and can't get to the server.

Dig in the workaround bag and set up a VPN, but sheesh, this is not what customer service is all about is it?  Three or four extra steps and very slow isn't what I signed up for.  Let's look for another provider.

Enter CenturyLink, well CenturyLink bundled with DirecTV.  As I firmly expected, we were promised the sun.  Oh, sure, we can install it, we've got a giant pole we can mount the receiver on, no matter what we have to do it's going to be done and we'll provide service.  Except the sales rep has never installed the stuff in his life and he doesn't apparently know what a giant cottonwood looks like.  Multiply that by 6 and begin to understand the scope of the issue.  There's little hope, but we'll try.  Needless to say the installation didn't take place, no way those trees will allow reception.  Oh well, we'll just switch the internet, no worries.  Riiiiight.

Installation day comes and goes and no word.  No connection, nothing.  Until one day there's a bill. Not just a bill, but an overdue bill for $140.00 for service I've NEVER HAD!!  Oh CenturyLink, I thought Comcast was bad, what's this new devilry?  Have you ever tried to look up an account that doesn't exist?  Not easily done, let me tell you.  When CenturyLink finally did find the account, I was told it had been scheduled for "self install".  Self install, that's rich, I haven't used a landline in 10 years.  What exactly was I supposed to connect to?  I should have insisted on that answer, there might just be some folks that would like free phone and internet.

So in terms of internet, I don't know what to say.  I know of Hughes cutting off good accounts because the person compared their pricing to another company, "Oh, we thought you wanted to cancel."  CenturyLink is a joke, Comcast does the job most of the time, BAJA and Skybeam seem to be pretty stable unless there's bad weather.  Whaddya gonna do?  I guess the answer is what you have to, just don't ask me about it.


  1. I just loved the picture and the title you have given to your blog. Nice article to read.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Cable internet is usually the best in terms of speed and pricing, however the customer service is usually atrocious. A lot of times there is an issue with their lines, but they never check and it takes a tech to really get them motivated over the phone... Best of luck!
    Computer Repair Phoenix