Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thursday Two Questions Meme - Internet Service Provider


Pigeons Sunbathing Atop Phone Lines :)

Well it's been over two weeks and I am now with a somewhat reliable internet connection. It started on July 2nd when the DSL flashing red light blinked and flashed hours on end. I called AT&T who is my ISP and has been my primary telephone service as well for over 25 years. I will try and make this short.

Calling AT&T for help means getting an automated robot to diagnose your problems before you are actually transferred to a person. I spoke with the robot 7 times and with online technicians 8 times. The first technician told me I needed a new modem which seemed plausible since mine is about 6 years old. So, I go to my local AT&T store and buy a new one for $80.00. I bring it home, plug it in, it works for a half hour and doesn't work anymore. The red lights - flashing again. Finally a technician was sent out. I was told there would be a charge of $60.00 per half hour if the problem was on my end. The tech checked out the lines only with his laptop outside and said all was fine. He came inside and replaced my phone jack, gave me another modem, configured it and it seemed to work fine for a little while so I thought everything was okay. Then after a couple of hours, all of a sudden a dialogue box pops up on my screen saying there is unauthorized access being attempted on my modem and that there is risk of fraud and phishing. Of course I panicked and unplugged the modem the tech gave me. I then plugged in my old modem and immediately changed all my login and password info on my accounts and sites that I use. About an hour later, again, flashing red lights on the DSL line on my modem.

Now mind you all of this is taking place over a week and a half and my main concern was my store and missing orders that were coming in. I was panicked, furious and just crazy with all of this. I finally decided I was going to call again for the seventh time and if I couldn't get anywhere with AT&T I'd cancel my account. So, I called the online tech support talked to the robot again and got transferred to an online tech agent. He asked me the same ?'s every tech asked that I previously spoke to. He told me he was going to do more online tests, then hung up on me. I called back, got someone else and got disconnected while she was going to transfer my call.

That did it. I cannot even describe in words how furious I was. I cannot remember the last time I was that angry. By this time it was late in the evening but I didn't care. I called the Northern California Regional manager for AT&T and got his voice mail. I took all of my frustration over that past week and a half out on him. I screamed, yelled and basically told him that I wanted this problem fixed within 24 hours or three things would happen. If not fixed, I'd cancel my account of 25 years, I'd go to Comcast or Verizon and I would sue AT&T for all the time and money lost with my business and for emotional stress. Now, of course I wouldn't actually sue but threatening them made me feel better.

I know I said short and this is already long so I'll close soon :D. Next morning, the same tech that came out earlier in the week was at my door at 8:00 a.m. I guess threatening to sue worked. He this time physically checked the lines outside and found that he had to replace a fraying wire in the phone line outside. Evidently that was the problem all along. So far, so good. I hope it lasts. This has been a total nightmare. In fact I've had more pleasant real nightmares :D

Here are my two ?'s.

1. Who is your internet service provider?

2. Are they reliable?



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13 comments:

Icy BC said...

1) Oh boy, it sounded like a nightmare for sure, Jo. It's frustrating when something like this happened. My service provider is WOW.

2) They are reliable so far for these last few years, and when I called to report a problem, I actually talk to a REAL ENGLISH SPEAKING PERSON, which is the main reason why I stay with them.

Did you have them refund your money for the modem?

LivingSoAbundantly said...

Our internet service provider is Windstream. They are not always reliable in bad weather--especially storms. Overall we're happy with it, but I wouldn't give it a 10 out of 10.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Icy, I hadn't heard of WOW before but I will make not of it just in case. Talking to a real person is very important, just as much as reliability. Yes, I finally got the refund for the modem, thank God.

LivingSoAbundantly, I recently heard of Windstream and wondered about it. Thanks for visiting and the comment.

SquirrelQueen said...

What a nightmare! I hope you don't get a bunch of charges on your next bill. At&T was enough of a pain as a phone company, I don't want to have anything to do with them.

We use Charter Cable for our wireless broadband connection.

99% of the time it is reliable, once in awhile they have a problem and we lose service.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Squirrel, you'll know if they charged me on my next phone bill because I'll be on the news and not in a good way :D Just kidding but they will hear from me again..

Self Sagacity said...

I know just how you feel. What a terrible issue and jerky dilemma. My internet service is Comcast, and I can't say I would recommend them either. I had a similar experience, and had to pay for their $60.00 labor charge. Something has to be done about internet service for our state! In Mountain View, people get internet service free- complimentary of Google!
I always say, it's strange that once I paid for service anyone can log on wirelessly- if given the code, but yet, every neighbor has to pay.

Luna Miranda said...

omg, i know exactly how you felt! i use Globe wireless for the past 2 years since i moved to this new apartment. and there was a time when i had problems with my internet connection that i kept on calling Globe 'till 3 am because they couldn't fix the problem. Screamed at their customer service agents, their tech guys--who asked the same questions each time, gave me the same instructions that didn't solve the problem. it was exhausting!

i'd say 90%, Globe is reliable, even in bad weather.

glad to hear your problem has been fixed.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Amanda, I had no idea Mountain View had free service through Google. And, you are right, when you pay for it anyone can logon to your wireless. Something really does have to be done.

Luna, Isn't that terrible when you keep calling back and keep getting the same ?'s, instructions and answers. Yes it's fixed though it was off again for about 3 to 4 hours last night. So, it is still on the mend. Thanks.

Stan said...

Frayed lines got us into trouble with our cable reception, etc.. But, the tech guy found it right away-- I imagine you 'waxed poetic' on the phone--lol

♥~Judy~♥ said...

Jo, this indeed sounds like a nightmare. I used to have at&t (SBC Global) and had to go to the trade commission to get satisfaction. I now deal with TDS Metrocom and usually get satisfaction immediately.

♥~Judy~♥ said...

Oh, btw, I loved your answer to my TTQ. lol

JamericanSpice said...

Oh my I can feel your pain and I don't mind you letting someone have it before you implode!

Guess who is my provider? YES AT&T
And when my modem died, I had to wait for them to ship one!!!! HOw about a local office! ]
And what is with these robots!

And I do not think they are all that reliable.


I hope things are going much better now.
*hug*

Self Sagacity said...

Your question has been on my mind for a long time, so I came back to see if I could learn of other services, and hey, I am going to check those out! Thanks for posting this question.