Thursday, September 09, 2010

Brought To You By Time-Warner Cable

I'm nothing if not loyal. I've been getting my Internets access through Verizon DSL ever since 2003. For the most part it's been a glorious marriage, but sometime last year we hit a very rocky patch. My download speed would slow down to the point that I couldn't even get a page to load. But it would happen gradually, until I would suddenly notice that I was sitting in front of the PC screen staring for longer and longer periods of time. Video's would take forever to load, or you would get that maddening stutter-stop, load, start-stutter-stop over and over again.

Eventually I would start to crack up and finally call Verizon. At which point they would usually take me through a series of "fixes" all designed to get me back up and running at full speed. Sometimes it worked. Often it didn't. But in either case, I would be on the phone with someone from tech support for up to 2 hrs at a time.

This past year, the same scenario played out every few months, and then every few weeks. It would frequently result in a service call from a Verizon technician, that would eat up 1/2 a day from another afternoon. Many times the service technician would leave before the problem was fixed, but after determining that there was nothing wrong with my PC or routers, he would assure me that the problem would be addressed in a day or so. It always was, and then my internet service and speed would be back to normal. For a while.

As I became more and more exasperated with not having reliable internet service, I started trying different tactics in order to get quick attention from the phone support people (who may or may not have even been in this country when I called them). I tried being nice, I tried being extremely nasty, I tried being sarcastic, i tried being pathetic and helpless. None of my personalities could seem to get the problem identified and resolved. And as I called tech support at least 6 times in the last six months, I began to meltdown a little faster every time they told me "not to worry" and they "would help me out". This always meant I was going to be led on a merry chase of turning off and on routers, re-booting my PC, running command prompts, and various other time wasters. The last few weeks I could only last an hour before flipping out on the tech support person, telling them they didn't know what they were doing, that they couldn't help me, and that I didn't have time to waste several hours on the phone and then another 1/2 day with the live repair tech.Then I would hang up.

And while they were insisting that the problem was definitely not outside the house on their network, within a few hours of those tirades my service would be restored and back up to speed. I finally reached my breaking point and signed a new deal for Time-Warner to provide internet service. At a cheaper price and a faster download speed to boot.

The new cable wiring is already installed and this morning I had the distinct pleasure of calling up Verizon and telling them to take a hike. They tried to talk me in to letting them try to resolve the problem, but I had no intention of turning on and off routers all afternoon. In one last bit of weirdness, they seemed to try to sell me on a Verizon Fios upgrade, right after letting me know that my building isn't wired for it.

"So how would that work exactly?"

"Well it wouldn't."

"Just cancel the service right now, please."

Verizon sucks.

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