Well, that sucked (and still does)
Cable modem went on the fritz last Friday. I called Time Warner’s crack tech support line. In an apparent acknowledgement that they have too few call center techs, you can now queue up for a call back. It actually didn’t take too long at around 1/2 hour. They had me do some real intensive testing (like turn it off, then turn it back on again) to come to the conclusion the modem was bad. My cable modem was around 8 1/2 years old and they were somewhat surprised that such a “legacy” modem was still operable anyways. They said I need to turn the modem in for a new one and all will be good.
Well, I’ve never had a lick of trouble with this modem, so you can guess how this story ends. Got up the next morning and drove to my nearest Time Warner store. I stood in line for about 1/2 hour waiting to exchange the modem. The exchange went smooth (except for only 2 people at the store to service the about 20 people standing in line). Got home, plugged it in, powered it up and guess what? IT STILL DOESN’T WORK! What a surprise.
So I call tech support back. Queue up for a callback. Give them the story. They run some tests (including the ever-popular unplug it, then plug it back in). “Hmmm, it doesn’t look like your modem is working.” No shit! “We’ll have to schedule a time for a local service rep to stop out.” ARrrghhhh…. “How does next Tuesday at 10am look?” Looks like both my wife and I will be working like THE REST OF AMERICA.
I finally got a call schedule for Thursday night between 6-8 pm. Yea, I’m frustrated. Not so much with the technology – things break every once in a while. But Time Warner consistently has too few support folks and continues to primarily support a 9-5 call schedule. With both of us working, that just doesn’t fit. If you’re going to charge me $40/month for high speed Internet access, then pay for some support people.
I guess this is good in a way. I’ve been mulling over a switch to AT&T’s new DSL offerings. Same DSL service, but it no longer requires a 2 year contract to sign up (you can go month to month), and they have four levels of connection. The lowest level is $14.99 with downloads speeds of “up to” 768K. Want T1 speed? That’s the next level at $19.99 a month. Check out a program overview here.
I obviously haven’t signed up yet so I can’t give you a reference on the service. From what I hear it’s rock solid stable and easy to get started. You call AT&T and give them your phone number. They check if the service is available in your area. If it is, they turn it on and test it out, then ship you a modem. You’re up and running in a couple days tops. Sounds simple.
Of course, who knows how well their customer support is staffed? Am I just switching from the devil I know to the devil I don’t? Maybe. But for 1/2 the price of my current connection, I’m willing to give it a try.
On the plus side – given a couple days without WoW, I figured out that that person I kept seeing around the house was my wife. Turns out I’m married and it’s actually pretty fun…
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