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Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

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  • Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

    After a few years of Verizon DSL I am thinking of switching: while service is good - when trouble does occur Verizon's tech support is a nightmare - in my experience - requring many calls to problem solve connectivity problems - and talking with extremely undermotivated and untrained techies. Time Warner Cable Road Runner seems like a likely switch but I've heard stories that the wait time for a tech can take up to a week. I am seeking a friendly DSL service and willing to pay more $ in order to avoid the horrid day long ordeals over the phone with Verizon. The question is: which services offers the greatest 'customer time efficient' tech support? Any input or insight into how to find a Consumer Report on this issue would be gratefully appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

    frankm, I've been using Vonage for abut 3 years now and absolutely love it. You can't beat unlimited calls to all of the US, Canada, Europe and Puerto Rico for $25 a month. And I've never had a day of trouble with them - except when the internet connection goes out... which would happen with Time Warner's phone service as well. That's when cell phones come in real handy.

    Anyway, Vonage is a much better price than TW - and I like to support them because without them the only alternative we'd have would be Time Warner - which isn't much of an alternative as they already charge $15 a month more than Vonage.

    My favorite Vonage feature is simul-ring... where you can set it up so when someone calls your number it will not only ring the phone the number is attached to (like your home phone) but it will ring any other phone as well, like your cell phone and your work phone - all at the same time. It makes it so you only have to give your friends one phone number and with that number they can reach you on any of your phones. My friends love it!

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    • #3
      Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

      I recently had to switch from Verizon DSL to TW cable internet because the DSL interfered w/ my buzzer intercom system in the building. I had Verizon DSL for 3 years and never had any problems other than the occasional restart of the modem which I understand happens with all internet providers/modems. The difference is small but I do find that I do have to reset the modem (unplug for 60 secs and plug back in) more often now that I have TW Road Runner. Other than that I don't really see a difference. The tech support with TW is pretty good too. Good luck!

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      • #4
        Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

        You might want to switch your modem out for a new one. I rarely if ever have to reset my TW modem.

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        • #5
          Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

          Thanks Charles. Will do that after I get fed up.

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          • #6
            Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

            I've only had to reset mine once in two years.. I bet you'll thank yourself if you get a new one b4 you get fed up

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            • #7
              Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

              3 months ago, I switched from TWC Road Runner to Verizon DSL as I found TWC service unreliable. During a six month period, I was without service about 6 days at least 4 or more hours each of those days. Their customer service was never able to assist and twice repairmen came and didn't have any modems in the truck.

              So far I have found Verizon/DSL service reliable, one brief outage but last week I called their tech. desk for assistance. What an experience ....
              I called 4 times, crawled through their IVR, always on hold, no one could assist me, I was transferred 3 times to a special department, waited on hold... and 3 times a recording came on and said you reached an unworking number. Called back, on hold... IVR... on hold... explained situation, promised to be transferred to the right number, on hold.... not a working number.
              My fourth call, explained situation, asked if someone from the special department could call me.... NO. they can not make out calls... I gave up and hung up.

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              • #8
                Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

                Hi Bob,

                Thank you for sharing your experience; and thank you to everyone else, too. Verizon's tech line staff give only limited scripted feedback on connectivity issues and uniformly are undertrained. I just recently got a new modem in the mail from them - a supervisor insisted that I put a paperclip in the ethernet slot to reset - in spite of my concern it would break the slot. Further, if you wish to send any letter to corporate concerning your experience there is absolutely no way to do so via phone or e-mail. I tried both.

                I wish to share with you that Paul English of "Gethuman.com" is committed to confronting corporate strategists who successful find clever ways to deflect further and further from customer service. He actually is a hired speaker for gatherings of the telecommunication giants and has much to share on his blog about how comfortable they seem to be with taking customers hostage via automated telephone systems.

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                • #9
                  Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

                  I hear that FrankM. I am so tired of being taken down a road of double talk and "held hostage." By the way, what a great way to put it. Sometimes, I get so frustrated with so-called automated attendants, I just keep hitting "0" until a human gets on the line. Then, I try to disuade them from reading their script, by talking without taking a breath. That way, they cannot advise me to do something really dumb. A paper clip?! Are they insane???? To reset my modem, I just use the tip of a pen or pencil and gently press. That's always worked with me. I'm thinking, that a paper clip could get stuck in there or whatever. I personally think that is ill-advised. Sometimes when dealing with these undertrained, totally inept customer service folks, I find that if I say something intelligent and almost sound like I know what I'm talking about, it throws them off. I LOVE doing that. It's kind of like taking 'em by surprise. You see, I think most times, they're trained to believe that ONLY they know all the answers. We as customers (at least from my own experience), are not supposed to know anything about anything. But ha, ha on them. Some of us just need a confirmation from a "Techie" or a C.S. agent that we actually are doing "it" right.

                  CC69

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                  • #10
                    Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

                    Oh. I forgot to mention, that I have had a Westell Model 2200 modem from Verizon for like 2 years now and have had to reset it only twice. I guess I'm lucky thus far. However, from what I've read here, I will be very, very cognicent of potential problems going forward. Thanks for the warning.

                    CC69

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                    • #11
                      Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

                      Hi ChelseaChick69,

                      Thanks for your input. It is interesting that the modem differs - mine is a Actiontec GT704WG -- and it would be really great if Verizon could create a problem solving site identifying the modems, tips on improving connection, etc. Perhaps we should all pool our own solutions and see where that goes...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

                        Back when high speed service first came out - it was offered only by the cable companies. The phone companies jumped on board late. It's always been my impression that TW had much better and more knowledgeable customer service people than Verizon. In those "early" days I talked to Verizon a couple of times about getting DSL but they were so ignorant of their own service that I went with cable instead.

                        There were stories back then that when Verizon would hook up your DSL they would accidentally shut off your phone service! I heard the story from so many different people it seemed that it was probably true.

                        I get the sense that they've never caught up to the cable companies as far as internet service goes. And now you can get phone service over the internet. The only thing you can get from verizon that you can't get from the internet is cell phone service!

                        Actually, the phone companies are supposed to begin offering TV like cable TV service (but without the cable) sometime in the next few years. In France where I vacationed recently, phone company TV service is almost as common as cable TV is. And just as good.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

                          Just recently, I saw an advertisement from Verizon offering TV as well. I'm not quite sure whether I'd even consider it. Okay, I've been "lucky" thus far with their DSL true enough. But, Verizon offering cable and satellite service just scares the "Bejeezus" out of me.

                          If their TV service is anything like RCN's DSL/Cable Modem service, my father told me that he's had nothing but trouble with RCN concerning his Cable/Modem service, I myself, have had to go rescue and retrieve my dad's e-mail more times than not. If this is any indication of how telephone companies are operating out of necessity to get with the times (so-to-speak), then I would highly recommend steering clear...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

                            CC you said it just right. The phone companies are trying to get with the times. They have to offer TV almost to stay in busienss, because the cable companies are now providing cheaper phone service. But I think you're exactly right in your hesitation. I wouldn't give Verizon TV the time of day right now! There's no way they're ready for prime time. I doubt they have agreements with all the channels cable companies do so I'm sure their channel selection must be very limited at this point. I'd stay far far away from Phone Co TV - give them a few years to get their act together.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Feedback on DSL Services - Afraid of more meltdowns w/ Verizon DSL

                              I wanted to share this with those following this thread -- apparently Verizon was hit with a class action suit in '01 related to this dialogue we have been having:

                              Courts to hear DSL users' complaints

                              By Michael Martin
                              Network World, 01/29/01

                              Upstart DSL providers such as Covad Communications and NorthPoint Communications aren't the only DSL companies with problems. The regional Bell operating companies may be adding new DSL customers at a dizzying rate, but they're clearly not satisfying all their clientele, as evidenced by a lawsuit filed against Verizon this month.

                              Verizon became the latest RBOC to be slapped with a class action lawsuit, when disgruntled DSL users filed suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Dissatisfied DSL customers previously sued SBC Communications and BellSouth.

                              The Verizon lawsuit was filed on behalf of all purchasers of the Verizon Online and Verizon DSL Access Service by Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, a Washington, D.C., law firm. It alleges that Verizon is knowingly adding more customers - around 3,000 each day, according to the suit - than its network can support.

                              The suit also claims Verizon doesn't deliver on its promises of high-speed Internet access without interruptions, other than those required for scheduled maintenance. Verizon users have experienced delays in accessing the 'Net and in obtaining technical service, the suit says.

                              Verizon spokesman Larry Plumb says the company cannot comment on active litigation, but he acknowledges Verizon's DSL rollout has experienced glitches.

                              "This is a new industry that has sophisticated technology and is seeing incredible growth and incredible stress," he says. "Our DSL customer base grew more than 600% last year. All the major providers are seeing some problems."

                              The suit does not seek specific monetary damages, but Cohen, Milstein partner Gary Mason said in a statement that Verizon customers should be compensated for poor service, and the company should not be allowed to add new customers until it resolves its current service problems.

                              Like Verizon, SBC is facing a class action suit. Filed last August, the suit alleges SBC defrauded DSL users by limiting speeds to 128K instead of a promised 384K bit/sec.

                              Adam Guglielmo, an analyst with consultancy TeleChoice, doesn't believe the suits are a sign that there's anything seriously wrong with DSL.

                              "It's a new technology," he says. "This is growing pains. I think it's natural there are some problems."

                              One of the problems, Guglielmo says, is because DSL is still relatively new, field personnel may not completely understand the technology. DSL service is improving over time, he says.

                              "If you look at the number of complaints this year, they're probably down over last year," Guglielmo says.

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