SuddenLink, my hero

For most of the past year, we’ve used Sprint 3G wireless. We’ve not been entirely happy with it. It’s not much faster than dialup, for 3x more. We were told that the fact that cell phone service sucks at our house had no relationship to 3G. That’s not true. And we were limited to 5G of download, with overages charged at a fairly stiff rate. One month we went over by about 3 G, and instead of being charged 60% more, we were charged over 3x as much. Why did we get it? Because nobody would sell us DSL or cable Internet. It was that or satellite, which had some of the same problems. We had all kinds of companies who claimed that they serviced our area, but when you got to the address, it was, “No, we can’t do you.” When pressed, they would give some technical answer about distances from boxes, which begged the question: why not our street? We could see cable stakes on the side roads of our block. And as the township goes, this is a fairly urban little patch, with minimal frontage.

Well, I’ve been the one to do the harassment, but since Rusty is unemployed, a Farmville addict, and thus has time and motivation, she decided to contact more people in the neighborhood. And she got to Jeff Wells, 2 doors down, who said, “I have Internet”. “Duh, with who?” Suddenlink, our cable TV provider. So she called them, and asked about service, and got the same runaround. “Uh, but you’ve got a customer 150 feet away from us.”  “Er, um, we’ll send a tech out tomorrow.”

Which is how we find ourselves with 6 mps unlimited Internet. It’s faster than work… tested at 6.43 mps this morning as opposed to 4.74 on the work machine (same kind of imac). I haven’t had the time to test it much…I did system updating last night and played with Internet radio this AM, both things I could never do before. And I had to go out and buy a wireless router so Rusty could play (the cable modem comes in at my desk), and we wanted fast, so it wasn’t cheap…even though Micro Center was having a sale. And I’ll probably have to pay through the nose to get out of my Sprint contract.

Here are the villians:

Sprint: for selling a lousy product

Verizon, and their successor Frontier, our local phone co., for not selling anything at all.

ATT, ditto

CenturyTel I can’t really diss, because they never pretended to sell to us. But they serve a guy a mile down our road, across the county line, so they could have served us.

And last but not least: SuddenLink. Yes, they just gave us this beautiful connection, which I am duly grateful for. But they wouldn’t until I had spent big money on a Sprint wireless modem. They haven’t given us any paperwork about our account…all we know is what it will cost us. No instructions, features, etc. I suppose that’s all online.  But what kind of an industry is it where you have to beg and grovel to be their customer? We’ve been trying to get broadband for 4 years. Where were they?

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4 Responses to SuddenLink, my hero

  1. kishnevi says:

    If there’s a county line between you and CenturyTel, there may be a franchise limitation involved that lets them operate in that county but not yours.

    ATT is putting its money into U-Verse, which means getting cable (which I have through my townhouse association), long distance (which I never use), and internet all bundled together for a lot more money than I need to pay for internet alone. Plus, since the home phone (and therefore internt)was out of whack for almost a week (until two days ago) I am not feeling kindly towards ATT, although the first two days was my fault in not realizing it not the computer modem or Earthlink acting up. (That’s how little I use the phone.)

    This little fiasco has motivated me to join the 1990s and get a cell phone. The coverage maps reveal a little interesting fact: if you live in most of rural Montana, Idaho, or the Dakotas, or much of West Virginia, neither ATT, Verizon nor T-Mobile are really interested in you. None of them have service in those areas. Haven’t seen Spring’s map yet, but apparently a lot of areas in the Great Plains may not have much access to cell phones, wireless, etc. unless there’s a local provider to fill in (they may be rural and lightly populated, but they still are, er, populated).
    That

  2. Suddenlink Tina says:

    Hi – My name is Tina and I am with Suddenlink. Sounds like you have had quite the experience in trying to get a decent internet connection for a fair price. I am so glad we were able to service your residence. I am also very sorry that you have not been given any information on your services/account… There is a wealth of information available on our help site at http://help.suddenlink.com, but I would be more happy to get a Welcome Kit shipped out to you if you prefer. Also, in regards to your account, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me at tina-AT-suddenlink-DOT-com.

  3. jeffreyquick says:

    Yes, I figured they wouldn’t cross county lines.
    We can’t discount corporate contributions to the ongoing Liquidation of the Kulaks. Spread-out customers are harder to service, yet if not serviced, it’s a black eye. I wouldn’t be surprised if the telcos gave to the Great Plains Restoration Council, (budget: about a quarter-mill a year) but I don’t feel like subscribing to GuideStar Premium to find out. One thing for sure: their CEO won’t be eating any of those tasty buffalo.

  4. jeffreyquick says:

    Now lookit that…SL actually cares what customers are saying about them on the Internet, and are willing to tell their side of the story…and I’m willing to have that here. Thank you, Tina. Now, where are the other ISPs? C’mon guys… and Tina, it’s still the case that I’d have absolutely nothing bad to say about SL at all if y’all had sold us service the several times we’d inquired.

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