Centurylink is Close To Losing a Customer
Posted on June 10, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 28 Comments
Having my landline and DSL go down once? Fine, things happen. Having it down twice in a week, after it’s been repaired once? Rather less fine.
And no, no cable/WiMax/4G where I am. There’s satellite Internet, but you would get bored with me detailing why I hate it after the first 45 minutes. I have my mobile hotspot but it is cranky and less than optimal.
Which is my way of saying I will likely be scarce here until the landline is fixed. AGAIN. Sigh.
Living out in the country, here in NM, yeah, minimal communication choices suck. We don’t even have telephone, unless I want to spring for almost a mile of cable and poles. Luckily, was able to get cable/internet/phone from Comcast (yeah, lucky me) but really wish there were some other choices for data.
Yeah, once in a while is a free surprise mental health day. Twice in a week should cause your blood pressure to reach a point where it is in clear and present danger of collapsing into a singularity.
Cable internet is pretty sweet if you can get DOCSIS 3.0 service. I don’t know how available it is in the States, but if I had to guess, probably cheaper and more available than it is up here.
Sounds like it’s time to play outside..;)
#3: Play outside? In the summer? With a lovely dog and an even more lovely daughter? Whodathunk?
I just wanted to let you know, I feel your pain. Big time.
I’ve been with CenturyLink since they were CenturyTel… when dialup ruled… and getting over 3.2kbs was a triumph.
I live in a community with mostly retirees/older people, many with serious health conditions. A few years back, Century(Tel/Link) was SO BAD that we were working on a class action suit against them; since out here (Colorado) cell phones don’t work*, and without access to 911… it could have been really bad. They managed to ‘fix’ it before the suit really got rolling (ie, the fence sitters signed on), but we’re talking stretches of WEEKS where no one had phone service.
Which doesn’t begin to account for all the times (before and since) when we’ve had hours where there’s been a dial tone, but couldn’t dial out, or where it was just a fast busy… versus the ‘no phones at all’ silent hissing when picking up the receiver.
Unfortunately, for those of us where I live, we _have no other choice_. Qwest is literally 6 miles away, but apparently there are some agreements which prevent them from offering us service, so it’s CenturyLink or nothing, as far as phone service goes.
Sprint (I think…) recently did a survey (signal strength, not interest in) to ‘consider’ putting up a cell tower… and decided it wouldn’t be profitable.
We NOW have an option beyond dialup or satellite (and your 45 minute rant would be great; I’ll bring the popcorn! Considering how spread out Starband, Hughes(formerly Direcway) and Wildblue are, I’m not sure there’re enough projectile weapons and ammunition to properly interact with the lot of them) — we’ve got ‘sort of’ wifi; it’s 100k, up OR down, and tends to randomly blank out anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple hours, on any given day, regardless of what the weather’s doing. And we’re grateful for it, I tell you!
So, you could see if by some miracle there’s a similarly craptastic WiFI available to you – all the people you have to deal with in a professional capacity no doubt perfectly understand your phone simply dying in the middle of a conversation, right? Right?
I so completely feel your pain of dealing with CenturyLink. Fun tidbit: Going to their ‘support’ page, and their ‘contact us’ and putting in my zipcode, I get a blurb about them not offering service in my area (and hence, no support number for me, bad dog!). However, if I enter in an Alabama zipcode, it’ll do me the courtesy of allowing me to use a form to send a support ticket! (Which results in many, many canned responses, and attempts at upselling.) Ooooh! Let’s not forget that upselling… John, are you SURE you don’t need anti-virus protection, as well? For just an additional $3.95/mo, we can put [insert craptastically bad AV here] on your DSL line. (Disregarding the fact you’d be, you know, submitting a ticket cause, hey, you can’t USE your DSL…)
*Personally, I’m crossing my fingers the “cell phone amplifier” I’ve ordered actually works, and I can get a cell phone and ditch the bastards. If you decide to strangle them all with corroded telephone wire, please furnish pictures. ;-)
i hate situations like yours. You want to say “screw you, I dont want your product!” but there really is not a viable alternative.
You actually think you are entitled to service since you are a customer and give them money? Ha!
Seriously though, I am sure you have also played the “be home between 10am and 2pm” so our service rep can access the equipment. It is not so fun when working a full time job outside of the home. Eats up that vacation time pretty quick. Especially when they say they need a part and it is not in the truck and they will have to reschedule for another day….. say between 8am and noon and then don’t show that day till 4pm.
Be sure they are crediting you for your downtime on you upcoming bill.
I wish we had the leverage to fine them for loss of service; especially in your case as you are running a little business empire and downtime is lost revenue.
#5: I hear you on the up selling.
Time Warner dropped my high speed internet service for a few days and in the time in between my making the call for service and the service being completed they were calling me to try to convert over to cable phone from land line. I asked the sales guy if he was serious, you mean you want me to sign on for your phone services? You do know if I did that I would l need to immediately call for service, because you know, my cable service is down & the only reason you are talking to me is that I have my phone on a regular land line. He hemed and hawed a bit but had no coherent reply to that.
As a Centurylink high-speed customer I feel your pain. We’ve only had high-speed internet for year where I live in rural Missouri so I can’t complain too much, but I sure wish there were other provider options and better speed.
DSL is pretty much terrible everywhere unless you live close to the CLEC. I worked for a DSL company for a number of years, our best still paled compared to cable (non comcast.)
It’s pretty sad how much of America has crappier or no broadband than countries like Korea.
Once again, I need to pay homage to my city council, who managed to wangle it so that my town is one of the few places with actual competition between two cable companies. (Image that! I can say “screw you, Comcast” and still get cable!)
Now if I could just keep AT&T from buying every company I flee to in order to avoid AT&T.
Sadly, it didn’t work out well for me when my phones went out last week as I discovered that the problem was in my house, and thus my responsibility to fix. I get to run lines through a crawlspace this weekend. >:-|
Is your landline and DSL the same? If so, can you get a different data provider? (E.g., a cable company internet.)
Irate @#5 saith, “Qwest is literally 6 miles away, but apparently there are some agreements which prevent them from offering us service.”
Yeah, “agreements” as in “we won’t try to poach your customers if you don’t try to poach ours.”
DSL??? Really? I would have guessed you were too far out in the boonies for dsl.
guess its satelitte internet for you.
or ham radio.
.- …. …. …. –..– — — .-. … . -.-. — -.. . .-.-.- .– . .-.. -.-. — — . – — ..- .-.. – .-. .- .-.. — .– -… .- -. -.. .– .. -.. – …. – .-. .- -. … — .. … … .. — -. … .-.-.- – . .-.. .-.. -.-. . -. – ..- .-. -.– .-.. .. -. -.- – — –. — -.-. .-.. .. — -… .- – .-. . . –..– — .-. -… . – – . .-. -.– . – -.-. .-.. .. — -… .- .–. — .-.. . .- -. -.. .-. . … – — .-. . -.– — ..- .-. … . .-. …- .. -.-. . .-.-.- … . .-. .. — ..- … .-.. -.– –..– -.– — ..- – — — -.- – …. . – .. — . – — ..-. .. –. ..- .-. . — ..- – .– …. .- – – …. .. … … .- .. -.. ..–.. -.– — ..- -. . . -.. …. . .-.. .–. .-.-.-
A thing I could do is open up my cellphone and replace its
internal antenna with some coax, and put a directional one
up as high as I could.
Yagi type antennas are very easy to make, and are pleasantly
high gain for such ‘small’ frequency ranges as IIRC cellphones
I’d of course need to know where the nearest cellphone tower
is to aim it right.
Which is quite doable if you know where the nearest town is.
I’d end up with kind of a landline cellphone, in that I’d have to
leave the phone wired to the antenna.
But I’d be able to reach much farther than the worthless internal
I don’t know if I’d have to pay roaming charges, or if I’d need to
lie about where I registered that phone.
Errh, be aware of this thing called lightning strikes.
This bothers me. Century Link is taking over my local phone company. Sounds like their service may be less than ideal.
Keep fighting the good fight.
Funny, I just got an email today from my provider saying “Qwest is becoming CenturyLink”, so they just gained a whole load of customers through merger
I can sure imagine the effects of satellite internet – it gives a new meaning to time lag. Press a button and get response a few seconds later. Certainly not something a die-hard gamer would appreciate.
Living in the countryside has it’s good and bad sides. So it usually evens out in the long run. Few people will notice if you take a walk around the house in just your underwear, and those that do it probably goes the same way themselves. Do the same thing in a city around an apartment block and you get the weirdo stare.
Time to move.
Me hatz thems communication providers. They beez like trolls, hide’n under o’bridge, wait’n ta steel yur coin. *jk*
Oddly enough, the communication providers have a distinct absence of communication skills. Maybe they really are trolls…
Yeah, Qwest is merging/taking over/being bought out by Century Link. i’ll say one thing for monopoly: when it was Northwestern Bell, we had excellent telephone service, even in the boonies. As one ripoff/maximize shareholder profits holding company after another bought the old Baby Bell and “improved” service, the actual product got worse and worse and worse.
Imagine this: we went with our landline being through the cable company and got BETTER, cheaper and more consistent service than with the actual phone company. Lots of people like to use the music companies as their example of older companies that couldn’t adjust to new technology and consumer usage/desires, but phone companies were there decades before. We originally got our cellphones from Qwest because it bundled nicely with our landline. We were never happier when Qwest sold their cellphone division to another vendor, thus voiding our contract and allowing us to switch providers with no penalty. They had no clue how to be a cellphone company because they wanted it to have the same sweetspots and profit centers as their landline business.
I do agree with the earlier post, John. Call up your provider and make sure that you get credit for any time that your service was down. In a natural disaster situation, no, but in a situation like this, they have not provided the service that they charged you for. It’s not much of your total bill, but until there’s hassle and cost associated with outages like this, the bean-counters will never see the value in preventative maintenance.
Well, dragon, thanks to auto-formatting, it took me about an hour to translate that. And yes, I did need help: http://www.onlineconversion.com/morse_code.htm
The main reason for having a land line, as far as I can tell, is to give you an option for communication when the power goes out, since the phone lines provide power independently of the electrical grid. To take advantage of it, though, you need one of the old style hardwired phones, and it neglects the utility of cell phones.
I feel your pain. We have CenturyLink, and can’t even get DSL from them. And it took two call-outs for them to fix our line the last time.
Jimmy @ #9 – At least you have DSL from them. We are also rural MO, and are less than 1/4 mile from customers up the road who can get DSL, but they can’t be bothered to extend the service to us. For two years, it’s been “you’re on our upgrade list”, but it doesn’t happen.
NH @ #20 – We have Hughsnet satellite. It’s OK, but we do notice the lag speed. And yes, online gaming is out of the question, as is streaming movies due to download limitations (200MB per day). We also can not remotely connect to our Dish box through the internet due to the lag speed.
I used a similar site to compose it as it would have taken me even longer to dit dit dit it into a message. I did a straight cut and paste and did not realize that the auto-formatting on the site would render it difficult to re-translate. A+ for effort!!
Hello. My name is Joey and I’m with CenturyLink. I’m sorry to read about the trouble you’ve had with our service. I would be happy to look into the issue for you. Just email me at Joey@CenturyLink.com for assistance. Make sure to include your name, account information and include any additional details that might help me help you. Thanks!
CenturyLink Customer Outreach