CenturyLink rant

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CenturyLink rant

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:36 pm

Perhaps my recanting a recent experience will help someone in the future.  There has to be a better way.

This is 2015, not 1915.  We can see a fly on a bull's butt from 16,000 miles up in outer space.  Everybody is connected to everywhere in the world via the Internet and GPS.  Yet when my ISP takes a dump, and I live in the sticks in the Midwest, nothing can be done but to wait for somebody in the Phillipines to do something to fix it.  The largest communications company in the Midwest is horrible at communicating with its customers and even with its service personnel.

CentruyLink has bought up all the smaller companies around here.  Many times the infrastructure of these smaller companies is in disrepair, hence the reason for selling out to CenturyLink.  The recent rainy weather, and the high temps and humidity have apparently taken a toll on this equipement.  CenturyLink has offered retirement packages to older, more experienced, higher-paid technicians and have simply not replaced them.  Our service person has to serve four counties by himself.  He is dispatched via GPS.  It shows less than a half mile between stops, yet he has to travel almost 60 miles to get around the lake via the roads.  The GPS just cuts straight across the lake.  This takes him way longer to service the 30 or so stops he is dispatched in one day.  No way can he do all that work and drive 200 or 300 miles a day around the lake.  Anytime service goes down, it takes at least a week to get the system back up and running again.

This has happened twice to me in the past month.  I have had a total of 12 days in the month of July with Internet service.  The rest of the time I have spent trying to sweet talk some bimbo in the Phillipines to PLEASE come fix my Internet service.  I have been informed that within the next year, CenturyLink is moving ALL supervisory and "technical support" (quite the joke!) personnel to the Phillipines.  The ONLY people that will be in the US proper will be repair and installation personnel.  There is already no accountability, so this will not improve any.  NOBODY want to take responsibility for things going wrong.  They make you promise to pay for the repairs if they "are on your side."  "Scuse me, but "my side" is my computer.  The rest is CenturyLink equipment.  The Phillipines "technical support" person told me that I had bad phone jacks.  She could tell this from 5000 miles away.  On the phone.  It turned out that lightning had come in on my modem and took it and the pay-per-view-modem for our satellite TV at the same time.  They work harder at trying to make problems the customer's fault rather than just getting busy correcting the problem.  The service technician had no idea I had been down a week.  He had just gotten our repair order that morning.  It turns out that he lives less than 10 miles from our home.

Another thing that gripes my grits is the "on-hold" message they give you.  They advise that I can check up on my Internet repair status by going to www.CentruyLink/repair.com.  If I could do that, I would not be on hold, would not be wasting my time and theirs.  Geez!

I would not wish CenturyLink on my worst enemy.  This winter, they will lose at least one customer.  They will also buy a smaller outfit and replace me with 5000 more sheep like me.  And so it goes.........

Edit.....I have learned that my printer will not work wirelessly with the new DSL modem.  It simply won't.  I have installed and un-installed my printer three times.  Zip, nada.  The DSL modem will not work with my router.  CenturyLink technical support tells me that my printer is toast, time for a new one.  So I bought a $15 USB-to-printer cable at Walmart,  and guess what.  My printer has never worked so well.  It has always been a pain to get to work dependably wireless, so maybe this is a good thing.  Life is good.  The frau thinks I'm a computer guru.  Yeah, right........


WC


Last edited by Wildcat445 on Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:10 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: CenturyLink rant

Post by Greg Davis on Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:10 pm

I do love a good rant!

Like you, I had a recent experience that I feel is rant-worthy. Not as bad as yours, but still, quite a few similarities.

I just moved to Tomball, TX. I bought a new house and went shopping for internet service providers. AT&T doesn't sell you ANYTHING without first selling you home phone service. I don't want (and REFUSE to pay for) home phone service. My home has no business making calls anyway, and I make all my calls on the cell. So AT&T was out. CenturyLink sucks... but even if they didn't, they don't serve the area my house is in.

Which left me only with Comcast... and I had just concluded a bad experience with Comcast in Sammamish, WA. So, against my better judgment I called Comcast and arranged for Internet + TV service using one of their Double Play bundles. Within a week they delivered the cable box and I bought a cable modem (paying $70 to avoid having to rent one from Comcast to the tune of $10 per month for the rest of your natural life). I opted for the Self Install because I consider myself computer and cable savvy.

So when I get a few minutes (three days later) I hook it up. Not surprisingly, it doesn't work. I try a few things, but nothing works. So I call the help desk. Needless to say while I am sitting on interminable hold I get the message "You know, you can check the status of your account at COMCAST.COM). Uh, no... at the moment I really can't. But eventually someone does answer the phone. The helpful lady (who sounded American) had me run a few tests, then noticed that my account was not marked Active. Ooookay... then she activated it and tried the tests again... to no avail. So she says there's nothing for it but to send a service tech to my house, and that I will be charged $50 for the service call. Fine, I said. But then she tells me the next available appointment is five days away... at dinner time. However, if they are more than 30 minutes late they would knock $20 off the service charge.

So we wait the five days, wondering all along whether I am being billed for the five days. The service tech comes and fixes the problem (which was never explained to me, but I presume it had something to do with the outside connection. Eventually service was connected, and I finished the connection by setting up my own WIFI router.

So yes, I did get service, but really... charging someone $50 for initial service connection because THEY did something wrong is ridiculous.
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Re: CenturyLink rant

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:23 pm

On the other side of this coin, in fairness. My neighbor bought a new flat panel TV and was really proud of his new TV. A 60" Vizio Smart TV with all the bells and whistles. So he puts his new TV on its new stand and then proceeds to mow his yard. When he comes in, he takes a shower, then turns on his new TV. He gets the dreaded "Code 771" message which means "tough luck, buddy." So he calls me. Why, I have no idea. I still watch a CRT set from 1992. The trouble code advises us to call Direct TV for service. Now this is about 1:30 in the afternoon. The nice lady IN MONTANA (!) says the serviceman will be there PROMPTLY at 8:30 the following morning. I am walking back to my house when I see the Direct TV truck in the neighborhood. The driver says he was in the neighborhood on another call and got dispatched for this one. He is running a little early, but is it okay if he fixes the neighbor's TV now. So less than two hours after he realizes he has a problem, the neighbor is watching his new TV. It was discovered that he had cut his cable with his Weedeater. Direct TV did not charge him a dime, and actually apologized for him having a problem that was HIS fault. So there you go.......

WC

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Re: CenturyLink rant

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:36 pm

We like a landline, partly because we both hate cell phones, and partly because cell phone service is spotty down here by the lake. I have a cell phone that I bought in October last and have only answered it less than a half dozen times, other than when the frau loses me in Walmart. Cell phones ARE handy for finding lost old people!

I have a Trac-Fone and I have only used 18 units since October. I get triple minutes every three months, so now have over 4000 minutes on my phone. I won't use that much time in ten lifetimes. I do not text, sext, watch movies, listen to music, nothing. All it is is a friggin' phone. And not much of that, only emergencies. Like when the frau loses me in Walmart. If my battery goes down, I could be lost forever!

WC

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Re: CenturyLink rant

Post by 75X11 on Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:39 pm

WC, there is a little accountability that you can access. Your states' public service commission. Complaints about utilities to include IT providers can get some traction as in most states the commissioner is an elected position. I am looking forward to trying to add internet service from cocmast. I spent 3 hours in a chat session trying to find out how much the thing would be after any promo expired. It was like trying to peel a garlic with two sticks. I finally got a firm price then the lady said "Do you want to rent a modem or do you already have one?" then she, (I think, Ankit was their name) said there was another $10.00/mo charge. I was ready to sign up, but after the add-ons ups and extras, I pinched off the chat session. We need some trust busters in these here United States. BAD.
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Re: CenturyLink rant

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:13 pm

Our state's public service commission advised the wife that CenturyLink is not regulated by the state. The FCC regulates the phone part. Internet and TV service is not regulated. They can do whatever they want. The only hold you have on these people is with your purse strings. I will not do business in the future with anyone whose support personnel is offshore. I want to jump on a desk and talk to a live body if necessary. They expect their money on time, they can fix my problem on time. You are right, 75. People can put a stop to this nonsense if they only would. Just quit doing business with them. Our power company has started a fiber optics network where the technicians are local. Right here in the county. They have a live body you can see, in person, should you so choose. They may be worse than CenturyLink, but CL has had two chances this month and failed miserably both times. Enough is enough. When enough people get fed up, they will sell out to someone and we will start all over.

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