15 votes

What are your ISP support experiences?

I just wanted to see what everyone else’s experience has been working with your ISP. I recently had a horrible experience and wanted to see if anyone else can relate and maybe just vent a little.

My recent experience: I moved to a new town, and I had been experiencing issues with my internet dropping out, as we all probably have had at some point, and I contacted Cox communications through their chat app. After multiple attempts to fix it, they finally sent a tech out to find that the coax connectors at the pole were rusted out. He replaced them but it wasn’t fixed completely. The tech dismissed it and said to just use it for now and I wouldn’t notice. So I did, and it wasn’t great at first, but it actually slowly got better and was good for a while until the last couple of weeks. This past week every single night it would drop out. I watched the connection drop while I was trying to watch mythic quest (great show btw) and every night for the past week the internet was unusable in the evenings. I then contacted Cox again multiple times, got a credit refunded back to my account and they wanted to do the whole reset modem thing again, so I did just to get to the next steps. Again they said use it and see if it improves, so I did, and it didn’t. I contacted them again, and again the modem reset, so I got fed up and filed a complaint with the FCC while I was chatting with this guy and he had the nerve to try and sell me home automation at the end of our chat!

The next day goes by, a woman from their escalation lines contacts me about my FCC complaint and they send a new tech out. Turns out Cox never buried my original line in conduit, so the line was probably damaged underground as it was sending a weak return signal. The tech ran a new drop from a different tap and used the thickest coax I’ve ever seen. So far it’s been good after the new drop, but it took multiple chats and calls with two different field technicians and an FCC complaint to get it fixed. The worst part about it is Cox Communications is the only broadband ISP in my area other than Starlink and I seriously considered Starlink. So if you read this far, thanks! Please share your experiences if you’d like, or if you want to vent that’s okay.

13 comments

  1. psi
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    I had Spectrum. When my neighbors moved in, they also chose Spectrum. When the tech came to setup the neighbors's internet, my internet went out. Since I'm pretty much always on my computer, I...

    I had Spectrum. When my neighbors moved in, they also chose Spectrum. When the tech came to setup the neighbors's internet, my internet went out. Since I'm pretty much always on my computer, I noticed almost immediately, allowing me to catch the tech before he left.

    The conversation went something like this:

    me: Hey, I'm the upstairs neighbor. I noticed that my internet went out when you arrived. Do you think you might have accidentally disconnected me?

    tech: Nope, I had nothing to do with it. By the way, if you're having internet problems, you'll need to schedule an appointment. I'm only here to help your neighbors.

    me: [dumbfounded] Um, okay.

    So I scheduled an appointment. The soonest appointment was Tuesday, and it was Friday, meaning I was effectively knocked offline for four days.

    When the new tech arrived on Tuesday, I explained the situation, and he instantly suspected what had happened. Two minutes later his theory was confirmed -- the previous tech literally unplugged my line to plug-in the neighbors. Five minutes later the problem was fixed -- the new tech simply installed a splitter.

    So basically I lost internet for half a week because a tech couldn't be assed to install a splitter, even after I pointed out that he had disconnected me.

    7 votes
  2. suspended
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    I have Consolidated Communications here that provide me with DSL. It's the best I can get unless I want to spend an exorbitant amount of money for satellite Internet. The very first time I had an...

    I have Consolidated Communications here that provide me with DSL. It's the best I can get unless I want to spend an exorbitant amount of money for satellite Internet.

    The very first time I had an issue a tech, named JB, showed up at my house within 15 minutes. He had everything fixed in the next ten minutes. Before he left he gave me his business card with his personal cell phone number on it. He told me to call him directly from then on.

    I've had to call him, at least, three other times and he's showed up quickly. He's knowledgeable and incredibly pleasant.

    Twice I have called the main office to talk to his manager about how pleased I am with this type of service. I am, incredibly, fortunate with this setup!

    5 votes
  3. Adys
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    I work from home so i make a point to use a business line. You get to avoid horrible customer support experiences with those.

    I work from home so i make a point to use a business line. You get to avoid horrible customer support experiences with those.

    4 votes
  4. frostycakes
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    Right now I have T-Mobile's home internet service, and it's actually been pretty good as far as support goes. I had to get in touch with their Twitter support because my initial order got stuck in...

    Right now I have T-Mobile's home internet service, and it's actually been pretty good as far as support goes. I had to get in touch with their Twitter support because my initial order got stuck in limbo, and I ended up getting a credit that covered my first month of service from them, as well as being able to go pick my modem up from one of their stores instead of waiting for it to ship.

    Before this, I had CenturyLink DSL, which worked fine, but dealing with support staff (not the field techs or the social media support team, both of those were excellent IME) was a hair-pulling nightmare. This most recent time when I called to cancel my service, I got a rep that tried to spend 20 minutes arguing with me that the speeds they were providing me were enough (they were, but they have FTTH taps available outside my building that they refuse to open up to MDU residents, and with T-Mo's 5G rollout I've gone from 140/20 on DSL to 500/50ish for the same price. Went through that mess, only to get stuck on hold for over an hour and transferred to yet another agent (who thankfully just took my cancellation reason at face value and got it taken care of quickly). One prior time I went through hell with them because they kept billing me a modem lease fee for the modem I had purchased outright from them, even after sending the receipt for it multiple times. Took my ex's father (who is a tech for them) to get that one fixed.

    For a couple years, I was stuck with Comcast (lived in an apartment where they were our only option). I also worked for them for a brief period there, and all I can say is they're great when things are working, but once things start breaking, you're in for an absolute nightmare of a time. Even having been on the inside, they have such a labyrinthine bureaucracy that it takes 3-4 teams to get a lot of issues fixed, their systems are a hodgepodge of varying quality depending on who they bought out to acquire it from, the turnover is so high on the front lines that nobody really knows what they're doing, and the customer base is so aggressive and even violent (the amount of times we had to go on lockdown thanks to an irate customer showing up at our call center was ridiculous) that it makes it hard for the staff to even give a shit. Between being a customer and employee of them, I will never give them my business again if at all possible.

    So long as this 5G Home Internet service keeps up the pace like it has so far (in fact, my speeds recently almost doubled from when I first signed up with them), I'll be a happy camper who never has to call Comcast or CenturyLink ever again.

    3 votes
  5. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
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    1. DeFaced
      Link Parent
      This is what I’m worried about! The new line runs through the middle of my side yard, to which my wife has a garden and has planted some trees. They said they would be burying it with conduit this...

      This is what I’m worried about! The new line runs through the middle of my side yard, to which my wife has a garden and has planted some trees. They said they would be burying it with conduit this time, but I’m afraid it’ll be too shallow and the wife might accidentally cut it one of these days with one of her gardening projects on accident.

      3 votes
  6. [2]
    Weldawadyathink
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    I have experience with both Comcast and AT&T. Comcast: Despite their horrid reputation, I have had a really good experience with them. I only get internet, no TV or phone service. The cable...

    I have experience with both Comcast and AT&T.

    Comcast: Despite their horrid reputation, I have had a really good experience with them. I only get internet, no TV or phone service. The cable service has only gone out a few times in the 3 years I had them. The most annoying thing is their 1.2TB limit. My roommate and I finally broke that limit this month, and so I had to upgrade to something unlimited. I managed to double my internet speed and get unlimited data for the exact same monthly price as I paid previously. The price will go up a bunch after a year, but you have to bounce around deals at all ISP companies (at least in my area). All in all, I get fast and reliable service for a decent monthly price.

    AT&T: My parent’s have had AT&T for as long as I can remember. It is terrible. Every technical support issue is a fight to get something done. When they finally improve things, it often removes other features. For example, at one point, they upgraded my parents modem. Their previous modem had a battery backup so that the landline phones would still work during a short power outage. The new modem technically supported a battery, but would apparently cause software issues when it was installed. How do they not have a modern modem that supports a battery? (I know they could have bought a consumer UPS, but they shouldn’t have to spend money on a feature they already had.) When they finally decided to pay the fee (really?) to get HD TV, it caused numerous other problems. The audio signal would drop out intermittently, and even cause issues on the recordings. The internet at this time was also half the speed they were paying for and super unreliable. I managed to get AT&T to upgrade to a bonded pair because of these issues. As part of this upgrade we could upgrade to a blazing fast 50mbps! Except that it was still super unreliable. After numerous service calls, we decided that a stable 25mbps is better than an unstable 50mbps. The web interface would not let me change the service at all, so I had to call the sales department. The sales person said that 25mbps was the same price as 50mbps, and they couldn’t give us a discount even though their own service would not support 50mbps. Even though I was willing to pay the same price for “less” speed, I had to fight with them and even get escalated to a manager to make it happen. I am trying to convince my parents to change to comcast, who can (hopefully) offer a similar TV channel selection, 2 phone lines, and gigabit (cable not fiber) speed for the same price they pay to AT&T.

    2 votes
    1. DeFaced
      Link Parent
      I used to get rock solid 75Mbps down and 25Mbps up service from att at my old residence with unlimited data on bonded pair dsl, and I really miss that service.

      I used to get rock solid 75Mbps down and 25Mbps up service from att at my old residence with unlimited data on bonded pair dsl, and I really miss that service.

      2 votes
  7. joplin
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    I've got Spectrum, and while I haven't had any major problems, I'm just sick of dealing with them. Out of nowhere, they forced a modem upgrade on us. I'm sure it makes things easier on them and...

    I've got Spectrum, and while I haven't had any major problems, I'm just sick of dealing with them. Out of nowhere, they forced a modem upgrade on us. I'm sure it makes things easier on them and they can update other hardware. I get the business decisions involved, but I knew it wouldn't go smoothly. Sure enough, I install the new modem and it appears to work long enough to go to their website, activate it and confirm it works. Then 3 hours later (after working perfectly fine for that time), it stops working. They also included a WiFi router that I am not going to use. Of course they are charging me $5 a month for the Wifi router, but I can't get it back to them because I need to send it and the old modem in with the box that has the pre-printed label on it. But FedEx won't pick it up from my house because they didn't pay enough for pickup, the box is too large to fit in a FedEx drop box, and I can't go to a FedEx/Kinkos location because my immune-compromised spouse can't get vaccinated and I can't risk bringing home the delta variant just to return a fucking cable box. So I'm paying the $5/mo because it's just easier (which I'm sure they know). I did call and explain the situation and the tech was very understanding and ensured me that I don't need to worry about it and they'll do whatever they can to fix it — eventually.

    That's just the latest thing. When we moved into this house, I wanted to locate the cable modem centrally and near the TV (which thankfully are the same thing now). They ensured me that, "Oh yes, we can run cables inside your walls so you don't have ugly cabling hanging down from your ceiling." Then when the tech got here, he was like, "They told you what? No, we never do that. We're constantly telling them that we can't do that, but they keep telling customers we can." Luckily the room on the other side of the wall is an office, and we were able to somewhat discretely drop it from the ceiling down a corner of the wall, across the baseboard, and then through. If you don't know it's there you probably don't notice it. But man does it piss me off the way they said they could do it, when they knew for a fact they couldn't. Just stop fucking lying to your customers. That's like the most basic requirement for a business.

    2 votes
  8. MimicSquid
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    I have Sonic, a small local ISP. They started out as a rebundler for AT&T's service, and I paid them extra above AT&T's service just because they had customer service that was worlds better. IF...

    I have Sonic, a small local ISP. They started out as a rebundler for AT&T's service, and I paid them extra above AT&T's service just because they had customer service that was worlds better. IF there was a problem with the hardware, they dealt with AT&T's bullshit. Now I have their fiber and have had perfect uptime with no issues for years.

    2 votes
  9. JXM
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    I’ve been lucky enough to live in places with both Comcast and Cox. Basically the two worst ISPs in the US. Both have absolutely terrible support that are very obviously reading through scripts...

    I’ve been lucky enough to live in places with both Comcast and Cox. Basically the two worst ISPs in the US. Both have absolutely terrible support that are very obviously reading through scripts and not actually trying to solve the problem.

    It’s crazy how little actual knowledge they have about the product their providing support for. If anything is slightly out of the most common 10% of problems, they never have any clue how to solve it and you have to wait for a callback from the dreaded “Level 2” support, which of course never comes.

    Once in the early 2010s, I spent three hours on the phone with Comcast support trying to activate a CableCARD. The first three support technicians I talked to didn’t even know what a CableCARD was and had no clue how to activate one.

    Luckily, the place I live now is working on municipal broadband, so hopefully I won’t have to deal with them much longer!

    1 vote
  10. tomf
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    I'm not in the US, but any time I call a provider like this I either say that I want to cancel my service or outright ask for loyalty and retention. It depends when you're calling, but typically...

    I'm not in the US, but any time I call a provider like this I either say that I want to cancel my service or outright ask for loyalty and retention. It depends when you're calling, but typically they send you on to the team. L&R gets you away from the folks reading off a script and onto people who simply want to close the ticket by bringing in whoever they need to.

    This won't fix the issues that their technical teams have, but its a step in the right direction.

    Once everything is resolved, you can always ask if they can lower your bill --- usually there's something they're willing to do.

    For internet, like Adys said, its worth going up to a business account. It gets you past the first level crap, which is largely useless / sales focused.

    When the techs come on-site, keep a keen eye on them. Some of them have insane ideas. When I was a teenager my parents made the call to get DSL. The guy literally ran a cable at eye level down the side of the house and then drilled a hole through the side of the house.

    I was certain my Dad was going to murder me... even though it wasn't my fault.

    1 vote
  11. Akir
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    I can’t tell you why (though I suspect it’s simply because of a move), but somewhere around 2010, the ISPs became somewhat reliable. What few outages I had dealt with were extremely short and...

    I can’t tell you why (though I suspect it’s simply because of a move), but somewhere around 2010, the ISPs became somewhat reliable. What few outages I had dealt with were extremely short and didn’t need my intervention.

    The one exception I had was with Frontier, which was a business class connection. The good thing was that we got business class service; if anything went wrong, I’d get instantly connected with a tech. The bad thing is that they would do what every ISP support would do which was to assume that the problem was on my end. So no matter what, I would have to wait for them to walk me through resetting their crappy router. And no, they wouldn’t let us purchase our own modem. At least they ran it in bridge mode.

    1 vote
  12. teaearlgraycold
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    Not quite what you’re asking for, but your post reminded me of an experience I had a couple times last year. I switched my cell carrier twice in the last year. Just trying out all of my options...

    Not quite what you’re asking for, but your post reminded me of an experience I had a couple times last year. I switched my cell carrier twice in the last year. Just trying out all of my options and surfing through the promotional deals.

    Both times I had difficulties porting in my old number. So I had to take out the new SIM card, install the old one, and call up my new carrier to get them to fix it. Digging through the support tree is hell. Honestly fuck TMobile.

    But I did have this beautifully comedic moment when switching to them. I had finally reached the porting department after an hour on the phone and multiple disconnects. All the guy needed was the PIN from my old carrier. So I gave him the PIN, he types it in and says “Okay, that should work any -“ and I get disconnected again. Having been primed with my prior disconnections I wasn’t surprised. Until I realized I was calling from the phone number they were porting. One switched SIM card later and I was back online! It had worked.

    1 vote