Nov. 7th, 2012

dydan: (Default)
Looks like our love affair with our Internet provider is over. Its a shame, really. When locals complain about dealing with ATT and Time Warner, we freely sang the praises of Clear. We have two devices: the home modem as well as a portable USB one Jared liked to take with him to work. For $60 it was a decent deal and the service was uber fast and reliable, something their competitors were lacking at the time.

Admittedly, we are Geeks and therefore, we have and always will be heavy Internet users. Last month, we chomped up 86 gig of Internets. How do we do it? We don't have cable TV, so we essentially use the Internet for the bulk of our entertainment. We watch a ton of Netflix, I run Spotify on my laptop while I am working (40+ hours a week)and the occasional time-wasting fun of Guild Wars 2. I don't have LAN parties at my teeny apartment, and neither of us have Halo marathons on the Xbox Live. So while we may indeed be heavy users, I seriously doubt we are that different than ohhh say a family with teenaged children or college students.

Over the years we have been customers, we have steadily watched our connectivity speeds go down, down, down. Jared says on a good day we're lucky to see 3Mbps. We accepted this. We're heavy users, its logical to assume that because of this, we will be squelched during peak times so that we are less of a burden while less frequent users are getting their Farmville time in. We get that, and we accept it. We aren't happy about it, especially when we know for a fact we are connected at way, way lower than their advertised speeds. But we understand this is the price we pay for being Internet piggies.

What we are NOT ok with is when we are being told that not only can we expect our Internets to be slower because our account has been flagged as Heavy Users, we can also expect our service to be randomly turned off as some sort of "punishment" for using the service we faithfully pay for. We found this out yesterday, when at 5pm the Internet was cut off. Jared reset the modem and routers and when he still couldn't connect he called Tech Support to get it back on. He then spent the next 2 1/2 hours talking to 4 different people. Three of them of claimed to be Supervisors, but our combined Call Center experience told us (when we demanded job titles) that the first 2 were really only Team Leads - in other words, lackeys who merely take the escalated calls and who have no real authority whatsoever.

The sum total of the call is that if we get our service turned off too many times, per the Acceptable Use Agreement our account can be terminated. We're too much of a resource hog on their system they gleefully advertise on their website as "expanding". The reasonable question to ask, then, is how can we be responsible customers and prevent this? Their answer: they don't know. They have no way to measure if the time I decide to watch a movie on Netflix is going to be a bad time to do so or not. You can theorize that perhaps if we use our Internets for such things during non-peak hours we can safely do so, but that's not true either. We found that out when our service got cut off at 2am. That was another 2+ hour phone call Jared made where all of this info was revealed to him. Because our account is flagged, we are at risk at any time simply because they have no way to gauge whether or not we are being too much of a drain on their precious system.

With Supervisor #4, Jared gave this analogy:
We are big SUV drivers on the highway we pay to drive on, and they are the toll booth. We speed, we suck gas. In the beginning, we were the only car on the road, so it was no biggie. Over time, however, the road has gotten more packed with other cars of varying size. But we're still truckin' along in our Hummer. Our usage has not changed at all. What has changed is that their Toll Booth cant handle the traffic. They've tried to deal with the problem by adding more lanes (towers) to the road, but its creating a bottle-neck at the Toll Booth and everyone is suffering in the gridlock.

We are now being told that we can't drive our Hummer the same as we have. We have to change our habits, only they can't tell us how or when since they have no way of knowing when its safe for us to drive. Further, we can be totally denied the right to drive altogether in some arbitrary judgement no one can give us parameters on. Other drivers are free to have the unlimited use of the road they are paying for without any threat, without being forced to slow down like we are.

Why are we paying for this? It makes no sense. Unlimited use is unlimited use. Now you are imposing limits on our use, so where's our discount? Supervisor #4 told us we should "pick another road to drive on". Jared's response was "really? Wow...so your 'expanding network' can't handle the traffic, so we should go with another company?" Of course, at that point she started stammering and giving the "oh I didn't mean that" speech.

But that's exactly what they mean. Alrighty then...message received, Clear. Looks like we'll be going back to Time Warner. We'll certainly be able to connect decently at the same price we've been paying Clear all these years. Actually, for the same price we'll be able to get a package that through TW that will give us speeds 10 times faster than what we're currently getting. Wow, watching a whole 30 minute TV show on Netflix without it stalling 5 times will certainly be a refreshing change!

Profile

dydan: (Default)
dydan

November 2012

S M T W T F S
    123
456 78910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 24th, 2017 10:37 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios