TL:DR – Comcast wins, at least for now.
So if you have been following me on Twitch or Facebook or whatnot, you will know that I have been incredibly excited after finding out that CenturyLink now has Fiber Internet available where I live, and then ordering it about 2 weeks ago.
Since then, though, it has been little but a gigantic pain in the ass.
After initially ordering the service, I was told to call customer service about getting a Static IP and how to use my own modem, since I wanted to run servers and whatnot, and use my own modem to have more control and cut costs.
First call: There is a language barrier, as the associate on the line had a thick Hispanic accent and had a hard time understanding me. On top of that, this particular associate lacked even a basic understanding of how CenturyLink/DSL worked, let alone internet service. After carefully explaining that CenturyLink provides a dynamic IP unless you specifically buy a Static, and no, ISPs DO NOT by default all give out static IPs, we then went on to several other subjects. Eventually I’d had enough and asked to speak with a manager or other associate who knew what they were talking about. Click… That is the first time I have been directly hung-up on by customer service for any ISP, appalling.
Second call: Again a language barrier with a Hispanic woman. Again issues with explaining what I needed and how things worked. I ask to be transferred to a manager much quicker to complain about twice in a row having this issue. I get put on hold for about 30 minutes before my call is terminated.
Third call: Static line, associate sounds like he is whispering but my voice seems to come through. Luckily, this one knew something about what he was talking and we eventually figured things all out – Phew!
Fast Forward two weeks to today. After finally receiving my install kit (UPS was pretty dumb about their delivery, yay, ended up having to spend $6 to get the whole thing reshipped or something like that… O.o) I set up my internet.
Setup was a breeze, got online, everything is good. Go to check my internet connection.
37.5 download (had ordered 40 so that is perfectly good), 3.5 upload (I had ordered, again, 40 upload, so this was NOT good).
So I call into CenturyLink, rather worried I’d get the same poor service. As it happened though I got connected to an extremely helpful lady who answered my questions about my account (can’t login online for a month etc.) and then transferred my to Tech Support. After talking with the Tech for a bit he is confused as he sees a 40/5 connection on my order (I had asked the first lady and she had confirmed my connection was correctly set to 40/40 earlier) – so I said I was confused how it could say two things and asked what we needed to do. After a few minutes on hold he got me connected with their “special” customer service. I say special simply because I do not recall the term they used, but it was indicative of higher level stuff. Anyway, the lady confirms my account shows 40/5 and I explain that I was shown, and signed, and bought 40/40 – and that my sales associate had insisted that it was indeed “FiOS” – not the DSL I apparently had gotten.
After several minutes chatting (again, everyone on this call was helpful, so CenturyLink is sitting at 50/50 on customer service in my tally), she was able to grab someone else who actually had a map of service (seriously – how can it be so difficult to figure out where your own services are available?!?!) that showed that the Fiber internet was mostly on the west side of the city, and had not been run to my location, there was fiber to the node, sure, but not to the location, so the best they could do is DSL for now. So they canceled my service, and I just finished driving through rush hour to get the modem returned, and now I am back with Comcast.
So I guess, to finish, a little one Comcast I have had nothing, absolutely nothing, but excellent customer service from Comcast. And this is what annoys me, I, like many, am concerned with Comcast buying out other companies and supporting the whole “internet monopolizing” that we have here in the USA – but it is really, really hard to support the “little guy” (if you can call CenturyLink that lol) when they sell you more than they can deliver, have customer service that don’t understand their own product and basically are a pain to accomplish anything with. My concern with Comcast, though, is that there is a cap on data usage (currently not enforced, but we’ll see) – and I have a dynamic IP. Wanting to be able to do more than your average user I have contacted them to upgrade to a business plan (only way to get a Static IP with Comcast… there is a reason but still incredibly frustrating that they chose a model that requires this) for faster internet, uncapped internet, and that static ip. My internet bill, for 50/10 speeds, static ip and modem (have to use a comcast modem for static ip, another limitation that sucks), it was coming out to a little over $135/month – are you kidding me?!?! To get any higher upload speeds that price goes up very quickly. They do say speeds in the area are doubling soon (for comcast) – I assume to compete with the new Fiber coming from CenturyLink – but they weren’t clear on whether that doubling applied to upload as well or not. For reference I am currently getting 60/10 internet (residential only, no equipment rental as I own the modem, no static ip) and it is about $75/month.
Lastly, I had called Comcast after getting CenturyLink ordered to confirm I was not on a contract and could cancel, and they said yes, and tried to find a way for me to stay, briefly, but listened and understood why the FiOS was a better option, and said to just call in when I was done to cancel with them. A couple days later my internet starting acting up, and I called it in, Comcast sent someone out the next morning (I called late at night) and had me fixed no issues – despite my stated intention of cancelling my service. So, for now, I just need to figure out how badly I want to run that server for now, and if I can wait for CenturyLink or Comcast to get faster speeds out here or not.