Whiny insights about local cable internet provider

For more of my commentary on life in Richmond, Indiana check out RichmondMatters.com.
(Please note, because of the time that has passed since I wrote this article, it may no longer reflect my current views or the most accurate and complete information available on this subject.)

If you read through my weblog, you might get the impression that I find joy in whining and complaining about the poor customer service practices of companies I deal with. Really, I tend to be a pretty positive person, and don't go out looking to pick people/places/things apart just for fun. But sometimes I just gotta share.

So there's a local cable internet provider, which I won't identify here by name, that I wish had better Insight into its own local network operations. Based on my experience, they have downtime / problems and my connection goes down when any of the following occur:

  1. It rains, or is excessively windy, anywhere in eastern Indiana.
  2. I'm making an online bill payment that is due that day.
  3. I'm scheduled to participate in an online chat at that moment.
  4. I'm in the middle of updating firewall or access rules for a remote network.

Needless to say, it sucks when this happens. But what's worse than having your service be down? You guessed it, folks - poor customer service in response. Take yesterday for example:

Them: Customer support, how can we help?
Me: My connectivity is down again, I've tried all of your typical troubleshooting steps, and I want to know if you have any known issues in Richmond, Indiana?
Them: Not that we know of, let me transfer you to Tier Two support!
Me: Okay
(15 minutes pass...really)
Them: Hi, this is Tier Two support.
Me: My connectivity is down again, I've tried all of your typical troubleshooting steps, and I want to know if you have any known issues in Richmond, Indiana?
Them: Well, let's see. Could you try resetting your cable modem? Make sure you unscrew the coaxial cable from the unit, even though the power is off.
Me: Okay, but I did reset it before I called.
Them: Well, just try it anyway.
(Modem is reset, still no connection, now 20 minutes into my call.)
Them: Okay, sir, I do show that we're having an outage in Richmond, Indiana right now, and we're working on the problem. There is no more information available about the problem, or when things will be working again. Is there anything else I can help you with?

And then I should have said, "I wish you would have told me that when I first called instead of wasting 20 minutes of my life," but it would have been inaudible through my clenched teeth, so I didn't bother. Oh, the time and money that could be saved by better inter-organizational communication.

But I still call them every time I experience an outage (i.e. every time it rains) in hopes that some day, a database analyst will decide to run a query that shows they have an unusually poor uptime here in Richmond, and then a team of Insightful technicians will descend on the area to remedy the situation once and for all, and then publicly thank me for my service to the community.

In the meantime, I'll just be known as that guy who complains about everything on his weblog, at least when he's able to connect to post to it.

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