Internet Service

AT&T Teases, Then Denies Me Tasty High Speed Service.

On Monday I was out on the AT&T web site looking to see if U-Verse was available in my neighborhood yet. Right now it stops two blocks away, and I keep hoping AT&T will bring that tasty fiber goodness to my street. Anyway, after filling out the form on their site to see what products were available to me, I got a message saying they couldn’t validate my address. (That’s kind of funny since they validate it every month with a paper cell phone bill) The site asked me if I wanted to fill out a verify my address form, so I said sure and sent them my info.

On Tuesday I got this reply from AT&T:

Welcome to AT&T

Dear Wade Johnston,

Thank you for your interest in AT&T U-verse. At this time, the following U-verse services are available at the address below:

  • AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet, with speeds up to 18M.
Your service address is: XXXX XXXXX
APT# OR SUITE
KANSAS CITY
KS
66103

You may place your order at att.com for AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet service. If you need help with your order you may call 1-888-697-7202. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!
Looks promising right? Not so fast. I was so excited that I clicked the link from the email, opened the AT&T site, looked at all that U-Verse juiciness and tried to decide Elite, or the next tier down. I didn’t pull the trigger, and when I went back today I was told that U-Verse is Not available at my address after all. At first I was stumped and then I chalked it up to bad site design, or a data base error on AT&T’s end. Being the resourceful guy that I am, I called the 1-888 number listed in the email.

After a brief hold I was connected to a chipper young lady named Sophia, who apologized for the problem online and offered to help. She took my address, put me on hold and went to look up where I lived in the massive AT&T  system. After a few minutes she came back and told me that No Services are available at my address. She asked me to read the email to her, and after she apologized  again for AT&T’s big tease, and then said let me check one more place. (like they have this stuff in a closet somewhere) After a few more minutes she came back and said nope you are out of luck.  So I asked her if I fill out another verify my address form, get a link to the site and it does go through, should I buy the service? she said no, that you aren’t really buying online, you are just requesting, and that an AT&T employee would complete the order. She told me I would probably get another email telling me that no service was available a couple of days later.

What a cluster. AT&T is in every neighborhood surrounding us, but won’t come two blocks down the road to hook us up. The website lies, the email system lies, and I am still left dealing with Time Warner Cable suck ass internet service. I know Google is bringing high-speed fiber to KCK. I know I’ll have it in about a year, but man I was excited. I really thought I was gonna get 8+ megabit download speeds for less money than I pay Time Warner now.

AT&T if you are listening, would you please bring U-Verse to my street. I know 10 Time Warner customers that would jump to your service in a heart beat if you did.

The Time Warner Cable Saga Will Never End.

I am writing this post on my iPhone because my 3G signal is better than my internet connection through Time Warner Cable. This is the kind of thing that makes me insane, and makes me say I can’t wait until Google brings Fiber to KCK and I have an option to get a better internet connection, and hopefully dump Time Warner for good.

Right now, my internet connection is throttled by Time Warner to 768k downstream, and 128k up. Not ultra fast, but not great either. My issue is that with real world use, I average about 128k down and 56k up. That my friends sucks. We are talking the equivalent of dial-up speeds here, and the real kicker is Time Warner Cable tech support doesn’t believe me.

For the last three weeks I have talked to, Tweeted with, emailed, and direct messaged Time Warner tech support. I have done everything they asked, and given them the abysmal results of my internet throughput both wired and via WiFi. Each time they come back with the same response, “Things look good on our end, the problem is your system.” Sorry this isn’t much of an answer. If you have followed my blog, you are probably aware of the horrible experience I had with Time Warner’s TV service. At one point it was so bad that an area field supervisor came to my house to determine what was wrong. The problem wasn’t with my home connection, or the coaxial cable in my house. The problem was with the Time Warner Hub, and the last mile from the Hub to the neighborhood. At the time the supervisor wouldn’t actually say it. He would allude to it, he would tell me I could say it, but he admitted, he couldn’t say it. None the less that was the problem, and the solution was a simple one. Time Warner needed to upgrade the Hub to accommodate the volume of traffic that was using Roadrunner during peak hours.

I have no idea if the Hub was ever upgraded. I do know that between the hours of 7 and 9 in the morning, and between 5 and 10 in the evening, my internet connection, as well as all of my neighbors is pathetic. It is essentially dial-up speed.

What I do know is this. The impending Google Fiber Network for Kansas City, Kansas has been the talk of every person on my block for the last week. The idea of getting reliable service at a fair price has everyone excited. For the last two years, we ave all been clamoring for AT&T Uverse, but we aren’t scheduled to get it for another 18 months, so the Google initiative has all of us jumping for joy.

I have no idea what the pricing structure will be, or who the host carrier will be. I hope to hell it isn’t Time Warner. If it is, I know they will attempt to price gouge me, throttle my connection, and nickel and dime me for every thing they can tack an extra fee on. Google if you are listening, and I hope you are, please choose anyone but Time Warner Cable to partner with.

One final note. Time Warner’s tech support solution has repeatedly been that I need to upgrade my service, and buy more bandwidth. They refuse to send anyone out to look at the Hub for our neighborhood, check the last mile to our streets, or send a tech to my house to help determine if the problem is something that Time Warner can’t detect from a remote location.