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DSL Internet Light is off

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It was a surreal experience this weekend because CenturyLink took my DSL-based Internet offline. Calling their 24 hours support yielded 1st level support, who could do nothing but repeatedly ask me to re-enter my user ID and password. They wouldn’t listen to the simple fact that my Internet light was off, which means the problem is on CenturyLink’s part.

First level support said my DSL-Modem was broken. Naturally, it was the one they provided and charge me $5/month for. I explained that if the DSL light was green one moment and not lit another and the internal Intranet continued to work, it wasn’t the DSL-Modem/Router’s logic board. However, I even went and bought a new DSL-Modem to verify that it would have the same problem symtoms.

With the new modem, the same problem existed. When I contacted the support, the support person said, “Your new Actiontec DSL-model isn’t supported.” Then, they wanted me to call Actiontec. Immediately recognizing their attempt to dodge ownership and close the request (supporting their job metrics), I reconnected the DSL-Modem/Router and said,

“Your supported device is now reconnected and failing to connect to your server. The Internet light is not lit, which means it doesn’t fail or succeed to connect, it simply can’t get recognized to validate a connection on your server.”

Naturally, by this time it was the weekend. The support representative then said, I’d have to call back on Monday during normal business hours because nobody held privileges to reset the server. They said, “Ask for 3rd level support. That’s so interesting because CenturyLink boast 7×24 hour service while it appears that their support model is 5×8, 5×9, or 5×10 hour service.

When I finally got a support person online Monday to escalate to the next level, or beyond, this support person wouldn’t acknowledge that the issue required 3rd level support. They had only 2nd level support. Who knows what’s true at this point, eh? When they did escalate, 35 minutes later the service was reconnected without any action on my DSL-Modem/Router. The light went from unlit, to red, and then after less than a minute to green. This proved exactly what I tried to explain on Thursday last week, which yielded nothing. Unfortunately, I had to travel to Utah Thursday evening and couldn’t get back to the problem on my end until Saturday. Then, the support limits of CenturyLink kicked in and Internet couldn’t be restored until Monday.

CenturyLink has taught me they don’t care about customer service, and that they’re support model is broken. Unfortunately, there are few options in Rexburg, Idaho. It strikes me there needs to be a Federal law if there isn’t already one to mandate the support staffing hours of Internet providers. Next step, I should ask my Congressman if there is a law, and if there isn’t a law start a public driven initiative to create one. By the way, I waited 26 minutes for them to find a duty manager – apparently another broken process or staffing glitch. When he got online, I asked for an email stating what they had broken on their level. That manager represented that they don’t have access to email, like their 1st support analyst, and now I’m waiting for a manager at the next level. I wonder how many levels are required to find somebody with email? Apparently, nobody can send the email because of their security concerns. It makes me wonder if nobody can send an email to acknowledge their mistake. 😉

Bottom-line, when the Internet light goes dark (unlit), escalate and don’t bother with 1st level support. It’s a waste of your time.

By the way, when I looked into a Cable connection it was the same price and it’s twice as fast. Yes, I’m switching now. So much for the ad copy of 99.9% up time, it doesn’t factor in their downtime windows when the Internet goes unlit. That happens for hours on the weekend several months a year, that appears to be their unpublished service window. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what their real customer up-time is?

The plus side, is that CableOne’s Internet is 6 times faster and the same cost (provided you have a dedicated phone line), as you can see in my speed comparisons using (also in my comment replying to CenturyLink below).

Service Download Upload
CenturyLink 5.69 Mbps 0.95 Mbps
CableOne 30.34 Mbps 1.60 Mbps

My only regret is that I didn’t change sooner. Thanks to CenturyLink’s classic example of aggravating customer support, non-transparent outages, and tirelessly trying to maintain image through a 1st level support team for helping me make the change.

Written by maclochlainn

December 17th, 2012 at 10:28 am