The perils of phone company internet

Some of you might think Grandpa left me a bunch of Comcast stock.   In reality, no company is perfect.  However, I am in the business of “creating transformations through technology.”  One way I do that is by promoting consumer choice.   Consumers should have the right to purchase their own internet equipment, which includes the modem and the router.  We are not living in 1965, when you had to lease your home phone from the phone company.

Apparently, for Frontier customers (formerly ATT) in Connecticut — the phone company is enforcing a “lease” on that equipment.  It may be a 0.00 a month lease, but it is an imposition.   For customers in urban and well populated suburban areas in Connecticut (this could also apply in other parts of the country), there is no choice in equipment.  It comes from the phone company.    If your internet modem goes bad and you need to get something done that day — you can’t go out and buy a modem at the big box store.  I can’t buy one for you at the big box store.  Another technician can’t go out and buy one for you.  It’s an anti-consumer policy.  With the cable company, despite their shortcomings,  the same just isn’t true.  You will have to wait for the phone company to show up.   Then it becomes an issue of…..

Will they show up?   I have had two customers, in neighboring towns get the short end of the stick with Frontier lately.   It really comes down to basic customer service.  These clients, with separate issues pertaining to phone company internet, did not get a call to reschedule or announce a delay.  If the phone company did not want to do the job or could not provide the service, they could have called.  They did not do that in a reasonable window of time after the scheduled appointment.  In one of these scenarios, both Comcast and Frontier were called on to do site surveys to see if the client could get faster internet.  While Comcast did not provide service to the location, they showed up.  They tried.  Frontier did not show up.  Ultimately, the client did get Frontier to come back and provide the desired services but that is only after she spent at least an hour on the phone with them.  The customer was so frustrated that she request that I deal with them in the future. 

What happened to customer service?  Also what happened to telling customers — I can’t do the deal?  I think it is the hallmark of a great company or provider to admit they are not the right one for the job or that the outcome is not possible.  As consumers, we have to respect that.  The stringing a long or the “slap in the face” of a no show are unacceptable. 

This is why I exist as your technology concierge.  I have customers that, despite free warranty support or customer support, would rather pay me to deal with these technology companies for them because I get results.  That is one of the hats I wear and wear well. 

I know that for some of you, phone company internet is all you have.   Whether there is choice, avoid it like the plague.  Since 2013, I have actively and openly steered my clients toward cable company internet — whether it be Comcast, Cox, or whomever.  I will continue to do so.   I am happy to get anyone set up with cable company internet — with a modem and router that are YOURS. 

** And with that said, I will give my disclaimer about phone service.  If you are old enough to be my parent or grandparent, I am not going to go out of my way to advocate that you get cable company home phone service.   If you fall into this group, or have serious medical issues,  the home phone from the local phone company is just fine.   If you understand the ramifications of cable company phone service and the fact that you may have no service if the power goes out — by all means take it.  I am not taking a position on home phone; I am taking a strong position on home or small business internet.