Thursday, October 26, 2006

My Little Rant

This is a copy of an email that I sent to Bellsouth Customer Care regarding their DSL service:

I'd like to make Bellsouth aware of the problems I have been having with Bellsouth FastAccess DSL, or what should be called LimitedAccess DSL. Most of the residents on my street are currently experiencing problems with their DSL service. The problems I have are
representative of the problems that all my neighbors have complained about.

From the outset, the reliability of my DSL service has been sporadic; however, in the past months, the service has become much worse. Early in the mornings, I might be able to connect and check email. In the afternoons, however, beginning at about 2:30, connectivity is nearly impossible, and this condition continues, I assume, until the next morning. On the best weekday, I might get four good hours of connectivity. On the weekends, it is nearly impossible to connect. I am tired of paying for a service that I have only limited access to;
however, my only other option is dialup.

I have spoken to my neighbors, and we all seem to agree on the condition and severity of the connectivity problems. We believe that the high internet traffic times (after kids get home from school, and weekends) are the times when we have the most problems. One neighbor decided to completely drop her service and go back to dialup. We all agree that if Comcast were available in our area, we would switch without hesitation.

Bellsouth has sent technicians out to try to help our problems, but the technicians agree that the phone lines and equipment running to our neighborhood are inadequate to address our needs.

I noticed this morning that Bellsouth has posted its 3rd quarter earnings, and they are impressive. Obviously, those profits are not being used to upgrade equipment and improve service in our area.

It seems that the only person on my street who is not having connectivity problems is my next door neighbor, who has the highest level of DSL service, which, coincidentally, is also the highest priced option that you offer. Hmmm. Could there be a correlation?

It is obvious that Bellsouth has the customer base in this area to warrant upgrading and/or replacing your DSL equipment in order to make our service better. It would seem, however, that because you know that Bellsouth is the only high speed option for those of us in this area, you are content to allow us to keep experiencing the substandard service that we have come to expect.

Thank you for your time.

I received a reply that my comments have been forwarded to Technical Support and that someone would be contacting me regarding my case.

I replied back that I hope my comments would also be forwarded to Bellsouth's CEO and to anyone else who has the authority to make a decision to take some action that would actually bring about improvement in my service. And I said that I would not sit on the phone for an hour with a tech guy in Singapore who can only tell me what I already know: that something is wrong with the phone lines in my area. I also said that I would contine to keep my blog readers updated on how bad Bellsouth's DSL service actually is.

So, I've honored my promise and will let you know what develops.

Update (Fri. 8:55 a.m.): The reply I sent yesterday afternoon to the reply I received yesterday morning (sorry if that's confusing) seems to have generated an automated response which urges me to contact technical support. The funny thing is that yesterday evening when I received this email (I checked around 5:30 p.m.), I was able to connect using my DSL (and I am connected at this moment). All day yesterday I had had to use my backup dialup connection. However, now things seem to be working, and at a fairly decent speed. Could I be receiving some results?


Tony Arnold said...

Don't confuse coincidence with cause and effect -- Gipsie Ranney (Operations & Org Mgt guru)

I wouldn't hold my breath they had done something. I think they would telling you how great they are if they had actually done something about your problem.

Personally, I don't think your letter qualified as a rant. It was too factual, level-headed, and lacked the sarcasm to be considered a rant. :-)


Malia said...

We had some similar problems when we first signed up with BellSouth DSL. I think we have the same service as you, the one between DSL lite & the premium service. It worked fairly well the first few days and then Ie noticed our ready light flashing and I was unable to bring a webpage up. Of course the first time it happened was on a Saturday morning! I sat on the phone with a technician for over an hour and nothing worked. They verified that my phone line was fine, the sent a technician out (sometime the next week!) and once again verified that everything was fine in my house. We still had problems, especially during "high usage times". Finally, we got another technician to come out to the house and he went down the street to the portal(?) site and basically he had to switch the router that our line was on because our existing phone line was routed on a line that couldn't handle the DSL service. Clear as mud, right?

Well, finally, after all that it has worked fine and has only given us a problem once (after a nasty storm) since then.

So, I imagine if you're living in an older neighborhood, you're right that something must be done to connectivity portals for the entire neighborhood.

Don't know if any of this info will help you, just wanted you to know you're not alone! Fortunately, BellSouth did not charge us for that time period when we couldn't properly connect using the DSL.

jettybetty said...

That was a rant?

We have charter cable service--and have had connectivity problems from time to time--I've asked them why I have to pay for a month's service when most of the time I want to use it--I can't. The pat answer was I signed I would--and if I didn't they wouldn't let me have any service. =-(

Please don't get me started on call centers in Singapore--I can rant!

JMG said...

You're right, Tony. I connected pretty well part of Saturday, but Sunday I haven't been able to connect at all. I'm writing this comment using my dialup.