ISP Customer Service a Dead Art Form?

from the lets-hope-nobody-notices-our-screw-up dept

The e-mail and connection reliability of major ISPs frequently leaves plenty to be desired. MIA e-mail is most frequently thanks to botched spam fighting efforts, such as when Verizon customers suddenly stopped getting e-mail from outside the country. Or more recently when BellSouth's spam fighting system was so poorly implemented, people weren't getting any e-mail, forcing them to revert to their previous spam fighting solution. Huge outages thanks to network upgrades or transfers is also a concern, as many of the customers caught in the Adelphia, Comcast, and Time Warner cable switcharoo can attest.

PBS's Bob Cringely laments that there really are no consumer protections for these kinds of outages, and that ISPs are increasingly willing to bumble their way through botched network upgrades or capacity issues while hoping impacted customers don't notice. Users seem increasingly willing to click through mouse-print EULAs that leave them with no room to complain if their service stinks. One obvious solution would be to upgrade to a business line with some kind of reliability guarantee - but if the best solution is to upgrade to a more expensive business line, isn't this just encouraging ISPs to make their consumer lines worse and worse in order to convince everyone to upgrade?

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  1. identicon
    DittoBox, 1 Dec 2006 @ 5:28pm

    Local is better

    We have a DSL line through qwest, and ISP service through a local company called Infinity Internet.

    We rarely have problems, in fact in the last 2 years of having just DSL through them today was the first time I've ever had any issues with them. A 30 minute phone call (15 minute wait time) and a helpful (albeit not exactly friendly) person on the end got me running again. The problem was on their end.

    Except for the fact that they block outgoing mail ports (with good reason I suppose, spam bots and all) I'm pretty dang happy with them. Their prices are decent too.

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