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
    Laughable, 2 Dec 2006 @ 9:49pm

    ISP

    email is a pain> who uses email anymore? it full of crap, I only use IM, I don't even own a phone, if you can't send me an IM then I don't want to hear from you, but customer service? I had Timewarner and it took them 6 months and 15 trips to my house to find out the local node was dropping packets like rainfall (which I told them the 1st service visit) and I paid 150$ a month but could only get 5 seconds continous "blazing speed" even at 3 am, I was given all of 50$ in credit, so I had to go to slower wireless, and it went out less then seven days later for a wind storm, I guess no one ever thought weather could be bad, and I live in Texas, I'd rather go back to charter, I never had lost connectivity longer then one hour and that was in the winter, in a blizzard,to bad we can't buy the service we want

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