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
    claire rand, 4 Dec 2006 @ 5:02am

    one chance.

    having told my phone compant to foxtrot oscar last friday... for reasons that are 100% customer service based.

    they screwed up an installation order (probably cus tier one didn't speak english) the engineer was good, and got it sorted. then i'm told by tier one again that my phone isn't switched on yet... like duh I'm using it..

    then i've had three dates my boradband was due to switch on, only to be told on the third day (when it still didn't work) that no order had been placed, and would i like to place one..

    BT, gotta love em. come the new year I'll try someone else. get the service right and the fact they are not cheap wouldn't have mattered.

    pity NTL are just as bad.

    I'd go local if there was anyone, thinking talk-talk.. cheap, customer service is probably crap.. but they are all crap.

    one chance to make a good first impression.

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