Re: Competitive DSL (was Re: AT&T Doesn't Like My Last Name)

> local telco alternatives ...

> We have that here in Northern Virginia (there are probably close to a > dozen). The two I have dealt with are RCN (formerly Starpower) and > Cavalier Telephone. > I have had excellent service from Cavalier over the last six months, > and if you can get them I recommend doing so.

Paul, you will probably continue to be satisfied with Cavtel as long as you don't have to deal with their customer service, or make any changes to your service with them. I had Cavtel's 700Kbps DSL at $25/mo and asked to be upgraded to the 3 Mbps DSL that they were offering new customers for the same $25/mo. It was four months from the time the change order was put in until they started working on it.

They disconnected my DSL and phone without warning (after four months, I thought they just forgot about the work order), and each time I called customer service asking when my dial tone would be restored, the answer was "in a few hours". After 30 hours without a dial tone, I called and threatened to cancel my service if it wasn't restored soon. Tech support enabled my dial tone in less than five minutes. (Do you think Verizon would even consider leaving one without a dial tone for that long?). When I asked about my new modem, I was told it would be FedEx-ed immediately. It wasn't. I didn't receive it until a full week after they disconnected my DSL.

Realizing I was constantly being lied to, I told them to cancel my DSL or restore my old DSL so I could use the Internet. They said I couldn't stop a work order in progress. I signed up with Verizon FIOS and had it installed a week later. I wanted to switch to Verizon POTS and keep my old number. Verizon said I had to cancel my DSL before they could port my number. Called Cavtel to cancel DSL, and was told it would take 15 to 20 business days to remove it from the line. If the higher speed DSL that was promised in a week took four months to install, I wonder how long the removal, promised in 15 to 20 business days will take. Had I left well enough alone, I'd probably still be a Cavtel customer today. But dealing with customer service is a nightmare. BTW, freeing myself of DSL, which requires POTS, means I could go to VOIP, and the total cost for FIOS/VOIP would be less that Cavtel's DSL/POTS with that $17 worth of taxes and fees.


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: It is this telco/DSL inter-dependence one with the other which is why I prefer to stay with cable internet. I like having the ability to move around as desired and not have to have the one yanked away (or forbidden to me) on account of the other. And considering how awful SBC customer service has become in the past two or three years, I am sure it would only be a little while before I would find them impossible to deal with. PAT]
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