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View Full Version : Cable vs. FIOS, oh no he din'nt



Scott Shepherd
03-25-2010, 6:02 PM
My father is looking to get the internet brought into their church. He called the FIOS folks and got a price. $91 a month for phone and internet. I suggested that he call the cable people. He called, came back said it was over $100 a month, and they both confirmed it was available at the location.

I thought it seemed high, since we have cable at work and don't pay that much. So I called, with him standing here, and when I gave the guy the address for the location, he said "oh, you just called", and I said "no, I didn't, but someone did, yes".

He said "Service is available at that location".

I said "I'd like to discuss pricing and packages. The price you gave the previous guy seems way high compared to the service we current have with you for our business, and I wanted to understand what was quoted. We need to know the bottom line price as we're trying to make a decision between cable and FIOS" (thought I'd poke him in the eye with a stick :) ).

He immediately says "Service is not available at that location".

I said "Excuse me?"

He said "Service is not available at that location, thanks for calling" click...

So there ya go. Service with a smile.

It made me mad, so I called the cable main number (their home office is a couple miles down the street). A person comes on and says that she can't really help me because it's a commercial account, but she said she can certainly look at the location and tell me if service is available. She looks at it, comes back online and says "Yes sir, I can confirm we do have service available to that location. I cannot take an order, you'd have to call the commercial side for that, I can transfer you, but I can confirm service is available".

Really amazing to me. Where do they get these people that represent their companies?

Myk Rian
03-25-2010, 6:29 PM
Really amazing to me. Where do they get these people that represent their companies?
Perhaps in India?

Jim O'Dell
03-25-2010, 6:30 PM
So that's where the girl went from last week's Undercover Boss episode!!!! :D I'd call back and ask for a supervisor and explain what happened. I'm sure they would like to know. May be some retraining is in store. Jim.

Roger Jensen
03-25-2010, 6:37 PM
Perhaps in India?

Why the shot at India? Read the quote about the crappy service at a local Woodcraft store. I don't think that is an "Indian" problem.

We have enough citizens with terrible customer service skills in this country. We don't have to look elsewhere.

Myk Rian
03-25-2010, 7:35 PM
Why the shot at India?
That's not a shot at India. :confused:
It's just that so many companies have shifted their phone tech support there.

Scott Shepherd
03-25-2010, 8:50 PM
No India outsourcing here, that was a plain old born in the USA young man.

I did ask for a supervisor when I called back. I was told that they don't work in that division, since I called the local number, which handled home stuff. She could transfer me, but it would not be to a supervisor, it would be back into the pool of people that were ever so helpful in the prior 2 calls :)

Jim Becker
03-25-2010, 8:53 PM
Cable vs FiOS is a no brainer for me...fiber to the prem with no caps and with no "neighborhood slowdown" would be my choice. My 3mb DSL outperforms local cable service in "actual throughput"...and I should hopefully have FiOS sometime this year as our township is being cabled "as we speak"...finally.

john brady
03-26-2010, 4:53 PM
Hi Scott,

It's most likely because they are considering the church the same as a business. I ran into a similar issues a few years back. I had cable at home and paid $xx for it. Wanted to get it at another location for my business and it cost twice the price!

Their reasoning was that a business has a higher bandwith usage and needs more support. I said I was the only one, and if I wasn't using it at home, I'd be using it at the shop (and since I was a computer technician, I didn't need their stinking support!). No dice! If it's a business (or business address), it gets charged that way.

I think it's rediculous, but their the only game in town. Nothing you can you do about it.

Just like now with their bandwith restrictions. They sold their service years ago on unlimited or no bandwith restrictions. Bet you don't have that anymore! AND... Nothing you can you do about it!

Chugbug.

Myk Rian
03-26-2010, 5:04 PM
So a home user downloading movies and music via P2P isn't using as much as a business.
Comcast put a 250g limit on home users in my area, before they would start pinching the BW down. Must be a lot of pirates in the neighborhood.

Belinda Williamson
03-26-2010, 6:35 PM
Cable vs FiOS is a no brainer for me...fiber to the prem with no caps and with no "neighborhood slowdown" would be my choice. My 3mb DSL outperforms local cable service in "actual throughput"...and I should hopefully have FiOS sometime this year as our township is being cabled "as we speak"...finally.

Steve, it must be your time for really cruddy customer service. You have had some real bum deals here lately!

Jim,
I either gotta' learn to speak your language, or you gotta' dumb it down for me! LOL :D

Scott Shepherd
03-26-2010, 7:49 PM
Thanks John, but the people we spoke to for the pricing and the "hang up" were all from the business side, not residential. We were comparing the pricing to our business account, not residential, so the cost should have been close.

Belinda, you're only seeing the one's I'm posting about :)

I had a friend for years and years and every time I spoke to him, someone, somewhere was creating problems on all of his accounts, no matter what. I used to think he was the problem. I think I owe him an apology. He was obviously just talking to people more often than I was :)

Carlos Alden
03-26-2010, 8:03 PM
I've found good and bad customer service locally and with the outsourced phone help. Actually, the phone help is okay, but it's hard for me to talk to them because they are so formulaic polite and in their procedure. I'd prefer to just say "this is what I want" or "this is my problem" and feel like I'm talking to a human as opposed to someone reading off a computer screen, which is what I'm sure they are doing.

I once purchased an item from CompUSA which came with a rebate. I picked up the rebate coupon from the front of the store on my way out. When I filled it out to send in, I saw that the coupon was actually an outdated version, and indicated "not valid past (current) date." So I called CompUSA and spoke with their customer service, explained the situation, and was told "just send it in anyway - it'll probably be okay." I explained that I would like an updated coupon to make sure I'd get the rebate, and was told they didn't have any more. I asked them if that wasn't succesful would they then guarantee the rebate amount so I wouldn't have to fight with the manufacturer. (I could just see the ensuing tangle of having sent in a bogus coupon, then retracting it, etc.) The lady with customer service said "how would we guarantee the rebate?" I said: "well, then, you guys would give me the money." She said, "Sorry, sir, we can't do that." I said: "So it's possible that I might not be able to get this rebate due to the fact that your store was giving out outdated rebate coupons." "I don't think so, but we can't guarantee what the manufacturer is offering."

I was stunned. I mean, we're talking maybe $10 or $15 here and I was being stonewalled. Their customer service training had told her nothing about trying to help out the customer in order to keep them coming in to spend more money. They totally lost me for anything else from that point on. No wonder they folded.

And the rep was USA home-grown.

Carlos

Neal Clayton
03-26-2010, 10:41 PM
Cable vs FiOS is a no brainer for me...fiber to the prem with no caps and with no "neighborhood slowdown" would be my choice. My 3mb DSL outperforms local cable service in "actual throughput"...and I should hopefully have FiOS sometime this year as our township is being cabled "as we speak"...finally.

after having had both, there is a service level gap between the two.

when i called to report an outage to Cox (and they were many) if it was after hours you could basically forget about it til tomorrow morning.

when the old man who lived next to the switch in my neighborhood severed a fiber line with his bobcat while digging out a hole for a slab to put a shed on a few years back at the same location, the phone company had truck out there with a spotlight on the hole fixing it at ~11:30 pm.

i'm sure it varies in other places, but that's been my experience with ATT at least. they might be a big evil monopoly but they do fix things in a timely manner so i'm happy with them ;).

Bryan Morgan
03-27-2010, 12:54 AM
Really amazing to me. Where do they get these people that represent their companies?

I had to call IBM for some server support and got to talk to some guy in the sticks of Georgia. No dig on Georgia, but this guy probably couldn't plug in an electric light let alone help with enterprise servers.... which he couldn't of course.

With tech companies phone support is more or less useless these days. There are exceptions of course, generally hp (their server and network support) is pretty impressive. Time Warner (corporate support) has been great, in my area anyway. My job is in computers and networks and I have to deal with this crap all the time. Calling to India is the worst but I've actually noticed less outsourcing to India lately.

If you dig around on the internet you can usually find the phone numbers of CEOs or at least their "better" support. We do that with Sprint and they kiss our butts.

Bryan Morgan
03-27-2010, 12:59 AM
Cable vs FiOS is a no brainer for me...fiber to the prem with no caps and with no "neighborhood slowdown" would be my choice. My 3mb DSL outperforms local cable service in "actual throughput"...and I should hopefully have FiOS sometime this year as our township is being cabled "as we speak"...finally.

I have the same experience with cable and DSL. Here, the DSL is way more reliable and my speed is always at the max. Cable would drop to slower than my DSL quite often. I have AT&T U-verse fiber available as well but in talking to people around here that have it, its not too reliable. Works fine for a few days then goes down for a few days. My friend on the other side of town has Verizon Fios and he loves it. Very fast and reliable according to him.

Neal Clayton
03-27-2010, 3:42 AM
i have uverse here, and don't have any problems. from what they tell me, the most common issue with uverse comes from the fact that they typically just join the incoming line to your cable TV wire in house, and everything goes from that. but splitters can cause issues.

i lucked out and got a really good installer. my house had about a half dozen splitters that previous owners had put in random places, the guy crawled around in the attic and under the crawlspace for awhile and cut them all out, after that it was fine.

as for the TV service, the uverse picture quality isn't as good as comcast was, but i got alot more HD channels with the switch, so kinda 6/half dozen i guess.

Jim Becker
03-27-2010, 9:41 PM
I have AT&T U-verse fiber available as well but in talking to people around here that have it, its not too reliable.

In most circumstances, ATT U-Verse is VDSL to the home. They only run fiber to distribution points in a community and then use the existing copper wire to each home to provide the service. It has limited bandwidth because of that. They only put in fiber to the premises in a few greenfield (new construction) communities. Verizon's FiOS is fiber to the premises except for a few MDU (multi-dwelling units...apartments) in high-rises where it wasn't practical to install fiber to each unit.

Scott Shepherd
03-29-2010, 4:39 PM
Well, the saga continues.....

Here's the deal. It's a church looking for phone and internet. 1 computer, 1 phone line.

I've overheard much of the conversations, and prompted a few questions and he's where it's gotten us.

They told him it would be $91 a month for "high speed internet" and 1 phone line. He asked if they needed to get inside and they told him know, they'd send all the stuff.

When he hung up, I said "Yeah, because it's DSL, not FIOS". They don't send you a FIOS hook up. He said they told him High Speed Internet. I told him that DSL was considered that.

Well, Verizon called him back today and he asked her. She said, hesitating, "Ummm, let me check", and then she came back and admitted it was for DSL. Then she said that she would give him FIOS for the same basic price, but it would be for 12 months, and after that, the price would be $104 per month. That also had a $99 fee for the phone and a $199 fee for the internet setup, all which would be billed and then some they would credit back, and some they would charge over 3 months.

I about fell out of my seat. $104 a month for internet and 1 phone line? You are kidding right?

We pay, for cable internet, $54 a month complete, taxes and all, for a business account. So you're telling me that phone service over the internet is now at $50 a month from Verizon?

This is SUPPOSED to be a bundle and it's SUPPOSED to get cheaper, but every time he talks to someone, the price keeps going up. Everytime I hear him talking to them, it sounds like a used car salesman.

Also, they told him to port the number over, it would take 30 days and they couldn't do the internet until the phone was ported over. So they are looking at an installation 6-7 weeks out.

Huh? Really?

We called Comcast, 2 days later they showed up and installed our internet at our office.

Guys, help me out here, what am I missing? Where did all the $54 a month for internet or $80 a month for phone and internet packages go? Because they aren't at Verizon.

Bryan Morgan
03-29-2010, 5:53 PM
Guys, help me out here, what am I missing? Where did all the $54 a month for internet or $80 a month for phone and internet packages go? Because they aren't at Verizon.

Find out if Verizon is actually the carrier at that address. At one of my business locations we needed DSL and Verizon is the only provider in the area. Well, turns out they contract out to some small Billy Bobs DSL company that is actually the local provider (which you can't deal with directly, apparently). Sprint claimed to have a line there too but they actually told us forget it, just go with Verizon. We usually connect with a Sprint MPLS setup but this is a tiny location and VPN over DSL is all we needed, and is cheaper.... sort of. I'm guessing Sprint couldn't get a good deal with the small local provider. Maybe you have a similar situation there.

Jim Becker
03-29-2010, 9:23 PM
Bryan, FiOS is only available where VZ is the incumbent phone carrier. The only exception that I'm aware of are a few small areas in the north-of-Dallas TX geography where there is a limited amount of overlay with ATT. VZ is installing the fiber optic network to the premises on their own dime.

Scott, honestly, for a single phone line and one computer...this is a tough financial situation when it has to be business service from any of these carriers. And I'm surprised VZ even offered DSL if FiOS is available at the address. They don't typically do that for new service once FiOS is available. On porting the number, VZ has little control over the time frame since it sounds like they are not the current phone provider to the church. They can't process the port until they receive it from the current CLEC that holds the service. On the bundle cost, make sure they are quoting FiOS Digital Voice if it's available as that will save around $14 a month in many cases since it's not taxed like a traditional land line. Also watch what Internet speed tier they are quoting.

Please note that I'm not defending the price; rather, just trying to help with the details. If they are not going to be running any kind of server, in all honesty, DSL or cable Internet would be more than sufficient. FiOS would be an advantage if they intend to host their own server(s) as it offers symmetrical bandwidth (same speed in both directions) and doesn't have the performance quirks that Cable has and that DSL sometimes has, depending on the quality and distance of the copper lines.

Jerome Hanby
03-31-2010, 2:21 PM
i'm sure it varies in other places, but that's been my experience with ATT at least. they might be a big evil monopoly but they do fix things in a timely manner so i'm happy with them ;).
I did field work for the UDS division of Motorola before and after the period when ATT was forced to break up its Bigger, Eviler monopoly. Give me the bigger, eviler one any day. Quality and service dropped like a rock after the break-up. A few of the "baby bells", like Bellsouth and Pac Bell, weren't too bad, but most of the others lost all their brains in the aftermath and were bears to work with. MCI and Sprint were no better, I actually had to walk some MCI guys through setting up their channel bank to provision a 4 wire leased line! Things are better these days, but I think a bigger ATT always worrying about not giving the Government a reason to drop the anti-monopoly bomb would be providing better service for less.

Ray Bell
03-31-2010, 3:06 PM
This outfit, along with a lot of other should take customer service lessons from Wynn Environmental, or the Seattle Pike Place Market fish shop.