As described in my previous post,, I've been trying to get my home DSL upgraded. So far here's the sequence:
- I contact MegaPath (due to a 'great deal for our customers!' email message) to see if there's some way to reduce our monthly cost.
- I'm told by "Mike" (not his real name) that, "hmm, well, I can give you 4X the download speed (6.0/768 instead of 1.5/768) and 5 more static IP addresses for about the same price." That sounds pretty good to me, so we start the process. It results in an 'install' event, which means telco hookup and MegaPath onsite model installation and configuration.
- The telco guy shows up a few days early, and gets sent away because we were neither expecting him nor ready for him.
- The telco guy returns on the scheduled day, tags the new loop in the box outside the building, comes in and does his tests from the network interface in the kitchen. Turns out he was one of the telco guys who originally wired the buildings when the apartment property was first built.
- The loop test reveals we are 11_500 feet from the telco CO, and therefore beyond the threshold for 6.0 service. Best they can do is 3.0/768. He apologises and I do protocol with Mike to get the contract re-done for the new, lower, speed.
- The Megapath tech arrives on schedule, find that the dedicated line/loop is correctly set up, but sees a lot of line errors and a download speed max of about 1.5Mbit — at best. He verifies the distance from the CO. He rechecks everything from the kitchen network interface and gets the same results, so the line quality issues are outside. He configures the modem, apologises for the bad news, and leaves. Someone at MegaPath calls me, and fails to call back when I ask for a 10-minute delay.
- I get in touch with "Mike" (or he with me, I forget) and he says their records (whose?) indicate we're only 9_000 feet from the CO. I have a dickens of a time explaining that I don't want SDSL, don't want a T1, and don't want anything at this point other than the 5 additional IPAs and a lower price. I think I get the message across, since he sends me a new contract to e-sign. The IPA block is wrong in it, so we lather, rinse, and repeat.
- Email comes from MegaPath telling me 'Welcome! For your new install, a telco tech needs to set up and verify your loop, and then one of our techs must come and do the install.' Umm... And I have yet another account/customer number now. I submit tickets to MegaPath requesting that all the various accounts be consolidated
- Another DSL modem arrives by UPS.
- I send email to "Mike" explaining that a) the installation has already happened, and that, if possible, I would really like to keep my current IPAs and just add the 5 new ones to the list.
- Email comes from MegaPath identifying my new IPA block. "Mike" replies to my email saying he's requested the fulfillment people to send me that information, and that all of my orders, contracts, and activity have been consolidated to a single account.. No acknowledgement of the unnecessary-installation issue.
So it has taken two weeks, four contracts, two visits from techs, and a new modem to stay just where I was at the beginning. With another modem and possibly two more tech visits in the future. And the pain and inconvenience of migrating all my stuff to a new set of IP addresses.
The tech people at Speakeasy, and now MegaPath, have been competent and excellent. Both of them expressed regret at the way ISPs promise things without first verifying that they're possible. This experience of twice being promised speed increases that cannot be fulfilled, and treated like a new customer three times because their processes apparently cannot cope with upgrades, is really making me think about alternatives.