For months now, I’ve chronicled the state of my internet service on my facebook account. Well, after months and months of constant call to the support center and hearing “WOW! You’ve had 100 drops in the last week!” and having several technicians come out to the house, only to have them tell us “You’re getting full service. So what’s the problem?” and “We’re working to the spans right now, but you’re getting a perfect signal from DSLAM.” why are we no closer to getting a stable, reliable internet connection. That is what we’re paying them for right?
Well, in a new twist to this story, a neighbor of ours, also a Windstream customer, call the billing center to see if she could get some money on her bill. The woman on the other end of the line actually had the audacity to tell her “Well, you’re getting your internet for free anyway, so…”
This woman was actually insinuating that because of the package we have through Windstream (we have the same package as our neighbor!) that bundles our internet service, phone service and television service under one highly discounted package that it was perfectly okay for us to have sub-standard internet service. Truth be told, every service in that package SUCKS DONKEY DICK! So what’s their excuse for that? Our phone line has so much static in it sometimes, that you can’t even hear the other side of the conversation. Our TV reception drops out REALLY quick of the wind picks up any and don’t even get me started on our internet connection?
Just this afternoon, I created a simple PHP script that checks our router to see if our IP has changed. If it has, it logs that change along with a timestamp. I then set that script up to run once a minute. I started running it at 3:05 PM this afternoon after a hard reset of the router. At the time of this writing, (6:32 PM), there have been 21 IP rotations. What this means is our router has lost sync with the Wide Area Network (WAN) we are attached to and had to ask the main Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server on the WAN for a new IP address. In layman’s terms, our service dropped out 21 times in 3.5 hours. Even more disturbing, over the last month, something on the network has been sending a remote kill signal to our router. How do I know? Because it goes through a full power cycle! The three status lights stop flashing a second, then the Power light flashes red for a second, then the start up process begins. That’s a hard reset, right there! That’s exactly what happens when I power down the router, then start it up again.
We were told by one of the technicians, that the network was overloaded (something Windstream did, not us) and they were upgrading the network and that should expect to see improvement in our service in 3 weeks. That was in December 2011, folks. Here we are May 3rd, 2012 and still we making the same calls to the same people with the same complaints and getting nothing in response.
If anybody knows what we can do force their hand, please speak up. We’re about to lodge a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and I’m seriously wanting to look in to what we can do legally to force their hand. A class action lawsuit, or something of that nature. We might live in a rural area. We might live on road that has less than 50 households on it. However, when we signed our contract with Windstream it was with good faith that we would at least get a reliable service. We didn’t expect the best data rates, and we certainly didn’t expect 100% uptime. But we didn’t expect to for a 3mbps line and get less than 1mbps most of the time, with less than 75% uptime. We already had a conservative expectation of our service, but the reality is so much worse!
All we’re asking is for stability of service. We realize that our proximity from the DSLAM makes it impossible to get a blazing service, but there is no reason why we can’t get a stable service. That shouldn’t be a huge ask of any service provider. It doesn’t have to be the best, but it should be reliable. My router rotating IP addresses every 10 minutes is not stable, or reliable. My router going through a full power cycle on its own at least 3 or 4 times a day is not stable, or reliable.
Footnote: In the 20-25 minutes it took to write this, we have had 5 more IP rotations!!!