Friday, May 04, 2007

Get what you pay for

I've been dealing with a technical issue for a number of days. When I pay for something, I expect to get it.

My ISP (Comcast) seems to forget that customer satisfaction is important. Trying to get a technical problem examined and resolved with Comcast is an experience of frustration. When someone says they will have someone call you back (and in context- soon) then I expect that to happen within hours. Days later, I'm still waiting. When a company tells you that you matter (every minute for 15 minutes while on hold waiting to speak to a live person) then it seems reasonable that they would attempt to be prompt and responsive. Comcast seems to believe that telling you this makes it so. When Comcast says that you shouldf be getting a reasonable "throughput" with some consistency then at some point that should happen. The only thing I've seen with any consistency in the fast five days is throughput that is a small percentage of what I should be getting.

I'm lucky, Verizon is beginning to bring Fiber Optic into my neighborhood. Of course just because fiber is on my pole doesn't mean that Verizon will be any better.

In talking with the general manager of Comcast this week he touted the improvements in his area. What he and his company seem to forget is that customers are doing more and more things with the internet that put demands on it. Five years ago I wasn't streaming audio to my desktop. Of course, right now I'm not sure I can actually say I'm "streaming audio" since the throughput has my buffer looking for more and the music freezes.

I would like to think that I get what I pay for. When it comes to Comcast I am not getting the throughput I should be getting (I can run a test anytime I want and I have) and the level of support makes me wonder whether outsourcing to a bank of chimps in a zoo in India wouldn't be an improvement.

Gee what do I think of Comcast as an Internet provider? One a scale of 1 to 10 (with ten being the best) I'd give Comcast a 2.1 and that my friends is a direct proportion to the throughput I just tested.