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August 5, 2003

Service With a Thoroughly Documented Smile

Posted by Mike on August 5, 2003 2:02 AM

If you've been reading much that I've written in the past few years, you might be familiar with my terrible issues with customer service. Here's an excerpt from the last DSL installation I endured:

"In the course of ordering my DSL connection, for instance, I had to choose which DSL modem I wanted to use. The choices were an internal PCI, an external USB, and an external ethernet unit. Since I've got a small network running, I wanted the external ethernet unit to spare having to install a second card in one of the machines. I'm now the proud (temporary) holder of three external units. During a routine confirmation call on the day my service was to be activated, I learned there were several headed to me via UPS, so I said "we ought to cancel two of those." The immediate response was "we'll cancel the one that's already in your town."


"Because it nearly made it to me, of course. They were going to cancel the two closest deliveries and let the one furthest away from my home make its way to me a few days late.

"I stacked the two extras (they came in the same box) in the corner with the two extras I got in Virginia, and the ISDN modem/router that helpfully and inexplicably arrived on my doorstep last year some time despite the fact I've never had ISDN. Thankfully, I didn't return the DSL modems immediately. The one that got to my house first was broken. "

Since then, Speakeasy has come to my neighborhood, and faced with the choice of my current 640/384 connection at a high price, or a 1.5/384 connection at about 20% off (even less costly if you consider the second line I'll finally be able to force Qwest to disconnect), I decided to bid farewell to my Qwest and my ISP and see what Speakeasy has to offer.

Qwest, unfortunately, still has to connect the loop, so I'm not completely free of it. I guess it makes sense in a "for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee" sort of way that today, when the line was supposed to go live, it didn't. I still have my old connection on another line (thank God). My two calls to support, though, tipped me to something pretty cool about Speakeasy:

It seems the company actually tells you what it's up to with your order if you go look at your personal support page at Speakeasy's site. So yeah, I'm still bummed my new, fast connection isn't in place yet, but I know that when the customer service people say "we'll look into it" there's actually some documentation somewhere that they really are. Much better than the black hole that is Qwest (and most other services).