The view from a friend’s Lake Union condo. Gosh, I love living here!
Either I’m the most curdled curmudgeon in the world, or the most insightful person in the world. It’s a bimodal graph with no middle ground.
I lurk on the Seattle Tech Startups list, follow GeekWire and TechFlash (which went downhill after Bishop and Cook left), keep abreast of what’s cooking in NWEN, and occasionally attend after-work local tech events.
Yesterday, about two weeks after I filed the complaint, someone from CLEAR calls me and is very apologetic. “We want to see if you’re having any more speed issues.”
We talk. He says let’s do another speed test. I say OK. He says we’ll do it whenever it’s convenient for you, any time, any day. I say OK, how about tomorrow at 7 am my time? He says OK, great, I’m very sorry for this Mr. DeRosa, I apologize for the inconvenience, etc. I say fine, shall I call you at the number I called just now? He says great, yes. Tomorrow at 7am.
Today at 7am I called his number.
Our technical support department is currently closed. Technical support is open from 9am to 10 pm, 7 days a week.
I tried calling three more times, until 7:20. Then it’s time to leave for work. Thanks, CLEAR.
Yesterday, I did another speed test with CLEAR‘s level 1 tech support. (I.e., the reps you get by dialing 1-888-888-3113.)
CLEAR’s support rep said they had done no work on my ticket, but they wanted to do another speed test anyway. Hrm. No work at all? None.
The results: My bandwidth is now about 5Mbit down, 1Mbit up. I no longer have a basis for a complaint, so I asked them to close my problem ticket.
Why is it now 5Mb/1MB, when three weeks ago it was 1/10th that? There’s no explanation. CLEAR claims they did no repairs that would have affected my connection. And I didn’t do anything here to affect it. Yet it’s much faster. It’s a mystery of God’s creation.
I quickly noticed a time lag in my surfing. Speedtest confirmed that the bandwidth was not what CLEAR had advertised.
CLEAR had promised me 7Mb/1.2Mb when I signed up. I was seeing 650Kb/30Kb, at best. I’d have faster bandwidth by etching bits onto rocks and throwing them at passing cars.
I’ve been quite satisfied with my Qwest 7Mb/894Kb DSL service. It had occasional bandwidth hiccups, but none were major. Their customer service was great and the service reliability was rock solid.
A man may choose to tinker with something that’s not broken, and look for “better” alternatives. I’ve done that to my Internet access. Woe is me.
I’ve occasionally thought about switching to home WiMAX. The reasons include mobility, if we add on mobile service; fewer phone cords in the house; more latitude in configuring our home offices; and maintaining our Internet access if we move. And so last week, I made the switch: I cancelled Qwest, went to the CLEAR website, and signed up for their “Home Internet” premium service. It’s $40/month, and promised 7Mbit down (or 6Mbit, depending on the sales document) and 1Mbit up. All the stock image photos had smiling faces. What could go wrong?
My experience with it has been terrible. So much has gone wrong that I’ll have to spread the bad news across multiple posts.
Let’s talk about signing up, setting up, and the Terms of Service.