Friday, June 1, 2012

ClearWire SUCKS!

I will never recommend ClearWire as an internet provider to anyone, ever. We've had them for the last 2 years, and it's been nothing but hassles from day one. We've been paying for 2 MB service, but have been lucky to get 1 MB. I haven't been able to watch a news video yet that hasn't taken me at least 10 minutes to watch the entire way through - and that's a video that's less than 3 minutes long (because it has to stop every 5 seconds or so to buffer before it will play for another 5 seconds or so). Don't even try to watch a YouTube video, it ain't happening with ClearWire unless you have all day to watch one short video. And forget about streaming anything, that ain't happening either. If it rains, you lose your internet. If you have a router so you can have more than one computer hooked up (which we do), you can't have the router within 3 feet of the modem or the modem only works part of the time - and they didn't bother to tell me any of this until we'd been having problems for over a year. Every time I called because we lost our internet connection, they never even asked if the router was close to the modem (until a year ago, after we'd had service with them for a year). Then they tell me the router has to be at least 3 feet away from the modem. Gee, thanks for that little bit of information.
When I called the other day because we lost our internet connection, the service rep asked me if I had unplugged the modem and the router. I told him yes, I'd done that 3 times, gotten the internet back for 1 minute each time and then lost connection again. He said, "Well, I'm showing you have a strong signal, you should have 5 lights on your modem." I said, "Yeah, I have 5 lights on my modem, but I still don't have any internet." Then he asks me if the modem is facing the tower. DUH, asshole, the modem is sitting in the same position it's been sitting in for the last two years, facing the damned tower, otherwise, I wouldn't have 5 fucking lights on the damned thing. So he says "Well, let me put you on hold and I'll see if I can find out what's wrong." He comes back 5 minutes later and says "There's a problem with the tower in your area and it could take anywhere from 2 to 24 hours before your internet is back. Is there anything else I can do for you today?" Yeah, ya dumb shit, you can tell the crew to get my internet back online for me, why the fuck do you think I called? Geez louize. I told him no, thanks, and hung up. And every time there's an outage, that's the scenario we go through. I realize they have a script they have to follow, but some initiative on their part would be nice (I really don't think they know how to think outside that box they're given to work within).
When I called the first time to cancel service, they wanted to know why, and I gave them the list of reasons, and they wanted to know if I wanted to upgrade my service for another $20 a month. Right, I'm paying $50 a month for 2 MB service now that I'm not getting, so why would I pay another $20 a month for faster service that you aren't going to be able deliver? Do I look like I have "STUPID" tattooed on my forehead or something? Yeah, I don't think so.
So when we decided to change providers, I called to set up cancellation of our service. Now, our billing cycle ran from the 26th of one month to the 25th of the next month, and we were having cable internet installed on the first of June, so I wanted to have ClearWire shut off on June 2nd. Sorry, they told me, no can do. Have to call on the day I want it cancelled, and have it shut off then, and any overpayment will be refunded to me within 24 - 48 hours. So I'm thinking okay, I'll pay the $50.32 on the 26th of May, have it shut off on the first of June, they'll refund me the balance due from June 2 to June 25 and we're good. Nope, not happening. I called and was told that my ClearWire internet can't be cancelled until the billing period ends on June 25 because ClearWire doesn't refund any money, ever. When I told the service rep that wasn't what I was told, he told me that no one would tell me I would get a refund because they don't do that - essentially saying that either I'm a liar or whoever told me I would get a refund was lying. Oh, and we've been leasing the modem, but we don't have to send it back, we can keep it. WTF am I going to do with it? Use it as a doorstop? Use it as a paperweight? It's a worthless piece of equipment to me - I don't have wireless internet anymore, I'll never have wireless internet from them ever again, so why the hell would I want to keep their modem?
So I highly recommend that if you have ClearWire and ever decide to switch to another internet provider, be sure you set it up so that your new provider installs your service the day (or 2) before your ClearWire billing period ends so you can call and cancel it before they charge you for another month of service you won't be using. And if you don't have ClearWire, I wouldn't advise considering them as an option.

13 comments:

  1. Ugh, I am sorry you had to deal with that Vesta, seriously the idea of customer service has gone to pot it seems. We have comcast here and other than dish network they have a monopoly on cable/internet services here and we are constantly having to go through crap with them to try and get at least workable service. While we don't want to go to Dish network, having to deal with their crappy customer service is making it seem like the better choice.
    I especially HATE when you are told one thing and then they basically call you a liar when you repeat that to the next person, that has happened numerous times to the point that next time I call I am going to record it.

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  2. We had DishTV and didn't have any problems with their customer service at all, and our bill stayed the same the whole 2 years that we had them. The only bad thing was that we lost service if it rained really hard, which happens in the spring and fall in MN, and we also lost service if it snowed heavily, which also can happen a lot in MN. But we had a chance to sign up with Charter, get free installation, free DVR, be able to watch it on the TV in the basement, AND get our internet too (and it's 15 MB service), all for less than what we paid for Dish and ClearWire combined (we're saving $36 a month). That was a deal we couldn't pass up, especially since Charter is constantly upgrading their internet service, making it faster, and not charging more for that upgrade. AND there are 2 servicepeople who live right here in town, so if we have a problem and need a service call, we don't have to wait a week or more until someone is in the area.

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  3. Not defending the companies in the slightest, but one of my husband's jobs over the years has been cable (and other kinds of internet) tech support.

    It isn't that the techs can't think outside the scripted responses... it's that they will be terminated almost instantly for deviating from the script in the slightest, or providing any technical advice that is not on the script. And the script is almost entirely limited to "reboot the modem" and "there is an outage in your area".

    Depending who you talk to, the companies are either doing away with any free tech support that isn't limited to that script, or they won't pay what is required to hire people who actually know what they're doing and won't break the customer's systems, or they're afraid that the customer won't follow directions, will break their computer, and sue the company.

    I think it's a bit of all three, leaning mostly towards the first two - my basis for this being that my husband was tier 3 tech support for a cable internet service, he was making around $15/hr. Tier 3 being the level that didn't have to work off the "stupid monkey script" as he called it and could actually do real tech support, including researching on Google if needed. And he had above average customer satisfaction, *way* above average number of successfully completed calls per shift, and a call time average that was well below the rest of the shift. After he was let go (first they claimed he called in sick too often, but he disputed this and the unemployment commission actually made them provide proof... which they couldn't do, so they had to pay unemployment because he wasn't fired for cause), over the past 3 years we've run into more than a few of his former coworkers. Seems the company has disbanded (via firing) almost every tier 3 tech support agent, demoted the few that were left, and now only hires tier 1 agents and restricts them to the script... at $9/hr.

    TL;DR version - don't blame the poor guy on the phone, it's corporate policy not to let them deviate from a script and most people are too desperate for work right now to risk what they have to help someone they don't know.

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  4. Erin, that does make sense. And it's not the tech support guy's fault that ClearWire has lousy service and doesn't deliver what they promise or what they sold when you signed up for service. It's the company's fault they have lousy service and don't deliver on their promises, which is why I'll never go back to ClearWire. I got a letter in the mail yesterday from them saying that they were no longer signing up new customers in our town, which makes me think that eventually they're going to be phasing out service here altogether - there are only around 4000 people in town anyway, and they have to compete with Arvig (local company), Charter, and Qwest (well, it used to be Qwest, now it's that company with the slinky commercial, can't recall their name), all of whom have servicepeople in the area and have better tech support (I've dealt with Arvig and Charter before).

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  5. I love having Clear. I'm not sure it's the same as ClearWire, but it's big in Philadelphia, PA, where my sister lives, and it's slowly making inroads into my town. We've had it for just over a year, and we've never had any trouble with it.

    We have our TV service through Dish. The receiver is partially blocked by a tree during spring and summer. While it would be nice to have the tree trimmed so we can watch all over our channels, not just a few of them, there just seems to be something fundamentally wrong with that, so I won't let my husband ask our apartment complex to have the tree trimmed. Besides which, the tree was here before we signed on with Dish.

    That issue aside, I like having Dish (and Clear) instead of Comcast. Comcast was a big pain in the rear end!

    I think that the affinity people have for their cable/internet providers depends on so many factors. I hope you're able to get your issues worked out with your providers! Maybe getting a tablet with a data plan could tide you over in times of internet outages?

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  6. rhonwyn - I thought about a tablet with a data plan, but we already have two desktop computers and a laptop, plus my Kindle and Nook, so I really can't justify the expense of a tablet. Between the time I spend checking the blogs I follow, checking all my email, checking facebook, downloading free ebooks, etc, I'm afraid I couldn't afford a data plan for those times when our internet is down. So far, I'm loving our internet with Charter - I haven't had to wait for a video to buffer several times in order to watch it yet, and that was a big problem with ClearWire.

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  7. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Alena

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  8. Unless you are an IT student or tech your not going to have a good experience with Clearwire anywhere. I live in the Tacony section of Philly and I live less then a half mile from their antenna and I have a 25dbi wimax antenna connected to my modem but still have intermittent interruptions, loss of signal, or lack of a good signal which there really is no excuse for considering what I have done to make sure we get a good signal all the time. I refuse to back to comcast and the only other provider is Verizon DSL. Really stuck here as of for now until Verizon gets their arses movin on Fios around here.

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    1. The really funny thing about Clearwire is that ever since we cancelled our service with them, I keep getting emails saying they can't process our payment (no shit Sherlock, I cancelled the auto pay from the bank!), and emails saying they'll be glad to restart our service with 4MBs instead. Right, I filled out their survey wanting to know why I cancelled service with them, and I told them I'm getting 15MB service from Charter for $30 a month. So why in the hell would I pay them $70 a month for 4MB service that they can't guarantee they'll deliver? Especially since they aren't taking any new customers in our area - that tells me that they can't handle the number of customers that they have now, and I figure that they're going to be phasing out service in this area altogether sooner or later. Yeah, Clearwire is not a good internet provider at all.

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    2. Hey I know your post was from over a year ago but hope you get this. I don't know how but I was able to sign up for Comcast even though I owed them a ton of money from years ago!! I told them I don't want ANY package or promotional rates. No 6 months for this much and than this much I told them strait up this is what I want and thats it! Well almost 6 months later and I couldn't be happier! I pay $67.00 a month (Clear was $55) yes $55!!! They actually had the balls to raise their rate about 3 months before I switched. Although they were a pain in my ass one thing I did like is that they don't give a crap if you download torrents or anything for that matter! I actually had to buy a subscription to torguard for a proxy torrent service! When I had Comcast in the past they would send MAD letters and emails saying I was going to be sued for downloading torrents and using random music DL sites. If you go on YouTube look me up under the name sn0m0ns, I have videos of success with Clearwire, with DL speeds around 20mb and the capped 1mb UP. Oh and TorGuard, its worth every bit of the $6 a month!

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    3. Just to let everyone know.. they do honor the "unlimited bandwidth". I was using approximately 300-500GB of bandwidth every month! LOL I got my moneys worth!

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  9. here is a nice little “thank you’ze” note i just sent off to the ignorant bastards at my (soon-to-be “former”) internet service provider, CLEAR WiMAX aka Clearwire - they got soooo tired of me complaining about a recurrent issue that these punks went as far as to “block” me from connecting with their official Facebook page. what a bunch of “tossers”…

    —-start—-

    okay i have had enough of your crap “tech support” not listening to my issue well enough to resolve it. my blood pressure is now sky high from trying to get this resolved with you (clear) over the last week and a half. my intermittent dns resolution errors are still present EVEN WITH THE NEW WIFI MODEM YOU SENT ME THIS WEEK. i tried to tell you people over and over and over again that this issue is NOT with the old modem i had.

    i tried via two different support phone numbers…

    i’ve tried your website’s “click-to-chat” feature - and what a horrid nightmare THAT was. the chat “tech” had me on “hold” for over an hour and then “HUNG UP” on me without a word. i immediately tried reconnecting„ i lucked out and got the same “tech” again. i asked him why he had kept me on hold all that time and then just closed the chat session (aka “hung up”) on me as that was as unprofessional as could possibly be. he just said: “SIR, call 1-888-xxx-xxxx to have our level 2 techs help you.” whaaaaaaat?? then i called THAT number today, and got the buck passed all over again.

    now, once more… i am a pc and network analyst by trade and i have been as such for ***18*** YEARS, which apparently is far FAR more experience than ALL OF YOUR “TECHS” COMBINED.

    NEVER have i been so poorly treated by a vendor. i have forwarded many MANY of my clients to your wimax service in the past year and a half that i have been with clear. not only am i now going to contact each and every single one of these customers and take back my “kind words” about your wimax services, i am also going to vent my frustrations alllll over the internet on various internet service forums regarding the ignorant ways of clear’s “tech support”.

    i will be returning this new modem you sent once i have made arrangements for another wimax provider, which there seem to be SEVERAL of working off of the same cell tower that i get your now-unreliable, unstable and now unusable signal from.

    you guys truly do blow chunks. why clear hired “techs” for minimum wage i will never understand. horrid. simply HORRID.

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  10. Unknown - So far, in the year we've been with Charter, we've had a couple of outages that Charter was already working on fixing when I called about them. We've lost our connection a couple of times, and all I had to do was disconnect the cable from the modem, shut it off, shut off our router, wait about a minute, reconnect everything and turn it all back on - that fixed the problem, and didn't have to call Charter to have them tell me to do all of that. It sure helps when you've been online with nearly every different type of internet service there is for the last 15 years - I've had dial-up, DSL, cable, and wireless, and I've been through the telephone tech support drill when losing service with all of them, so I pretty much know what they're going to tell me to do to try and get service back without even calling them. I go through all of that before I even bother to call about losing my internet connection.
    The nice thing about Charter, so far, is even though we're at the end of their service area, we're still getting the 15MB service we're paying for, even though the tech who installed it said it might run a couple of MB slower (it doesn't, I've checked it several times, just out of curiosity).

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