Archive for the 'Internet' Category

Really AT&T? This is how you treat your customers?

AT&T Death StarI’ve just spent over one hour on the phone with AT&T U-verse technical support and they were absolutely no help whatsoever. After waiting for nearly 25 minutes to speak with someone, I finally get someone in their first-tier technical support on the line. Nice guy but despite his efforts, my Internet connection was still as slow as molasses. After transferring me to the second-tier tech support team, I wait another 15 minutes before someone answered in that department, followed by the person putting me immediately back on hold. Adding insult to injury, after waiting another 10 minutes, I suddenly hear the voice prompts that are played when anyone first calls their support line as though I had just called and hadn’t spoken to anyone yet. Needless to say, I was furious by this point and couldn’t take another minute so I just hung up the phone.

I pay AT&T U-verse something like $35/month for a ~6Mb/s downstream and close to 1Mb/s upstream Internet access speed. I recently suspected that my U-verse Internet access was being packet-shaped (or “traffic-shaped” if you prefer), allowing for a steady connection to Netflix (via my PS3) while compromising my Internet access to everything else and slowing all non-Netflix traffic to a crawl. I don’t know how much bandwidth my Netflix stream consumes, but I highly doubt it would consume all of my bandwidth and leave me with less than a single meg/second which are the results Speedtest.net gave me on three separate tests before calling AT&T U-verse today.

AT&T U-verse really needs to get their act together when it comes to their customer support. This is not the first time I have had issues with that arm of their company. For a company as large as AT&T to have such a poorly run service is downright shameful. When will you step up to the plate AT&T and start giving me the kind of service I deserve for the money I pay you?

Net neutrality in the crosshairs: Et tu Google?

What happened Google? First you come out in favor of net neutrality, then you backpedal and team-up with a company you once openly described as being opposed to consumer choice. If you don’t know what net neutrality is, I suggest you educate yourself about it because if you use the Internet like most of us do, you have a stake in ensuring net neutrality is upheld. If Google and Verizon have their way, then that means the beginning of the end for the Internet we all know. What would very likely happen is giant corporations like Google and Verizon would begin to create separate networks for content delivery that are apart from the traditional Internet and which require ever higher tolls for consumers to access. In short, you’d see the same thing happen to the Internet that happened to television with the advent of cable, and we all know that there is no such thing as a cable bill that shrinks with each passing year. I’m hoping the FCC will be able to do something to prevent such a scenario but nevertheless, there are groups out there which are working to uphold the principles of net neutrality and I suggest you support them. A good starting point is to visit the homepage of the SavetheInternet.com Coalition to learn more about what you can do.

I’ve always admired Google for their great services and corporate culture but this episode is causing me to see them in a different light. It seems that they’re not above succumbing to the pressure of maintaining their bottom line, even if it means flip-flopping on their word. So much for “You can make money without doing evil”.