Review by crescentdave
Good "It's Offered (Monopoly)"
- Location: Eastsound,San Juan,WA
- Cost: $80 per month
Bad "Very, very slow peak speeds, very inconsistent, ads are inaccurate"
Overall "Inconsistent, slow, Unresponsive to customer complaints d/t monopoly"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)
Update 10/2/11: It's Sunday, early afternoon. I pay for "up to 10 Mbps. This is off-peak and part of a trend which has seen some of the consistently slowest speeds (see below) I've experienced. My grade (speedtest.net) with Centurytel right now is a D+. That is an improvement on the F grade I regularly receive in the evening from speedtest.net. As always, unlike Centurytel, I back up my statements with verifiable data. See MediocreSunday-10-2-11.jpg below.
Update 9/23/11: It's been almost 6 months of lousy, peak service. Centurylink is aware of the problem and has done NOTHING to correct it. Problem: Centurylink sells "up to" 10 Mbps speeds, delivers under 2 Mbps during the evening, because while it's sold these services, it's infrastructure cannot handle the demand. I'm happy to be using a SamKnows router to monitor their deplorable service but it's too bad they're a monopoly in my area and don't have to listen to our complaints. They changed their ad, because they've been unable to offer "consistent" speeds, but they're still misleading customers, saying that the tier I'm paying for can "Stream HD movies instantly." It can't stream lo-def movies instantly in the evening. See below for screenshot of pathetic speed during the middle of the day- yes, it's getting worse, not better. (labeled "pathetic9-23-11.jpg). Have just run SpeedTest and included a graphic for that as well- Centurylink_9pm_Fail.jpg. It's for 9 pm and can I "Stream HD movies instantly" like they advertise? At .31 Mb/s? No. It's false and misleading advertising. Not to mention .31 Mb/s is a tad bit lower than 10 Mb/s. SpeedTest.net grades this centurylink performance as an F. As in Flunking. As in Failure.
Update 4/20/11: It's been more than a few months of continuing mediocrity. I thought I'd give a snapshot of right now: So It's 1:50 am, certainly not a busy time of the day ... here we go with a .11 Mbps download speed and an upload of .18 Mbps. Another pathetic showing by the INCONSISTENT Centurylink corporation. I like the grade: F-. And it's SLOWER than 98% of the US. Way to do us proud Centurylink. FYI, I'm paying for "up to 10 Mbps" and this corporation advertises in this area as offering "consistent" service. How to describe this advertising? False. Misleading. As always, check out the screen shot for proof.
Update 12/30/10: It's been 128 days since offering yet another example of inadequate delivery of advertised speeds in San Juan County, Washington, from Centurylink. Paying for the "up to" 10 MB/s tier, at 8 pm I posted .94 MB/s speeds. Their misadvertising has changed a bit. The splash ads talk about "true speed," whatever that is. They do slip up on their inside pages, falsely claiming "With CenturyLink, you get true velocity, so you can go consistently fast all day, every day on our national network." They engage in further fiction when they proclaim: "What does this all mean? It means you get a consistent speed that ensures a great experience every time you log on without annoying pixelation, lag or loading bars." Gosh darn it, Centurylink- I think trying to watch Netflix at .94 MB/s is going to be a tad laggy. Good thing that level of service I'm paying for is described as "up to 10 MB/s." As always, see below for speed test snapshot. It's one of the ways I can differ from Centurylink: I back up what I post online.
Update 9-6-10: At around 9 pm, I had a connect speed of .32 Mb/s. Centurylink currently advertises my "up to 10 Mb/s" service as "consistent." It is if you define near 10 Mb/s speeds during really off-peak hours and regularly sub 4 Mb/s speeds from 5pm-11:15 pm. as consistent. Talked to several tiers of tech "service" all who tried to fob a line check off on me- after I've had repeated tests and as if my modem got slower after work and after dark.
From the final tier tech, Evan A: "I was checking around and from what I can tell CS would be the people to call because they should be aware that we don't have enough bandwidth in the area and here fore should know not to sell to any one there so they should have a time frame on it"
This is the second (unrelated) tech support person who has confirmed Centurylink does NOT have enough bandwidth to back up their advertised speeds. Bottom line? Customers in Washington are overcharged, under-served, and Centurylink continues to offer misleading advertising.
Given a 10 Mb/s advertised speed and a .32 Mb/s actual speed, if I could pro-rate my $60 internet bill, I would have to pay $1.92. In my experience, I'm paying $60 and getting $1.91 worth of service this evening.
As always, there's a speed test snapshot below to confirm my update.
Update 7-19-10: It's morning here in PST, and connect speeds are 2.35 Mb/s with a .79 ping for an advertised "up to 10 Mb/s" speed I'm paying top dollar for and not receiving. Screenshots of speeds below. CenturyLink, ever since it started acquiring other companies has gone downhill in terms of speeds and customer service. I had better speeds, more consistent speeds and much better customer service 3 years ago.
Maybe CenturyLink is better in areas where it has competition, unlike here. I would never recommend CenturyLink as it's rep on this board has reported "They are currently building a business case to address this issue. Looks like they will have to add new facilities to fix the problem, which involves creating a proposed solution, getting it approved, ordering equipment, and then installing it. Quite the lengthy process indeed." Oh yes, indeed. I wonder if they've even built a business case. My guess is it goes like this: "We have no competition there, no need to upgrade facilities to meet the demand and satisfy our advertised speeds and consistency? Case closed!"
P.S. DSL connection dropped 3 times during the course the speed test and writing of this post.
Update 7-1-10: Centurylink is consistent, alright. Consistently charging top dollar for bottom tier speeds. And no timeline for upgrading their assets in order to meet the demand of their customers. They would be out of business up here if they weren't a monopoly. Same old story, I pay for "up to 10 MBps and, as you can see here, 10:35 PDT, I'm getting 1.3 MBps. If I could pro-rate my payments like Centurylink can offer me any speed it wants, instead of paying $50, I'd be paying $7.50/month. Since I'm a customer, that's impossible. Since they're a monopoly, they can continue to offer poor service. Time waiting to talk to technician: over 12 minutes, 11:09 pm. I'm hanging up because I'm wasting too much time. Add poor customer support (CenturyTel, before being bought, had EXCELLENT customer service support).
Update: 6-6-10 I just wanted to give people a sense of how poor CenturyLink is during off peak hours ... it's Sunday @ 3:50pm and I am under .5 Mbps. I pay for "up to 10 Mbps" connect speeds. It's a step up from "pay for up to 1.5 Mbps." I think it's safe to say Centurylink can say whatever it wants, but I still want to pay "up to 49.95" for my "service." That would make it $2.50/mo by CenturyLink advertising. They're pathetic. If they weren't a monopoly I'd definitely switch. It's a bean-counter corporation.See the attached pic for verification.
Update: 6-3-10: Months later and CenturyLink continues to get WORSE. I pay for "up to 10 Mbps" speeds. here is a link showing my current connect speed this evening: »picasaweb.google.com/crescentdav···70610578. This means streaming video basically sucks and my Netflix on demand service, which I pay good money for, defaults down into a pixelated mess because CenturyLink cannot get with 8 Mbps of their "advertised" connect speeds. If you can go with any other company, do so. My sympathy to all those (like me) who have no choice and pay far more than we would if there were any real competition. I don't mind paying the price ... I am very bitter they cannot even guarantee lower tier service which costs far less money.
CenturyLink (formerly Centurytel), has managed to take an average to good company and drive down it's quality of service and support almost immediately. If it did not own ALL the lines on our island I would immediately switch providers-they're that inconsistent and unresponsive. This is northwest Washington, in the San Juan Islands. Your experience may be different, and, if so, I truly envy you.
I have had their "top-tier" connection (up to 10 Mbps) for over two years now. It's always been somewhat erratic ... with connection speeds fluctuating significantly, but nothing approaching what regularly occurs now. It's obvious internet service resources have been cut back. I CONSISTENTLY hit evening periods with under 1 Mbps connections. Consistently.
I have a hard-wired, in-house, separate dsl connection. Since I am able to hit 10 Mbps at times during the day I know it's NOT my line, it's NOT my modem and it's NOT my router. Centurylink will not talk about anything else. They refuse to discuss, with the customer, the reality of consistently low connect speeds. Instead, even with my records on file, they insist upon performing the same, irrelevant steps to end up telling me, gee: maybe you should have a tech check your incoming line. Gee, Centurylink, do you think the line goes bad when it gets dark outside?
They are completely unresponsive. What aggravates me is they have to know they are offering less than optimal speeds. Have to. And yet, since they are a monopoly in my area, they can continue to offer sub-standard service and continue to misrepresent their actual connect speeds. I would have used the form to tell you how much the internet service costs, but it's part of a bundle and the "new" CenturyLink refuses to break out the cost.
I would NEVER recommend this company as it now operates. This isn't about the people working there-many of whom are really great-it's about corporate-driven policy which only benefits stockholders at the very real expense of customers. Take a look at their "Merger" site ... you won't see one item talking about improved customer experience. Instead, you'll be treated to the phrase "expected synergies" of merger-related expense deductions.
Update: CTL_Joey, a Centurylink tech who posts on this site offered help. Here's his post: Ok I understand a tech went out yesterday and repaired a bad cable, but that they also did identify a bandwidth issue that occurs in the evenings. They are currently building a business case to address this issue. Looks like they will have to add new facilities to fix the problem, which involves creating a proposed solution, getting it approved, ordering equipment, and then installing it. Quite the lengthy process indeed. Not enough people had called in to complain to make the problem escalate, but now it has. Hopefully it will get fixed soon, but I don't have any ETA I can provide. Only thing I can suggest is to check back later on to see what the status of things are.
So nothing changed. Connect speeds are still consistently sub-par. What has changed is someone admitting there is a "bandwidth issue that occurs in the evening." All this, of course, is irrelevant to Centurylink. They still have to build a "business case" to justify "adding new facilities." I'm not holding my breath, but I do hope the Attorney General's Office for the state of Washington can address their clearly misleading advertising. When I get charged for 10 MB/sec and experience 1.3 MB/sec (as I did tonight, like so many nights) a "misleading" ad simply becomes a lie.
member for 5.1 years, 43 visits, last login: 1 year ago
updated 2.4 years ago