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Embarq Now CenturyLink page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

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Review by ozar See Profile

  • Location: USA
  • Cost: $80 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 18 days
  • Telco party CenturyTel
Good "Internet connection and speed seem to be working well at the present time"
Bad "Install co-ordination was non-existent; terrible telephone support; too expensive"
Overall "The worst company I've ever dealt with overall, but I'm hoping for improvement"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

NOTE: the overall support and service has been the worst of any company I've ever dealt with, but there are people working for CenturyLink that can and will help with issues. You do have to determine who they are, though, and you have to keep the pressure on to get things done. I'd love to give CenturyLink a great rating in all categories of this review, but so far they simply have not earned any top scores. I'll continue to adjust comments in this review and change the ratings as things improve or degrade, whichever the case may be.

Comments below are listed in date order - NEWEST to OLDEST...

01/21/2015 UPDATE:

I've decided to break my rating down according to the categories and the layout used in the graph by for ISP ratings.

PRE-SALES INFORMATION: the sales team at CenturyLink don't seem to know the products they are selling consumers very well. When I told them I wanted to buy my modem rather than rent it, they couldn't even tell me the brand or model of the modem being sold. They also failed to tell me about some large installation fees that would be charged for the upgrade, but they did make sure to get those charges and a few other unexpected charges on the first billing. Surprise!

INSTALL COORDINATION: install coordination was non-existent in my case - it took 18 days for the speed upgrade I ordered to be performed. Each day, CenturyLink said the tech would be coming, but nobody showed up, nor did they call to say they were not coming, or that the appointment was rescheduled for the next day. I had to call them each day to ask what happened to the tech, and what was going to happen next with the service appointment. This happened over and over again causing me to lose 4 days of work.

CONNECTION RELIABILITY: a good score is deserved here because so far, the connection has been reliable and I am getting the speeds promised by the plan they sold me. I'll report back and lower the rating score should that change.

TECH SUPPORT: telephone support from CenturyLink has always been absolutely horrible so I've given up on them, but email support from the help-team at has been good, except that it seems to take a long while and often takes repeated email requests to get issues corrected, or settled. They have been working with me to get the billing issues corrected, so I do appreciate that.

SERVICES: the internet speeds offered in my local area are still far behind those available in many parts of the USA, and even for pure Internet service, they expect you to pay a monthly fee for a blocked phone line, along with an unlisted phone number.

VALUE FOR THE MONEY: even when the speeds are consistent, I believe CenturyLink charges too much for their services, and with the surprise charges they list on billings, they leave me feeling like they are trying their very best to squeeze every penny from me that they can. Considering all the time spent and trouble encountered getting issues corrected, and then the cost of the service itself, it isn't a very good value for the money, so I'd highly recommend going with a different ISP if you have other options available. There are very few options locally for me, so I'm left hoping for improvements in this and the other low scoring categories of this review.

01/11/2015 UPDATE:

I've upgraded the ratings on CenturyLink "Connection Reliability" and "Services" because I'm still receiving the speeds (or very close to those speeds) that I'm paying for each month. In addition, there have been no connection dropouts, thus far. If this trend should continue, those ratings will be raised to the highest score. There's still plenty of room for improvement in the other categories, and each of those will be adjusted accordingly, based on performance by CenturyLink.

01/10/2015 UPDATE:

After sending a few more emails to, someone finally showed up to upgrade my service to the 25Mbps bonded connection that was originally ordered back on Dec 22, 2014. CenturyLink kept telling me on the phone that I was already configured for that speed, and I kept telling them that I wasn't, and that in fact, I had no connection at all since someone had altered the connection but had not completed the upgrade and had not provided the new modem required for this type of service.

Once the tech did arrive, he provided the new modem, then he did some work on the NID outside my home before climbing up the telephone pole a few times to make additional changes. After all that, he had to make a trip back to the local office to make further wiring changes because only one DSL line of the two required was working. He called me from their local office to make sure both DSL lines were working on my end after making the changes, and I confirmed they were.

In the end, this upgrade cost me four days of lost work and a huge amount of frustration and anxiety because I kept being told the tech was coming out, but then nobody showed up, nor did they call to say they were not coming. I ended up with at least 20 hours of my time invested from sending emails and phoning CenturyLink Support trying to get the service order completed. Even when the tech did come, I almost missed him because he did not call me before coming the way Customer Support said he would. Needing to leave the house for about 5 minutes to run an errand, I took a chance, and when I got back home he was pulling up to my residence. Install coordination was totally non-existent for this service upgrade, and the time and grief it cost so many different people was truly unnecessary.

01/08/2015 UPDATE:

Two different people in the CenturyLink Customer Care section told me today that their tech would be arriving at my home this afternoon with the modem that I purchased from them to complete the upgrade to a 25Mbps-bonded internet connection. I took off work again to meet with the technician, but as been the case for the 6 previous appointments, no tech showed up, and nobody bothered to call me to say the tech was not coming, or that the appointment had been rescheduled. I had to go through the tedious process again of calling CenturyLink and drilling my way down through their phone menu system to find the right person only to be told that the appointment has now been rescheduled for Jan13. In the interim, I have no internet connection because the old modem I had will not work on bonded connections.

01/07/2015 UPDATE:

Up to this point, customer support and service seems to be only getting worse. I've been trying to get my residential internet service upgraded for going on 3 weeks now and they can't seem to get it done. Several different CenturyLink sales people told me that 25Mb/s bonded service is available at my residence, their website says it's available, others in my residential area have it, and I have it at my work location only a few blocks away.

They made an appointment to come out and do the upgrade, but no technicians showed up, nor did they call to say they were not coming, or that the service upgrade was rescheduled for the next day. This process has repeated itself for five appointments now, and still nobody comes by to fulfill the service order, nor do they call to say they are not coming. I've called their phone support lines and emailed their support teams repeatedly, and they only say that they are running behind in my local area and that the appointment has been rescheduled again, but no reason is ever given for them not showing up or calling regarding the missed appointments. I've taken off work a number of times to remain at home because they tell me the technician needs access to the line from inside my home. Nobody at CenturyLink appears to care that I'm missing work based on their need for inside home access.

12-26-2014 UPDATE:

I've lowered the rating scores again but I am upgrading to a faster connection (25Mb/s bonded ADSL2) effective later this week to see if it works any better. Once we see how that all goes, I'll report back and hopefully be able to up the review ratings. The one thing that is bothering me already with this transaction is that during my teleconference with the CenturyLink sales team I was advised that there would be a monthly rental fee for the modem, so I told them that I wanted to buy the modem rather than rent and was told then there would be a one-time fee of $99.

No problem so far, but when I asked about my options for a CenturyLink modem, they did not know what modem they were trying to rent or sell me, so after placing me on hold for a while and checking with someone else at CenturyLink, they returned to our conversation saying that I had a choice between the Actiontec C2000A, or the Cisco DDR2200. Not knowing anything about either modem, I chose the Cisco device only because of my familiarity with that brand. After the order was placed, I did some research and found that Cisco stopped manufacturing that modem more than 3 years earlier. So, while it will work with the new connection, it is quite out dated at this point in time.

CenturyLink should have made me aware of this fact, but they never mentioned anything about that, or any of the other shortcomings with this older modem. I'm very much of the opinion that a consumer has a right to know basic information about what they are buying or renting, and the CenturyLink sales team should have had some knowledge about the product they are trying to rent or sell to consumers.

Obviously, I no longer want the Cisco modem and have asked for an alternative, but in the interim I'm crossing my fingers, hoping for some good luck with the new package speeds and service.

02-28-2013 UPDATE:

Here we are over 2 years now since my last review and things have not improved one bit, but have only gotten worse. Each and every night from about 6pm to around 11pm, the 10 Mb/s down-speed connection that I've been paying for drops all the way down to dial-up speeds and remains there, most likely due to CenturyLink overselling the service compared to what it can actually handle. The rest of the time, speeds are erratic at best and are rarely what I'm paying for. With any luck, perhaps this provider will fold so that other options will make themselves available in this area.

11-15-2010 UPDATE:

I've lowered the review ratings on CenturyLink once again. Connection speeds are all over the place and latencies, too. I don't know what's wrong with the service CenturyLink provides to its customers causing it to be so inconsistent, but if my automobile acted up as much as this connection does, I'd be getting rid of it in a hurry. Sure, I'd leave CenturyLink in a heartbeat, but there aren't any real alternatives in this local area. I keep hoping that they will take the steps to improve their service, or that a better company will come along and buy them out, and then make things better, but it's looking more and more like neither will ever happen. If I could pay what the service is actually worth, I'd be out about $20 to $25 bucks each month instead of $80.

09-22-2010 UPDATE:

The DSL connection has been working slightly better over the last couple of weeks, but I don't feel confident at all that it will stay that way for long. I'd still be quick to try an alternative provider if there were other DSL providers in this area. As indicated earlier, we have a local cable company that also provides internet services but the speeds they currently provide are far to slow, and the cable service was too expensive the last time I checked it. The Tech Support score I provided is based on the support provided by the company, not by our own CTL_Joey here on the forums. We'd need a separate section to rate him where he'd definitely receive a 5 score from me... Thanks, Joey!

08-15-2010 UPDATE:

Ratings have been downgraded once again due to the horrible Connection Reliability and Value For Money that we've experienced recently. Also downgraded rating for Tech Support, but that is not intended to reflect on the help provided right here by CTL_Joey, as his help is the only good support provided by Century Link. I'm currently paying about $100 per month for phone and DSL service whereas it's certainly worth no more than about $40 per month due to the lousy connection reliability and terrible tech support.

Consider your options closely before signing up with Century Link because even if other available options are slower, they might be better if they work properly and consistently. Any improvements with the service from Century Link will have to remain steady and consistent for some time to come before I'd be willing to upgrade this review to a more positive one. Check the forums for more details about what users are experiencing under Century Link, and consider yourself warned.

07-08-2010 UPDATE:

The CenturyLink DSL connection that I have at home and work have both been absolutely horrible for the last week or two with very slow speeds, constant page timeouts, and page hangs. Both, my 10Mb/s and 5Mb/s connection are getting speeds similar to a dial-up account and are unusable for all practical purposes. In addition to that, every time it rains, my home connection goes on and off repeatedly as long as it's raining, making the connection useless.

The CenturyLink techs have been out several times and they've told me to call in a repair request when it rains next so they can come check for the problem during the rain, but by the time they get to my house, it's no longer raining. Living in a small town of less than 3,600 people, you'd think they would know when it's raining and think to themselves that they need to go troubleshoot this problem immediately, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

For all those reasons outlined above, I've downgraded the "connection reliability" section of this review to the lowest option possible and the connection itself will have to become and remain far more reliable for some time before I'm willing to upgrade it again. At the current time, I'd advise any viable option over CenturyLink for those that need a reliable internet service.

03-3-2010 UPDATE:

Scores have been upgraded for Connection Reliability, Tech Support, Services, and Value For Money, all based on help received from our very own CTL_Joey. DSL service here was truly lousy for several years but Joey pulled the right strings and got things working properly. Thank you again, Joey!

05-17-2009 UPDATE:

Just wanted to update my review to say that the speed finally did move much closer to the 10 Mb/s that I pay for, but I'm back to having to reboot the modem every few hours, or sooner, in order to maintain decent speeds. I'd definitely give Embarq a lower score for connection reliability if there was a lower score available. Otherwise, their DSL services are mediocre. Hopefully, the CenturyTel/Embarq merger will bring some improvements, but I've learned through experience not to count on it. Time will tell, and I'll be back here to report on whatever happens, either way.

04-28-2009 UPDATE:

The speed of my 10 Mb/s connection has dropped to about 2 or 3 Mb/s and stayed there over the last 4 days. Rebooting the modem doesn't seem to help speed it up any longer.


The only other options available to me in this area are dial-up, cable, and satellite. The cable service in this area is down quite often for no apparent reason, so I didn't consider that as a viable alternative.

I'm currently on the "Up to 10.0Mb/s download / 896k/s upload" package and the price I've listed for this review includes the regular phone line charges, plus the DSL service.

The initial order process (about 5 or 6 years ago) went fine and while it was a self-installation, the actual DSL signal was reaching my line in about 3 days and I was up and running. I started out with the 645 Series modem supplied by Sprint/Embarq and the 1.5 Mb/s download package, then I upgraded when 3 Mb/s package was available, then again when 5 Mb/s download package became available. In all cases, the upgrade was totally painless and without any effort on my part. However, when I recently upgraded to the 10 Mb/s downloads package, Embarq sent me a new modem (Embarq EQ-660R) that was supposed to be easy to install, but it turned out to be very problematic and took several different Embarq support techs a number of hours to get things so that I was up and running again.

The newly supplied modem drops the DSL sync signal quite often, but intermittently. In fact, it will sometimes drop out about every 5 or 10 minutes during the evening, then the signal re-syncs and you can connect again. Another thing that I've noticed that happens frequently is that the speed will suddenly drop drastically and I get download speeds around 5M/7M. Rebooting the modem will usually get things going faster again.

I recently replaced the ISP supplied modem with a D-link DSL-2540B modem/router and have not lost sync again since doing so. I've also not noticed the degraded speeds suddenly appearing, but I'm not certain just yet that all is fixed, as it's only been a few days since the ISP modem was replaced.

...comments above are listed in date order - NEWEST to OLDEST

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updated 88 days ago